Chilling With Slowpoke Simulator 2018 – Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee


#1

Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu & Pokémon Let's Go Eevee

In November 2018, the Pokémon Company released the newest addition to the Pokémon franchise, and their Switch debuts, in the form of Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. These games form a halfstep between a traditional Pokémon game and the mobile Pokémon Go in the form of a remake of 1998’s Pokémon Yellow.

I’ve seen a little, but not a lot, of buzz around these games. Where there has been discussion, it has focused on how the games represent a simpler version of the core franchise, likely to ease folks captured by Pokémon Go into the franchise, either after some time away or for the first time.

So, Waypoint forums, how are you finding these games? How are you finding the changes to the gameplay from what you may be used to? Where’s the good fashion for Eevee?

As these are a recent release and there are some changes to the original game, we’d encourage folks to keep spoilers in mind when posting.


The "Should I buy this game" thread
#2

Having finished Let’s Go Eevee a few days ago, I definitely enjoyed my time with it. I love the graphics and the walking/riding with your Pokemon. It’s absolutely beautiful on the Switch. The lack of random encounters made it a much more streamlined experience but the lack of changes to the core battle system made it still feel generally complex enough to be satisfying for someone who’s an avid fan of the series.

At the same time, by the end (or even once I started to run into harder-to-capture Pokemon) I really soured on the Go capturing mechanics. The two main differences from the mainline games are 1) in Let’s Go, any Pokemon can run away from you after a certain amount of time (in the main games this is reserved for usually 1-3 rare or legendary pokemon per game, and is more of a special challenge thing than a constant possibility), and 2) the only way to make Pokemon (seemingly) easier to capture was to use a finite supply of temporary berries, rather than the usual battle mechanics. (And yes I know how the circles work, but at a point late in the game, the size of the circle really seems to stop making a difference). These were both fine at the start, but became really frustrating once I was maybe 3/4 of the way through the game, because addressing the game’s increased difficulty felt like it became about managing somewhat scarce resources rather than actually mastering its mechanics. Maybe I missed something huge, but if I didn’t, it resulted in an as-or-even-more grindy and random experience than I get out of the main series games.

On a higher level, I think this might tie into how Pokemon Go is a heavily resource-based mobile game, partially as a vehicle for microtransactions, and how those mechanics don’t hold up as well in a game like this. Or maybe it’s just me. It definitely feels like mechanics that were made with that specific type of resource management in mind—the kind that says “hey, you could wait a bit, or have some more of these for those five bucks crumpled up in your pocket.”

Also, the control situation. It’s bad. The motion controls being shoehorned in are bad. The fact that you can only use one controller in docked mode (though handheld mode is fine with you using both) is pointless and bad. It’s just baffling that Nintendo (or I guess Game Freak in this instance) continues to be obsessively doctrinal with how they implement their control schemes. I was looking forward to playing a Pokemon game on my TV, and I’m still looking forward to it when they release the next main series game, because hopefully then it won’t require motion controls that made me just play the game entirely in handheld mode.

But still, I got to pet an actually really expressive Eevee for probably hours at this point. That was worth it all.


#3

I am enjoying Let’s Go Eevee so much more than I thought I would! I have been taking my time due to some strenuous finals (taking a break from writing a paper about Foucault and Bloodborne to write this), so I haven’t finished the game, but these are my thoughts.

This game looks amazing. It’s not just the graphic overhaul that this game needed, it’s the art direction and attention to details. For example, there is a point in the game when you enter a Casino. Team Rocket is inside, and Meowth is resting on top of a slot machine. The inside of each house feels lived in in a way that Pokémon hasn’t shown before; there are drinks on tables, food on top of fridges, and books in different places. Each home feels unique. Rather than walking inside a house to get an item or flavor text, it feels like you walk inside of a someone’s home. The gyms bring this to a new level.

But it’s not just the way the set looks, the Pokémon are also great! Each Pokémon has an individual animation to follow the trainer, and some are absolutely delightful. Seeing my character and Eevee holding onto Snorlax’s tummy is too much and I love it. The sense of scale is also improved. Onix looks huge! Eevee looks small. My Blastoise is fat and has short arms that put a smile on my face. Between the set and the Pokémon, this feels like the most realistic Pokémon world I’ve experienced.

