Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu
Time Played: 23 hours
I hesitated to pick up Let’s Go Pikachu for the sole reason that I already had bought this game decades ago in the form of Pokémon Yellow. I couldn’t justify spending $60 for a re-skin and decreased difficulty to align it with the Pokémon Go-style of catching. That being said, I was able to pick this title up for $20 as a part of Redbox’s video game sale, and I’m glad I did. Sure, the game is the same as before, but there are a few things I still enjoyed about it as I reveled in the nostalgia it brought to me.
First off, the visuals are stunning. I think we often forget how limited the Game Boy’s graphics were, but seeing all these classic Pokémon in full HD on my big screen was an experience. I also appreciated how they removed HMs in favor of special techniques for Pikachu to use, which could also be taught as battle moves (themselves helping to even out Pikachu’s inherent weaknesses). Perhaps the best feature in this game was being able to see what Pokémon were in the tall grass and being able to encounter the ones I wanted to.
While the Pokémon Go catch mechanic made grinding for levels incredibly easy, I also liked how I could transfer Pokémon to this game to complete the Pokédex. Basically, any Pokémon that weren’t present in this game (either natively or being locked behind a trade) could transfer in using another game I was already playing regularly. Being able to complete the Pokédex by myself was quite fulfilling. In the end, I played the whole game using only Pikachu in battles—thus highlighting its decreased difficulty. Still, it was a fun trip down memory lane that could be accomplished in a weekend.
A visually improved beat-for-beat remake with some improved features, I give Let’s Go Pikachu 3.5 stars out of 5.