From taking players all the way back to Kanto region, to completely reworking the catching mechanics, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee goes a long way towards streamlining the Pokemon experience. Generally speaking, I like the direction the game went with this particular title, though I dearly miss seeing which moves will be super effective/not effective on the menu. However, I’m overjoyed for one particular thing from Sun and Moon that was dramatically changed in Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee.
As far as I’m aware of (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), Pokemon Sun and Moon introduced a petting mini game. Meant to help you develop a stronger bond between you and your Pokemon, you could feed them, pet them, and cure them of their ailments by brushing them with certain tools. By engaging with this mini game, you improved the stats of your Pokemon and gave them other special boosts, such as the ability to cling to life with 1 HP if they would have feinted otherwise.
On paper, this sounds fine. When you first engage with it, I will admit that it’s fun to see how the Pokemon react to your touch. This was neat for about…five minutes. After that, it becomes a necessary slog that completely derails the experience every 30 minutes because you now have to spend five minutes tending to your hungry Tyranitar and your sad Growlithe. There was so much to like about Sun and Moon, but this one addition to the game might have been the single most infuriating feature I’ve experienced in a Pokemon game to-date.
Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee handles interaction in a much better way. Interacting with your Pokemon is now an optional activity. You gain benefits from doing so, but you’re not penalized for leaving them in their Pokeballs. Your starter Pikachu or Eevee are the only Pokemon you can pet and feed, and it’s also optional. I enjoyed petting Pikachu once or twice because it’s so adorable, but I never got penalized for avoiding that mini game.
Best of all, you can get the benefits of interacting with your Pokemon in a much more meaningful and streamlined way. This time, you can walk alongside of any Pokemon. Doing so allows you to see them exist outside of the context of fighting, whether that’s Abra floating behind you, Bulbasaur finding items in a bush, or riding on Kangaskhan’s shoulder while Pikachu rides shotgun in the pouch. I love watching all of the different ways each Pokemon behave, but it also fits perfectly in step with my regular actions. I’m not stopping the game to see Chansey waddle about. I’m playing the game at a normal pace with the added benefit of watching my Chansey walk with me.
Instead of bringing the petting game back in full or taking it out completely, I think they found a way to achieve the goal of being able to interact with your Pokemon without breaking the flow of the game. This is a much better solution than feeding Koffing for the 100th time. It may take a while for me to wrap up Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee before I feel comfortable writing a full review, but I did want to get this one thought out there!