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  1. Site: http://www.pokemongo.com/en-us/ | http://pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/ Price: FREE / In-App Purchases | Pokémon GO Plus: $34.99 | What is Pokémon GO? | Pokémon GO Plus | System Requirements | Updates | Welcome to the Pokémon GO Discussion Thread! Here you can discuss the game, Pokémon GO PLUS, and, show off our Pokémon collection. Get out there and Catch 'em all! Events / Important News ⚡ Raikou appearing from Research Breakthroughs starting in Aug.! 🌎 8th monthly Community Day: Aug. 11th, 2-5pm ET (Feat. Eevee) 🎁 Friends, gifting, and trading Coming Soon! 🌴 Alolan Exeggutor now appearing! N4A Trainer Whitelist *If you would like to be added, post a pic of your Trainer Name & Trainer Code or post the example below. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex: N4A Name | Trainer Name | Trainer Code A: @alienboyva | alienboyva | Click Here for Code @Art_de_Cat | ArtdiCat | 7483 3472 0339 B: @blcdude1 | blcdude | 3880 7937 9699 D: @Dancing Mog | JoeCool8524 | 7745 0388 6407 @DLurkster | DLurkster | 1128 2188 8277 @Doc Brown | Digitalkarp | 3050 2025 4477 @DranSeasona | DranSeasona | 2626 3768 6669 E: @EH_STEVE | CheddaSpreada | 7439 0445 5766 @Ephraim | ??? | 9783 1635 5851 F: @Ferry | MisterFerry | 3094 0702 4801 @fuzz | ekshi | 4224 6213 2050 G: @gbwyoshi | gbwyoshi | 2375-5711-4152 @Gold | GoldenTempest | Click Here for Code I: @IU | Joe79109 | 4033 9917 0645. L: @L'Arachel | PriestessMitama | 9720 2715 6830 S: @Shadow118 | Shadow1118 | Click Here for Code @Surge135 | LtSurge135 | Click Here for Code Trailers: What is Pokémon GO? Pokémon GO is a mobile game from Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and developed by Niantic Labs that let players go out in the real world and catch Pokémon. The game uses various geo-cached points in which a Pokémon may appear at. Depending on where you are/live different Pokémon will appear. Ex: Water Pokémon will appear near rivers, lakes, and oceans. During their journey, players will come across Poké Stops, in which they can collect free items and gyms in which they can battle at (*Note* battling is very basic and is not to be expect to be like the in main Pokémon games). In a future update players will be given the ability to trade with others. For a good idea of how the game works, Check out Nintendo's E3 discussion with the devs of the game (see spoiler below). *Note game requires Internet (mobile data/Wi-Fi) and location services* More Screens: http://imgur.com/a/WKiC2 Pokémon GO Plus is a device created by Nintendo that lets players enjoy the game while freeing their eyes from their phone. The device connects to your phone via low energy Bluetooth and will flash and vibrate when a Pokémon or Poké Stop is near by, so you can catch Pokémon or collect items without the need to use your phone. *Please Note* Pokémon GO Plus currently only uses Poké Balls and when connected, will enable the game to run in the background. With the game running in the background you can do other things on your phone or turn the screen off, while still being notified of nearby pokémon, PokéStops, and track your distance. Pokémon GO Plus Quick Start Guide: Misc. Pics: *More in spoiler below* Videos: System Requirements Pokémon GO: Android Android 4.4 to Android 6.0.1 (Android N will not supported until the official Android release) Preferred resolution of 720x1280 pixels (Not optimized for tablet) Strong internet connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G) GPS and Location Services Intel CPUs are not supported iOS iPhone 5+ iOS 8+ Strong internet connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G) GPS and Location Services Jailbroken devices are not supported Link: https://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/221958248-Supported-devices Pokémon GO Plus: iOS Compatible with iPhone® 5 / 5c / 5s / SE / 6 / 6s /6 Plus / 6s Plus devices with