The Pokémon series has come a long way since the original Game Boy titles were released in Japan in 1996. Each entry has taken gradual steps to improve the overall experience, with plenty of technical advancements along the way. Of course, with Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! now out on the Nintendo Switch, the folks over at Digital Foundry have decided to take a look to see how Game Freak’s new engine holds up.
The first half of the video covers how the game has essentially been streamlined and once this ends it elaborates on the finer technical details. It starts by noting how sprites have obviously been swapped for three-dimensional models and environments - with rending technology that closely resembles console Pokemon games such as Pokken Tournament. There are now also fully animated 3D renders - much like GO on mobile - with lighting and shading effects thrown in as well.
Unfortunately, closer observation of the game world reveals it’s lacking in detail and the shadows fall short of expectations - which is apparently a shame, given the proficiency of the Switch with other games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In terms of resolution, the 3DS versions run at 400 x 240 while the Switch bumps it up to 1920 x 1080 docked, and in handheld mode presents it at 1280 x 720. The resolution is also nine times more on the Switch, according to Digital Foundry. On the frame rate front, there are notable performance dips in the handheld mode - with fps in between 30 to 25 in areas such as Viridian Forest. The game is also capped at 30 frames per second in docked mode. In contrast, the 3DS versions X and Y ran between 20 to 30 frames per second.
All up, Digital Foundry thinks Let’s Go is a breeze to play and one that newcomers can easily embrace thanks to the new streamlined mechanics. As for Game Freak's efforts with the Switch hardware, there's room for improvement - so expect an even better technical experience in future entries.