Friday, November 2, 2018

Final Thoughts on Pokémon Let's GO Before Launch

Still... who is actually going with Pikachu? Seriously.
Pokémon Let's GO launches in in two weeks, so I assume we know almost all there is to know about this game. Given it is basically a remake of Pokémon Yellow, or re-imagining, or whatever, there are probably very few surprises left and I don't suspect there will be any more ground breaking reveals. Since that is the case, I want to break down some of my thoughts and concerns before actually sitting down and playing the game in the next week or two. I'll start off with some positives, then some negatives, and then end with some additional things I think could be positive going forward.

The Positive

Main Series Adjacent: Despite what developers have said about this being a core game, it still stands as "main series adjacent" in my mind. Personally, I would like to see future remakes do the same thing. Now, I'm not saying the developers were wrong or that I know better than they do, I'm saying my definition of what constitutes a "core game" is different. Since certain mechanics have been removed than have been staples in the series since Gen 2 and 3, I simply can't define it as a core game as I would other releases. I think that gives the "Let's GO" line of games and edge in terms of marketing. Despite a portion of the community fervently disavowing the possibility that non-competitive pokémon fans may exist, they do, and it's okay to make games for them. If Super Mario Odyssey can exist alongside New Super Mario Bros., I don't see why Let's GO can't exist alongside other Pokémon games. They are two different ways to tackle the same franchise.

Pokémon in the Overworld: The sheer fact this wasn't enough for people to be super jazzed on these games is baffling to me. For the first time ever the Pokémon World seems like pokémon live in it. Sure, in the Game Boy days I could suspend my belief and pretend a 7 foot tall Kangaskhan could live in waist deep grass completely hidden, but we are beyond that point. If anything, players should be praising this change.

I can't be the only person who has wanted this. 
Couch Co-Op: Although I'll grant it's very basic co-op, with the 2nd player basically just controlling part of the 1st player's team and helping catch pokémon, but it's a step in the right direction. If people want an open world game they can play with their friends, this could be a step toward that. If anything, they are toying with the idea of having multiple players working together in the story part of the game and not just in battle facilities. I'm ok with this as a first step and hope that it will become more and more fleshed out in future games.

The Negative

Simplified Catches: Bare in mind, I don't dislike the motion controls. In fact, they seem based on timing which, if anything, adds just enough immersion without being too taxing. However, what I don't like is how the battling aspect was completely abandoned. The player has to fight legendaries to then go to the catch mini-game. I feel like that's how all battles should have been done. Granted, the focus of this game is more catching wild pokémon vs. battling them, but the whole "battle them until they are weak enough to catch" strategy seemed like it was a pretty core pillar to the games. I know I've had to play through enough tutorials in core games to make it seem that way. I'd also be ok if the motion controls were optional. I'd probably still use them, but I know there are people who hate motion controls period, so sure, make them optional the same way battle animations and the shift/set modes are for battle.

In an ideal world, we'd have both a system for battling wild pokémon and optional motion controls for catching pokémon which could add bonuses for utilizing it like more experience or better catch rates.
Ability/Hold Item Removal: Of all of the changes in Let's GO from the core game, I find this the most bothersome. In fact, when people first began saying they were confirmed to not be in GO (with no real evidence, mind you), I didn't believe it. However, it was then later officially confirmed. I don't buy the argument that since these aspects weren't in Yellow they should be in Let's GO. Not being in Red and Blue didn't stop them from being in FireRed and LeafGreen. As an adjacent game, I suppose it's ok, but my primary concern is how this will affect people who start with Let's GO and then transition to the 2019 games which will most likely have them.

Kanto Again?: I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again... I'm tired of Kanto. At this point I've explored it pretty thoroughly and it doesn't seem like enough has changed to make me excited to go back. Yea, it's HD now, but still. At this point, I'm going back to play it for the mechanics like motion controls and co-op, not really for the pokémon. I already have them all outside of Meltan and Melmetal. I think the biggest mistake was making it Kanto only pokémon. If anything, non-Kanto pokémon should be allowed to be sent from GO after the game has been beaten. That would be a big incentive for people to play GO if you could only get Gen 2 - 4 pokémon via migration. Basically, playing GO would be a big part of the postgame. It just seems like a missed opportunity.

I assume Genwunners are happy about this. I'm not sure though. I guess it just depends on how attached they are to the old capture system. Hypothetically, they should love the "Let's GO" games.

