When I was much younger I was obsessed with Pokemon. Since getting older, I had seemingly lost all interest in Pokemon until the release of Pokemon Go. The mobile game rekindled my interest in the brand, so much so that when they announced a Pokemon game was coming to Switch I was genuinely excited. That was almost a year ago that Game Freak shared this information and now it looks like they have announced 5 Pokemon games including the core RPG Pokemon Switch game previously mentioned at Nintendo’s E3 Spotloght video in 2017. Well, sort of.
OK, let’s get this one out of the way since it is probably the one that interests me the least. Pokemon Quest is a F2P Switch game available on the eShop now. The idea with this game is you explore this cube based world with your Pokemon and collect items along the way. The two main items you will collect are power stones that will help level up your Pokemon and improve their attributes and the other item you will collect will be ingredients. These ingredients can be used to cook up treats which have the potential to attract different types of Pokemon. All Pokemon you can find in this game are from the original 151 Pokemon from the Kanto region.
Without going into too much detail, the game looks like a decent fix for anyone who is sick of Pokemon Go but this is by no means a ‘traditional’ Pokemon game. If you like the look of the trailer then what’s the harm in trying it out but if you’re looking for something more then let’s take a look at the next games that were announced.
Pokemon Let’s Go (Pikachu and Eevee)
So, if you’re wondering why the title of this new Switch game sounds familiar, it’s because it is basically an extension of the Pokemon Go mobile game. Think of the story and location of Pokemon Yellow mixed with catching mechanics from Pokemon Go. Both games were very successful but if I’m honest, it doesn’t quite live up to the initial hype that was build around last year’s E3.
There are not too many details about these new Pokemon Let’s Go games but there will be two versions released at the same time like any standard Pokemon game release. Despite the lack of details, there are some cool ideas being implemented for these versions which we can see from the trailer. Firstly, the game is co-op which means you and a friend can play together on the same console. Whilst the game play is not ground breaking, having the option to do this is definitely a nice touch and makes the experience a more social one, similar to how Pokemon Go can be a social experience. The next cool idea that has been implemented is the ability to transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Go into the Let’s Go games. This makes filling the Pokedex easier and also means that you can use Pokemon Go to continue adding Pokemon to your collection. Just note, the Pokemon cannot be transferred back to Pokemon Go once added to the Switch game. Finally, I am impressed with the graphics. Whilst the video clearly states the visuals are not representative of the final game, they are mostly likely very close considering how close we are to release so it is great to see a Pokemon game that brings a fresh new look.
Now, onto my concerns. There is no getting around it, this game looks like Pokemon Go ported to Nintendo Switch. The only difference is it is not based on a real world GPS but instead within a specific region within the Pokemon world. Gameplay-wise, this is incredibly underwhelming from my own personal point of view. There is no indication that there will be gym battles or a fully fledged story just yet but those would be the only saving grace for this game to add a little familiarity. Without battle mechanics, levelling up, learning new moves and the rest of the stuff we know and love from the standard Pokemon games it is hard to get excited about Pokemon Let’s Go. Sure, you have exploration but if we are being honest, this is a Pokemon Yellow remaster with Pokemon Go substituting the battle mechanics from the Gameboy version of the game.
If will no doubt keep an eye out on further reveals for this game but so far, I have not got what I wanted. Onto the next game.
Pokemon Core RPG Version
The Pokemon Compnay confirmed that we will be getting a core RPG version of the game for Switch, just like the announced at last year’s E3. Whilst happy that Pokemon Let’s Go wasn’t the game we were promised, they then announced that this core RPG version would not be arriving until the second half of 2019. Just going to have to wait a little longer.
The good news for anyone else waiting for this version of the game to be released, it has been confirmed to follow a similar format to the Sun and Moon versions of the game which could also mean that Generation 8 will also launch alongside but for the time being, that is about all we know. Here is what series director, Junichi Masuda had to say on the matter:
“We’re also hard at work on another Pokemon core RPG designed for Nintendo Switch. It’s being designed simultaneously with Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!
“Today I can only tell you of its existence, but I can assure you that there’s another game that we’re pouring a lot of our energy into over at Game Freak.”
Maybe we will hear more about these at Nintendo’s E3 in 2019.