Try out the 2 new games in the Pokémon universe

Craig McKinley, Staff Writer

Many people have experienced the Pokémon video games. While some of us stopped playing them, “Pokémon Go” brought back the franchise to many fans, as they were excited for the accessibility of the mobile game.

From the perspective of a fan, brand-new users could benefit from becoming aware of and learning the franchise’s roots that started in “Pokémon Red”, “Pokémon Blue”, and “Pokémon Yellow”: going across fictional regions, catching Pokémon, and becoming the champion of the Pokémon League.

A pair of new entries in the series, being “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!”, are based off “Pokémon Yellow” and bring the series mostly back to its roots. They also add some interesting ideas and keep some elements that are familiar.

As games based off of yellow released 1999 in North America, the visual presentation takes quite a step up. While Pokémon regions have been rendered in three dimensions before, this is the first time in the core-series that the region and Pokémon are rendered in high definition. The different camera angles also enhance presentation as the original game only had a top-down angle in the overworld and a static perspective in battle. Wild Pokémon also can be seen in the overworld.

While the audio is mostly the same in the new entries as in the original games, the sound samples have been updated (for example, you may hear a trumpet instead of a generic tone playing the music).

Battles also come with some new sound effects, and more environmental sounds have been added. This way, sound is up to date for first-timers and may still be nostalgic for long-term fans.

The story of the “Pokémon: Let’s Go” titles is mostly the same as it was in “Pokémon Yellow”, and by extension, has a similar structure to modern Pokémon games, but there are some interesting new ideas that make it more appealing for series veterans.

For long term fans, the first half or so of the game would probably be easy. After that, the difficulty of defeating opponents starts to increase at a faster rate than before – not to say it’s overly difficult, but certainly harder. Because of the first half, the game should be accessible enough for first-timers. There is also a new challenge after the main story, giving even veterans something to work toward.

It was nice to see how a game originally made to be played by one person had a cooperative player implemented so well, in that the second player battles and catches Pokémon alongside the main player, using the same resources. While it does make the game easier most of the time, it is a nice way to play with friends and family that are also fans of the franchise.

You can even get a certain accessory for the game, the Poké Ball Plus, to enhance experience in multiple ways. One way it impacts the player is the haptic and auditory feedback it provides. On top of this, it also allows the player to obtain an exclusive Pokémon called “Mew”. You can also use it in place of a Pokémon Go Plus for Pokémon Go or carry a Pokémon inside it to interact with the Pokémon and gain small bonuses for doing so.

While certain Pokémon fans may be hesitant to give them a chance because of a similar structure, “Pokémon; Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!” are relatively unique in terms of most video games. They are also geared toward those who enjoy building collections within video games. In addition, striving to “catch ‘em all” will feel the most worthwhile since “Pokémon Red”, “Pokémon Blue”, and “Pokémon Yellow”.

Overall, many people have had good experiences with “Pokémon; Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!”. My family enjoyed the simple gameplay and how the encountering of Pokémon is less random than the main series.

It may not be for everyone, but long-term fans and Pokémon Go fans can both find value in these games.