Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! is here! Let’s be frank: it is adorable. But what is it that helps make this particular installment so cute. I think a big part of it is how important the game makes characters like Eevee, but also even other Pokemon, feel. By having Eevee around at all times, performing some Secret Techniques to help you advance through the world, and generally being cute, it is easier to connect with this particular Pokemon. In addition, other Pokemon can feel more valuable too, due to the ways in which they behave.
Getting to connect with Eevee feels a lot like the Pokemon-Amie feature present in more recent Nintendo 3DS Pokemon games. At any time, you can visit the main menu and choose to spend with your friend. Sometimes, it will have an item wrapped up in a leaf, like a Pretty Wing. Others, you will get some commentary about what it was doing immediately before you opened the menu. (It might have been “playing” with the other Pokemon you have out of its Poke Ball.) It could be sleeping on your arm. Maybe, it will even be feeling playful and kind of headbutt the screen. While there were never major changes, I liked checking in on my Eevee. I wanted to see how it might have looked in a new outfit. Sometimes, I wanted to use the touchscreen for different sorts of pets to change her hairstyle. (I like the carefree fluff caused by using two fingers making a clockwise swirl, but using five fingers to rub and create a Jigglypuff-like curl is also quite cute.) It is the sort of positive interaction that is mainly there to help you build up affection and increase the likelihood of Eevee dodging attacks, healing its own status ailments, or dealing critical hits in battle, but it also exudes positivity. It being able to perform actions that replace former HMs, like Light Up (Flash), just adds to its value and versatility.
I am also a big fan of the optional moments you can enjoy with Eevee in Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee!. There are times when you can get to do or see certain scenes. For example, when you board the S.S. Anne, you have the option to heading out onto the deck. If you do, Eevee will run ahead of you to go stand on the rail and enjoy the view of the ocean. In Cerulean, you get to donate money at the fountain and see the fluffy friend standing there as you do. You can even make the victory cutscenes after each gym leader victory, where Eevee high fives you for a successful win, optional by highlighting a choice in the Options menu. It is like we are getting these extra chances to connect.
While the other Pokemon might not feel as important, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! takes time to make them matter too. This is the first entry since Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver to bring back the walking Pokemon mechanic, where a Pokemon can be let out of its ball to follow behind you. Like in that past game, you can check in with them to see how they are and they might pick up items. But here, the accompanying Pokemon have a greater range of motion and possible activity that brings them to life and makes them seem better and more real. And it isn’t just about seeing how they can run around erratically or that speaking to them will do more than show a bubble expressing their current emotion and will instead say what they are currently doing.
— Jenni Lada (@JMariye) November 19, 2018
It’s about the utility of the walking Pokemon in Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! that helps make the characters shine. For example, in Vermillion City you will have an opportunity to get what will probably be the first Pokemon you can ride. If you caught five Meowths around Bill’s home on the outskirts of Cerulean City, you can talk to a woman in Vermillion and get an Arcanine. You can then use him as a mount and ride around on him. When you are not riding them for fun or with skills like Sea Skim, they can be used to find items in the overworld. As another example, I almost always have Mew wandering around with me. My Mew is pretty good about helping me find additional berries to aid in catching other Pokemon or befriending my Eevee.
I always find myself getting attached to certain Pokemon as I play through different installments, even when there aren’t features like Walking Pokemon or Pokemon-Amie present, but Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! is especially good at making you care about these little buddies. Eevee is an absolute delight, from the main story events, the optional scenes you can see in different locations, and interactions that let you fuss over your friend. The other Pokemon also feel like they get more attention here, which is nice too. I feel like it is very good at making you care.
Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! are available for the Nintendo Switch.