Gaming

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! review: Catching ’em all once again

Isn’t Eevee absolutely adorable?

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Countless times, my friends have jokingly asked, “Where’s Mario?” My name — Luigi — has unwittingly cursed me into a lifetime of jokes associated with Mario’s green-suited brother. Ironically, my favorite Nintendo franchise isn’t even remotely related to the Super Mario Brothers series. Since childhood, the prestige has always gone to the Pokémon franchise.

During my Game Boy days, I played through the classics of the Pokémon franchise. Sadly, that streak ended with Pokémon Emerald, immediately before the arrival of the first Nintendo DS. Since then, the franchise’s Generation 4 ushered in a period of silence.

Thankfully, Pokémon’s decline was halted by the arrival of the mobile game, Pokémon GO. The pioneering AR game brought back a wave of nostalgia. Despite the initial popularity, the game’s novelty was short-lived, failing to measure up with the classic games. Of course, the game wasn’t from Nintendo.

Now, Nintendo has finally taken over the franchise’s modern renaissance. Weeks ago, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! launched for the Nintendo Switch, promising a new world for the new generation. Besides ushering a generation, the nostalgic series revitalizes the old and creates a new ecosystem.

Generation 1.2 

Right on the tin, both games advertise a return to Kanto, home of the first Pokémon. Pikachu and Eevee are remasters of the original Pokémon Yellow. In the original, Pikachu replaced the traditional trio of Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Likewise, Pikachu and Eevee replaces the starter Pokémon based on the version you purchase.

Likewise, both games share the same story elements with Pokémon Yellow: Team Rocket’s antics, Lavender Town’s eerie story, Mewtwo’s appearance. Of course, because of the times, Nintendo updated some minor elements for a modern audience. For example, in-game television sets come with Nintendo Switch units. Characters talk about Alolan Pokémon, smartphone technology, and most importantly, Pokémon GO.

Cuter, cuddlier, livelier

After Pokémon GO’s initial wave of novelty, the franchise’s fans chided the game for depersonalizing their favorite creatures. In GO, Pokémon became collectibles, valuing quantity over quality. Completely contrasted to this, Pikachu and Eevee added a thick layer of personality to all 151 original Pokémon.

Mostly, this dynamic personality applies to your chosen partner, Pikachu or Eevee. Like Yellow, your partner Pokémon follows you around. However, instead of just a few pixelated frames, both have their own new sets of animations and moves. For example, Pikachu hangs out on your shoulder as you walk. Eevee perches atop your head. In combat, both have exclusive move sets. Eevee, for example, uses Veevee Volley, an extremely strong Normal move that activates only occasionally. Cutely, you can interact with both partners outside of combat, petting them or playing patty-cake using the Switch’s touchscreen.

Additionally, you can take a Pokémon out of its Poké Ball, acting as a secondary companion. Also, their animation depends on their build. Mew floats ahead of you. Kangaskhan carries you in its pouch. Charizard flies and carries you on its back. It creates a much more dynamic world compared to the original games.

Speaking of, wild Pokémon encounters are no longer completely random. Instead, you can see the wild Pokémon wandering around, letting you choose which to catch. Catching them is also different. Instead of going into combat, the games adapt the same system as Pokémon GO, using catch rings and berries.

Creating a Pokémon ecosystem

Along with the games, Nintendo also launched a new controller, the Poké Ball Plus, specifically made for the new Pokémon games. Unfortunately, the optional controller, shaped like a Poké Ball, is pricey, costing US$ 49.99 on its own. The bundle — the game plus the ball — costs US$ 99.99, reducing the price by 10 bucks. That said, why should you buy a Poké Ball Plus?

Firstly, the ball comes with a free Mew. Traditionally, this mythical Pokémon was obtainable only through Nintendo-exclusive events or hacks. The Ball finally provides an easily accessible way to obtain one of the franchise’s most elusive Pokémon.

Secondly, it creates a new experience for the franchise. While it has only two buttons, you can use the ball in a throwing motion to catch Pokémon. Instead of just pressing A, the new mechanic simulates the feeling of actually throwing a Poké Ball. It’s unique and strangely gratifying. Additionally, you can take a Pokémon (housed inside the Poké Ball) with you on your daily commute. As you walk, it gets experience, similar to GO’s buddy system.

Thirdly, the ball acts as a Pokémon GO Plus, connecting the Switch games with GO’s world. To those who still play GO, the Poké Ball is a welcome arsenal, especially in crowded cityscapes. Similarly, you can transfer Pokémon from GO to Switch, making it easier to fill a Pokédex.

Finally, the Poké Ball Plus is a clear indication of the Pokémon franchise’s future. Next year, Nintendo will launch a fresher addition to the franchise, marking the console’s first full-fledged Pokémon game. By then, the future game will fully integrate the Ball into its mechanics, making the controller a worthy investment.