iOS Ver. 8–9 installed. Not compatible with 5th generation iPod Touch devices or iPhone 4S or earlier iPhone devices. Compatibility with tablet devices is not guaranteed. Compatibility is not guaranteed for all devices. Android Compatible with Android devices that have 2 GB RAM or more, have Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth Ver. 4.0 or higher) capability, and have Android Ver. 4.4–6.0 installed. Not compatible with Android devices that use Intel Atom processors. Compatibility with tablet devices is not guaranteed. Application may not run on certain devices even if they have compatible OS versions installed. Notes It is recommended to play while connected to a 3G/4G network in order to obtain accurate location information. Compatibility is not guaranteed for devices without GPS capabilities or devices that are connected only to Wi-Fi networks. Compatibility information may be changed at any time on either iOS or Android platforms. Information current as of July 13, 2016 Link: http://www.pokemongo.com/en-us/pokemon-go-plus/ Updates Latest Update(s): 3/22/2017 - Make a Splash, Trainers! 2/15/2017 - Our World Is Expanding—Over 80 More Pokémon and New Features Are Coming! 2/8/2017 - Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Us! Previous updates: 12/12/2016 - More Pokémon and a limited edition Pikachu are coming to Pokémon GO 12/8/2016 - Hello, Starbucks! 12/7/2016 - Join us in welcoming Sprint as the first Pokémon GO United States partner 12/6/2016 - Pokémon GO updated to version 0.49.1 for Android and 1.19.1 for iOS 11/30/2016 - The Nearby feature expands reach 11/21/2016 - Adjustments to the Combat Power of Various Pokémon 11/21/2016 - A Celebration to Say Thank You 11/6/2016 - Pokémon GO updated to version 0.45.0 for Android and 1.15.0 for iOS 11/2/2016 - More bonuses, more fun! Daily bonuses are coming... 10/24/2016 - Halloween is approaching... 10/23/2016 - Pokémon GO updated to version 0.43.3 for Android and 1.13.3 for iOS 10/10/2016 - Pokémon GO updated to version 0.41.2 for Android and 1.11.2 for iOS 10/6/2016 - Gym Training Just Got Easier... 10/5/2016 - Earn a New Capture Bonus to Increase the Odds of Catching Rare Pokémon 9/22/2016 - Pokémon GO updated to version 0.39.0 for Android and 1.9.0 for iOS
  2. Official Pokemon Sword/Shield Shiny Thread This thread is dedicated to pokemon trainers shiny successes in the Gen 8 games. Keep it simple and post your shiny red starred mons here! To start off with, here is a Shiny Toxel!
  3. I haven't watched the anime since it was on Kids WB, but as someone who has watched the anime from the start, back when the PKMN craze first hit the U.S., this is really sad to hear. T_T Though, this would make since, because come to find out Ash became a PKMN World Champion in the most recent series. I'll never forget that first episode when at first Pikachu was a little shit and hated Ash. Farewell Ash and Pikachu!!! May you always be best buddies! ^_^
  4. I've been waiting for this and I would say it mostly delivers... The Canadian Godzilla, eh? killed me lmao.
  5. We're finally going to get our first look at the Super Mario Bros. animated movie!... Odd that our first look will be at New York Comic Con. I would have totally expect our first look to have been in a Nintendo Direct. Hopefully we'll get our first full trailer in a Nintendo Direct.
  6. Thought to make a separate thread to discuss this somewhat in-depth trailer. How's it looking so far?
  7. Decided to make Legends Arceus dedicated fully to this game and everything in it. Feel free to post any experiences, tip or general talk about this game. For the time being, for those who played far into this game, please use spoilers. I won't post anything spoiler-y a week after this thread is created. Enjoy!
  8. --------------------------------------------------------- TPC is having a special Pokémon Presents on Pokémon Day this year... Are we finally going to hear about PKMN Sleep?
