Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are the first Pokémon games to launch solely for the Nintendo Switch, and are a terrific experience for both veterans and newcomers to the series. However, it’s also exceptionally difficult to define exactly what category of game these titles fit under. The Pokémon Let’s Go games are technically remakes of Pokémon Yellow, which is itself an enhanced version of the original Pokémon Red and Blue. Although with the additions of mechanics from the Pokémon GO mobile game and numerous chances to events and characters from the original games, it might be more accurate to call these titles re-imaginings of Pokémon Yellow.
The weirdness of these titles don’t end there, though, and a player can expect to encounter strange decisions numerous times throughout a playthrough of these games. A lot of the weirdness in these games comes from the many changes made to make the series more appealing to newcomers, or those whose first experience with the franchise came in the form of Pokémon GO. However, there are also a lot of new additions and references that only longtime fans of the series will understand, and it doesn’t really feel like there’s any kind of consistent throughline on these alterations. There’s no question that the Pokémon Let’s Go games are some terrific Pokémon games and may be the best way to experience the Kanto region, but that doesn’t excuse numerous unusual decisions present in the titles. These 30 items just don’t make a lot of sense and distract from an otherwise wonderful Pokémon experience.
30 They Aren’t Actually Remakes
Calling the Pokémon Let’s Go games remakes was the easiest way to market them, but it does not accurately describe what these games are. Remakes are generally considered to be a new version of a game that’s made with a new game engine, updated graphics while trying to hold onto the original art style, improved mechanics, and maybe some additions of Easter eggs or bonus content.
These titles are closer to re-imaginings of Pokémon Yellow as they implement totally new gameplay elements, story structure, and fundamentally alter how players progress through the games.
29 Red And Blue Didn’t Beat Team Rocket
The protagonist and rival from the original Pokémon games, Red and Blue, both appear in these new titles. They’re both extremely powerful trainers and seem to be at the end of their journey’s from the first games, however, their other accomplishments didn’t occur in these new titles.
Team Rocket is still running around when in the original games, they put an end to the organization, and neither of their names are listed on any of the gyms. It’s really odd that these games would change the backstory of such established characters in Pokémon lore.
28 Ditching The Safari Zone For The GO Park
The Pokémon Let’s Go games replace the Fuchsia City Safari Zone with the GO Park. While it’s good that there is some connectivity between these games, it’s a shame that one of the coolest areas in the original games was replaced by something that could just be a menu.
Sure, it’s a lot of fun to see Pokémon running around the GO Park, but it’s not as much fun as the Safari Zone and this transfer process could be streamlined, much like how the PC was turned into a menu screen.
27 It’s Difficult To Level Up New Party Members
While the new catching mechanics in the Pokémon Let’s Go games do speed up the process of catching monsters, they also make it more difficult to level up new additions to your party. Previously, wild battles let select monsters gain more experience than other party members, where in the new games, experience is distributed evenly to all Pokémon.
This not only slows level grinding, but it also forces a player to burn through Pokéballs, since experience in the new games is only distributed when a wild monster is captured.
26 It’s Tough To Keep Finances In The Black
Needing Pokéballs to grind for experience, and healing items to help weaker monsters recover from battles, makes it exceptionally easy to run out of money when leveling up monsters. You need to spend money on Pokéballs when catching monsters for experience, and money on medicine to heal under-leveled Pokémon when they take a hit before switching them out to give them more experience.
Sure, a player can avoid this problem by sticking with the same few monsters for an entire playthrough, but a lot of the fun in Pokémon games comes from changing up your team to create new strategies.
25 Every Monster Besides Your Partner Is Replaceable
The Pokémon Let’s Go games frame your starter monster as an irreplaceable partner that’s aiding you on this journey as though it were destiny. This clashes pretty heavily with the fact that every other monster you encounter in the game is replaceable, and usually, there’s a stronger version of a creature only a few catches away.
These games actively encourage players to catch as many monsters as possible, which makes the first wild monster you obtain feel way less special, or any given creature you catch less unique.
24 Blaine's Gym Is A Contradictory Gauntlet
Blaine’s gym is different from all of the others in the game. This challenge asks a player questions about Pokémon to advance, with battles only fought if a wrong answer is given. This means that a player will either face Blane with a totally fresh team, or one damaged by a gauntlet of battles with no chance to heal between fights.
However, monsters don’t gain experience for answering a question correctly, meaning it’s in a players best long-term interest to answer questions incorrectly. This gym is an interesting idea on paper, but ends up strange and contradictory in practice.
23 CP Scores Are A Blessing, And A Curse
The Pokémon Let’s Go games make hunting for more powerful monsters easier than ever with CP scores. These scores correlate to the formally hidden IV values that make a monster more or less powerful than any of its counterparts.
However, this mechanic also makes building a team more frustrating for casual players. A lot of the enjoyment in JRPGs like Pokémon comes from building the best team and strategy a player can, and it’s a bit disheartening for a player to see that their monsters aren’t as efficient as they could be.
