Despite having quite a bit of a mixed reaction during its reveal, Pokémon Let’s Go has continued to make a splash as more details and videos slowly trickle out on its way to release. With each video it manages to charm those interested even further with so many new, yet familiar, scenarios that players will get to experience. Although there are many returning players who wish to dive into the latest Pokémon entry, that isn’t entirely the intended audience. Instead, Pokémon Let’s Go truly looks as though it is a strong attempt to lure in players invested in the mobile game into diving into a bigger adventure.
It’s plain to see that the hardcore competitive players are not the key audience with Pokeon Let’s Go. Although some content has been entirely confirmed, it appears that some aspects of battles have been a bit simplified. There has also been no word on the inclusion of Z-moves or mega evolutions, which are two large components to competitive play in addition to being limited to the first 151 Pokémon available. While there’s no reason Let’s Go couldn’t still be competitive, it has also been confirmed that there is no GTS or random online battles but instead allows these trades and battles between just friends much like the original gameboy entries. While this certainly doesn’t make the game unappealing, as its still quite charming, it’s very clear that there is another key audience in mind.
Although Pokémon GO was initially targeted towards mainly fans of the series, it made its way to many fans who either hadn’t played the main line Pokémon series or were entirely new. In this way, some of the familiar game mechanics with catching seen in Let’s Go are extremely welcoming to these players. While Let’s Go is set up very much like an entry point, this is wonderful for those who haven’t ever gotten the chance to dive into a true Pokémon adventure before. This is also exactly that Nintendo is seeking, as the welcoming aspect makes these Go players more interested in picking up a Switch than before. Add this with the fact that Let’s Go is just as available for travel as its mobile counterpart, and Nintendo has the perfect creation for those invested in Pokémon Go taking their hybrid console with them to play. These newcomers will discover an entirely different way to play, and perhaps interest them in any future titles that release on Switch.
It may have been made with the intention of giving Go players an introduction into the main series, but Let’s Go actually has some great new changes that will hopefully make their way into the core series. The addition of following Pokémon has returned, but this time allows players to even ride their larger Pokémon companions for faster transportation. This is something fans have wanted for quite a long time, and it appearing here makes many have hope they will continue to see it in the future from here on out. The simplified EV system with the use of candy also is an interesting new concept that would be a pleasant addition in new games, as it rewards players for capturing lots of Pokémon in order to get stat increases. We already know many mechanics like the lack of wild battles won’t be returning in the core games, but it’s easy to see how these could be potentially implemented as a future mini-game to earn rewards of some sort.
Pokémon Let’s Go only continues to make itself look even more appealing to a fairly good sized audience the more we see of it. While it certainly won’t appeal to anyone, much like any game, it has found its audience and is making a splash every time Nintendo shows it off. It’s a title that feels like it will be a wonderful entry point to those who have never played a mainline title before, while still offering a whole new experience for those continuing with the series and waiting for the next core entry next year. This is the perfect path for Pokémon to take without splitting their audience, and if it’s as lovely as it looks one would hope that the Let’s Go styled games continue more into the future.