  9. For me, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is a momentous release. I played Gen I and II back when I was a kid, but fell off the Poké-train and didn't pick the series up again until Gen V. In 2014 I had the chance to see what I missed in Gen III with the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire remakes, and I've finally caught up on Gen IV as well. Now I've played every mainline Pokémon generation, as well as plenty of spin-offs (I'm a long way off from catching 'em all, though). Was Shining Pearl worth the long wait I took with the franchise? Well, for better or for worse, it's a lot of the same Pokémon experience that trainers have seen for decades now. As is tradition, Shining Pearl opens with customizing your character and picking a starter Pokémon to begin your quest to be the very best, like no one ever was. Your first meeting with the Pokémon professor plays out a little bit differently than usual, but ultimately the formula is pretty well preserved—collect badges, battle a nefarious group (in this case, Team Galactic), challenge the Elite 4 and become a champion. It's not until the later generations that the villainous team or your rival get much more than a basic personality, so don't expect much depth from the writing in Shining Pearl. Still, there's a certain charm to the simplicity of these cookie cutter characters. Catching, training, and battling Pokémon is as engaging as it ever has been in Shining Pearl—there's definitely something addictive about leveling up to the next Pokémon evolution, or claiming another badge on your road to become a champion. And of course all your training and experience can be put toward multiplayer battles if you wish, or you can just trade Pokémon with players all over the world to fill out your Pokédex. The core gameplay is virtually unchanged, and it's still pretty dang fun. These remakes of Diamond and Pearl include some extremely convenient quality of life upgrades, not least of which is changing the HM system. Like the most current Pokémon games, you no longer have to force Hidden Moves upon your Pokémon in order to explore. Once you have the HM (and the appropriate gym badge level) you'll actually summon a random Pokémon to use the ability for you, which is kind of hilarious to picture. Shining Pearl also allows you to access your PC box from anywhere which is super convenient and makes it much easier to have a larger "active" party of Pokémon instead of just sticking to the same six all the time. EXP Share is also on by default in this game which is nice, though somewhat obnoxiously there's no way to turn it off, so you'll likely find yourself completely overleveled for most of the adventure (especially if you're catching/training a lot of pocket monsters). There's also an autosave feature—plus you can save anywhere—so there's a big safety net to ensure you don't lose any progress. Overall these new features significantly help shake off some of the old quirks of the early Pokémon games and align the experience with something a modern player would expect. That said, Shining Pearl does feel a bit old fashioned at times, seemingly because this is a pretty faithful remake. Sometimes the familiar Pokémon formula loses its charm when it's just: visit new town, defeat gym leader, fight Team Galactic a bit, move on, repeat. It doesn't help that there's a pretty weak variety of Pokémon here, meaning you'll see the same ones over and over, both in the wild and in the hands of trainers/gym leaders, so the monotony really gets laid on thick. Something else about the game could've used some fine-tuning to make the experience feel a bit more fresh, aside from the quality of life improvements mentioned above. Of course, if you do get hooked on the Pokémon formula, there's a huge amount of content to enjoy in Shining Pearl. The road to becoming a champion will likely only last 20 hours or so, but as usual there's a ton of post-game content to enjoy as well as all of the multiplayer options. Of note is the Grand Underground system which essentially gives you a massive environment to explore and catch Pokémon—not too dissimilar from the usual gameplay loop, but being able to find themed areas and see Pokémon in the environment instead of running into them in random battles helps spice things up a bit and provides a great opportunity to catch some rare Pokémon. The Underground kind of feels like Pokémon distilled down to its most essential components, which really just shows how fun those components are. Shining Pearl trades the original game's sprite graphics for squat, chibi 3D models that feel appropriate for the Pokémon franchise's cute, friendly style. It doesn't have the same variety of the most recent generation, Sword and Shield, but the chibi artwork tries to find a happy medium between the original's look and modern graphics, and in that sense it does succeed. The soundtrack stands the test of time quite well and has that satisfying sense of adventure mixed with bright, friendly charm that is found in so much of the series. Pokémon Shining Pearl is a solid if rather unambitious remake. It's not here to completely overhaul Gen IV into something modern Gen VIII will recognize, but it still adds some valuable quality of life improvements that help make it more accessible. Despite that, many aspects of Shining Pearl feel stuck in the past, which is fine if you're here to enjoy a trip down memory lane (with some visual upgrades) but some Pokémon trainers might not want to revisit some of the more finicky aspects of the older generations. Still, the franchise has endured as long as it has because catching and training Pokémon seems to always be fun no matter what kind of packaging that experience is placed in, and for many Pokéfans that will be enough to journey through Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl either once again or, like me, for the first time. Rating: 8 out of 10 Gym Badges
  10. Available on Pokémon TV (Switch/mobile) Episode 3: Episode 2: Episode 1:
  11. Yeah, they nickname all the Pokemon that appear in this remake. All I'm gonna say is, the 2 fish looking shocked and what their nicknames are, really got to me.
