Thursday, November 22, 2018

Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu (Nintendo Switch, 2018)

That's right, Pikachu. Not Eevee. You wanna go? YOU WANNA GO? COME AT ME BRO!


Brought to you by...GAME FREAAAAAK! What a name, especially for the makers of Pokémon. GAME FREAAAAAAK! Are you ready?

The game begins with a pretty sweet cutscene of Pikachu jumping around in front of a TV. Putting aside the question of where these things are plugged in since the table is in the middle of the room, can we get a closer look at what he's playing on the Switch?

What the hell? Evil Ryu? Street Fighter II has changed a lot since I was a kid.

AHH! JESUS!

So, yeah, this is the latest iteration of the Pokémon series. It's essentially a remake of Pokémon Yellow with some new features. For one thing, random battles no longer exist, replaced by Pokémon Go style ball-throwing minigames. However, trainer fights still exist and the game follows the same general story as the Gen 1 games.

We start with a smorgasbord of language choices. I choose American, 'cause we speak American here in America.

Know what gets me? In Germany they speak Deutsch, in Denmark they speak Danish, and in the Netherlands they speak Dutch. What's with all of the D names, Europe? Also, way to just ignore Denmark and the Netherlands, game.

Here are all of the choices for hero. I almost went with the second one on the left, except she looks too much like one of my exes.

I went with the hottest name I could think of, the local spelling of the Catalonia province in Spain. Pronounced Cata-loon-ya.

The rival, on the other hand...is the vile Generalisimo. ::thunder crashes:: One S is actually the proper spelling of the word in native Spanish (like Cataluna) while the English translation would be "Generalissimo". Unfortunately the extra S doesn't fit in the 12 character limit. Whatever, back in my day we were lucky if our RPG character names got to have more than six letters. Even Chrono Trigger surprisingly only allowed up to five-letter names, the one regressive thing about that game.

Pikachu wants me to climb inside the TV world with him. I don't know about this. Can we really trust a bloodthirsty rodent?

The game begins. Historically every Pokémon game has the current Nintendo system hooked up to the main character's TV at the outset.

What's our heroine playing on the TV, you ask?

Street Fighter II, of course, where our heroine is repeatedly hurricanrana-ing poor Fei Long!

She's dragging him around the screen by the face! Chrissakes! Jeet Kune Do is no match for Cammy's groin-to-face-based offense!

Now she's slamming Fei Long on the ground repeatedly with her rock-hard thighs! THE MAN'S NEVER GOING TO WALK AGAIN!

"SUPLEX CITY, BITCH" screams Cataluña while swinging punches at the screen.

"YEAH! EAT IT!" yelps Cataluña.

The Generalisimo barges into the room WITHOUT KNOCKING.

Cataluña isn't going anywhere with you, Generalisimo! Just BACK OFF!

The game begins for real, as Prof. Oak takes the player out to capture a Pikachu. This entails a Pokémon Go style ball-throwing minigame.

Unlike other Pokémon games, you don't get to choose a starter; it has to be Pikachu (the center ball). Presumably in the Eevee version of the game, it has to be Eevee. Not sure how I feel about this lack of choice, but it isn't really any different from how Pokémon Yellow did it. At least there's a second version at all.

The evil Generalisimo is unimpressed. Professor Oak knows this guy is no good, and peers at him warily.

Cataluña acquires the world's most popular electric rat, and we're off to the races.

Meanwhile, the nefarious Generalisimo gets the hero Pokémon that doesn't correspond to your version. My question is...what's in the third Pokeball, and who gets it?

"What's in the BALLLL?"

I really want to know, and hope this game answers that question at some point. It'd be wild if it contained Culex "from Final Fantasy".

Time to explore. Pikachu follows you around outside-Pokeball, ala Pokémon Yellow. This was awesome then and it's awesome now.

I wonder if this random kid will show up later as a postgame uberboss.

The first quest of the game is to deliver this parcel from this kindly Poké Mart Clerk to Professor Oak.

Our hero arrives back at the lab and they open the parcel, only to discover...

 ...IT'S A BOMB! EVERYBODY GET DOWN!

::high-pitched screaming is heard from all directions::

Cataluña wakes up from her daydream and hands over the parcel. She's a piece of work, let me tell ya. She dreams of mass-murder and violates Fei Long's face in Street Fighter II.

The Generalisimo barges in to yap at us. Does this guy ever go away? Get out of here, Generalisimo!

What follows is our first Poké-battle. He looks super-evil here even though he's really not that bad aside from being...the Generalisimo ::thunder crashes::

He summons Eevee, who I'll admit is pretty adorable. It takes an exceptionally appealing Pokémon to be a counter-balance to Pikachu, so they chose well with this pairing. What potential third Pokémon could measure up with these two in overall appeal? Once we figure that out, we'll know what's in that third ball.

More importantly than all of that, what's with this guy having boobs?

Stop the presses! You can actually pet Pikachu via the magic of touchscreen controls.

IT'S TOO CUTE! JIMMY TAKE IT AWAY!

Viridian City is locked, as is tradition. The first gym you find actually ends up being the 8th and final gym, where you fight noted mob boss Giovanni. For now, we bypass this and continue north towards Pewter City.

Whoa, this really is a remake, with HM-related obstacles in the same places. I don't have any HMs so I can't trim the bush yet.