The battles are Pokémon. They’re easy, and if you know type matchups they shouldn’t be too bad. In my 20 hours I’ve only had 3 Pokémon faint, and it was never a surprise. I recently went to Europe and on my trip played Pokémon Yellow in its entirety for the first time. I was shocked by how much I like it. Visuals haven’t aged well, but it’s Pokémon, and the core mechanics are there. One thing that I really noticed was how similar it was to Persona 5, which had my favorite combat systems of all time. In Yellow it felt like you could win a battle quickly by making smart choices, but a wrong step or two could be a TPK. It was challenging in a way that Pokémon really hadn’t even been for me before, so going to this feels really easy. I’m sure the postgame will have more challenging battles, but you’re looking at an investment of over 25-30 hours before anything gets challenging.

Also, related to 20 hours, I’m only 6 gym badges in. In most Pokémon games I’ve beaten the 8 gym leaders by 16 hours, and the Elite 4 by 18. So for what it’s worth, it seems like this is a longer game than the more recent entries.

I was enjoying the capture mechanics in handheld, but recently it’s been a bit of a slog. Most of the Pokémon I’m experiencing are level 40, and they’re just harder to capture. If I get an excellent throw it seems I should catch the Pokémon, but seeing them pop out of the Pokéball for no other reason than RNG catch rate has been tiresome. It was fine for my first 18 hours or so, but it’s getting annoying.

Controller situation is bad. I would love to play this on my tv, but I hate the motion controls. Also I assume this is absolute garbage for disabled gamers, so like, come on Pokémon/Nintendo. Be better.

Eevee is cute, but I wish I would have gone with Pikachu for one reason: You can’t see Eevee’s shirts! So Eevee basically only has hats. It’s fine until I see picture of Pikachu wearing shirts and I get bummed.

Overall I really like this game. It’s not going to be for everyone, but it’s definitely for me.


#4

I played through Blue again a year or two ago (I forget exactly when it came to the 3DS VC) and original Silver sometime last year and felt the same way. It’s really surprising how little those core systems have changed over two decades and seven generations, and I think speaks to how well-designed they were at the start.


#5

They’re honestly so perfect. Beyond how little they’ve changed, it’s how easy they are to go back to. It wasn’t a slog to play through Yellow, even though I had recently played Gen VII. Also the 3DS was how I played Yellow, and it was great. As nice as the gameboy color feels, I love the backlight of the 3DS.

Also I agree with basically all of your thoughts about Let’s Go. I was worried that maybe I was the only one feeling like capturing Pokémon was starting to feel overly difficult and luck-based since I haven’t really read anyone else have that criticism. Even though I wish it was different, I feel validated.


#6

I have not played Go, but…

Please tell me more.


#7

I promise that saying that wasn’t a humble brag, but Waypoint for sure is the place where this kind of paper would interest people.

Simply I’m using Foucault’s “The Means of Correct Training” as a way to analyze Bloodborne. There are plenty of obvious references to Foucault in Bloodborne, like Madman’s Knowledge and the Brain of Mensis being housed in a panopticon. I’m going a little deeper into Foucault’s argument that power produces reality. For example, when you kill Rom the world actually changes. Whether or not that is due to the ritual in the Unseen Village doesn’t matter, it’s the fact that as power changes reality also changes.

There’s a lot more than that, but that’s the crux of my argument!


#8

Let’s Go Eevee is my wife’s first console Pokémon game, and it’s really cool to vicariously live through her discovery of the series. I’ve jumped in every now and again as player 2 to help out, but it’s amazing how well the game onboards players with limited gaming literacy to play what amounts to a retro RPG. Not to mention how charming it is, what with the ability to ride a Snorlax. This game really is something special.


#9

wait

hold on

i’ll be right back


#10

Something that I’ve realized over the past year or so is that so much of what Pokémon is to me is a therapy game, and this one’s that to a massive extent. This game is so fuckin chill. I’ve loved Pokémon games that were straight up unnecessary (lookin at you Ultra Moon, I owe you a bunch, but damn), but I’m not sure how easy it’d be to go back to regular ol’ random encounters now that I’ve tasted the sweet, sweet fruit of the Pokémon: Let’s GO tree.

