Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have finally revealed more of their plans for the future of Pokémon at the Pokémon 2018 Video Game Press Conference, and it looks very bright indeed. While we were all speculating about the announced Pokémon on Switch, Nintendo hoodwinked us and announced a whopping three titles for the hot new platform.
Pokémon Quest is already available on Switch, and will also come to mobile later in the year. We're also getting Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! later this year, while the elusive new core entry in the franchise is still under development, but will now launch in 2019.
In this guide, we're going to detail everything we know about Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!, including how they'll play, how they tie into Pokémon GO, and when we'll get to play them on Switch.
What is Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!?
Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! are two new Pokémon titles coming to Switch this year. They're set in the Kanto region, and feature only the first generation (151) of Pokémon. So, in a way, you could consider them a remake of Pokémon Red and Blue (or Yellow), though a remake that has a similar relationship that The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past does to A Link Between Worlds, or Metroid: Samus Returns does to Metroid II: Return of Samus. By that, we mean it strongly leans on the originals, but adds a bunch of new features and may even go its own way where story is concerned.
As you can tell from the trailer above, Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! look and play remarkably similar to the most recent Nintendo 3DS instalments. The world is fully 3D, you view it from an isometric perspective, and you run around grass catching Pokémon. The visuals are a big step up though, using the extra power of the Nintendo Switch.
Is this the new core Pokémon RPG Nintendo teased at E3 last year?
Nope – that RPG is still in development and will launch in 2019. These are two brand new entries in the franchise aimed to help ease in new players to the franchise – particularly those who may have only played Pokémon GO.
Is it a remake of Pokémon Yellow?
It's more like a reimagining based on Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition. It's set in the Kanto region, and features just the first generation of Pokémon. It plays completely differently though, and has a different plot.
How does Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee play?
You play with a single Joy-Con, holding it like a Wii remote. You use the analogs and buttons to move your character around, select attacks for your Pokémon in combat, and interact with the world. Catching Pokémon acts similar to how it does in Pokémon GO though. You use motion controls to chuck a Pokéball at a Pokémon to (hopefully) catch it, and a targeting reticle tracks how good your aim is.
That does mean you don't battle Pokémon to catch them in this instalment though. You will gain XP each time you catch a Pokémon though, and you can battle
Aside from that, this is a Pokémon adventure as you know and love them. You'll catch Pokémon, battle other trainers, explore a world, and visit cities. Better yet though, you can play it with a friend in couch co-op using just a single pair of Joy-Cons, and it ties into Pokémon GO.
What's the difference between the two versions?
The version you select will determine your starting Pokémon out of either Pikachu or Eevee. As is traditional with Pokémon games, you'll also encounter different Pokémon in each game. That means you'll have to trade with others if you want to catch 'em all.
Can I still play in handheld mode?
Yep. You'll still use the gyroscope to aim the Pokéball, but you'll press a button to actually throw it. That way you don't have to shake your Switch about and accidentally drop it.
Alternatively, you can set your Switch up on its stand and play it exactly like you would on a TV.
You can play Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! with a friend in couch co-op?
That's right, and it only takes a pair of Joy-Con to get it set up. Another player has to simply wiggle the second Joy-Con while it's connected to the console to join in the fun. You can then both throw Pokéballs together to catch Pokémon – presumably increasing your chance to catch them – and battle as a team against other trainers in the world.
What's not clear right now is how (or even if) you can transfer your own character and Pokémon into another player's game. Hopefully Nintendo will provide more information on that soon.
What about online multiplayer?
You can connect with other players locally or over Wi-Fi and compete in non-ranked battles. Presumably, you can trade your Pokémon as well.
How does Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! tie into Pokémon GO?
Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! play as standalone adventures, but also tie into Pokémon GO. You can transfer Pokémon you've captured in Pokémon GO to the Let's Go games, but not vice versa, and you can send gifts to other players. These features work over Bluetooth.
As Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! only feature the first generation of Pokémon, you can only transfer any first generation Pokémon you've captured in Pokémon GO.
You can transfer shiny Pokémon, but not event Pokémon. You know, the ones that wear the cute hats.
What's with this Pokéball Plus peripheral?
The Pokéball Plus peripheral basically serves in place of a single Joy-Con. There's a joystick you can use to control your character, and a button on top you can press to perform actions. It even has the motion controls of the Joy-Con, allowing you to pretend to throw it like a real Pokéball.
Our favourite feature has to be the LEDs just behind the joystick that mimic the on-screen Pokéball, lighting up whenever you catch a Pokémon. It also vibrates and includes a speaker that can play cute sounds.
Curiously, you can even bring it with you when you leave the house to take your Pokémon for a walk. Shake it at any point while out and about and your Pokémon will talk to you. We're not sure if there will be any gaming benefits to this, but it's a nice – if a little weird – feature nonetheless.
It also serves as a Pokémon GO Plus too, so if the watch isn't to your fancy you now have another option.
It looks like Pikachu and Eevee serve as in-game pets?
Well, you can pet your Pikachu or Eevee (depending on the edition you purchase) by waggling the Joy-Con, and dress them up in a variety of cute outfits. So yes, they do appear to serve as in-game pets.
We do know that Pikachu or Eevee will follow you around for the entire adventure as well, though you can pop them in your box (which is now a bag) if you get sick of them. You can't evolve them either, but you can evolve other Pikachus or Eevees you collect while playing.
And you can ride Pokémon?
That's true, though not all Pokémon. We'll try and report back when Nintendo releases a list of rideable Pokémon, and what you have to do to ride them.
When will Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! release?
Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! will launch globally on Nintendo Switch this November 16th, 2018.
What do you think of Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!? Have they fulfilled your hopes and dreams? Are you disgusted by the casual nature? Chuck us a comment to let us know!