Last November, Nintendo launched Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! alongside a special edition Switch console. Sporting yellow Joy-Cons and a Pikachu and Eevee themed dock, this limited bundle sold out quickly and vanished from store shelves. If you missed out on your opportunity to snag one back then, you’ll be happy to know that it’s temporarily back in stock.
GameStop is currently selling the special bundle for $399.99. For that price, you get the custom console, a digital download code for either of the two games, and the Pokéball Plus accessory. If you’re interested, you can place an order for yours by clicking here.
Nintendo and Game Freak launched Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee last November to strong sales, but there are still plenty of gamers that haven’t yet experienced the new Kanto adventure. If you’ve been on the fence about buying it, we’ve got some good news! The Nintendo Switch eShop just got demo versions of each game available to download right now.
The demo is set in the Viridian Forest, just before Pewter City. In addition to the Partner Pikachu or Partner Eevee (depending on which version you downloaded), your team will be packed with other great Pokémon like Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. There are trainers to fight, wild Pokémon to catch (including some that don’t normally appear in the Viridian Forest) and even an appearance from Professor Oak.
Despite shipping over 10 million copies worldwide in just six weeks, Nintendo feels that they haven’t yet fully communicated the value of the games and they’re looking to continue to grow the Let’s Go audience. Game Freak is developing new Pokémon games for Switch that are slated to launch during the holiday 2019 window, so they’ll be aiming to attract as many new fans as possible before then. Because it borrows elements from Niantic’s mobile hit Pokémon GO, Game Freak would like to use Pokémon: Let’s Go to attract as many mobile players as possible. A free demo is a great way to reach out to new Switch owners as well.
For the first big Pokémon adventure on Switch, Nintendo decided to take a risk and create a hybrid game that mixed the standard Pokémon formula with elements of mobile mega-hit Pokémon GO. This new take on the Kanto region proved to be successful, and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee sold 3 million copies right out of the game. Now that a little more time has passed, we have a better idea of their long-term sales potential.
According to the latest data from Nintendo’s investor relations page, the twin Let’s Go games have sold a combined 10 million copies as of December 31, 2018. That means they’ve sold approximately 7 million copies since the last update on November 22nd. That’s good enough for fifth place on Switch’s overall software sales charts.
These early sales numbers are already impressive, and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu andPokémon: Let’s Go have plenty of potential for evergreen sales. Pokémon games tend to have a long tail, and it’s likely that the Detective Pikachu movie will spark more interest in the series and bring more consumer into the Switch ecosystem.
Game Freak’s beloved Pokémon franchise took the next step in its evolution last November with the launch of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee. The twin Switch games took players on a nostalgia trip to the Kanto region, beautifully recreated in HD. The game launched to a warm reception and strong sales, but Game Freak isn’t done yet!
They’ve just released another trailer for Let’s Go, and it stars a familiar face. That’s right, Ash Ketchum is here to tell you why you’ll love the latest Pokémon games. Although Ash doesn’t technically appear in the games, you’ll be embarking on a journey quite similar to his, especially if you choose the Pikachu version of the game. You can watch the trailer by clicking above.
You may not know this, but I’m a busy man. In fact, I’m so busy, I’ve been inexplicably absent from Gamnesia for over a month. So I don’t really play games 100% to completion anymore, especially when it comes to RPGs. As a young adult that finds himself working most of the time, I needed a Pokémon game that’s easier to digest. Thankfully, I think Let’s Go has given me exactly what I asked for.
I’m picky about my RPGs in general. If I feel like the game has a lot of unnecessary padding, I usually drop it. Because of this, I’ve quit several critically-acclaimed games only about a quarter of the way in just this year, such as Ni no Kuni II and Octopath Traveler. I have nothing against these games; they just feel like a waste of time.
I also felt this way about PokémonSun and Moon. These games have an incredibly dull opening that dissatisfied many fans of the series, and the overall main story tends to drag on and never really gets to the point. These games brought a lot of changes to the series that I thought were fantastic, but I just couldn’t commit the time to get through it all.
