Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! have been dividing the opinion of Pokémon fans everywhere since they were first announced; eager fans of the series in its current state - and especially those who play competitively - have expressed concern and even outrage at the games' Pokémon GO-inspired traits, while those happy to partake in a quick stopgap for the sake of nostalgia, or those looking for a more gentle way into the mega-franchise, have been delighted to see the titles take a more relaxed approach.
Whichever side of the argument you happen to be on, the fact that the new titles are going out of their way to provide a simpler experience is undeniable. Catching Pokémon is easier than ever with the usual wild encounter style taken away (and this can be simplified further by adding a friend in co-op), and Gyms make sure that you have suitable Pokémon for the challenge before you even enter. All signs are currently pointing towards a game that gets rid of anything unnecessarily tricky to give the series a quick breather before jumping head first into 2019's Generation 8.
But, for anyone worried that these games won't offer anything remotely challenging, the games' director Junichi Masuda has teased something that should be music to your ears. In a chat with Polygon, Masuda talked about the inclusion of these simplified features (noting that the co-op play should go a long way to help children or inexperienced players when they need a helping hand), before explaining that the game will naturally ramp up in difficulty, eventually resulting in encounters with "master trainers" who appear post-game.
“A good portion of the more difficult stuff is in the post-game. There’s ways to strengthen your Pokémon, and the reason you wanna do that is, you take on these master trainers these really powerful trainers that you encounter after the main story.”
Of course, it's worth noting that all press, media, and other influencers have only had hands-on experiences with early portions of the game thus far; it's completely possible that things get tougher after the main story, with Game Freak allowing newcomers to reach the credits without too much problem before giving the 'hardcore' fan base something to cheer about at the end. To provide a similar example, many recent Mario titles have felt a little on the easy side to defeat Bowser, but completely open up with staggeringly difficult post-game content.
One thing's for certain - it will be particularly interesting to see how these games fair when we have the full products in our hands next month. Are you thinking of picking either title up on 16th November?