#EGX2018 Hands-On: Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee Preview

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To say that the mobile game Pokémon Go is a phenomenon is an understatement and when you consider the franchises rich history and the success of the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee is a sure fire hit and no doubt a console seller.  So at EGX last week I got to check out a couple of Nintendo’s big releases, such as the aforementioned title, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Mario Party.

Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee is somewhat of a hybrid of the mobile counterpart and the popular games that have released on Nintendo’s handheld consoles over the years.  During my brief time playing Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee I was able to explore some of its world and in doing so, this is where you regularly meet Pokémon in the wild.  They were typically your standard types such as Weedle, Caterpie and Pidgey (the full release will have a greater range including Legendary and Mythical), but the premise of catching is very similar to that of Pokémon Go.

When playing Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, you are able to make use of the motion controls with the Joy-Con controllers or the Poke Ball Plus, thankfully I was able to sample the Poke Ball Plus and my impressions were good.  While the curve ball throw is turned off for the demo for some reason, you simply face the red side of the Poke Ball towards the TV and manourve your arm in a throwing motion (over-arm or under-arm, thus throwing you’re in-game Poke Ball towards the Pokémon you are attempting to catch.  Just like Pokémon Go, your throws can be levelled at Nice, Great or Exceptional.

All-in-all after a few throws of getting used to the Poke Ball; it was an easy and enjoyable process.  The Poke Ball also has a small analogue stick in the centre to control your in-game avatar and you click it to interact.  Depending on which version of the game you pick up (Pikachu or Eevee), you’ll also hear the sounds of your Pokémon while it’s in the ball, which you can take out on your travels.  You can also take different Pokémon out with you, as long as you catch them of course.

I also encountered some of the trainer battles, which are different to catching Pokémon in the wild with the mechanics used in Pokémon Go.  Instead during the trainer battles with you and your Pokémon, the battles felt more like watered down versions of traditional Pokémon battles that you might have experienced in more traditional games in the series, where you would select your move in a turn-based format.  It certainly helps to keep things fresh having the two forms of battles for the wild and against trainers.

I was also told by the rep at the stand that you can link more than one Pokémon Go account to a game save for Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee on the Nintendo Switch.  When accounts are linked, another player can also join you in battles with the use of a Joy-Con or extra controller, and the other accounts that you link from Pokémon Go to Pokémon Let’s Go will also be able to claim the Mythical Mew.

So all-in-all, my impressions for Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee were very good and it’s certainly got me more hyped for the game.  With the special edition console also set to release alongside its launch, I can imagine that a lot of Pokémon Go players that do not own a Switch, will be adding them to their lists this Christmas for sure.

Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee and its console are set to release on November 16th.