I was hoping Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon would help fix my issues with the originals, but it only left a worse taste in my mouth. The game was left largely intact, and most of the new content just padded the game out further. I was ready to give up and call the seventh generation of Pokémon a fluke. I hoped Game Freak could redeem themselves with the next set of games. But then they announced Let’s Go.
I had mixed feelings when these games were announced. I had lost interest in Pokémon GO just a few months after it came out, but I was eager to get back into the world of Pokémon and try to enjoy myself again—I just didn’t know if Let’s Go would be the game to pull me back in.
So I tempered my expectations and remained mostly neutral about these new titles. Some of you may have listened to the episode of Switched On! where I talked with Ben and Steven about the game. At the time, it still hadn’t won me over. I liked some of the ideas Game Freak was going for, but nothing really stood out to me overall.
November 16th rolled around, and something happened that I wasn’t quite expecting: Pokémon fever. Everybody on my Twitter feed was posting about Let’s Go in some way. Most were talking about how fun it was as they showed off their Pokédex and shiny Pokémon.
I couldn’t believe it. Was I really missing out? I had every intention to wait for the game to go on sale in a bargain bin later on. But if the game wasn’t going to be a critical flop, maybe it was best to go ahead and give it a try.
So I caved. In fact, I bought two copies: Let’s Go, Pikachu! for me, and Let’s Go, Eevee! for my wife. As I explored the world of Kanto again, I realized the spinoff I had been so unsure of was what I had been looking for in a Pokémon game all this time.
Pokémon had just become too stale and tedious for my busier lifestyle. So it really did take removing some of the slower elements of the game to spark my interest again.
For example, random encounters no longer involve actually battling Pokémon (for the most part). Instead, you catch them all much like you would in Pokémon GO, where you spot them in the wild and then throw Pokéballs at them. This speeds up the game tremendously and lets you decide very quickly whether you want to spend time trying to catch a specific Pokémon.
This mechanic is not without its flaws. The motion controls are often flawed, and wild Pokémon can run away from you after a few unsuccessful attempts at catching it. But all of its wonkiness aside, the new catching system speeds things up and kept me engaged for much longer play sessions than I ever had with any of the previous titles.
But the feature that really makes this system work for me is being able to see Pokémon roam around on the overworld. I might speak for a small portion of RPG fans, but I think random encounters are outdated and shouldn’t be used anymore. Being able to choose when you want to fight is the best thing any RPG can do for you—and being able to choose what you catch is the best thing a Pokémon game can do for you.
This feature is so important to all players, even the ones who crave a more “hardcore” Pokémon experience. I remember EV training my team when I was in middle school. You run around in the grass for a bit, and if you don’t find the Pokémon with the right effort values, you run around in the grass some more until you do. Even though EV training is nonexistent in Let’s Go, it is so nice that you can actually see the Pokémon before entering the battle. This shaves off so much time and it really helps you know if going to a certain patch of grass is even worth it.
These are the two most important features of Let’s Go to me. I know Game Freak will probably go back to the classic battling system in future games, and that’s okay. But they would be committing an absolute crime if they didn’t keep Pokémon on the overworld before you fight them.
Outside of the catching mechanics, though, Let’s Go doesn’t beat around the bush. Within minutes, you’re on a new adventure and filling up your Pokédex. This is likely because the games follow similar story beats to Red, Blue, and Yellow, but I would like to think that Game Freak is listening to fans and is starting to realize that three-hour tutorial sections just don’t cut it.
One criticism Let’s Go has faced is its simplicity. Some people find the games to be too easy. I’ll raise a counterpoint: Pokémon has always been easy; it’s just less tedious now. I think future Pokémon games can stand to learn a thing or two from the Let’s Go titles. Grinding is less of a chore, dungeons are much simpler to get through without random encounters every five seconds, and you always have a Pokémon box with you for fast and easy changes to your team.
