It’s been two long years since Pokémon GO made the world obsessed with catching them all all over again. Now, Nintendo is primed to reignite Poké-mania with Pokémon: Let’s Go for the Nintendo Switch. Combining elements from Pokémon GO and the classic Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow games on the GameBoy, Pokémon: Let’s Go will allow players to collect and battle Pokémon on the portable-ready Nintendo Switch.
On November 16, Pokémon: Let’s Go will be released for the Nintendo Switch in two variants (again, reminiscent of the classic games): Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!. Unlike Pokémon GO, which uses augmented reality to enhance the real world, Pokémon: Let’s Go takes place in the virtual Pokémon universe we know and love.
Pokémon: Let’s Go is basically a “remake” of the original games, with some gameplay elements from Pokémon GO thrown in. In fact, Let’s Go is considered a remake of Pokémon Yellow, the TV-inspired version of the original games, as Polygon learned from director Junichi Masuda. That means Let’s Go will only have the 151 original Pokémon, at least for now.
As the titles suggest, players start with one of two of the named Pokémon — Pikachu, the face of the franchise, or Eevee, a cute-as-heck rabbit/cat capable of three evolutionary forms — who accompany gamers throughout their adventures. It should be noted that neither the starter Pikachu nor Eevee will be able to evolve (bummer), but players can catch wild Pikachus and Eevees in either game, and those wild Pokémon can evolve.
Because of the leap from smartphones to the current-generation Nintendo console, there are major differences between Pokémon GO and Pokémon: Let’s Go. Here are the five key differences players can experience in the new games.
5. The Catching System, with Poké Ball Plus
When Pokémon GO was released, players went buck wild over the fact that they could “catch” Pokémon by swiping on their screens or throwing their wrists while wearing the Pokémon GO Plus wristband. For Let’s Go, catching has evolved, as players can “throw” using the Switch’s Joy-Con controller (remember playing on the Wii? Same thing), or the new Poké Ball Plus.
The Poké Ball Plus is a Poké Ball come to life, mostly. It’s a plastic device with built-in electronics players can use to play Let’s Go instead of the Joy-Con. You catch Pokémon by “throwing” the Poké Ball Plus (there’s a wrist attachment, so no broken TVs). The Poké Ball Plus can change colors, vibrate, and play sounds to let you know your catch was successful.
4. Your Pokémon “Go” With You
What’s extra cool about the Poké Ball Plus is that you can take it with you outdoors, with your favorite Pokémon “carried” inside. Press the center button and the lil’ fella will “talk” to you, which will be a nice distraction to yet another boring brunch or long line at the DMV.
3. Story Mode
Though not explicitly confirmed, the game’s trailer hints Let’s Go will have a “Story Mode” akin to the old games. No, it won’t be written and directed by Spike Lee (can you imagine?), but it’s still a dimension that was sorely missing in Pokémon GO.
Like the old games, Let’s Go will start players in the suburbs of Pallet Town before setting out to catch and train Pokémon to rise to the top of the Indigo League. You’ll also square off against familiar foes, like Team Rocket.
2. Two-Player Co-Cop
Unlike Pokémon GO, which is single-player, Let’s Go will have a two-player co-cop mode, but it’s not clear what multiplayer will look like. Will guest players catch Pokémon for themselves too? Is there one-on-one battling? For now, all we know is that Let’s Go will not be a solo experience.
1. Mobile to System Transfer (But Not Vice Versa)
If you haven’t already deleted Pokémon GO from your phone, you’ll be able to transfer the Pokémon you’ve caught to your Let’s Go save. So that Gyrados you slaved over from mining Magikarps can immediately join you in Let’s Go. Sadly, the Pokémon you catch in Let’s Go can’t transfer to your smartphone.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! will be released on November 16 for the Nintendo Switch.