Gotta catch ’em all! Pokemon!

As I’ve been talking about on recent episodes of Player’s Club, I’m going through something of a “quarter-life crisis”. Having turned 26 I wanted to recapture my youth and this led to me buying a GameBoy Advance, Pokemon Leaf Green, Pokemon Fire Red, and the rest of the DS-3DS games and binging the Indigo League in tandem. I decided to give Pokemon Let’s Go: Pikachu a chance after reading Josh Miller’s review which you can find here. After putting 7.5 hours into the game over the course of a day and a half I love everything about the game. More importantly, how it appealed to the child within me.

After booting up the game I was stunned at how much had changed since Pokemon Leaf Green, which was the last Pokemon game I had played before Let’s Go Pikachu. What Josh had mentioned in his review of Let’s Go Eevee was that the game was a remake of the Gen 1 Pokemon games. Yellow to be specific. When I first got Pikachu I felt like I was living in the Pokemon anime and when I was informed via an in-game message that you could feed, play, and show your Pokemon the love it deserved I was all in. As someone who cannot care for a pet in real life I felt like I was given a blessing in disguise.

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu

When I was gushing about the game on the podcast, I mentioned that the primary way of getting XP for your Pokemon was changed from the older games. In the handheld games you would battle wild Pokemon, battle other Pokemon trainers, and the occasional Rare Candy. In the game you are not encouraged to fight wild Pokemon but rather catch them. I should’ve seen this coming as after I left Professor Oak’s lab when I saw that I had 100 Pokeballs. The catch system is apparently akin to Pokemon Go as Emmett informed me on Players Club. The way it is presented is seeing Pokemon native to whatever area they are found in. Regardless, there is nothing better to me than listening to the PokeRap while catching Pokemon and pulling off XP multipliers. I can’t recall which Gen XP sharing was introduced, it may have been 2 or 3 but it is so satisfying catching a Pokemon and pulling off an “excellent” rating and getting huge XP gains and seeing multiple congratulations for level increases.

The other new addition is the ability for a single member of your six Pokemon to follow you around. At first I had my Growlithe following me around like the cute fire puppy that it is. I then upgraded to a Bulbasaur which I am refusing to let evolve into an Ivysaur because I want it to stay the way it is and keep its personality a la “Bulbasaur’s Mysterious Garden”. While being able to visibly see the Pokemon that is outside of the ball, it will point out things like hidden items or it will just give you a happy message. My Bulbasaur is having a great time walking around the Kanto region.

One of the inclusions in this Pokemon are characters from the TV series, and older games. These include Jesse, James, and Meowth from Team Rocket. The character I was shocked to see was Blue from the original games. It made complete sense as I was really wondering why the character I had named “Gary” after the western adaptation of the Blue character was being so nice. As soon as I encountered Blue I thought to myself “yep this seems right”.

I clearly have a long road to go down to get to the Elite Four and more exciting adventures in my Pokemon world. Thank you for indulging this Pokenerd.

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