I haven’t had this much fun with Pokémon in years, and I have high hopes for the next game in 2019. Pokémon: Let’s Go is a breath of fresh air for anyone who hasn’t been happy with the series for quite some time. It shaves off a lot of the extra padding Pokémon has become notorious for, and it’s a perfect game for a busy lifestyle.
It’s been somewhat of a slow year for Switch compared to 2017, but that all changed this holiday season with the launch of mega-hits like Pokémon: Let’s Go and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. These two titles broke Nintendo’s pre-order records, and they’re sure to be the biggest games of the year for Switch. For the fans who buy both games, Nintendo is including a special reward in Smash Ultimate.
If you’ve been keeping up with all the Smash news, you know the new game features a new Spirits Mode featuring dozens of characters who didn’t quite make it in as playable fighters. You can equip these spirits for special stat boosts and abilities, and some can even be upgraded. If you boot up Smash Ultimate and it detects save data from either of the Let’s Go games, it will let you import your Partner Pokémon as a Spirit. That means Pikachu players get a Pikachu Spirit, and Eevee players get an Eevee Spirit.
If you’re not a fan of Pokémon (or just haven’t gotten around to picking up the Let’s Go games), don’t fret. It’s still possible to unlock these spirits over time through the course of completing challenges in Spirit Mode. Let’s Go players just get to unlock them right from the start.
Game Freak’s phenomenally popular Pokémon franchise has followed the same basic formula for 20 years, and with great success. However, the most recent titles, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee, introduced some major changes. Many of these changes were intended to make Let’s Go more similar to Niantic’s mobile hit Pokémon GO, while others were tweaks or new ideas intended to make the games more user-friendly. Naturally, many fans are divided on whether or not they like this new style. I’ve personally criticized a few elements, but there are other areas where Let’s Go is absolutely crushing it. Here are the five best changes made in the new games:
Seeing Pokémon on the Overworld
Many of my favorite RPGs, such as EarthBound, Paper Mario, and Chrono Trigger, share a common gameplay feature: enemies appear on the overworld. I’ve never been a fan of random enemy encounters, and I’ve often found them disruptive and frustrating enough that I lose my patience for the games in which they are present. Pokémon is a rare exception to this rule, but I love it despite these random encounters, not because of them. And running into my 50th Zubat in a half hour sometimes tests that love.
Game Freak’s decision to ditch random encounters in Let’s Go alleviates that frustration, but it does so much more than just that. Seeing Pokémon spawn in grassy areas and run around in the wild is an absolute game changer. It adds a whole new level of excitement and wonder to the experience, and it immerses players in the Pokémon world like never before.
Getting charged by a playful Growlithe pup, chasing after a waddling Psyduck, and seeing herds of wild Ponytas galloping down Pokémon Road are just some of the delightful experiences you’ll encounter in Let’s Go. From the first Pidgeys and Rattatas of Route 1 all the way through the trials of Victory Road, seeing these beloved creatures from our childhood all over the map really brings Kanto to life.
Swapping Pokémon With Ease
We’ve come a long, long way since the original Pokémon games. Remember the frustration of manually switching boxes in your PC when they filled up with Pokémon? Or finding out, too late, that you couldn’t catch a wild Pokémon because your current box is full? These awful limitations were left in the dust years ago, and Game Freak decided to take the evolution of the user-friendly approach one step further in Let’s Go.
Pokémon: Let’s Go allows you to swap out any Pokémon at any time. Your Pokémon Box is easily accessible from the menu at any time, so you don’t have to worry about getting halfway through a cave only to realize that you left a much-needed Pokémon in storage. And if you catch a wild Pokémon when your party is already full, you can immediately check it out and see its stats without trekking to the nearest town.
This mechanic is a welcome simplification in Let’s Go and fits well with its theme of giving players a relaxing experience. Implementing it in main series games would also make them more user-friendly, though perhaps a few tweaks are called for. Having the ability to swap out Pokémon while in a Gym or even the Elite Four can make things pretty easy, so some restrictions (which could easily be toggled on or off in the settings) would make sense.