::giddy giggling is heard from somewhere::

The next portion of the game consists of getting ready for the fight with Brock, and in this remake it's kinda weird. I'm trying to find a Bulbasaur, but it's nowhere to be found. Instead I'm collecting lots of random Pokémen that are piling up in my inventory since it's the only way to get exp.

I'm probably doing this wrong, but either way...it's following the Pokémon Go formula where you want to collect as many 'Mons as possible rather than getting a few really strong ones.

Another new addition to this remake is that you can get outfits for Pikachu to wear, like this girl's hot yoga pants. There are also lots of accessories like ribbons and hats and whatnot.

"Dat dere Pikachu is a gay Pikachu!" yells some guy off-camera. "Dem Nintendoes is tryin' to turn my son gay!"

Viridian Forest is looking pretty good, I'll say that much. Since this is the first real Pokémon console game, I kinda wish this game were a full-on modern-tech 3D remake along the lines of Dragon Quest XI rather than a 2.5D remake that looks like it could have existed on a PS3-era console. That's the first and last complaint I've got about this otherwise very welcome game that I wasn't even expecting to be playing this week.

The Lass: Still super-hot.

Bulbasaur? Bulbasaur was here? WHERE?

No sign of Bulbasaur, but I got several dozen Metapods. This guy is very popular in Jamaica because of his hardness.

"Rock hard, 'mon! Rock hard!"

I got some Caterpies as well, and a Butterfree, and some Weedles and Kakunas, and Rattata, and Pidgey, and...

"Lions! Tigers! Bears! Oh my!"

Fun Fact: Bug Catcher Doug is not, in fact, the bug-catcher net kid from A Link to the Past.

...Which I'll totally resume soon.

That net is huge, BTW. It's almost like he's actually here to try to capture the Lass.

These trainer battles are where the traditional gameplay really shows itself. I actually prefer that random battles are just quick ball-toss minigames now; it saves a lot of time.

I've spent so much time looking for a Bulbasaur that Pikachu is now wildly over-leveled. I could probably defeat Brock easily with just this guy as it is. Worth noting: I've been quietly gathering an army of Pikachus, once the rare spawn of Viridian Forest.

Oh My God. It's...it's Bulbasaur. There he is. Alright, everyone be vewwwwy quiet.

……..What?

……………………..WHAT???

I go get more Poké Balls, and then it's back to the grind of trying to get another Bulbasaur to appear. It takes so long that I now have a FULL TEAM OF PIKACHUS.

FINALLY a second Bulbasaur shows up. I love the Gen 1 starters. Hopefully I can get Squirtle and Charmander soon too.

So basically, he's like a camel.

Pikachu hides and nearby elderly women board up their homes as The Generalisimo appears. He proceeds to mansplain to our hero that this city, like all cities, contains a gym. Thanks, but no thanks, Generalisimo! You make me ashamed to also one-strap my backpack, you vile monster!

A young version of the dad from American Pie welcomes us to the first gym. This is the home of BRRRRRROCK...well, his name is just Brock, as far as I know.

Weirdly enough, before you can enter the gym you have to show the guy a plant-type Pokémon. That's new. I've got a ton of those.

On the way to Brock we have to contend with Brock-acolytes (Brockolytes?) and their Geodude minions.

True-grit!

"Rock hard, 'mon! Rock hard!"

The Gen 1 boss theme has always been incredible, and this latest remix...

...well, listen for yourself.

I've got a secret weapon, and unleash Bulbasaur to demolish his Geodude with Vine Whip.

Onix is the real boss here, and I topple him with Pikachu's Double Kick move. That's right, I forgot about how Pikachu learns a Fighting-type move fairly early in Pokémon Yellow, probably specifically for this boss fight.

I like the idea of collecting Badges for traveling the world. It's very much a reference to the Boy Scouts and their practice of collecting badges for passing various tests.

Leave me alone, Generalisimo!

::nearby townspeople are seen shaking their heads in disgust at his arrival::

What? Who? And why do all of the main male characters in this game have breasts and super-tight pants?

Da ba dee da ba. This guy is better-known as Gary, the rival from from Gen 1 and the human embodiment of a wanking-in-the-air motion.

He doesn't do much here besides give the player some items and get that Eiffel 65 song stuck in their head.

My team for this game is looking very unconventional so far: Pikachu and his four Pikachu Juniors, plus Bulbasaur. I don't mind having a Pika-army until I can get some different minions.

I can't figure out if this main character is supposed to be hot or just adorb. On one hand, short shorts and what might be midriff showing. On the other hand, head half the size of body.

One thing is for sure...the hero holding onto Pikachu is ridiculously cute and brings the feels. It's about time we got a console Pokémon, and for that matter a Gen 1 remake for a new generation.

That's it for now, but I'll be doing more with this soon. In the meantime, here's more of Pikachu playing Ultra Street Fighter II!

Man, he's taking a thrashing! Poor Fei Long can't catch a break!

Hoooooooooooooly shit, I Pikachu just barely finished this game, huh?

I'll tell you what drove Fei Long to give up: He didn't want to be killed by Cammy's steel thighs.




1 comment:

  1. Given how easy it is to get all three proper starters, I'll say I'm in favor of his this game does it.

    It turns out that kid's favorite Pokemon... is Mewtwo.

    This game can be quite impressive looking sometimes, just wait for Erika's gym.

    I never saw Bulba here myself, but I imagine I could probably spawn them now with Super Lures.

    So... many... Pikas....

    Haha, he does look like Jim's dad.

    ReplyDelete