22 It’s Frustrating To Play Outside Of Handheld Mode
The Pokémon Let’s Go games are best played in handheld mode. The gyroscope in the Switch allows for the easiest aiming and the best throws. Playing the games docked requires a player to use the joycons to throw Pokéballs or uses an accessory device to capture monsters.
This throwing is way less accurate than playing in handheld mode and results in a player easily burning through their cache of Pokéballs. This is a bit of a disappointment, since these games look so good on a big screen, but diminish the experience by not playing as well.
21 Not Much Post Game Content
After a player defeats the Elite Four, they can capture Mewtwo in Cerulean Cave, battle the Master Trainers, and that’s about it. There’s not much post-game content like in Pokémon Gold and Silver, or other more recent entries in the series.
It’s odd that these games wouldn't have more content considering the affordances of the Switch and that the original Pokémon games were defined by their borderline impossible scope. The Pokémon Let’s Go games are fantastic entries in the franchise, but it seems like they push their console less than any other game in the series.
20 The RNG Is Absolutely Savage
When catching wild Pokémon, the smaller the colored circle is when a Pokéball hits its center, the greater the likelihood of catching a monster. Or at least that’s what the game says, when instead, capturing a monster feels almost entirely random.
Anyone who's played these games had a monster escape from a perfectly thrown ball, only to then capture it on a worse throw that just grazes a creature. It almost feels like these games don’t reward the skill that goes into performing a good throw, and instead, it just wants a player to fling as many balls as they can.
19 Limited Animations
Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are nothing short of the best looking games in the entire franchise. It’s odd then that the characters and titular monsters have such limited animations. Most people in the game merely hop to convey action or perform one or two vague gestures.
Likewise, most monsters only have two or three attack animations that they use for the dozens of moves they can learn. With so much potential in these stunning visuals, it’s strange that they weren’t utilized more.
18 Catching Pokémon While Surfing Is A Slog
Pokémon don’t appear in water in these latest games unless a player is surfing. However, it still takes a while for them to appear once a player starts surfing and, even then, a player will likely have to do laps around small pools of water to catch rarer creatures that only appear in certain areas.
The removal of fishing items also significantly slows down the process of catching water-dwelling Pokémon. It’s bizarre that what used to be such a snappy part of the games was slowed down to such a high degree.
17 You’re Rival Is Too Nice
The new rival in Pokémon Let’s Go is too nice for the game’s own good. While it is nice to have a supportive friend along on this journey, there’s almost no sense of competition between him and the player character. It’s almost as though he wants the player to win more than he wants himself to win.
This takes away a lot of the satisfaction from winning a battle against him, as you’re more proving him right to believe in you than you are proving yourself to be stronger than him.
16 The Game Corner Is A Shell Of Its Former Self
It makes sense that a player is now unable to play slot machines in the Game Corner. It’s unusual that this feature was ever present in children’s games in the first place, and it’s good that overt gambling is no longer present in Pokémon games.
However, it would be nice if other, less wagering-oriented games replaced the slot machines in the Game Corner. It was a nice change of pace to earn critters and items from a mechanic other than wagering in previous games, and the outright removal of any kind of mini-game makes the Game Corner feel a bit hollow.
15 The Games Could Have Done More With Green
Following a player capturing Mewtwo, the scrapped female protagonist, Green, from the original games appears and battles the player. Her appearance in the Let’s Go games surprised many of Pokémon’s biggest fans as she has almost no presence in the franchise outside of some concept artwork and the Pokémon Adventures manga.
It’s kind of a shame that she only briefly appears and doesn’t have much more than a few lines of dialogue, though. It would have been amazing for these games to build on this fabled character and give her more personality that’s more distinct from her comic counterpart.
14 The Gym Leaders Could Have Gotten More Personality
The Pokémon Let’s Go games had the potential to expand on each of the gym leaders and give them more character and personality than any other iteration of these characters. Instead, it simply doubles down on their one or two existing character elements and reinforces them.
Brock is just the helpful romantic he is in the anime and Lt. Surge is still just a way into himself army guy. While previous games build these characters outwards and make them more fleshed out, these titles make them more one-note than ever before.
13 There Are Too Many Rattata And Raticate
Much like in the real world, wild mice and rats are far too common. The super common and rather weak Rattata and Raticate appear in just about every part of the map where it’d make sense for rats to appear. They even appear in some of the games’ latest dungeons, despite most players having caught the less useful monsters already.
Their presence in most of these areas just feels like padding and most players will go out of their way to avoid running into them after getting through the first few routes.
12 The Gym Puzzles Are A Waste Of Potential
The various gym puzzles from the original Pokémon games are a creative way to challenge a player using the limited potential of the original Game Boy. It’s a shame, though, that the Let’s Go games chose to recreate the original puzzles instead of creating ones that make use of the Switch’s various affordances.
Holding onto this level design was a definite misstep and it would have pleased both new and old fans alike if these gyms instead featured new puzzles that tied into each gym’s theme and utilized the Switch’s gyroscope or touchscreen.
