(sweet music) – Pi, pi, (sniffs) chu! – It’s often with rose-colored glasses that I look back at Pokemon’s Kanto story, and I know I’m not the only one who feels a deep connection to the wooded region. After about 40 hours with the Pikachu version of Pokemon Let’s Go, I put down my Nintendo Switch impressed with how well this reimagining of Pokemon Yellow matches my memories of my first adventure. There are just a few major differences, and almost all of them turn out to be for the better. (gentle music) Let’s get down to the biggest and most important change, catching Pokemon. Generally, the shift to a Pokemon Go-style catching system works incredibly well for Let’s Go, and offers great rewards with candy, bonus experience, and the possibility of finding Pokemon with better stats after catching a bunch of Pokemon in a row. Tossing Poke Balls at the Pokemon of my choice is, for the most part, a relaxing way to fill out my Pokedex, and I’m glad that it is entirely my choice, since you need to walk into a Pokemon to initiate an encounter.The new catching system isn’t without its issues. The motion controls don’t always register tosses correctly, and the catch chance feels random with higher-level Pokemon. It’s easier to catch Pokemon in handheld mode, but the novelty of throwing a Poke Ball with motion controls was still a lot of fun when it worked properly. (exciting orchestral music) (triumphant music) (“Route 1” by Junichi Masuda) It’s immediately obvious that a lot of care went into shaping Pikachu and Eevee. Their cutscenes and play interactions are adorable, though I do wish Let’s Go, Eevee gave Eevee more definition as a character. Many special animations pull from iconic Pikachu moments, and Eevee shares these animations. (Eevee yells) Cute company is not all these Pokemon offer. Beneath their fuzzy exteriors are death machines that can knock out entire enemy teams.They’re not invincible, but if you train them right, they sure can get close to it. Pikachu’s three unique moves are strong, but Eevee’s moves offer greater flexibility, as it can learn a special move from each of its eight evolution types, making Let’s Go, Eevee potentially the easier version. All the new moves are definitely overpowered during a majority of the story, but considering Let’s Go is supposed to be a unique, more approachable Pokemon game for new players, they make for a neat addition. You’re not forced to keep Pikachu or Eevee in your party, so whether you take advantage of their power is up to you.(exciting orchestral music) Not once did I feel like I was missing out on battles because of the catching system change. Kanto is littered with trainers ready for a fight, and specialty trainers like Coach Trainers and Ace Trainers can offer a nice challenge. Even without Pikachu or Eevee, the rock-paper-scissors battle system seems more extreme than ever. Super effective moves often knocked out the opposing Pokemon in one or two hits. Again, this is supposed to be an easier Pokemon game, so I understand that this is trying to reward us more for using the correct type matchup. It’s not bad, just surprising. As a result of all that, even though my nearly 40-hour adventure had a handful of tough battles, I ended the story as an undefeated trainer.Even still, I was proud of my team. All the training we did during the main story wasn’t for naught, though, as far more difficult challenges wait in the post-game adventure with Master Trainers and some other special encounters. Let’s Go comes with a slew of new, fun features like being able to ride Pokemon in place of a bike. The co-op features a nice addition as well. The second player can join in at just about any time and can provide support in battles and catching, but can’t initiate any activity themselves. This is a great way to help a new player in tough spots or give a younger partner something to do while a more experienced hand drives.With all its changes, the one part of Let’s Go that really seems to feel the strain of its additions is the UI. The Poke-box sorting is cumbersome, as is changing items during a Pokemon encounter. They didn’t really mess anything up, but they are irritating. One other big addition I’m looking forward to checking out is Go Park. Its new minigame and Pokemon Go transfer feature were unfortunately unavailable at the time of this writing, but the limited access I did have displayed a charming facility. (triumphant orchestral music) Returning to Kanto in Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu or Eevee is almost as much fun and as heartwarming as I’d hope it would be. Thanks to a fresh, colorful design and new mechanics, Pikachu and Eevee are adorable, overpowered leads with the capability to learn some incredible moves, and they feel special both in and out of battle.The Pokemon Go catching system is a more relaxing way to fill out the Pokedex and grind for experience, and I never felt like I was missing out on battles because of it. Kanto is littered with charismatic trainers ready to fight. Some irritating UI design and issues with its motion controls add up to be a minor annoyance, but the addicting capture cycle and great challenges in the post-game keep me coming back to play. For more on Pokemon, check out the Detective Pikachu Trailer rewind and our unboxing of two Pikachu holiday collection items, and for everything else, stick with IGN. – Pika! .