Mini Review: Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!




A good example of why some games are better left as nostalgia rather than being dragged back to the present. Whilst the premise of the game appeals to those who grew up with it; a clone of Pokémon Yellow in modern graphics with half the gameplay stripped out is not worth half it’s asking price of €60. Wild battles have been removed in favour of just spam-catching Pokémon to gain XP; a move that hasn’t been thought through and makes a number of mechanics redundant. The final straw for me was the arbitrary barriers before you can enter gyms. When my party was all level 30 and I couldn’t enter the next gym before level 45, I gave up knowing that it would be another 3 hours of throwing balls.


  • So wild Pokémon battles have been removed, and you now just catch Pokémon to gain XP. Not only does that remove most of the gameplay, it also means it’s impossible to level a single Pokémon to catch up with the rest of the team. It makes most of the game just about throwing balls and mashing Pokémon in to candy. As there’s no way to knock down a wild Pokémon’s health before you attempt to catch it, getting the rare ones is simply down to using higher quality balls and pressing A at the right moment.
  • Pokémon are now roaming the world visibly instead of ambushing you, which looks cool. However, this means you can see exactly what you’ll battle and if you want to avoid it, which removes the challenge of caves and makes Repel items worthless.
  • They’ve also stripped down the controls to only using a single Joy-Con, which means that you move and interact using the same thumb. Not only a clunky control method, but also makes you feel supremely lazy using one hand to play the game.

Status: Retired after 15 hours
Rating: :cookie: :cookie:

For more reviews, check out my Steam Quest.


I appreciate the review. Actually, the way you’ve described it appeals to me. I didn’t grow up with pokemon, so I don’t have any attachment or nostalgia. I just think they’re real damn cute. I don’t like battling or wasting effort to get them. I don’t care about levels or power. I just want to catch and hoard the ones I think are cutest. I’m betting this game set is geared specifically towards aesthetic based players like me rather than the main pokemon playerbase.


The game was really made to be friends with Pokemon go and kind of softly introduce the mobile players into the game.
Catching pokemon is also a lot more fun with the pokeball plus where you do the throwing motion (no pressing a required) at the right time to catch the pokemon.
The daycare works differently in this game (you can’t breed pokemon here) its just for leveling a single pokemon.
Also catching a new pokemon you have never caught before gives a really large chunk of exp compared to recatching ones you already have (thats how I made all the level caps to get into the gyms.)
To get pokemon with better stats, to get better exp from catching, to get a higher chance of catching a shiny, to increase the chance of rares spawning: you are supposed to chain catch - catch up to 31 of the same pokemon in a row. I’m fairly certain using repels also causes the more common pokemon to spawn less often and the rarer larger ones to spawn a little more often if you wanted to chain them. (Also use a lure to increase rare spawn rates.)
I’m not disagreeing with you that the game is a little lacking, being myself someone that plays traditional rpgs and traditional pokemon games, but i feel there is a bit more to the game than you said and it is important to remember it is supposed to be a bridge between the more traditional rpg style and the phone game where you literally swipe the screen.
I would have probably given it 3 cookies at least but then I was using the pokeball plus controller (yay i got a mew) as well as somehow never managed to get stuck at a gym barrier (I really wasnt doing all that much excessive catching and whatnot - must have just been my play-style. I frequently try to catch all the new pokemon in the already unlocked areas before moving on.) I think it was after the third gym I started doing some chaining to increase rare spawn chances so that probably helped me out to be able to stomp the 4th gym and then subsequently the elite 4. Also I very rarely ever used any pokemon besides my Eevee, because of the special variety of moves available from the move tutor and the fact it was my first pokemon it was always about 10 levels higher than the rest of my pokemon and I almost always had a move that was super effective against the other trainers.


It’s not so much that the game banks on nostalgia to me rather than this is an inexplicably half assed version of pokemon. Why game freak won’t step up their game to provide a full on pokemon console experience, and one that’s spicier than the rest of installments (like black/white) is beyond me.

I understand that they want to focus on kids, but when a series has been around for over 20 years you ought to have at least one offering for the people who want to go beyond the base games, and seeing how many romhacks and patches and nuzlocke runs exist out there I’d venture to say it’s not an insignificant share of the player base.


Uhh, they are and we’ve known since October?


What I understood is that they want to release new games on the Switch (which is expected since they already said they hit their ceiling on handhelds with sun and moon), but honestly, this whole experimentation thing the pokemon company has been into these past years is diametrically opposite to the… hardcore (hardcore? Can you really say “hardcore” when talking about pokemon?) games I’d like to see released. You could say X/Y are core games, but being the last games I’ve bought in the series they’re cutesy, “streamlined” adventures a handful of notches below what already were frankly easy and yet entertaining such as gold/silver and black/white. (and the remakes, which for the most part were awesome.) I’d just like to see a bone thrown into the more mature audiences looking for something more. Y’now, something that’s not Pokken.