It’s also super cool and weird to not have 800+ pokémon in a game (not that it’s a problem). It really hit hard when I went to the Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town; nothing gives you perspective on growth like remembering that the only Ghost-types in Gen 1 were Gastly and its ilk, and having to face like 30 of em in that tower. Also seeing Lance only have one actual, bona-fide Dragon-type with a bunch of dragon-looking pokémon was great.

Another thing I’ve realized is that all I want in games is to be friends with a bunch of animals (which probably came from Pokémon to begin with tbh)*. So you best believe I’m walking with my Pokémon, giving them attention when they want it, and giving some good good pets to my Eevee, JoJo.

Last thing, I’m glad I don’t have to fight wild pokémon anymore, and that your party gains experience from non-combat. It’s a lukewarm take at best to equivocate pokémon battles to dogfighting, but it defo rings true to some extent. While I can’t see a version of the Pokémon gameplay I love without that aspect, I’m at least happy I don’t feel like I’m doing some shitty shit to a wild animal, and the animals I’ve made my friends.

* Further evidence of my wanting to befriend animals is the fleet of like 9 dogs I had on the Minecraft server that my friend ran, each with their own names.


#11

Much like Go on mobile, I found this annoying from the jump. If the Nice/Great/Excellents are meant to affect catch rate, they must be bugged – I feel like I have never caught something from an Excellent as opposed to catching them on the ball afterwards.

I don’t really mind the catch mechanic, except that it gets quite annoying when you’re trying to chain – losing an 18-strong Rhyhorn chain due to unlucky Great Balls leading to a flee is annoying (especially when you don’t lose chains if you run away!).

I think this game is cool, which is partially why I put this topic together. My issues with it largely reflect my broader issues with the Pokémon series and a few balance problems.

To briefly preface my series history, I loved it as a kid and played Gens I-IV, dropped off, picked up Alpha Sapphire for a plane ride (which is also why I’ve picked this game up – worried I might finish before I get to the plane, though!), and Moon a little while later.

This is the thing for me. I don’t really mind Let’s Go being easy because it is meant to be an introduction to the series for people not used to it. However, there really isn’t an… alternative to a super easy Pokémon game in the modern era.

I’m not asking for Kaizo Pokémon, but Alpha Sapphrie and Moon both missed the mark by about 20% in terms of being too easy. I found myself choosing to make bad decisions to give myself a harder time, either swapping in Pokémon I liked less and knew were worse or regularly rotating out my strongest hitters. I do the same here – when I’m catching, I’ll move to a team of Level 18-25 Pokémon I’d like to evolve. Against a trainer, I’ll sub in 1-2 of my core team and hope that’ll be enough.

I don’t mind this, but the general inflation of EXP means I’m often not using the Pokémon I want to be using. I haven’t used my Eevee since Brock and I just got through Erika last night – he has just outpaced the levelling curve consistently.

I don’t know if this is bad, but I do wish the EXP gain was a little less lucrative. If it was only slightly less generous, I wouldn’t feel like I’m jumping through hopes to feel challenge, whether in this or the ‘main’ series.


#12

If you ever feel like sharing this paper I would be very interested in reading it!


#13

Black 2 actually did have a “hard” mode that unlocked after completing the main game (in traditional annoying Pokemon fashion, White 2 unclocked an “easy” mode, and you could unlock them in one another by linking the games). It may still not have been all the way to the challenge you were looking for, but I do remember it being more difficult. For me, turning off the EXP Share in Moon (which I’m not sure if you tried) also made that game feel much more challenging, to the point where I lost more battles in the actual campaign than I think I have since I was an 8 year-old playing Silver or Leafgreen. It only worked on the first playthrough when I was a bit unfamiliar with the region and new Pokemon, but it was something.

Would anyone be interested in a thread to talk about any kind of academic work people here are doing with games? I feel like there are a lot of us here, but it really only comes up in passing (unless said thread exists and I just haven’t seen it).


