Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu, Finale - Ask Your Doctor About PP Max

Time for some postgame as we conclude the remake of the year. ...from last year. Man, this took a while to get back to.

After defeating the final boss, a number of new things occur in the game world. New battles, new objectives, and so forth.

 Cataluña is totally tripping balls right now.

First and foremost, we now have "elite trainer" mirror match fights where you can pit one of your Pokémon against a level 75 uber-version for fun and prizes. The only one I bothered with was Pikachu, seen here. Most of these mirror match fights are virtually unwinnable unless you've leveled up to at least 70, and most of them are a matter of using Toxic (the best DoT in the game) and turtling up while it wins the fight for you.

There are a ton of these fights, too, and each one requires separately leveling up another 'mon. Some of them won't even allow you to fight until the 'mon is LEVEL 90. In particular, the Legendary Bird fights. Which is unfortunate because aside from Pikachu, the Legendary Birds were the only other fights I was interested in trying / thought I could win. Then the game was all "lol u gotta be level 90 looser"

As far as postgame content goes, this is meh.

::cut to Commander Kruge yelling "GET OUTTA THERE!!!"::

There are a couple of new areas available too. First and foremost is the Power Plant. Not sure if this was accessible earlier and I just never got around to it, but it seems like it unlocked after the final battle. Didn't look like I could reach it before that, even though in previous iterations of Gen 1 it was reachable much earlier.

Heisenberg lurks in the depths of the plant. I wonder what he's cooking up down here.

The boss in the Power Plant is, of course...

...ZAPDOS, the final legendary bird. This guy is, obviously, electric. It's a role already filled by Pikachu, so he might well end up on the bench with Moltres.

Still, gonna catch 'em. It's another boss fight where you need to subdue your foe before the ball-throwing minigame.

Pikachu actually does the lion's share of the damage since he has that one attack that always-crits.

The ball-throwing minigame has become a real hassle at this point. I spent a few minutes throwing balls at this guy while he escaped from all of them. Any vague ideas I had of catching 'em all in this version went out the window once I realized how tedious it is to capture any of the stronger / rarer 'mons. Can we just go back to them being easy to catch at low health? At the very least, you can make them easier to catch by throwing berries to them. Even that only goes so far though.

Zapdos is acquired, which gives me all of the legendary birds.

Elsewhere in the Power Plant is the mirror match trainer for Zapdos. He won't let me challenge him unless mine is level 90, though. It was baffling having him say this right after I got Zapdos to begin with, immediately making my new legendary bird seem weak.

Next stop: Cerulean Cave. This place definitely wasn't reachable earlier.

Ask your doctor about PP Max!

Zapdos might be the coolest-looking of the bird trio. It's too bad he starts at a mere level 50, which is a problem with all of the legendary birds. It isn't too bad with Articuno since you get him early and level 50 is actually above-average for that point. However, Moltres and Zapdos are both underpowered by 5-10 levels by the time you get them, which immediately hampers their usefulness.

Cerulean Cave is pretty nice-looking in this version, and home to more high-powered 'mons.

PP Max: At drugstores everywhere! Check the vitamin aisle!

Man, they're really pushing PP Max all of a sudden. How much is Big Pharma paying you, Nintendo?

The big boss here is none other than the strongest Pokémon of Gen 1...

...the bastardly Mewtwo. This guy always reminded me of Freeza for some reason. I wonder where he stacks up against some of the other great Pokémon in the series canon. As far as I know he was never surpassed as the strongest of all Pokémon, but I know the other gens have their own super-legendaries like Deoxys and Arceus.

This, like the legendary bird fights, requires that you defeat him in battle before you can capture him. Right now I don't have a chance. I'll need to come back with Toxic and a party strong enough to survive while the DoT whittles him down. That's right, we'll have to gimp this. Can't believe how strong he is, but a lot of that is due to my lower levels.

Which brings me to the main lategame issue with the Let's Go remake: The capture mechanic gets so tedious later on that farming exp is nowhere near the easy matter it was in previous versions of Gen 1, which makes leveling up past 55 or so for the postgame into a massive chore.

I'll need to go get some more levels somehow though. And the best bet for that? Gym Leader rematches. That's right, you can defend your championship against all of the bosses again, only now their Pokémon are much higher level.

Is that you, Sable?

Brock's powered up for the rematch. This should be good.


Bulbasaur was the best starter against this guy in the OG game. Here we've got Bulbasaur's final form versus a level 56 Onix. It's a great callback.

A Pokémon Breeder? What kind of sicko is this guy? Let's just get going.

After defeating a bunch of Gym Leaders a second time and gaining quite a few levels in the process, I'm ready for Mewtwo. This time, I've got Toxic and enough HP/speed to actually hit him with it before he one-shots anyone.

After the fight is the capture minigame, and there's no better time for the Master Ball. I nearly used this on Zapdos in frustration, glad I didn't.

There's no escaping the Master Ball. Given what an ordeal Zapdos was to catch, I can't imagine how bad this would have been if I tried to capture him normally. Spent upwards of 5 minutes straight lobbing Pokéballs at Zapdos.

The Master Ball is kind of goofy, and looks like Cee-Lo Green. Other than that, this is probably the crowning achievement of the game. Mewtwo can one-shot a LOT of things with his psychic attacks, and starts at level 70. This makes him the ultimate ringer.