  12. The free Pokémon TV app is now available on Switch... While it's cool to see more streaming apps on Switch, where's Netflix? ...And wasn't Disney+ supposed to come when they announced the app? BTW, I feel they should have put the app's name on PKMN TV's Switch icon. It's basically just the mobile app's icon.
  13. New Pokemon Snap Gallery Thread A place for players to share their photos and galleries for the new Pokemon Snap Game.
  14. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2020/11/it_looks_like_kadabra_can_finally_return_to_the_pokemon_trading_card_game Could this mean Porygon might be returning to the anime soon?
  15. A presentation on PKMN SW/SH expansion pt 2 will be shown off tomorrow morning. The release will most likely be revealed along with expanded look at the features we know will be Crown Tundra.
  16. I think this was leaked early this morning. EDIT: This article on Polygon have better coverage of this and a Twitter thread of this in English. https://www.polygon.com/2020/10/22/21528532/pokemon-sword-shield-leak-beta-prototype-early-build-cut-monsters-nintendo-switch-game-freak-4chan You can hear beta theme 2 the gym battle themes in the articles too. Apparently this beta was made in 2018, so that explains the Let's GO! and S/M elements. As Ultra S/M came out the year prior and Let's GO! came out the same year. Interesting.
  17. Release Date: June 23rd *Pre-load now (Switch/Mobile)* Site: https://cafemix.pokemon.com/en-us/ Price: FREE (In-App Purchases) Complete touch-based puzzles to serve dishes and drinks to adorable Pokémon customers! Link together Pokémon™ icons to clear puzzles as you work to build up your very own café in Pokémon Café Mix, a free-to-start game for the Nintendo Switch™ system! Meet the goals for each puzzle before you run out of turns—link a certain number of icons, get a high score, or even destroy sugar cubes to serve up Pokémon themed menu items. Meet and grow your café staff of charming Pokémon eager to help Recruit Pokémon to help out at the café (in their adorable uniforms) by building friendship and expand your café and menu offerings by completing puzzles. Each Pokémon staff member has a Café Skill that will come in handy during puzzles! Golden Acorns can help you complete puzzles and recruit more Pokémon! Earn or purchase Golden Acorns, the in-game currency, and redeem them to regain hearts, continue puzzles, and get helpful items. As you complete puzzles to build a world-class café, you’ll face obstacles such as sugar cubes, dollops of whipped cream, and tomatoes! Use your puzzle skills to clear them and employ the help of Pokémon’s Café Skills for some extra oomph! In addition to Café Skills, each Pokémon staff member has a specialty. Match a Pokémon’s specialty with the dish or drink you are making for bonuses in puzzles. Once a day you can invite two randomly-selected Pokémon to your café. Looking for a specific Pokémon to join your staff? With Golden Acorns you can refresh this selection. In addition to recruiting more Pokémon staff members and growing your collection of menu items, the café itself will expand as you play! Getting new tools or having areas added to your café may even draw in more customers. All the action in Pokémon Café Mix unfolds in a playful art style that brings out the cuteness of your Pokémon pals and patrons. It’s time to become a café owner, solve puzzles, and bring joy to Pokémon patrons! --------------------------------------------------------------------- Is anyone going to download this? I really like the art style, but I'm not sold on the gameplay with that stirring mechanic. It seems like there's not much strategie and that it's mostly just dumb luck. Also, it sucks you can only play in handheld mode. I'll give it a try when it comes out, because I absolutely loved PKMN Shuffle on the 3DS and was hoping it would get ported or a sequel would come to Switch. Here's hoping Café Mix is just as good!
  18. Nice to see that Nintendo/TPC's ninja's caught the leaker, though I can't get over the fact that the outlet is called FNintendo. ...FNINTENDO!!!
  19. Well, this is now a thing... IDK what it is with Nintendo and ASMR lately. First there was that video of a guy making a level in SMM2 at the beach and then there was that video of a Labo kit being put together. Now, TPC has jumped in and created their own ASMR videos. These are oddly adorable! I kind of want to see... Or should I say hear? ...More of these now. BTW, is it just me, or dose anyone else have a strange craving for cookies all of a sudden?