11 There Are Too Few Double Battles
Introduced in the third generation of Pokémon games, double battles have a player command two creatures at once to face off against two opponents. Granted, this battle style doesn’t change up the game too much, but it still offers a refreshing break from single battles and requires different strategies.
The Let’s Go games feature a few double battles, but not nearly enough. Trainer battles just get kind of repetitive after a while, and inserting more double battles would have made the progression through routes feel less monotonous.
10 Archer Is A Strange Retcon
The Pokémon Let’s Go games insert the villain Archer into the events of the first generation of games as he becomes the leader of Team Rocket in the second generation of games. This is a pretty major retcon because Archer never appeared at all in the original games and wasn’t even given a name until the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
It’s also hard to say if Archer’s presence in these games is a reference to the previous games or foreshadowing since he didn’t appear until a later time in the Pokémon timeline.
9 Abilities Are Entirely Removed From The Game
Pokémon abilities are removed entirely from the Pokémon Let’s Go games despite appearing in every console game since the third generation of titles. This alteration supposedly happened to make these titles more approachable for newcomers, but it's a weird place to simplify things.
The mechanics involved in IVs and EVs are way more complicated than battle abilities, and removing abilities makes some creatures much weaker than they were in previous games. Removing ability makes these games feel more shallow than easier.
8 Fairy Typings Are Guaranteed To Boggle Veteran Players
These latest Pokémon games feature Pokémon of every type, including the ones that were introduced in later generations. This means that critters like Jigglypuff, Clefairy, and Mr. Mime all have full or partial Fairy-typing. This wouldn't be an issue, except this change is guaranteed to trip up those who played the original games.
Most old players naturally think of these Pokémon having their original typing in the settings of the original games, and will at least once in a playthrough waste a turn by using a move that is now not very effective.
7 The Poison Status Effect Is Far Too Prevalent
Pokémon can experience numerous status effects in battle, however, the poison status effect is by far the most prevalent and annoying in these new games. Nearly every monster can learn a move that can inflict the status effect, and it seems like a player’s monsters are more likely than ever to contract the affliction.
Sure, Poison-type Pokémon are immune to the status condition, but it can be a major pain to want to level up a non-Poison creature only to have it experience the affliction numerous times throughout a grinding session.
6 There Isn’t Much Strategy In Catching Wild Pokémon
In the mainline Pokémon games, a player could use special moves or implement status effects to make it easier for them to catch a wild monster. However, there are few methods for a player to increase the likelihood of them catching one in these latest games.
All a player can do is use better kinds of Pokéballs, use some helpful berries, and get better at tossing balls at creatures. There’s less strategy than ever, and it makes the whole process feel a bit mindless.
5 Bill’s Transformation Is Even More Unsettling In HD
In the original Pokémon games, the genius Bill accidentally fuses himself with a Pokémon. While this was weird enough in the original games’ sprite art, seeing Bill painfully speak out of a pain-ridden Nidoran is more unsettling than should be the case in what are supposed to be kids’ games.
I guess a cutscene where a human being is genetically spliced out of a Pokémon in what’s implied to be an incredibly painful process and an affront to nature is considered E for everyone.
4 Dark And Steel-Type Pokémon Are Even Rarer Than Usual
Dark and Steel-Type Pokémon first appeared in the second generation of games and were pretty hard to encounter. These types of monsters are even rarer in the Let’s Go games. The only Steel-type Pokémon are Magnemite line, Alolan Sandslash, and the super rare Meltan line; and the only Dark-types are the Alolan Grimer and Rattata lines.
Even if these types are incredibly useful in choice situations, it’s still a bummer that these types hardly have any representation because these games have to stick to almost entirely to the original creatures.
3 It’s Really Tough To Get Rare Pokémon With High CP
Pokémon with high CP values start spawning after catch chains of that species start getting into the double digits. However, even with lures, it’s tough to catch rare ones like Scyther or Pinsir with high CP values. They spawn so infrequently, that a player is likely going to have to spend more time dodging other wild creatures than actually trying to capture the ones they want.
It should take time and effort to capture the best version of a player’s favorite Pokémon, but it would be nice if this process were streamlined at least somewhat.
2 There’s No Bicycle
Instead of traversing the overworld on a bicycle, which at this point is a staple of the Pokémon series, players can instead move more quickly through the overworld by riding select monsters. While this is exceptionally cool and should definitely appear in later games, it’s also a lot more awkward to navigate tight spaces while on a Pokémon.
Having a bike in the game could allow a player to move more quickly while also letting them easily maneuver through crowded areas.
1 You’re Starter Pokémon Is Too Strong
If you keep your starter Eevee or Pikachu in your party for the entirety of the game and use them somewhat frequently in battle, they are going to be stronger than nearly any other monster you encounter in the game. Moreover, both are given special moves in these titles that give them a wider range of elemental coverage.
This somewhat disincentives player’s from building up their entire party, and it’s no exaggeration to say that you could beat the entire game by using nothing but your starting partner.