And "I'm not sure yet"

EV Changes: I only have one aspect I'm undecided on at the moment and that's effort values (EVs). We now know that battles don't yield EVs, and instead Let's GO uses candies. This is similar to Pokémon GO, but still different. The candies in Let's GO are used for boosting stat points the ways EVs do in other games. This mechanic isn't super original as players can already do something similar using items like Zinc or the various Wings in the main games. It really depends on how friendly this system is vs battling for EVs to determine which I'd prefer. It comes down to would I rather battle a ton of Machops for attack EVs or catch a ton of Machops for those EVs. I can't really say until I try it out. At the moment, the differences between the two systems seem minimal and the only real difference is I'm more familiar with one over the other. I know shortcuts to max EVs quicker with the old system. However, if there are shortcuts to learn for the new system then it may turn out that I may prefer the new one. The one bonus is I don't have to worry about getting the wrong EVs from battling some random trainer, meaning I can hypothetically begin correctly EVing training my team immediately. This almost seems more competitive to me, as I'd often have to wait until the post game since having to fight all the in-game trainers during the story often meant my team had really weird effort value spreads.

In Conclusion...

All in all, like I've said on my Twitter, I'm not saying these games are where I want to see the series go, per sé. However, I think there are some positive additions they bring that I want to see carried over to the 2019 games. So help me if following pokémon disappear again for another 9 - 10 years I'm going to be very upset. If they make the tweaks I suggested in the "cons" I think they could be really fun casual pokémon games that could run concurrently to what many people consider the "core" games. The core games could definitely stand to implement some of the things in Let's GO, like overworld pokémon over random encounters and optional motion controls. If anything, I feel the Pokémon series constantly tries to do the same thing year after year and are generally lacking "freshness" outside of pokémon designs. Let's GO may represent some loss due to the growing pains of trying to branch away, but it does feel like an attempt to make the games "fresh" (although, not fresh enough if you ask me... freaking Kanto...). Hopefully any future Let's GO games would learn from any mistakes of these initial games and drive the Let's GO branch of pokémon toward becoming the kind of games we wish we had in the late 90's. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Melmetal and Master Trainers

As November approaches we've gotten more Pokémon Let's GO information relating to Meltan and some of the Let's GO post-game. In terms of how Meltan is being dealt with in game, it seems to be pretty ingenious. Basically, players have to send pokémon from Let's GO to Pokémon GO to unlock a "Mystery Box" that works like the incense item. For 30 minutes after opening the box Meltan will appear, as seen in the video below.

What is really interesting is how common Meltan is for being a mythical pokémon. Any GO player can catch multiple. Even after the box time limit is up it can be reopened by just sending more pokémon to Let's GO. This is also a benefit to someone who has only one of these two games. If you have Let's GO, but don't want to play Pokémon GO, just find someone willing to send you a pokémon and then catch Meltan and send you one. The opposite is true if you don't have a Nintendo Switch and Let's GO. Just find someone who does and basically "trade" to unlock the Mystery Box in your GO file and then send them a Meltan for their trouble. Finally a reason I can use to coax Pokémon GO players to come to Pokémon League events. It also seems that, if you get enough Meltan, they can evolve or change form into a new pokémon I'm tentatively calling "Meltitan," as seen in the video below. (UPDATE: "Meltitan" has been confirmed to be an evolution. It is called Melmetal, but I still prefer Meltitan. Guess I'll nickname it!)

There have been other little bits of info dropped here and there, but the biggest (in my opinion) relates to the post-game. Let's GO will be introducing "Master Trainers" which specialize in a single pokémon. You can go battle them with that same species of pokémon gaining their title if you beat them. In terms of post-game story, it's not much, but it's a nice little diversion if you want to try to get all 151 titles. I don't know if that will hold my attention for all 151, but I'm certainly going to try to get titles for pokémon I really like. I hope there is a little more to the post-game than this, but likely there won't be.

All and all Let's GO is shaping up like standard remake fare. I'm not seeing anything in these games that are going to be shaking up any formulas any time soon. They do drop a good bit of the standard formula (hold items, breeding, abilities), but as far as I can tell that is exclusive to these games. I wouldn't be surprised if Let's GO became its own line of games that run perpendicular to the style of games we are more familiar with. Although, I have no idea who the starters for a Johto style Let's GO game would be. Maybe the Spiky-Eared Pichu and Togepi?

