Without really intending to… this weekend became largely about Let’s Go Pokemon, the new Pokemon game that released on the Nintendo Switch Friday. I went with Eevee, because quite honestly it is one of my favorite Pokemon largely for the sheer versatility that is available in the evolved forms. The starter Eevee however will be permanently locked in its adorable pupa stage, and I am mostly okay with that… as it keeps me from having to try and figure out which way I want to evolve my Pokemon. I decided to give my Eevee the super adult name of Wigglebum.
Similarly I decided to give my rival the super adult name of Buttface, because in most of the other Pokemon games that I have played… they turn out to be a dick. Unfortunately this one is rather awesome, and constantly cheering us on and giving us free stuff. Now I feel sorta bad when I am in a cutscene with the two of us… and I see the monaker that I unfairly bestowed upon them. Blue however is around to play the role of the butthead, but even he seems better behaved than I remember him… or in my case it was Red that was the Butt since I played Pokemon Blue not Red.
A few days ago my friend Hestiah posted a thread where she commented on a few of the Pokemon Go names that she came up as she caught them. This made me realize how generally boring I am when it comes to catching Pokemon, in that I never actually give them names. Maybe it feels better when I send them back to the professor to grind into candy if I didn’t name them in the first place. Ultimately she is the one who inspired all of this serious adulting… and has trickled down to the individual Pokemon as well. ZappyGirl started her life as ShockyRat, and then I decided to name her based on the whole Zappy Boi meme… and thankfully this game lets you rename your charges whenever the hell you want to.
The interesting thing about Let’s Go as a game is that it seems way the hell more sticky for me personally than any other Pokemon game to date. The truth is I don’t really like Pokemon combat, and it always felt weird to be beating up on random woodland creatures. In this game it has adopted a Pokemon Go sort of approach where the individual Pokemon appear and you walk over to them to engage in a capture session… where you have all of the same tools as you do in the handheld game. If you are playing in handheld mode you simply center the screen on the pokemon and throw the ball… if you are playing docked you have to do some motion controlling nonsense with a dettached joycon in order to capture. I am super disappointed that I could not play with my Pro Controller and just mimic the same behavior I do in handheld mode… as such I am largely playing this game undocked which sorta makes me a little sad.
Traditional combat still exists and is reserved for dueling other trainers, which feels a little better than kicking the ass of every random pidgey that happens across your path while roaming between two areas. Wigglebum however is a soul less killing machine and gives zero fucks about beating up her kin. She believes in Highlander rules… and there can be only one Eevee. The interesting thing about random trainer battles is just how insanely lucrative they are, and the fact that apparently you never really need to buy Pokeballs in this game? Most battles reward anywhere between 3 and 5 Pokeballs… and have just started paying out in Great Balls helping me keep in stock of those as well. When I am playing in motion control mode I fail an awful lot so I am guessing they are paying out to help stop the frustration of Nintendo and their determination to make me do stupid shit with my hands while playing their games.
The game feels extremely good and while it is mimicking Red and Blue… that doesn’t somehow ruin my experience because I have not played either of those since 1999/2000ish on a Gameboy Emulator? This is mostly a fresh experience to me and while it seems really familiar… I can largely chock it up to the fact that ALL Pokemon games feel somewhat familiar. I spent just shy of 9
hours over the weekend playing Pokemon Let’s Go, and while that might not sound like a ton of time… it is for me when it comes to a Pokemon game. I tend to bounce off of them pretty fast, and this time I just kept playing… until my switch battery ran out… and then went upstairs to dock it and try playing some more.
I am not terribly far progressed, but at this point I have made it through three Gyms and quite honestly the only one I had any issues with was Misty and the Water type gym. The only real problem there was Starmie and its inexplicable fire type moves??? I limped through it, but I had to take two runs at getting through her. Surge and Brock were both easy as hell and largely fell over when I attacked them. There are a bunch of weird moves that you can teach your starter, and according to Ashgar… while they have horrible names they are actually really good. So I might make my way back to that NPC and try a few of them. So far Doublekick and Tackle have been my money attacks… and everything else seems to largely be expendable.
Ultimately the game is super charming and if you like the concept of Pokemon, but maybe struggled a bit to get into it… I highly suggest you check this game out. If you are a Pokemon purist, some of the changes might frustrate you… but then again it is a Pokemon game so admit it… you are probably going to play it anyways. I’ve linked my Pokemon Go account but have not made it to the area of the game where it allows you to swap stuff back and forth. Last night Ash and I were going to try trading some stuff, but I ultimately fell asleep… so I will try and catch up with him tonight and do that thing. All in all… super fun game and my wife was shocked to see me playing it instead of something with more death, gore and dismemberment. There is still a time for childlike wonder in the Tales of the Aggronaut.
If you are so inclined… we also talk quite a bit about the game on the podcast this weekend.