“Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the expressions of genes that are passed on from parent to offspring during reproduction.”
The Pokemon series has adhered to a similar method of genetic mutation, by advancing the games gradually over many, many centuries. Slowly, with a methodical, barely noticeable innovation Pokemon has expanded on its biological framework with vast exolorable lands, excessive animal mortality rates, a generic adventuer looking to be the very best and a discerning catalogue of beasts, bugs and hideous malformed creatures so extensive you will literally forget most even existed. So how does “Pokemon Lets Go” improve on the years of ample progression that has preserved the status and longevity of the series despite its key demographic maturing through the years? Well it doesn’t really. At least not in the way many would be expecting.
What Pokemon Lets Go does is exploit the most powerful utility in the human subconscious: nostalgia. Projecting itself as an evocative walk down memory lane for those of us old enough to remember playing the original Red and Blue variants, while at the same time introducing new players, most likely the children of the aforementioned parents that invested hours into the originals. It’s manipulative pandering and frankly I love it! Adults will familiarise themselves with the region quickly, remarking on the striking comfort of their environment. Remembering the exact geographical location of every Gym in the region. Cursing the encumbering number of trainers that impede your expedition through Veridian Forest. Celebrating your eventual ascendancy to being Kanto’s most prominent Pokemon trainer and vanquisher of the nefarious Team Rocket.
There seemed to be a preemptive concensus that this game would fail. That worthless Pokemon Go elements would somehow blight Pokemon’s inaugural arrival on the Switch, or at least anticipating it. Its vexing really that a community so vocal about the series habitual stagnation would feel inclined to desparage a game that not only provides a familiar experience with a pleasantly implemented capturing system for mature fans who haven’t played the series for years, but also introduces a simplified gaming experience that new younger children can play.
Pokemon Let’s Go feels like the perfect composite of old and new, and an appropriate game to introduce my daughter too. It certainly doesn’t present the player with any considerable challenge, at least not one that can’t be negated by an advantageous level or type advantage which some purists may find unsavory. On the surface Pokemon Let’s Go may appear shallow to those regularly acquainted with the franchise over the past decade, almost antiquated in design. But that’s the point. Its a game that relishes in simplicity, captivating an audience long since departed from the series, now reintroduced after years of absence and almost certainly accompanied by a young prodigy to share in the joys of becoming the very best, like no one ever was.