Nevermind, apparently I know exactly who they should be!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Let's GO to the Future - How will Pokémon GO Influence Other Pokémon Games

With the official announcement of Meltan yesterday, conversation continues on how Pokémon GO is going to influence the main series of pokémon games. It's a touchy subject, almost bordering on the polarizing conversations on politics that happen often online. Although there are people in between, the most vocal are people who love Pokémon GO and those who seem to hate it. Of those that seem to hate it, they often cite worries over Pokémon GO watering down the main series of pokémon games. I've touched on this previously when the games were officially revealed, but we have more info now.

So far Pokémon Let's GO does appear to be "Pokémon for Beginners."
I'm not going to sugar coat the fact that Pokémon Let's GO Pikachu/Eevee are basically a beginners version of a main game. Despite The Pokémon Company referring to it as a main game, it isn't in the context of how fans use the term. This is probably where the confusion partially lies. By TPCi's definition, it is a main series game because it uses the tried and true turn based battle system and type relationships of the series. In that context, yes, it is a main series game. The fan definition has more stipulations, and the fact that this game doesn't use the standard "weaken and then catch" capture method and emulates GO's catching methods, as well as removes some more of the complexities of competitive battling, it is more of spin-off. To me, this makes Pokémon Let's GO seem more "main series adjacent" in the sense it blends main series and spin-off aspects together. Of course, in a polarized community, most are unwilling to accept that a game can exist in this middle ground. Some even have their own personal definition of what a main series or spin-off game is, which further complicates conversation.

Discussions with people who are fervently against Pokémon GO integration seem to cite similar points. 1) Pokémon exclusive to Pokémon GO are unfair; 2) Pokémon GO is a watered down pokémon experience; 3) The main series games should not interact at all with Pokémon GO due to them not liking it; and 4) Any interaction between a main game and Pokémon GO means all future games will automatically become Pokémon GO ports. I find all of these points to be naive and alarmist. I'll address each.
  1. Pokémon GO exclusive pokémon are unfair: Mythical pokémon exclusive to spin-off games have been a thing for quite some time now. In fact, for a while the only way to get Manaphy in a Gen 4 game was to play Pokémon Ranger. Of course, later on Manaphy was distributed in different ways so missing out on the Ranger had minimal impact. Also, trading is a thing too. If someone really wants a Meltan, I'm sure there is someone out there who doesn't like it that much who would trade. There will probably be GO players who, once they have it in their Dex, who wouldn't mind transferring it to someone else's Switch game just so that someone who actually wants it can have it. If anything, this means these two communities have to talk to each other, even if they aren't playing the same game.
    Mythicals in spin-offs that can be tranferred to main games have been a thing since Gen 4. Darkrai, for example, could be sent from Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. However, it has since been given away multiple times directly to main series games.
  2. Pokémon GO is a watered down experience: I disagree, as despite being a watered down in terms of mechanics, it is potentially more of an "experience." You have to travel the real world and interact more face to face with people to play this game. It is possible to avoid both of those things, but then again, there are loop holes and exploits in the main games as well that allow people to play in unintended ways.
  3. No main series/Pokémon GO interaction: This point seems like a waste. If you ask me, I think there should be MORE cross communication between pokémon communities. I'd love it if I could open a pack of pokémon cards and the card could somehow communicate with my game to give me a pokémon or item (like the old e-cards from the early 2000's did). This could be accomplished by simply printing codes on the cards somewhere or having a code card in the pack... which they already do by the way. The current QR codes unlock packs in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. Why not have 2 codes on that card? One for PTCGO and one for GO or a main game?  As for what GO brings to the table, at the very least transfer should be utilized. If the PokéWalker is an acceptable method for catching pokémon and transferring them to my main game I do not understand why an app which accomplishes that same thing is deemed unacceptable. Both have simplified capture mechanics.
    In Gen 3 one of two ways to get to the Southern Island and get the exclusive Soul Dew item was to scan this card that came packaged with an issue of Nintendo Power. I don't see why the same principle couldn't be applied to cards in TCG packs to get items like Pokéballs or Berries with maybe every once and a while pulling a rare one for something like a Master Ball or battle item (ex: Choice Band).
  4. All future games are doomed to be GO ports: This is 100% an alarmist statement. To me this would be like suggesting since "Super Mario Jump" exists that every future Mario game is going to be a port of that app or because Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp exists that all future Animal Crossing games will work the same way. It's bogus. There may be some interaction between them sure, and like I said before, I think that should be encouraged. However, saying that all future releases will become straight ports of a mobile game is ridiculous. If that were the case I feel the various developers would be wasting the potential that the Nintendo Switch offers, which is something I'm sure Nintendo DOES NOT want to see happen. If there is little to no difference between playing the free app on your smartphone vs playing a $60 game on a $300 console why would anyone buy either? Short answer: they wouldn't. 
In the end, the biggest take away here is the alarmist attitude toward additional ways to play isn't helping anyone. In fact, all it does is alienate members of the community simply because they enjoy a different aspect of it. It would be like players who prefer playing on their 3DS trashed the Trading Card Game for not incorporating all aspects of the video game or vice versa. It is possible to enjoy different aspects of a particular pokémon exclusively or even enjoy multiple pokémon game types. I have fun playing the main series of video games, the trading card game, Pokkén Tournament, and Pokémon GO. None of these have negatively impacted the other, so there is no reason to think that would happen now. For me, it just gives me different ways I can enjoy the franchise.