#14

I did it pretty early and it helped, but it still didn’t quite get me there – and I do wish it was more of an opt-in than an opt-out because it’s hard to know how much you’ll need it until you’re +4 levels over where you need to be and it’s hard to fall back from that. I do wish it was a thing I could toggle in this game!

I definitely would (although am not in that space personally) – it is sorta covered by the games criticism thread share, but not quite the same thing. Would defs be a great thing for #lifestyle:workshop!


#15

@diglett, I too would be interested in such a thread but also am not in that space personally, I have mentioned in the game writing thread that I personally struggle with finding an adequate way to talk about games. (That and I am about to have a baby so god only knows what sort of personal time I would be able to devote to such a thread/workshop). With those caveats, consider me one who would definitely be down to read and discuss such work and contribute in whatever ways I can.


#16

If there were a thread for academic writing rather than just games criticism I would love to be a part of it and share my writing! I don’t even think you need to be in college, but games criticism and academic writing/critical are very different and having different threads would be great.

This was one of my least favorite parts of the whole game actually! It felt super tedious, and I would rather face 1 high level Gengar to prove I understand type matchups than 1,000 Gastly/Haunter.

I’d like to add another thought to this thread: What Pokémon are on your teams? Do they have nicknames?

Eevee (Kolache)
Ninetails (Psyla)
Blastoise (Hosier)
Nidoqueen (Donna, like Donna Meagle from Parks and Rec)
Lapras

I feel like I have really solid type coverage as all of those Pokémon are able to learn a lot of interesting moves and TMs. I’m still looking for a 6th Pokémon. I’ve messed around with Electabuzz, but found him boring, and I’m currently bringing up my Venosaur to see if it fits in my team. I haven’t found Dratini or Kangaskhan yet, but I think either would be fun.


#17

I 100% feel you on the tediousness of that part, but luckily the Pokémon Tower is the only location that stood out to me in that regard.

As for names, I’ve been tending to name my favourite Pokémon (with some exceptions) after flowers/plants because why not?
Currently, I’ve got:

  • JoJo, the Eevee (because there are as many Eeveelutions as there are JoJos in JJBA)
  • Orchid, the Venusaur (not the gift one though, I caught one in Viridian Forest)
  • Snapdragon, the Charizard
  • Lotus, the Blastoise
  • Ninetails, the Alolan Ninetails (no nickname because she’s traded, but I would call her Nari because it means fox in Kannada, the language my mom’s family speaks)
  • Rose, the Dragonair (currently training her to fill out my Pokédex, but I’d feel bad keeping her in a box after that so she’s probably gonna stay in the team long-term)

Normally I name all my pokémon upon capture/hatching, but this game not asking you to do that from the jump means that I’ve not been doing it as diligently, only to my favourites.
Other notable names are:

  • Tabasco Cat, the Rapidash
  • Hyacinth, the Kantonian Raichu
  • Edelweiss, the Articuno
  • Tingflower, the Zapdos
  • Crucifer, the Aerodactyl
  • Sneakers, the Snorlax
  • Catmint, the Mew (yes, I bought the thing, no regrets)
  • Dusty Miller, the Hitmonlee
  • Lily, the Lapras
  • Poki, the Pidgeot

Sorry, I just really like names.


#18

My team currently consists of:
Eevee - “Cappuccino”
Gengar - “Raisin”
Starmie - “Peppermint”
Dragonite - “Curry”
Clefable - “Tofu”

Team Hungry is currently reaping the rewards of my Victory Road catch combo grinding.


#19

This isn’t quite up to date, but here was my team a little while ago… (I just went up to the top of the Pokémon Tower.)

I’m quite keen to shuffle this team around more – I’ve already added a Gastly to this in place of my evolved Wartortle and there’s a few Pokémon who didn’t make this picture as they were already shuffled out.


#20

I don’t normally give Pokemon nicknames if I’m not doing a Nuzlocke run, so the only Pokemon I nicknamed was Eevee. I called him “Lindsay” after the Bronco’s tiny little Running Back Phillip Lindsay, who has the speed of a cheetah and the heart of a lion. I gave Lindsay an afro after his name sake.

Sadly Lindsay was beaten by a Rapidash in the final boss fight, the very same day the real Phillip Lindsay had a pretty pedestrian day against the 49ers.