Expanding the Role of Ride Pokémon
The first generation of Pokémon games lightly dabbled with the idea of letting players ride on their Pokémon with HMs like Surf and Fly, and Game Freak would continue to evolve this idea until the introduction of Ride Pokémon in Sun and Moon. This idea was improved and expanded in Let’s Go, allowing players to ride eighteen different monsters.
While Sun and Moon restricted Ride Pokémon to short bursts in specific areas, Let’s Go allows you to hop on anywhere with sufficient space on the overworld. Whether you’re towering over cave-dwellers while riding your Onix, speeding around the world on an Arcanine (my personal choice), or clinging to the belly of a Snorlax, it’s a wonderful experience that will bring a smile to your face.
On top of that, some of the Ride Pokémon in Let’s Go fly rather than walking. This lets you move at impressive speeds while avoiding obstacles that would normally slow you down, and you can even encounter rare and powerful Flying-type Pokémon floating above the ground. Soaring through the air on the likes of Charizard, Dragonite, and Aerodactyl has been one of the biggest highlights of my time with the games.
One of the most common struggles in older Pokémon games was the task of making sure your team featured all of the HMs you needed to move around the world. Some of these special moves, like Flash and Cut, were practically worthless in battle, but you could find yourself stuck if you didn’t use up some of your precious move slots to keep them on your team. This often resulted in players using one of their six main Pokémon solely for carrying around HMs, rendering them a liability in battle.
Game Freak has experimented with replacing them in various ways in recent entries, and Let’s Go does the best job of this yet. HMs that are actually useful in battle, like Surf, have been turned into TMs, and the others have been replaced by something called Secret Techniques. These abilities are now all learned by your partner Pokémon, Eevee or Pikachu.
Even if you take your partner out of your lineup of six active battlers, it will still ride around on your head or shoulder on the overworld, and it can still use its Secret Techniques. Additionally, they don’t even take up any of your partner’s move slots. It’s a wonderful new system that makes it easier than ever to travel around the game’s overworld without unnecessary hindrances or battle restrictions.
Getting the Perfect Pokémon
IVs, or Internal Values, are an integral part of building a competitive team full of powerful Pokémon. Every monster you encounter is immediately assigned IVs, and getting a Pokémon with perfect stats can be an intensely frustrating and drawn out process. Sun and Moon alleviated some of this with the introduction of Hyper Training, which allows you to improve a Pokémon’s IVs after they’ve reached level 100. Let’s Go makes this even easier by introducing an IV Judge function that lets you see exactly what stats you’re working with. No math or third-party IV calculators required!
Let’s Go also makes it easier than ever to ensure that wild Pokémon have decent IVs to begin with. If you catch multiple of the same Pokémon consecutively, you’ll start racking up bonuses, including extra EXP and item drops. Eventually, as the chain gets longer, the Pokémon you encounter will naturally have better stats. You can use this method to guarantee that a wild Pokémon will have perfect IVs in up to four stats, and by trading Bottle Caps for some hyper training, you can easily perfect the remaining two.
Another way Let’s Go makes it easier to get the perfect Pokémon team is by letting you set the nature of wild Pokémon… for a price. Pokémon natures generally raise one stat’s max potential by 10% while lowering another by the same amount. If you need a specific nature for a Pokémon, you can simply head to Celadon City and pay a fortune teller to make it so. It’ll cost you ten thousand, but it ensures that every Pokémon you encounter for the rest of the day is the nature you selected.
Finally, there’s EVs… or AVs… or whatever the heck we’re calling them this generation. The point is, Pokémon has always had a system in which you can boost your stats through the use of certain items. In the past, you also gained EVs from every fight, and you only got enough EVs to max out two of your stats. In other words, battling the wrong Pokémon could lead to investing EVs in the wrong stat. In Let’s Go, battling no longer impacts these values. Instead, all this stat-boosting is done via candies, so you can battle whoever you want, whenever you want, and still have your stat boosts turn out the way you want.
