Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee aren’t the bold evolution of the Pokémon franchise that we’ll probably get in 2019, but that doesn’t make them any less charming or fun. I got my hands on Let’s Go Pikachu at E3 2018, and found it to be a delightful mix of the series’ recent 3DS installments and the mobile action of Pokémon Go.

I spent about 15 minutes with the game exploring Viridian Forest, catching wild Pokémon and getting into battles with fellow trainers. The catching process is lifted directly from Pokémon Go – you’ll toss a Poke Ball into an ever-shrinking circle, and if your timing and accuracy are good, you’ll catch the Pokémon.

Except this time, you’ll be doing so with motion controls, and not by swiping on a screen. Catching Pokémon in Let’s Go Pikachu felt pretty intuitive; with a quick flick of my Poké Ball Plus controller (more on that later), I was able to digitally toss my Poké Balls to get a bunch of Caterpies and Oddishes into my collection.

As with Pokemon Go, you’ll be able to feed Pokemon all kinds of berries to increase your chances of a successful catch. Nintendo hasn’t said how catching will work when you’re in handheld mode, but I suspect that you’ll be able to swipe on the display like in the mobile game — and hopefully not have to jerk around your entire Switch.

Combat, on the other hand, works exactly how it does in every core Pokemon game. You and your enemy trainer take turns selecting moves and using items, until all Pokémon on one team have fainted. The battle animations and overall visual style are very similar to those of recent 3DS installments such as Pokémon Sun and Moon, just with a shiny, high-definition coat of paint. Let’s Go Pikachu is a vibrant, colorful game, but it looks more like a spruced-up version of previous handheld titles than a big, graphically overhauled game.


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