My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!
#8 Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee!
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
I love my mainline Pokémon games but I typically skip the spin-offs. While I do casually enjoy mobile AR game Pokémon GO, I was fully prepared to roll my eyes at what looked like a dumbed down, Pokémon GO-ified RPG.
I was happy to be very wrong – Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are charming and delightful recreations of the original Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow games. Adventuring through a fully 3D Kanto is a delicious nostalgia fest but it’s the little improvements that really kept me hooked, like being able to swap your party out on field, drop-in co-op, and not having to teach the critical Hidden Machine skills just to get around.
Random battles have been completely replaced with Pokémon GO‘s pokéball throwing minigame, and it’s honestly a really great change of pace. Collecting Pokémon becomes quick and rewarding rather than a slog, and we finally get to actually see Pokémon out in the field. I can be far more proactive and engaged in Pokémon hunting – with the benefit of also making the world of Kanto really come to life.
It’s a testament to how well designed that original 20 year old game is that this modern remake doesn’t have to change a whole lot to get me sucked in all over again. Yet all the changes and improvements are very welcome. I would love to see Let’s Go editions of each Pokémon generation.
My only complaint about the game – it released two weeks before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!