In fact, Let’s Go allows you to max out every stat, and the ceiling is much higher than in previous games. This may not be a welcome change for people used to the competitive balance of previous generations, but it certainly simplifies the process of making a perfect Pokémon. And if these stat changes mean that Game Freak can’t find a way to transfer Let’s Go Pokémon to future titles (which is something they’re still hoping for and working on), it will simply become a unique competitive scene of its own.
Pokémon has evolved yet again. Game Freak’s beloved monster-catching franchise just took on a new form with the launch of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee. These twin games are essentially remakes of Pokémon Yellow, but with significant gameplay changes inspired by Pokémon GO. So how does the finished product hold up? Join Ben, Elijah, and Tessie as they break down the good and the bad on the latest episode of Switched On!
If you enjoy this episode of Switched On!, feel free to check out our previous episodes, where we tackle recent Nintendo Directs, explore Nintendo franchises that need a reboot, and more. We also have a second podcast called Gamnesia After Dark that features non-Nintendo discussion, including video games, TV shows, movies, and the lives of the Gamnesia staff in general.
The ever-lucrative holiday season is upon us, and the biggest day of them all is Black Friday. Retailers, especially in the United States, offered all kinds of deals and bundles to entice customers to open their wallets, and a handful of popular video games cracked the list of top-sellers for the holiday. Leading the charge was none other than Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee.
According to Adobe Insights (based on an analysis of 80% of online retailers in the US), Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee was the fourth best-selling item of Black Friday, coming in behind Laptops, L.O.L. Surprise, and Fingerlings. God of War saw a surge in sales (despite launching all the way back in April) that took it all the way to fifth place, just behind Pokémon. Red Dead Redemption 2 was also one of the hottest items of the holiday, but it didn’t make the top five.
All in all, online Black Friday sales shattered records this year, as consumers spent over $6.22 billion in the US, topping last year’s number by 23.6%. Cyber Monday is expected to be even bigger, with Adobe predicting a 17.6% increase over last year for a total of $7.8 billion today. If that projection is accurate, sales from the two events will top $14 billion. And there’s still a month left to go until Christmas.
Nintendo recently launched Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee on Nintendo Switch, and the reception has been strong. Yesterday we reported that it topped the charts in Japan and led to a massive sales spike for Switch, and today we’ve learned that success extends far beyond Japan. After just a few days on the market, it’s safe to say Let’s Go is a global smash hit.
According to an official PokémonTwitter account in Japan, the twin games combined to sell over 3 million copies during their launch weekend. It’s been four days since then, so that number is likely much higher by now. As it turns out, 3 million copies sold in just three days is a new record, making Pokémon: Let’s Go the fastest-selling Switch game to date. Of course, with Smash just around the corner, it’s possible that will be a short-lived record.
The weekly hardware and software sales numbers from Japan are in, and unsurprisingly it was a huge week for Nintendo. The launch of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee was easily the biggest event of the week. The twin games combined to sell over 660,000 copies, snagging first place and boosting switch sales from around 54,000 last week to over 200,000 this week. Fallout 76 was a distant second with around 73,000 units sold.
In hardware, Switch was obviously the champion with 200,850 total units sold. No other console managed to sell even 9,000 units. It seems Fallout 76 and Hitman 2, despite both charting in the top 5, were unable to provide PlayStation 4 with any kind of boost heading into the holiday season. You can check out the full sales breakdown below.
Game Freak just released Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee into the wild, and millions around the world are touring Kanto and capturing monsters left and right. Series producer Junichi Masuda has previously indicated that if the games are successful, they could become a continuing series, existing alongside the more “core” entries in the franchise. Now that you’ve had time to go hands-on or at least watch footage, do you think Game Freak should keep making Let’s Go games?
