Some of my earliest memories are actually of the Pokémon games. I was holding a Gameboy as early as I could be, and it’s weird to me that those games have lived so far with all the new releases still happening. Like many others who grew up with Pokémon, they're now playing Pokémon Go and getting each new game release as it comes out.
When Pokémon: Let’s Go was announced, many of those same fans were all about it. However, as much as we love this game, it’s pretty different from the previous ones. While fans appreciate Game Freak for branching out, there are some things that aren’t present that I can’t help but miss and be nostalgic for.
10 Held Items
One thing that did come in handy in the earlier games was held items. There were certain items not to be used on a Pokémon, but rather given to them. These items could have been berries that would restore Hit Points when they got low, or cure a status such as paralysis or poison. Some items could even be given to boost Attack or Defense.
None of these items did anything that made a huge impact in battle, but it was still often the difference between life and death. This granted the chance to get one more Attack in that might turn the tides of the fight. In this game, sadly, there’s no chance of giving your Pokémon a held item.
9 Unique Abilities
Similarly, Pokémon abilities are out too. Certain Pokémon were granted unique abilities in battle that gave them some sort of advantage. For example, certain Electric Pokémon had a chance of paralyzing their opponent if a contact attack was executed. Likewise, certain Fire Pokémon might burn their opponent.
Although a lot of these abilities were indeed type-based, there was also an ability called ‘"intimidate," where certain Pokémon (such as Arcanine or Mightyena) could cut the Attack Power of their opponent just by looking freaking awesome.
I can see why they chose to cut this. Since Pokémon is a kids game, it’s probably not sending a great message to have gambling involved in the game mechanics. But sensibilities aside, I do miss the Game Corner.
For those of you who may be a little younger and haven’t played much of the older games, the Game Corner was often a place where you could go and play the slot machines and other mini-games for coins. The more coins you collected, the better the prize they could be exchanged for. Sometimes it was items, but other times it was Pokémon.
7 The Pokémon PC
The PC is no longer a thing in Pokémon centers. Instead, Pokémon are just transferred to a box that can be accessed at any time by the trainer, swapping their party in and out wherever they choose.
The reason I kind of miss this is because it makes the game too easy, in my opinion. I kind of miss the difficulty of having to go to a center to switch your party — it almost seems a little too convenient to be able to do it anywhere, any time.
I realize I’m probably still too young to be doing the whole “back in my day” act and feeling very much like the “old man yells at cloud” meme right now, but I can’t help what I miss!
6 Starter Evolutions
So, when you buy the game, you choose between the Pikachu and Eevee versioN. But you can’t actually evolve your starter.
This one is a legitimate gripe for me. Partially because Raichu is one of my favorite Pokémon ever, but also because I’m sure a lot of people would want the Eevee game because of the vast amount of evolution options Eevee is supposed to provide. Eevee being Eevee is the least exciting thing about this normal type Pokémon, considering it’s supposed to be able to evolve into any type, ever. There's no good reason for leaving Eevee permanently unevolved if you ask me.
5 Starter Exclusivity
Another staple of the early games was the exclusivity of the starter Pokémon. You picked between Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander, and that was it. Without trading, there was no catching another of these. In this game, you pick between Pikachu and Eevee with your purchase, but then you can go out and catch the other. Maybe this is another gripe of me thinking the game is just too easy, but the starters just no longer seem as special to me because of this.
4 Wild Pokémon Battles
Wild battles are no longer an option. If you come across a Pokémon in the wild, you earn Experience Points by catching it — otherwise, you walk away.
This seems a shame to me because although you can still gain the Experience Points another way, wild battles were half the fun of grinding and leveling up; testing type against type, gaining experience without being logged down with a whole bunch of Pokémon. It’s another mechanism that makes the game seem easier because there’s less combat. I know for a fact, however, that I miss being able to grind away in wild battles without ending up with a hundred of the same Pokémon. Especially as it requires a paid subscription to battle with others online.
3 3, The Safari Zone
The Safari Zone, in fairness, was also missing from some of the earlier games. The Safari Zone, for those of you who don’t know, was an arena you entered with a certain amount of Pokéballs that held exclusive Pokémon and gave you the chance to catch them. It wasn’t about battling, it was purely about catching — which might just be why this game hasn’t included it. Most of the game is about catching, not battling, so why add this exclusive zone?
Still, I do miss this oasis in the middle of all of the wild battles; I feel like this was something the original games did well.
2 Fatal Fainting
In the original games, fainting was it. It’s even the same way in Pokémon Go. But there’s something added in the Nintendo Switch games that means Pokémon can totally survive fainting. It apparently has to do with their love for you, and means they might be able to survive one fatal blow, but… I don’t know. It kind of seems like an unfair cop out in battle to me. If a Pokémon reaches the point of fainting, then that should be it; the battle should be won by the opponent. Call me old-fashioned!
1 Shinies Aren’t Quite As Special
The game also spurts out Shinies at a much higher rate than its predecessors. There’s apparently a mechanism in the game that tracks how many of a certain Pokémon you’ve encountered and makes it more likely for you to get a Shiny of it, the more you come up against it.
That sounds cool, but man, back in the good old days, Shinies were so rare that you were lucky to come across one in a whole 200 hours of playing. Unless, of course, you used the cheat codes.
Don’t get me wrong, the Switch did a great job. I just miss some of the old stuff!