Brandon Ratcliff ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Video Games Editor
The Pokemon trailer we have been patiently awaiting is finally here! After months of being told about an upcoming Switch game, its finally here. The rumors are in fact true. The series will be called Pokemon: Lets Go, Pikachu and Pokemon: Lets Go, Eevee. The trailer is about three minutes and twenty seconds long and its getting a mixed reaction. Watch the trailer for yourself and lets review what Nintendo finally showed us.
The trailer begins with a young person playing Pokemon Go on their phone. Then hoping onto their bike, they begin to follow non other than Pikachu. They follow Pikachu into the house, pick up a Switch controller and Pikachu jumps into the television. With this intro it was evident that The Pokemon Company is integrating features of Pokemon Go into the main series games.
Roll the footage! The rumors were correct. There are two brand new trainer designs for the the Lets Go games. And if it wasn’t clear, it looks like Pikachu and Eevee will be the starters for the games. The first seconds of the game footage shows the male hero with a Pikachu on his shoulder in a lab. From the first glimpse of the gameplay footage, fans could tell this was going to be one heck of a trailer
Catching Wild Pokemon
The trailer starts off by showing that the game can be played with only one joy con. This means that there isn’t a whole lot on the screen that would require players to need two controllers. As expected, the game uses the Joy con motion controls for capturing Pokemon. The trailer shows players moving their arms in a throwing motion to throw Pokeballs. One thing that is unclear is if fighting wild Pokemon is still a feature. At 0:46 in the trailer a pull down menu appears that shows option during an encounter with a wild Pokemon. The option are Get Ready, Items, Help and Run Away. The player presses get ready to throw a Pokeball so it doesn’t look as if that option means battling. This might mean a change in how the players interact with wild Pokemon.
Pikachu is seen riding on the players shoulders and Eevee on players heads. Pikachu and Eevee can also be dressed up in various outfits. Not only that, some clips show other Pokemon such as Electrode and Gengar following trainers (2:22). The rumored feature of Pokemon following behind the player has finally returned. Fans have wanted to see this for years and its making its long awaited comeback. Also wild Pokemon aren’t randomly found in the grass anymore. 3D sprites of wild Pokemon can be seen in the over world map. Players simply walk into the Pokemon they wish to encounter. Pokemon appear by spawning onto the screen. A Zubat appears from cave dust in the above image. This vastly changes the way finding and catching wild Pokemon works. Does this mean the end of the never ending rain of zubats and tentacools that appear in caves and on water? Will player have to buy Repel items from the Poke Mart anymore?
One of the craziest new features is having two people play in the same game. People have talked about this feature as if it was some sort of fairytale or myth. But the time is now. By activating the second Joy con, another person can join in game play. This affects multiple aspects of the game. Players can now catch wild Pokemon and battle trainer together. We don’t know how this changes certain aspects such as gaining experience, but this will forever change how the game is played.
Poke Ball Controller + Poke Walker
A brand new controller is coming out just for this game. This new Joy con is shaped like a Pokemon and performs all the functions necessary to play the game. Not only that but you can transfer your teammates into the Poke Ball controller and take them out into the world with you. This feature was introduced in Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver with a device called the Poke Walker. The benefits of taking them out are unknown, but you can interact with the Pokemon inside the ball.
There is also Pokemon Go integration built into the game. Players can send Pokemon caught in Pokemon Go over to the Switch. There is a specific area called “Go Park.” Not much is known about Go Park but it looks like a hub where Pokemon brought over from Pokemon Go can interact with the player. It also work in reverse and Pokemon can be sent from the Switch to the phone. The trailer hints at some special gift that players can get for using the cross platform feature. Go Park and all its benefits could single handedly repopularize Pokemon Go.
Another wild new feature is the ability to ride on Pokemon. This ability has been seen in Pokemon before. The previous set of games introduced riding Pokemon as a primary means of transportation. This, however, seems different. It almost looks as if any Pokemon can be ridden. Besides Onix, Lapras and Charizard are also seen with trainers on their backs. For now, the full capacity of this feature isn’t fully explained. But this is still an amazing addition to the game.
Story and Region
To start Pokemon is making a return to Kanto. Familiar sights like the Underground Tunnels and Viridian Forest are seen int the trailer.This has been expected since the leaks, but a huge worry was how it would be pulled off. It seems like Nintendo has given fans plenty of other things to think about. We also know from the trailer that team rocket is back! Classic team rocket never fails to make an appearance. However, it does raise question about the storyline. A major plot point is invading a secret base inside of a casino. However, Pokemon has since removed gambling from the game. It will be interesting to see how they reinvent certain aspects of the story to accommodate newer audiences and rules.s
This is by far the best graphics we have seen in Pokemon game yet. The trailer shows the trainer walking through an extremely high definition, 3D over world. The routes looks better than ever with actual ground elevation and amazing detail to the scenery. They are definitely taking advantage of the Switched higher abilities and integrating it into the game. We can expect to see some amazing revamps of familiar locations. The Safari Zone and the Cycling Road are two areas that will look amazing on the Switch. Many people are already excited to explore the region with their Pokemon and friends already.
The trailer is getting mixed reviews. Some people are extremely excited about all of the new features, graphics, and story setting. On the other hand, just as many others wanted something different. Whether it be Sinnoh remakes or less gimmicky gameplay. However, a real and true main series Pokemon game has been confirmed for 2019. This game should be able to hold people over until another game starts the true 8th generation of Pokemon.
This game does have a lot of amazing features that will change the way the game is experienced. From not battling wild Pokemon to having two player functions, the trailer hit us hard with new ways to play. It will be fun and interesting to see how players across the world adapt to this new way to play. Overall, the trailer did a pretty good job of highlighting the major elements of these new games. The biggest dilemma of them all still has many players shaken. Will they pick Pikachu or Eevee? Pokemon fans who plan on buying Pokemon: Lets Go, Pikachu or Pokemon: Lets Go Eevee have until November 16th to think about it.