Sun and Moon changed a lot, but not by much.

The biggest evidence against the main series games (as defined by the fan community) becoming GO clones is the fact that the main series games have diverged very little from the tried and true formula since the late 90's. Pokémon Sun and Moon are probably the main series games that have diverged the most from previous generations, but in the end not by much. Trials replace Gyms, but overall the mechanic is pretty much the same. Go to a place, beat strong pokémon earn a trinket that shows you did that, go to the next one. The only difference was the strong pokémon were wild instead of being owned by a trainer. HMs are removed, but Ride Pokémon serve the same purpose (better even). Z-Moves were added, but I see their impact as similar to the addition of Megas and Formes. They all caused shifts in how the game was played, but the core of the battle system in intact.

Another thing to remember is, despite Pokémon GO making a ton of money, there's no reason to abandon the way the main series games work just because of that. Doing that would seem to suggest Pokémon wasn't making truck loads of money before and Pokémon GO revolutionized the game, which is false. Pokémon as a franchise makes so much money that they can afford to have 3, maybe even 4, Mew under every cash filled armored truck they can find and that was before Pokémon GO. 

In closing I'll just say this, until we see the 2019 games just "Keep calm, and catch 'em all."

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Impressions of Meltan

Ah Nutto, I barely
knew ye.
If you play Pokémon GO, and were playing this weekend during Community Day, you probably were bombarded with a strange new pokémon. Although the pokémon had been leaked by a dataminer earlier in the week, no one expected it to show up in the game proper. However, on Saturday, you can catch as many as your heart desired. The problem? There was zero info for the pokémon, which was named ??? with an equally mysterious CP value. Players were able to catch it, but were then met with a surprise. Rather than registering in the Pokédex, every single one turned out to be Ditto! The question as to what this pokémon was then hit a fever pitch. Was it a new pokémon? Was it a temporary placeholder that accidentally got released into the game proper over a different pokémon? We got our answer minutes ago. It is the new mythical pokémon, Meltan. Up until this point, many fans had taken to calling it "Nutto", combining its hex nut head with its seemingly important relationship to Ditto.

From my interpretation, Meltan seems to be based on soldering metal which is also evidenced by its Steel typing. Solder is a low-melting temperature metal used to fuse together two less fusible metals. A prime example would be soldering a copper wire to brass. Well, Meltan has a little copper wire tail and its head is a hex nut, so that all checks out.

It's an inanimate object based pokémon, so haters will likely let their feelings be known on social media as much as possible. It's not easy being a machine.

Reception to Meltan is understandably mixed. I was initially less intrigued by it than I am now. When I first saw it, I didn't see the tail, so it just looked like Ditto wearing a hex nut for a hat. Not stoked. Now that I know more about it, and see the little copper wire tail, I'm more ok with it. Granted, I am typically more forgiving of inanimate pokémon designs than most. I actually like the weird designs like this as it feeds into a lot of the yokai legends that many pokémon are based on. A lot of yokai are basically possessed objects. For example, the Kasa-obake is a weird ghost umbrella with a human leg. People less enthused on inanimate designs are typically also people who don't know the culture that is being adapted for the design. This is somewhat understandable. If you don't get what they were going for, it is easy to assume they weren't going for anything.

For now, I'm going to give Meltan a thumbs up based solely on the fact I never would have never expected the design. I also give it a thumbs up for how it was released. Aside from the leak, which didn't give us that much, I like how it just mysteriously showed up and everyone was taken by surprise. It reminds me of the old Mew and "PokéGod" rumors back in Gen 1. Before Community Day even started one of these guys popped up on my Pokémon GO radar and I mercilessly tracked it down just to get a glimpse of it in game. People were buzzing about it all during Community Day as well. This goes to show that this reveal, despite if you like the design or not, was a successful one.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Preparing for VGC 2019 Sun Format

VGC 2019, released at World's last month as the "GS Cup", looks to be really interesting in that the format is going to have shifts throughout the year. I haven't gotten to play much VGC since 2016, so I'm going to try to be a bit more proactive this season. At the very least build a team and try playing on Battle Spot more.

