Pokémon has been in my life from a very young age, I remember the days when I used to wake up at 6am, pop on the telly to watch Pokémon Indigo League. I dressed up as Misty for a fancy dress day, I had a gigantic pile of Pokémon cards, which I still have to this day. But I never played the games on my Gameboy.
I have never had a massive motivation to play Pokémon games, after a while my obsession with Pokémon dwindled and after Gen 2, I was completely out of the loop and to be honest I never really had a huge interest in catching up. But when Pokémon GO came along, as with many of my generation, my love for Pokémon reignited and as more generations were introduced to the mobile game, the full games started to intrigue me a lot more.
But getting a Switch and with the announcement of Sword & Shield, a game I wouldn’t have cared about three years ago, I am completely sold. But this wasn’t entirely down to Pokémon GO. One of the games I got with the Switch was Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee and it has only heightened my excitement for Sword & Shield.
Let’s Go is set in the Kanto region, the setting of the very first games, Red, Blue & Yellow. The benefit of this (aside from pulling on the nostalgia strings of those who played them back in 1996) was that I get to experience the setting of the older games but in a more updated and (for me) more interesting way.
I don’t tend to do much retro-gaming, the only older games I return to are ones that I used to play as a kid, so going back and playing all the old Pokémon games has never really appealed to me, the motivation just isn’t there. But because Let’s Go has taken all the elements that I loved about the show and the cards, made it look absolutely gorgeous and took a whole new spin on it, I am so invested. I do think that it has given me the experience I (kind of) would have got from the original games but because it has been modernised and made to look gorgeous I am sold.
But also I find that the method of catching Pokémon has been made a lot more manageable. I found that when I briefly played it as a kid, I hated how you would get stopped constantly in the grass by wild Rattatas or in the caves by wild Zubats, it honestly got so tiresome. Let’s Go has transformed this mechanic, you are able to see the Pokémon in the grass and evade them if you wish, so the game runs a lot smoother.
This isn’t to say that I think the older games aren’t good games, at the time I am sure they were incredible and they started a huge phenomenon, but for me I just don’t see the appeal of going through and playing them all when I can get a similar experience from Pokémon Let’s Go; and without it I don’t think I would have ever been as excited for the latest Pokémon game.