It's been more than 20 years since Pokémon Yellow came out on the handheld Gameboy system. I thought the original Pokémon games were revolutionary and they really set me on the path to becoming the adult gamer I am today.
That's why I was to happy to hear remakes were coming to the Nintendo Switch system in 2018. Pokémon's Let's Go Eevee and Let's Go Pikachu are beautifully designed remakes of Pokèmon Yellow. Aside from visually being a great game, they've made some major improvements on the 20+ year old game. Keep reading below for the ways I think the Let's Go games improved over the original Pokémon Yellow game. (Note: The version I am playing is Let's Go Eevee.)
1. Random encounters are gone!
In Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow, initially you'd be excited to be bumming around in the grass and encounter a wild pokémon. But it got old fast, especially when you'd be in a cave where there wasn't grass to "avoid." I spent a lot of money buying repel sprays to use in the old games.
In the Let's Go games, you see wild pokémon moving around on the screen and you know what they are before you encounter them, if you choose to do so. It's way less tedious and annoying and I love the way encounters are done now.
2. Coach trainers give you access to a lot of TMs
Throughout the game you can battle coach trainers who are trainers with stronger pokémon that may provide a tough battle for you. Once you beat the trainer, they'll give you a TM to hang on to and use. A TM, or technical machine, let's you teach a move to a pokémon. In the original games, these were a one-time use item so you had to make sure you used it on the right pokémon. In the Let's Go series, they have unlimited uses! Sure it may seem a little overpowered, but I for one was thrilled to see I could use them more than once.
3. Catching system is like Pokémon GO
In the original games when you encountered a pokémon you wanted to catch, you had to battle it with one of your pokémon. It was best to get its health low and then try to use a pokéball to catch it. Half the time you risked hurting it too much and making it faint, where you couldn't catch it. Very tedious.
The new games took a cue from the wildly successful Pokémon GO game in that catching a pokémon does not require you to fight it and lower its health. You can choose to use berries to make it easier to catch and then use different types of pokéballs to try and catch it. Couple this with the new encounter system and you've got a recipe for success!
4. Companion Pokémon is really useful
Eevee is adorable, really. I have always loved Eevee. But I never saw Eevee as an effective pokémon to a precious 6-slot roster until now. Even though Eevee is simply a normal-type pokémon, I've run into a guy in a few pokémon centers who has offered to teach Eevee non-normal moves! That's right, my Eevee is kickass. It knows fire, fairy, electric and water attacks. This makes Eevee SO much more useful in the game.
5. HMs = Secret Techniques
The classic pokémon games had items called HMs, or hidden machines, that required you to teach pokémon in order to navigate the game (mostly for travel purposes). These were a total pain because some of them were useless in battles but still took up a move slot for a pokémon's known moves.
In the Let's Go series, HMs no longer exist and your companion pokémon learns secret techniques! These techniques do NOT take up room on your pokémon's move slots and (somehow) are all learned by Eevee (or Pikachu) throughout the course of the game. This is a big improvement from the original game because it allows you to build a pokémon roster of ones you'd really like instead of being pigeon-holed into a specific set.
6. New way to complete your Pokédex - Pair with Pokémon GO game
The Let's Go series has replaced the Safari Zone from the original game with the Pokémon GO Park. You can connect your Pokémon GO account to the Let's Go game and transfer Pokémon from your phone to your Nintendo Switch. This allows you the option to send Pokémon to your Switch to try and catch. Don't forget beating the Elite Four isn't the only goal of the game - you're supposed to catch all 150 pokémon and utilizing what you already have on your phone will help you do it.
7. Different ways to play the game - controllers
When you start your game each time, the game prompts you to choose how you want to use your controls. I love the Nintendo Switch so much because of it's versatility. I can play it in the car or on a big TV.
The Let's Go games allow you to play with various controls, even the pokéball plus item. It's a nice option to be able to choose how you'd like to play.
I know these games have been out for more than 20 years now, but if you've never played them now is the time to give one a try. The Let's Go series is the best pokémon I've played in a long time and it's not just because of nostalgia. These new games are a vast improvement on a 20 year old series and I don't regret the hours I've poured into them.
Do you have the Let's Go games? If so, do you have Eevee or Pikachu?!