From a business standpoint, it’s an easy yes. I’ve previously expressed that Let’s Go is one of the best ideas Game Freak has ever had, and I still believe that’s true. However, the twin games aren’t without flaws, and many of them relate to the GO-inspired mechanics. While I don’t think they should be scrapped (especially if Game Freak wants to keep converting GO players), they at least need some tweaking.
The internet has plenty of mixed opinions on the games, but one shared by many is that playing without motion controls, with a more standard controller, should be an option. It makes the game more accessible to people with injuries or disabilities, as well as to those who just aren’t a fan of motion controls.
My biggest issue with the game is probably the heavy emphasis on luck. Without the ability to paralyze or injure wild Pokémon, I’ve wasted countless Great Balls and Ultra Balls landing Great and Excellent throws and getting nothing to show for it. A lot of this frustration could be alleviated by making berries more common and more effective, and by reducing (or eliminating) the rate at which wild Pokémon bat your throws away or just run away altogether.
Game Freak has a money maker on their hands that they can easily keep going for years to come. If they make a few tweaks to keep things more user-friendly, they can count on me being along for the ride.
The big day is finally here, Pokémon trainers! After months of hype-building by Game Freak and The Pokémon Company, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee are now available on Nintendo Switch. Return to Kanto to re-live the adventure that started it all, but with HD graphics, more modern gameplay, and a hint of Pokémon GO sprinkled in. To celebrate the launch, Nintendo UK has just put out one last trailer.
We’re just two days away now from the launch of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee on Nintendo Switch, and the reviews are starting to roll in. As we noted yesterday, the twin games have received largely positive reviews in the West, and they currently sit at an average score of around 81/100. According to Japanese publication Famitsu, they’re even better than that.
Famitsu always has four different editors play and review every game. Each editor gives the game a score between 1 and 10 for a best possible score of 40/40. In the case of Let’s Go, Famitsu’s editors awarded it a 10 and three 9s, giving it a grand total of 37/40. A 32 or 33 would be more in line with its average score in the West, so it appears Famitsu likes it better than most. Here’s the full list of Famitsu scores for the week:
Black Bird (Switch) – 8/8/8/8 [32/40]
Bokura no Keshigomu Otoshi (Switch) – 8/7/7/7 [29/40]
Game Freak’s beloved Pokémon franchise is set to return to the adventure that started it all in just three days. Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee are pseudo-remakes of the 20-year-old Pokémon Yellow, but with modern graphics and game mechanics, as well as influence from mobile hit Pokémon GO. Are these games worth your time either as a stroll down memory lane or an introduction to the series?
The reviews are starting to roll in now, and the early response is largely positive. Let’s Go is currently sitting at an average review score of 81/100 on Metacritic, based on 26 positive reviews and 3 mixed reviews. It’s receiving praise for its visuals, charm, relaxing nature, and the ever-present nostalgia factor. The GO-inspired throwing mechanics are receiving a mixture of praise and criticism, and a handful of reviews have suggested that the game is too easy and too tutorial-heavy early on, though there are post-credits challenges.
Reviewers generally agree that this will be a great experience for newcomers — especially for fans who are interested in the main series games after playing GO — and it should be a fine way to introduce them to the grander Pokémon adventures we’ve come to love over the years. As for veterans, some welcomed it as a wonderful, albeit flawed, return home to Kanto, while others felt it was fun but needed more challenge and substance to keep them hooked.
You can find a sampling of reviews below. It should be noted that there are still a relatively small number of published reviews for the game, so its Metacritic score could continue to shift as more reviews are compiled.
It’s an exciting time to be a Nintendo fan! Super Mario Party recently launched on Switch, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee are just around the corner, and Nintendo’s capping off the year with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. To raise hype for the last of that impressive trio, Nintendo recently held another Nintendo Direct presentation packed with 40 minutes of Smash goodness.
In the latest episode of our Switched On! podcast, we cover some of the most exciting Nintendo news from the past few weeks before diving into the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct. Join Ben, Hombre, and Will as we break it all down! And as always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, including suggestions about future discussion segments for the show.
