Presented as a bridge between Pokémon Go and the classic episodes of the series, Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Evoli arrive on Switch at the end of 2018. These two new editions offer a redesigned version of Pokémon Yellow, rich in new ideas and 'a grip adapted to the Nintendo Switch, but which does not fail to raise many questions with fans of the saga.
If you are particularly familiar with the first generation episodes (Blue, Red, Green, Yellow), you will not be disappointed by Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Evoli. There is still talk of traveling around the Kanto area to collect 8 badges, challenge the Pokémon league and capture as many creatures as possible. Fights are always turn-based, while the proposed environments generally retain the structure of the original game. The set has still been the subject of changes, which we will return to in the following paragraphs.
WORK IN PROGRESS
The first is all the right idea and concerns the refresh of a game design now in its twenties. Based on the standards set by X / Y or Sun / Moon, your progress is more directed and it becomes difficult for example to miss the essential secret techniques (to fly, surf ...) or not to know or go next. The secret techniques mentioned here replace the cumbersome CS that occupied an attack slot of your creatures, while you will find on your way characters guiding you to your next destinations based on advice or very suggestive questions. If the set lacks subtlety and a hint of research is still needed on one or two points, the result has the merit of offering a more modern adventure and more guided. Leaving to leave on a more assisted basis, it is still surprising to note the absence of a useful feature such as a newspaper to refresh our memory on our next destinations between two sessions more distant.
On the other hand, the work done on the experience gain system has paid off. This one is recovered in combat even for the Pokémon of your team which do not participate there (except if they are KO) as well as during the catches, or the rarity and the level of the Pokémon, as well as the quality of the throw and the number of attempts, affect the amount of experience received. With such a system, the farming has been greatly reduced and the experience is more pleasant, especially since it remains essential to confront the majority of trainers in the region in order to have a minimum of response to the Pokémon league. On the other hand, and this is more surprising because, in total opposition to the progression in the main story, the Pokémon experts introduced in this episode are at such a level that they will force you to farm severely to be able to challenge them. On paper, having to recover a Pokémon of each type to face the trainers concerned offers a significant additional challenge, but in fact, the set is boring and reserved for hard and patient players. Note, however, that a second player - using a Pokémon from your team - can join you at any time in combat, triggering clashes in two against one particularly unbalanced and so we only advise parents anxious to help their little ones protected.
Remains the satisfaction of traveling an adventure as pleasant as two decades later, but offers for the occasion very little real news story. These are counted on the fingers of one hand and affect only a few fleeting events of your journey. Few winks invite each other in the game and the disappearance of the Safari Park for the benefit of Go Park influences, in particular, the place where are some essential elements of the game of origin, but the sensation of déjà-vu is permanent and we would undoubtedly have appreciated discovering it would be one or two unseen sequences a bit longer to offer a little extra freshness to an adventure that has already experienced the joys of a redesign in the past. Finally, know that in addition to your starting Pokémon (Pikachu or Evoli depending on the chosen version) that will always be at your side, another can also out of his Poké Ball and is likely to detect hidden objects in the environment.
A PLEASANT DOUBLE GAMEPLAY
The battles resume the basics of the classic series, opting for a turn-based approach, the use of objects and a damage system based on the abilities and statistics of your creatures. However, it is amputated the possibility of attaching an object to your creature, which also has more talent originally used for passive skill. While we welcome the fact that the progression is more accessible, the disappearance of these particular points remains regrettable since they did not overly complexify the gameplay, but still brought a hint of additional strategy. Budding strategists will now rely on Pokémon's capture and sending system to Professor Chen to collect candies that can improve their protege's stats. For the rest, the changes are at the margin between retouching the strength of some attacks, adding mega evolutions of the first generation and the introduction of super-attacks for Pikachu and Evoli. These last appear only rarely and finally have a more than limited impact.
If the clashes resumed a formula that will not distract the subscribers, the capture system has been completely changed and relies on that of Pokémon Go, starting with seeing the Pokémon directly on the playground. You no longer use your own creatures, but you find yourself facing the Pokémon to capture, only helped by your berries, your Poké Ball, and especially your dexterity: to maximize your chances of capture, the idea is as in the mobile version to launch the ball in the circle when it is smaller. Very simple, this system has the merit of replacing a historical and aging mechanics of the saga, making it a good complement to a combat system that is more conservative. The set is primarily designed to be compatible with the different gameplay of the Switch and is doing just fine regardless of how you use the console. With a Joycon or Poké Ball Plus, Less pleasant to hold in hand after several hours of play and still suffers from the absence of additional keys. As for the portable mode, it uses the gyro to guide your shots and makes the game turn perfectly, except for some slowdowns encountered from time to time.
GO GO GADGETWe mentioned it a little higher, but the safari park was also replaced by a Go Park, which acts as a bridge between Pokémon Go and these two new versions on Switch. It is indeed possible to import the creatures of the mobile album before then go capture them for use in Let's Go Pikachu and Evoli. Its level then depends on the original PCs of your creature. Mini-games are also in the program and the capture of Meltan, the newcomer in the Pokémon universe will also be through the connection between the two games. Note that we have not yet been able to try all these elements, the connection with Pokémon Go is not yet available at the time we write these lines. We will review them and update the test once that is the case.
Before concluding, let's talk about the visual part of a particularly successful title on this point. Offering a cute and colorful artistic direction, the adventure benefits from the passage of the main series on Switch to reveal thinner environments, as well as more work on the animations of the abilities or movements of your companion in play. at this point, the charm operates again and Kanto is unveiled in a more attractive form without disorienting so far, which should as much rekindle the flame of the old players as awaken the curiosity of newcomers.
Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Evoli succeed in reconciling the structure of a classic episode with renewed gameplay elements. These two new games are however not free from all reproach, witness the clashes against experts, a bit demanding in terms of grind, the withdrawal of some features that would not have prevented the title from being accessible, and then the sensation of finding an adventure without major narrative novelty. Despite these shortcomings, most of the changes made fly, whether it is the capture that offers a game mechanics different from the fighting, or the disappearance of CS inherited from the episodes Sun and Moon. If you are a regular in the series waiting for new releases, Let's Go Pikachu and Evoli may not be for you.