Despite just being announced, few games are sure to be as anticipated as Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee for the Nintendo Switch. As the first core-ish Pocket Monster titles arriving on the platform, it’s safe to say that fans have been waiting for quite sometime for this experience – although perhaps this isn’t exactly what they were expecting. Now that we’ve seen the titles in action, however, it’s clear that the biggest problem could very well be the firm’s decision to integrate the games with Pokemon GO.
Throwing Pokeballs at the television via the Switch’s JoyCon (or new Pokeball Plus controller) is a clear gimmick that may not immediately gel with longtime fans – and will likely lead to viral YouTube videos of Pokeballs shattering TV screens across the globe – but there’s a bigger issue at hand within Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee that’s a little less obvious. I’m speaking of microtransactions.
As fans are already well aware, Pokemon GO is a free-to-play title that allows users to jump in and catch monsters to their hearts’ content sans any of the trademark battle mechanics, but it also has a very blatant premise of generating revenue through purchases from the in-game store. Pokeballs, Max Potions, Egg Incubators, Max Revives, and more are all present and available for purchase with real-world currency – which may spell trouble for anyone excited for these newest Nintendo Switch Pokemon titles.
Now, these paid-for aspects of Pokemon GO may not even transition over to the vanilla Switch iterations, but fans playing the mobile title can transfer over the creatures they’ve captured to the new titles. Evidently, those willing to shell out cash on their mobile devices will have a head start on getting some of the better Pokemon to then transfer to the final game(s).
Whether that be through paid-for Raid Passes that allow players to tangle with multiple Legendary Pokemon each day (like Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres, and even Mewtwo), monsters they traded over after supercharging them with the additional Stardust that was collected while using a spiffy new Star Piece, or showboating with the shiny Kabuto that were able to capture with the additional Pokeballs they purchased for Adventure Week, it’s clear that this level of interaction between the two pieces of software leaves room for severe problems.
Hopefully The Pokemon Company has plans to deal with this, as there are a number of features in Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee that look genuinely fun. The ability to play through the Kanto region with a co-op partner is a wonderful idea, while the overall aesthetic of the game(s) is hands down the best the series has ever looked – perhaps with the exception of the noticeably sharp character models in Pokken Tournament DX. However, with a new, core RPG iteration of the series set to arrive in the second half of 2019, perhaps that will be the title that longtime Pocket Monster aficionados will instead be able to sink their teeth into.
Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee both arrive exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on November 16, 2018.
If you wanna, you can follow Riley on Twitter at @TheRileyLittle. He’s not overly shy and always responds. Well, sometimes-always-ish.