  20. Pokémon Sword and Shield are landmark games in the franchise. No, not because of the controversy surrounding the fact that the total number of Pokémon has been significantly pared down (though that is an important change for the franchise, considering the series is inching closer and closer to Pokémon number 1,000). Generation VIII is the first time a core Pokémon game has graced an HD home console—and yeah, despite its dual nature the Switch counts as a home console. Presumably, unless Nintendo surprises us all with the Nintendo 4DS, this will be the new standard going forward for the series, so Sword and Shield represent the start of a new era of Pokémon. How does that new era look so far? Well, an awful lot like the past twenty years. I'm not going to pretend like Pokémon has ever been a series that's too concerned with storytelling, but even by the standards of the franchise the plot of Sword and Shield feels a bit simple. You've got your quest to become the new Pokémon Champion, your rival following alongside you every step of the way, and a bothersome team of ne'er-do-wells—in this case, Team Yell—popping up along your journey, but it feels like the stakes of the story are lower than ever before. It honestly feels like the developers simply felt obliged to include these familiar elements out of habit, especially since the best parts of the game's story is the way the quest to become Champion has been revamped. The entire Gym Challenge is presented as more of a professional sports event, with Gym Leader battles taking place in stadiums packed full of cheering fans. It may not seem like a huge change from past games but it truly gives the whole concept of Pokémon battling a more grand and social vibe—in Galar these battles are an event, a facet of society, and the energy and excitement that comes with that is infectious. If the story/writing of Sword and Shield shows anything, it's that the future of Pokémon needs to move away from the tropes that have defined past generations and find new, novel hooks for future games. Similarly, the gameplay is a mix of the familiar and the new. After your initial choice of a grass-, fire-, or water-type starter (in my case, the water-type Sobble) you're let loose on the Galar region to catch, train, and battle every Pokémon you come across. The loop this represents is as addictive and entertaining as ever—it's always particularly satisfying to watch a weak Pokémon grow into its much more powerful evolved form. The major addition in Sword and Shield is the Wild Area, an expansive region in the middle of Galar that operates a little differently than the typical routes. You can find Pokémon in the tall grass like usual, but you'll also see them wandering around freely along the paths (these are generally more powerful, evolved Pokémon). Being able to see the Pokémon just wandering around is a fun change in and of itself, but having the freedom to find such a wide variety of Pokémon, including evolved forms, adds a real novelty to the experience. You're not just seeing the same monsters over and over along one narrow route (though, incidentally, there's a lot of that in Sword and Shield as well). The Wild Area feels more organic, especially because of the way the selection of Pokémon changes with the weather, which makes it a much more interesting place to explore and revisit throughout the game. It also makes the task of catching 'em all a little bit easier since so many monsters are collected into one area, which is great for anyone hoping to find a particular favorite. The Wild Area represents such a welcome change for the Pokémon franchise that it's kind of a shame that it's only one part of Galar, and the rest of the game still has you exploring traditional, linear routes. Additionally, there are also special dens in the Wild Area where you can take on a Max Raid Battle either solo (with AI companions) or with friends online. Raids put you up against a single, powerful Dynamaxed Pokémon, which is a pretty fun way of adding a social, co-operative element to traditional Pokémon battles. Dynamax is essentially Sword and Shield's version of Mega Evolution, though Dynamax lasts only three turns and turns all of a Pokémon's abilities into more powerful versions, often with special effects like changing the weather or affecting stats (though the attacks also lose any special effects that they originally had, such as status ailments, duration, etc.). Sure, in some ways Dynamaxing is just the latest flavor of Mega Evolution—kind of like how