With Pikachu and Eevee, the Pokémon franchise heralds a new generation for both old and beginning players. For old players, they create a refreshed wave of nostalgia. For beginning players, both games are a good start to the new generation.

SEE ALSO: Pokémon: Let’s Go gets its own Nintendo Switch bundles

Gaming

Doraemon farming game demo now up

Pre-order bonuses released

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Doraemon Story of Seasons

The free demo for Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom is now available across all platforms.

The upcoming Bandai Namco title which is the latest in the Story of Seasons series is slated for a November 2, 2022 release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 and Steam.

Details of the bonus content available for players of the demo have also been released. This will be a start-up set which will help players in their tasks in Illuma once the game releases officially. It includes:

  • Soft Wood x 20
  • Normal Wood x 20
  • Hard Wood x 20
  • Stone x 20

Friends of the Great Kingdom

In the latest chapter of the Story of Seasons series, players get an upgraded feel of the game’s world wherein natural light, wind, and environmental sound effects have been added.

In addition to the quests found in the previous games such as raising crops and caring for animals, Doraemon-themed activities using the character’s famed secret gadgets – such as Farm Restaurant and Gro-Quick Powder – have been made available to enjoy.

There will also be an inspiring new story for the title. For those who will pre-order the Digital Version and Deluxe Editions of the game, bonuses are in store.

 

The Digital-Exclusive Pre-Order bonuses include:

Doraemon Story of Seasons

  • Summer Wear set
  • Home Furniture set
  • Sweet Seeds set

The Deluxe Edition includes:

  • Main game
  • Season Pass (Costume and Furniture Sets 1, 2, and 3)
  • Season Pass purchase bonus (Premium Crops Seeds set)
  • Digital Soundtrack
  • Seasonal Vegetables Seeds set
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Gaming

Cyberpunk 2077 is already getting a sequel

Codenamed Orion

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Without a doubt, Cyberpunk 2077 faced one of the world’s most controversial launches for a video game. Though CD Projekt Red released several updates to fix the game’s reputation, the developer is already moving on to bigger projects. In a new tweet, CD Projekt Red has already confirmed development for Cyberpunk 2077’s sequel.

Earlier today, CD Projekt Red announced that the next Cyberpunk 2077 game will have the codename Orion. Unfortunately, the announcement doesn’t reveal much else about the upcoming project, except that it will “take the Cyberpunk franchise further and continue harnessing the potential of this dark future universe.”

Following a smattering of bugs and glitches on launch, Cyberpunk 2077 further progressed through its redemption story through patches and an upcoming DLC. However, that’s as far as the story goes. With the sequel’s development underway, it’s hard to imagine much more coming for the first game. Unlike No Man’s Sky (which suffered a similarly controversial launch), Cyberpunk 2077 is calling it early.

Besides the cyberpunk title, the developer also announced more updates for the future of the Witcher universe. The next major entry in the series is codenamed Polaris and will precede two more entries to create a new trilogy. Outside of the main series, the franchise is also getting Canis Majoris (a spin-off from the main series and developed by an external studio) and Sirius (a multiplayer game with a single-player campaign).

Finally, CD Projekt Red also teased a new franchise called Hadar. Unlike Cyberpunk or Witcher, Hadar will be an original setting, marking the developer’s first following the success of the preceding two franchises based on past properties.

SEE ALSO: Cyberpunk 2077 soars to 1M daily players after Edgerunners

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Gaming

Horizon Zero Dawn is likely getting a remaster

For the PlayStation 5

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How many remasters is too much? With newer hardware coming out, several developers have decided to update their old games to function more smoothly and gorgeously on modern consoles. However, there’s still an unresolved issue on where the industry should draw the line. Pending a resolution to that conundrum, here’s another remaster: Horizon Zero Dawn is likely getting a remastered edition.

According to sources in VGC and MP1ST, Sony is planning a PlayStation 5 remaster for Horizon Zero Dawn, the first game in the franchise. The upcoming edition will likely bring updated graphics and a few technical tweaks to the 2017 title.

For a while now, Sony has found a new obsession in remastering and remaking its old titles for the new console. The company has already released similar editions for the Spider-Man duology, for example. Besides remasters, PC ports are also making their way to Steam, creating a new market for Sony’s former exclusives.

Of course, one can argue whether Horizon Zero Dawn truly needs a remastered edition. For a 2017 title, the game still looks gorgeous even on newer hardware. Though there are graphical differences between the first title and its sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, Horizon Zero Dawn is still a beautiful game.

That said, the remastered edition is still likely coming, albeit at an unknown time. Also, the same source speculates that the franchise is getting a new multiplayer game sometime in the future. With the franchise’s success over the years, Sony is unsurprisingly going all-in on more Horizon titles, including a confirmed VR-exclusive game for the upcoming PSVR 2.

SEE ALSO: Sony confirms ‘Horizon’ and ‘God of War’ shows are coming

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