The first portion of VGC 2019 has been designated the "Sun Series". It shares similarities with VGC 2016 in that two typically restricted legendaries can be used, which includes pokémon like Mewtwo or Xerneas. The major exception is that in the "Sun Series" Megas and Primals are banned. I briefly considered running Geomancy Xerneas again like I did in 2016, but I like to mix things up. This year I'm going to start off with a Kyogre rain team and evolve (lol) from there. The Kyogre I ended up with is Timid, which is less ideal than the standard Modest, but I'm going to try it anyway. I even went through the trouble to soft reset for a shiny Kyogre from Ultra Space, so why not use it?
I'm not a huge fan of shiny Kyogre, but shiny Primal Kyogre is amazing.
In addition to Kyogre, I know I want to toy around with Zygarde, so I'm going to throw in the shiny Zygarde from the Pokémon Legendary event going on this year. I combined it with the Zygarde I caught in my Ultra Moon, so it has Power Construct and access to its Complete Forme. These two will form my "restricted core," but item selection is tricky. Zygarde often rolls with a Z-Crystal, which is currently banned, and I would prefer to run the Blue Orb on Kyogre for Primal Kyogre, which is also banned. For now, I'll have to resort to less optimal item choices and hope it still works for the best. If not, I may have to sideline these two for later in the year.

Too bad it is an event. I really want to name this guy after Crest or some other toothpaste brand.
For the rest of my team I plan to stick to relatively safe VGC staples: Amoongus for diversion, Incineroar for Intimidate, Fake Out, and a slow U-Turn, and Celesteela for walling. The final slot will be for a Tapu, I'm just not 100% certain which one yet. I plan on finalizing a team and playing some this weekend, and once I do I will make the team available for others to test.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pokémon Let's GO - Trailer 2 Thoughts

The Pokémon Company put out a new video this morning showcasing some more of the features present in the new Let's GO Pikachu and Let's GO Eevee games. I have been somewhat interested in the games since their announcement and genuinely relieved that they weren't meant to be the start of a new generation of pokémon games. However, despite not being a new generation it does look like the games will have a lot of new features that were not present in earlier Gen I remakes.

After watching the trailer, I am even more interested in the games. I don't think they will ever make me as excited as I am when new core games are announced, but they will provide a nice little stop gap between their release and the release of the 2019 Gen VIII games. The player and starter customizations have me the most interested. I had assumed, given these are remakes, that there wouldn't be customization since the original Kanto games did not have any either. On the other hand, I really could care less about my "friendly rival." A lot of the older players have expressed their upset feelings over Blue (Green, Gary, whatever) not being the rival. I could care less. However, I'm not interested in yet another semi-nice kid who wants to constantly battle me. I'd even argue that BluGreGary wasn't even super interesting either. I liked Silver. These are all just preferences, though, and having a nice or jerk rival doesn't really affect my personal experience. In the end, my real rivals are real living breathing people and they happen to talk enough crap to make up for Mr. Friendly.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Pokémon Let's GO - Unveiling the Cranky Old People in the Community

This week has been a pretty tumultuous one if you are a Pokémon fan. So much so that it has finally spurred me to write a pokémon blog after months of finding reasons not to. Earlier this year leaks began surfacing about Pokémon Let's GO Pikachu and Pokémon Let's GO Eevee (PLG). When the leaks began to trickle out that Pikachu and Eevee would be starters, that the region would be Kanto, and that it would the generation VIII series of games, I was skeptical. More over, I was upset. Despite the rumors suggesting that Kanto would be different, set in the future or whatever, I still felt it wasn't enough. I honestly have no drive to go to a region I've already been to, and start with pokémon I already have, in a new generation. If something is a new generation, I want it to be genuinely new. I also liked to often point out that I wouldn't understand why ANYONE would chose Pikachu as a starter over Eevee. Yes, Pikachu is the cute mascot, but Eevee is just better... like unequivocally so. However, when the games were officially announced, I was pleasantly surprised. These games were real, but they weren't generation VIII. They actually exist in some weird murky remake/side game territory. Immediately I felt better about them. Apparently the pokémon community seems torn and I personally have seen more "veteran" players decide that these games are the worst thing to ever happen to the franchise.