Z-moves were in Sun and Moon—but it's undeniably fun to watch your Pokémon grow to a humongous size and dish out extra-powerful attacks. Dynamaxing during Gym Leader battles is pretty much always a thrilling moment in the match—as mentioned above, it adds a feeling of spectacle and excitement that perfectly encapsulates what it feels like to play Pokémon as a kid. Sword and Shield also includes a variety of small additions and adjustments, most of which are welcome improvements. For example, you're now able to access your Pokémon Boxes from anywhere, which is such an obvious convenience that it's almost surprising that it wasn't added to an earlier game. Similarly, you can now make Pokémon forget/remember attacks from any Pokémon Center for free—another welcome quality of life change that makes experimentation so much easier. A slight negative for Sword and Shield though is the fact that Experience Share is now always active. It doesn't really make sense to make something that was once optional now mandatory, especially since this generation is pretty easy to begin with. There's also a new side mode for interacting with your Pokémon called Pokémon Camp that lets you set up a tent and play with the critters in your active party. You can even cook curry for them in a short mini-game. It's cute and silly, though cooking does have a valuable benefit—eating will restore a portion of every Pokémon's health, and even grant some extra experience points. Players that enjoy connecting with the Pokémon will find camping a cute pastime. The main adventure in Sword and Shield feels a bit shorter compared to past generations, but you can still expect around twenty hours or so on your journey to become the Pokémon Champion. There is of course plenty of post-game content as well, including battling and trading online, or just catching 'em all in the Galar region. Finally, I feel like I should address the National Dex controversy that has plagued discussion of Sword and Shield for the past few months. Several hundred Pokémon have been cut from the roster, for 400 creatures in total (including 81 new Pokémon and 13 regional variants). Personally I don't have a dog in this race, as completing the National Dex has never been a priority for my Pokémon adventures, so I can only say that the smaller number of Pokémon in Sword and Shield in no way affected my experience or enjoyment of the main adventure. The selection of monsters feels perfectly fine as is, with a balanced selection of interesting Pokémon and useful type combinations. With the HD fidelity of the Switch, Pokémon looks bigger and better than ever. Okay, it's still Pokémon, and the familiar art style of the series isn't exactly pushing the limits of the console's hardware, but Sword and Shield really do look great—the visual of a packed stadium watching a Pokémon Dynamax into an enormous size is exciting every time it happens. The game's frame rate does lag at times, notably in the Wild Area, but overall the game runs well. The soundtrack, however, is never disappointing. There are a ton of fantastic songs here, but my highlight has to be the Gym Leader battle music. When the crowd gets amped up and starts chanting and cheering—it's enough to give any Pokémon trainer chills. (Seriously it's worth just listening to it right here) Putting aside all of the controversies surrounding Pokémon Sword and Shield, at the end of the day it's still the Pokémon game we know and love. That's both the upside and downside here. Catching, training, and battling pocket monsters is as fun as its ever been, but anyone looking for a drastic change thanks to the leap to a home console will be a little disappointed. Aside from some new bells and whistles, most notably the Wild Area, this is simply another Pokémon game—for many aspiring Pokémon Masters that will be enough, but anyone hoping for a significant leap forward for the franchise may be disappointed. Still, Sword and Shield may ultimately be a step in the right direction for the Pokémon series, but time will tell. Rating: 8 out of 10 Dynamax Pokémon
  21. PKMN Home: I take it this is the next evolution of PKMN Bank on 3DS? PKMN Sleep: So, is this what became of Nintendo's QoL project? I remember hearing they were working on a sleep device. Interesting that this will device will also have GO + functionality. *My thoughts on the actual device HERE <-- Detective Pikachu (Switch): Nice to see an new Detec. Pika game coming to Switch. I wonder if this will be more in-line with the recent movie than the 3DS game?