We’re just over one week away from the launch of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee on Nintendo Switch, and Game Freak continues to build hype with new teasers. Today they dropped two new trailers, one in English and one in Japanese. Both of them give us a look at the Elite Four, the four powerful trainers you’ll need to best to become the League Champion.
The two trailers also contain plenty of other familiar faces, including Red, Blue, and even Green, the heroes from the original Kanto adventures. We also see Giovanni, Team Rocket’s leader, a handful of gym leaders, Mewtwo, Meltan, and more! Is it November 16th yet?
Junichi Masuda has been a key member of the Pokémon development team since the very beginning. In the early days, he served as a composer, programmer, and advisor before eventually becoming an Assistant Director on Gold and Silver. Ever since then, Masuda has jumped back and forth between wearing the Director and Producer hats, and he’s currently serving as Director on Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee.
While Masuda sees Let’s Go as an important evolution that could pave the way for another 20 years of Pokémon, he may not be the one to provide hands-on direction going forward. Masuda recently sat down for an interview on the official website for The Pokémon Company and answered questions regarding the development of Let’s Go. Near the end of the interview, he indicated that the upcoming Switch games would likely be his last as Director.
Question: It’s been five years since you last served as director—on Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Why were these the right games for you to return to that role?
Masuda: I was the one who worked on the base game concept document for Pokémon GO, and even in that original concept, I had the idea of introducing new Pokémon through the mobile game. I wanted to realize that goal by creating games that could connect with Pokémon GO and feel somewhat similar to it without feeling like we were copying it. Given my involvement in Pokémon GO’s development, I felt that I was probably the best person to direct these games.
It was also interesting to work with Nintendo Switch. There’s a lot of technology packed into the hardware that we were all trying to discover at GAME FREAK. For example, developing the Poké Ball Plus and working with Bluetooth to facilitate the connection with Pokémon GO were both very interesting things that I had a chance to work on as the director this time.
But at the same time, it’s important to have the younger generation at GAME FREAK take over the development of Pokémon as a series. I do believe this will probably be, in terms of the main Pokémon RPGs, the last time that I work as the director.
While Masuda may be stepping away from the Director role, he’ll almost certainly continue to be involved with the franchise. As the interviewer pointed out, Masuda did not serve as Director on Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, or any of the Sun and Moon games. Instead, he chose to take more of a supervisory role as Producer.
The third generation remakes and Sun and Moon were directed by Shigeru Ohmori, while Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were directed by Kazumasa Iwao. Perhaps one or both of these talents could step up to become the primary Director for the series going forward. In any case, it’s hard to see Masuda abandoning the franchise altogether after 20 years of service.
Lavender Town, home to a haunted graveyard tower, was one of the most memorable locations in the first generation of Pokémon games. The town’s creepy atmosphere and music really made it stand out, and Game Freak is hoping to revive that feeling in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee. Just in time for Halloween, they’ve released a new trailer that gives us our first look at Lavender Town reborn.
Does it live up to expectations? Check above to judge for yourself!
Earlier this month, Game Freak dropped a few hints about a second form for the Mythical Pokémon Meltan. An ominous shadow was shown at the very end of Professor Willow’s Meltan Research Update. We now know that this shadow was actually Melmetal, Meltan’s evolved form.
Melmetal is, like Meltan, a pure Steel-type Pokémon. It looks much larger than Meltan, with its liquid metal congealed into something giant and roughly Donkey Kong-shaped. Because Meltan evolves into Melmetal, this means that Meltan is officially the only Mythical Pokémon to be able to evolve thus far.
Meltan is also unique in the way it evolves. Kind of. Meltan can only evolve into Melmetal in Pokémon GO, and there is no way to evolve it in either Pokémon: Let’s Go title. Meltan candies can be obtained the same way players obtain candies for other Pokémon. Once players evolve Meltan by giving it 400 Meltan candies, only then can players transfer and use Melmetal in the console Pokémon titles.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! will be released on November 16, so get ready to collect lots of Meltan candies!