Veteran Pokémon trainers will find their freedom hindered when they play Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! this fall, as the games are adding a new requirement for gym battles. When players try to enter the gyms, they'll be stopped unless they have certain Pokémon in their party. The mechanic is clearly meant to guide new trainers in the intricacies of type matchups, but that doesn't stop some from seeing it as overbearing.
The first example of the new system was shown during Nintendo's E3 stream of Let's Go! To get into the first gym, Brock's, the player had to present a grass or water type Pokémon. The Gym Guide, an NPC who only stood at a gym's entrance and gave advice in older games, physically stopped the player and made them show their Squirtle before entering.
Fans took note of this, but many hoped it was just a tutorial measure exclusive to the first gym. A new report from Silicon Era, however, hints that every gym will feature these requirement quests.
The report gets its info straight from the official Japanese website for the Let's Go! games. One section explains Pokémon gyms and touches briefly on the new requirements. It seems that the Gym Guide won't just ask for Pokémon of certain types. Silicon Era says that "Requirements vary from certain Pokémon types, levels, and plenty more." Early reports suggest that Misty's gym will make trainers train their Pokémon to level 20 or higher to enter.
These quests are quite obviously aimed at players who are new to the franchise. While the fact that Squirtle destroys Brock's rock-type Pokémon is old news to franchise veterans, people that have only played Pokémon Go might not be so knowledgeable. By forcing newbies to bring the right Pokémon to battle, the game hopes to educate them on type advantages through example.
Yet despite knowing that the game is meant for newcomers, many longtime fans are upset over the change. For seasoned trainers, the thing that has kept the franchise fresh for over 20 years is the ability to mix and match the 800+ Pokémon. With freedom of choice, players could try new strategies or even impose unique challenges on themselves. Let's Go! is already limiting players to the first generation, 151 Pokémon, so to further restrict them by making them use certain Pokémon in certain gyms seems unnecessary.
"That is sad for anyone wanting to add difficulty to their LGPE play through," wrote Reddit user Bendiez. "Difficulty slider is jammed on 'Stupidly Easy.' GF wasn't kidding when they said LGPE was aimed at casuals."
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! release on November 16th for the Nintendo Switch. Another entry in the series, aimed at more hardcore players, is slated to come out sometime in 2019.