  22. Twenty years after Pokémon Red and Blue launched in North America, sparking a wildfire of Pokémania in children across the US, Game Freak is ready to do it all over again with Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! For many of us this will be a trip down memory lane as the games are enhanced remakes of Pokémon Yellow, but the game also represents a meeting point between traditional Pokémon trainers and Pokémon GO fans, as some of the mobile game's features are recreated here. No matter how the details change though, the core Pokémon adventure remains wonderfully charming and addictive. Let's Go, Pikachu! is essentially a retelling of Pokémon Yellow, so once again you have Pikachu as your main partner and Team Rocket's Jessie and James pop up as you explore Kanto and collect the eight gym badges needed to challenge the Pokémon League. While it would've been nice to have perhaps some of the story beats be a little different, there's something to be said for the charming simplicity of the writing here. After all, if this is meant to be an introductory game to the main series of Pokémon, perhaps it helps to keep things basic. Just like in every Pokémon game you capture wild monsters, train them to do your bidding, then pit them in battle against one another (but in a cute way). However, in this game you don't actually battle wild Pokémon, and don't have to weaken them in order to capture them. Instead, wild Pokémon are visible on the map, and when you touch them you're given a chance to simply catch them directly by placating them with berries and throwing Poké Balls at them—literally, thanks to the motion controls. This will feel more natural to Pokémon GO players but for veterans it's an adjustment, especially given how this new method can feel both finnicky and a little boring after a while, especially the way the game encourages you to capture duplicates as well. It's not entirely a bad change but it does reduce some of the game's challenge. And that's a theme throughout Let's Go, Pikachu! Small details have been adjusted to make the game friendlier to new players and erase some of the more technical video game-esque" elements. For example, you no longer have to use a PC to access your Pokémon Box—your entire collection is available to you at any given moment. There's no need to prepare a team of six to take on a certain route, cave, or gym because you can swap out your current six-Pokémon party between any battle. You also don't need to worry about using Hidden Machines (HMs) for the vital abilities that allow you to explore (such as cut, surf, or strength) because Pikachu will learn these abilities without wasting a slot on his four-ability move list. And for most gyms you can't even challenge the gym unless you have a Pokémon of an advantageous type or are at a certain level. Again, none of these are bad changes—they're all done to the benefit of the player—but they show how Let's Go, Pikachu! has been simplified for less experienced players. Pro trainers might scoff at some of these—and frankly the original games weren't so difficult that they really need all of these adjustments—but they're undeniably helpful and can mostly be avoided if you want to maintain a more classic sense of challenge. Possibly the biggest way that Let's Go, Pikachu! makes things easier is the fact that a second player can jump in to play along at just about any point in the game. Player Two can also throw Poké Balls at wild Pokémon and even join in battle using one of your six main party Pokémon. Such 2v1 battles can be overwhelmingly easy but still, this is a fun way to get another player involved without the need for an entire second Switch/game. It's a perfect way to help out inexperienced players or just pique someone else's curiosity about the game, and since you only need one Joy-Con to play you don't even need a second set of controllers. It's a great way for Pokémon to embrace a more accessible approach for any player. Speaking of controllers though, that might be the one area that Let's Go, Pikachu! went a little overboard on the new features. You only need one Joy-Con to play, which is pretty neat, but frankly not terribly comfortable to hold sometimes, and the game flat out doesn't support the Pro Controller. You also have to use motion controls when throwing Poké Balls at wild critters which is novel the first few times but quickly grows tiresome, especially since throwing isn't super accurate—you can aim left and right but it always felt pretty inconsistent to me. The only way to use more traditional controls is playing in handheld mode, though of course that means you don't get to enjoy Pokémon on the big screen; it really is a shame that even using the Pro Controller isn't an option in this game. The game's presentation might best be described as aggressively cute. This may not be the series' first foray into 3D models, but as the first HD home console title it's certainly a landmark entry, one that does a great job of capturing the charm of Pokémon in smooth HD without overdoing it on unnecessary frills. Instead it's the perfect translation of what we remember Kanto being like, even though we played it all those years ago in pixely monochrome. And being able to get up close and pet Pikachu is simply too cute. The soundtrack also does a great job of modernizing the classic tunes of the series, capturing the same fun, bubbly, exciting background music that we remember. The adventure is pretty much exactly the same as Pokémon Yellow, which means conquering the Elite Four of the Pokémon League takes about twenty hours or so. There are, of course, more things to do if you want to truly be a Pokémon master, including post-game challenges, collecting every Pokémon, and trading/battling online. The online interface could be a little more robust here—it seems like in an effort to keep things simple the developers went too far and made it a little more tedious than necessary to find the specific trade you want—but even so there's more than enough gameplay here to satisfy any Pokémon Trainer. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! perfectly accomplishes what it set out to do: create a happy medium between Pokémon GO's more casual, capture-focused gameplay and the traditional main series Pokémon games. That means it's simplified some of the core aspects of the franchise's gameplay and includes a few features that make the whole journey much more forgiving, but these concessions don't spoil the enduring charm of capturing, training, trading, and battling pocket monsters. And for those of us that grew up on the original gen I games, Let's Go, Pikachu! also provides an adorably endearing trip down memory lane. Rating: 8 out of 10 Poké Balls
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