I still don't know why someone wouldn't chose Eevee version.
The most common complaint I see relates to the GO-style mechanics that are incorporated in the game. The capture mechanics have indeed been vastly simplified. No longer requiring you to battle the pokémon, PLG has you just chuck balls at them with motion controls until you catch them. The leaks pretty much said this, and I know I personally didn't want to see GO catching mechanics without battling in a core game. That said, this isn't a core game and now that I know that, I certainly don't mind. Getting upset about this, in my mind, would be like getting upset you can't catch pokémon in Pokémon Snap or not being able to evolve pokémon in a Pokémon Rumble game. It just seems silly, especially given that the community is constantly asking for Game Freak to bring something to the table that we haven't seen in the games. I think a side game is certainly the place to test those sort of things. PLG uses GO tossing mechanics and doesn't allow you to battle the pokémon first, but that's not to say some future game wouldn't allow you to fight a pokémon to weaken it and then toss a pokéball with motion controls. In fact, many community members wanted a pokémon game on Wii/Wii U with pokéball tossing using motion controls. I've also seen where people have complained about the presence of CP (another GO mechanic) in the games. CP, or Combat Points, are just a summary of all of your other stats. It's meant to give something that GO players would see and recognize, but for non-GO players, it's not like you couldn't just look at the other standard stat values and use those to assess your pokémon.

Stats are still listed like they are in core games, with CP also being listed. As a bridge game this isn't surprising. There are values that veterans will recognize as well as those GO players would. The inclusion of ID No. and markers seems to suggest these pokémon would likely be transferable to core games at some point.

"Veteran" players also seem to be rather upset with yesterday's E3 announcement that the PokéBall GO Plus controller will come with a Mew inside that can be transferred to the PLG games. Granted, it is annoying that it seems that despite being able to transfer other pokémon from GO to PLG, Mew is an exception. I'll definitely concede that. However, this is no different from buying a premium edition of a game that comes with exclusive content. At least with mythical pokémon there is usually multiple opportunities to get them. Most likely there will be some sort of Mystery Gift or something that gives Mew to other players as well in the future, PokéBall GO Plus players will just have their's Day 1. So far though, this is the only complaint I've found semi-valid. So far the only true complaint I have is the fact these games only incorporate Kanto pokémon. In my opinion, even if the other gens aren't catchable in PLG, if I have them in GO I should be able to transfer them over.

At this point, what veteran player doesn't have Mew? They are given out freely every few years.
All in all, the level of bitterness the community seems to have toward these games has exposed a pretty dark underbelly of the community. These games are side games obviously meant to try to bring in new players along with fans of Pokémon GO. However, many in the established community seem incredibly adverse to this. Despite the fact that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are still pretty fresh and we have been confirmed to be getting a new core series game for the Nintendo Switch in 2019, these "veterans" still feel the need to complain unrelentingly about the differences between PLG and the core series, primarily citing mechanics more important to the competitive community than a more casual one. I feel these games do form a bridge. The GO community can still be quite large depending on where you live. I routinely have over 100 people attending my Community Day offerings. However, many don't have any drive to join the trading card game and video games at our local league because they feel the games aren't approachable to casual players. To be honest, they are right. The community, at least in my experience, is not inviting to new players. When trying to teach new players they'll often delve right into meta-decks or IV breeding and EV training before even teaching any core mechanics. If you tell a casual player the only way to "git good" is to buy a $60 Tapu Lele GX or two for their deck or spend "X" amount of hours breeding a single pokémon, then you are going to push them away. Soccer players, for example, don't start their career training for the World Cup, even if that is the end goal.

Pokémon Let's GO Pikachu and Pokémon Let's GO Eevee are definitely "Pokémon Lite", but that isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when we know for a fact that new core games are coming next year. PLG offers many new aspects I actually want to see incorporated in the new game too. Co-op, pokémon following you, pokémon in the overworld, all of these things are features the community has clamored for. Now they are being brought in, albeit in a side game to test the waters, and the "veterans" lose their minds. A part of me actually wants to see these games push them out of the community. We honestly would be better for it in the long run. If these pokémon grandpas and grandmas want to sit on their porch and whine about how things were better in their day, they can go right ahead. I'll be hanging out with the people who aren't complete buzzkills and actually enjoying Pokémon like I always have. I know 12 year old me would be ecstatic to play these.