After the defeat of Mewtwo, Generalisimo brings tidings of a gutsy girl who now lurks in Cerulean Cave. Sounds like she was on her way to capture Mewtwo before being usurped by our hero. THIS is new.

He gives Cataluña a trio of ropes to tie up the girl when she finds her. That isn't how we do things, Generalisimo! Get outta here!

In Cerulean Cave, we find the gutsy girl in question.

She immediately beans our hero in the head with a Pokéball.

Fun Fact: Green is the counterpart to Red (Ash) and Blue (Gary). I believe she's supposed to be the female main character from Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen, which brings Gen 1 full circle.

Nope, I already got Mewtwo. SO SORRY. Now we must battle.

In addition to being a 22 year old in the game (at that age I'm surprised she isn't a general or something), Green stands out from the other MCs because SHE'S the one with the third Pokéball from the beginning of the other Gen 1 games. That's right. I've wondered for years what the deal was with Professor Oak's third starter. Who got it? Wonder no more, because it was the chick from FireRed/LeafGreen. ...this is all very confusing. Let's just move on.

In other words, she's got the 'Mon weak to Ash's, which in the canon is Bulbasaur, and strong against Gary's Charmander. Which makes them a rock/paper/scissors of sorts. Cataluña and Generalisimo are outside of this triangle, as the canon holders of Pikachu/Eevee. Except that Ash also has Pikachu. Which is THE Pikachu? Are they both? Are all Pikachus...Pikachu?

She also sports the cutest outfit in the game. No other trainer has got anything on Green's look.

She's probably the third-highest level postgame trainer fight, maybe even the second. That said, the fight really isn't that difficult. Even though her Pokémon might have an average level of 67, they aren't really optimized like the Elite Four and have easily-exploited weaknesses.

She then makes an offer we can easily refuse: Both Cataluña and Mewtwo join her and become her newest Pokémen. Is she a loon?

That isn't it for Green. She'll be back. She's probably the most interesting thing in this postgame.

On to the next uberboss. Gary/Blue, the new Gym 8 leader, is far stronger than any of the other Redux Leaders. His Pokémon are just a level or two below Green's, and tend to be much stronger 'Mons.

Oh, and boss fights now make full use of all six Pokémon, too. Luckily, I've got enough levels and a balanced enough party to defeat Gary. He's even stronger than the Elite Four Redux. Yep, that's a thing too.

Somewhere in here I also mopped up the other Gym Leader rematches. Most of them topped out around level 57 and weren't very difficult at this point.

The Elite Four Redux tops out at around level 62. So to sum up:

Elite Four originally: Level 52ish
Postgame Gym Leader Rematches: Level 54-57ish
Elite Four Rematches: Level 62ish
Blue/Gary: Level 66-67
Green: Level 67-68
The Final Boss: Level 85

There are some formidable 'Mons here, but it turns out Mewtwo can one-shot almost all of them. He gains a bunch of levels in the process, which makes him even more of a one-shot machine.

Lance now has the power of Mega Evolution. Aside from Mewtwo, the rest of my team is still catching up on levels.

This time Lance doesn't spoil it. Who will it be? WHAT SURPRISES ARE IN STORE?

...oh, it's this guy again. He's powered up like the Elite Four, but not very different from the first fight with him. Blue and Green are both stronger foes.

After all of that, there's another, second fight with Green. I was hoping she'd be powered-up here and pose a true endgame threat, because truth be told I just really like fighting Green.

Unfortunately it's more or less the exact same fight as before, same levels and everything. Oh well. Mewtwo pretty much rolls this fight, though I send out my level 63 Venusaur to defeat her level 68 signature Blastoise.


Well, there's one final thing to do in the game, and I'm not going to be doing it. It's just too tedious. In order to reach the final boss fight with Red/Ash, you need to win a bunch of Master Trainer mirror match fights with your various Pokémon. I already went over how tedious these are, and how tedious leveling for them is. I got this team as powerful as I could from boss fights (62 average among non-Mewtwo party members), and it's still about 18-20 levels short of being able to pose a threat to Red's level 85 team.

No intention of farming ball-throwing minigames for 6 hours to make up the difference. Mewtwo, at 73, is closer to being a threat but he'd still need another 7-10 or so levels himself to really be effective against Red's lineup and even he can't run the gauntlet solo. Not only is Red's lineup level 85 which is vastly, vastly higher than anything else to this point, it's also very well optimized. They could have probably just had him be level 70 and it would have been a smooth flow from the previous fights to him. Oh well. They did the same thing with him in Gen 2. I was willing to grind up to fight him then because exp wasn't tied to a ball-throwing minigame.

Since I'm skipping it, here it is on YouTube. His signature Pokémon is, of course, Pikachu. What gets me is that he doesn't even get boss music, or a special tune, or anything. Just normal trainer music, like he's just some random guy and not the former champion. ...or whatever the canon is supposed to be at this point.

Regardless, that's Let's Go Pikachu. All things considered it was a pretty fun remake even though it didn't really do much that was new (aside from finally letting you pet Pikachu, which can't be understated). Hopefully there's more innovation for the upcoming Pokémon Sword/Shield.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, you could visit the power plant earlier, you just never needed to go there and it's a little out of the way.

    I hope I never have to waggle a pokeball ever again.

    Is Green a loon? ...yes.

    Yeah, I wasn't about gaining another 35 levels at the end of SoulSilver either. Good game though.