Director Junichi Masuda Talks About Choosing Eevee as a Mascot for Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!
Game Freak's Junichi Masuda and Kensaku Nabana discuss making Eevee a title character, recreating the Kanto Region, and Pokémon Go integration.
Director Junichi Masuda and Lead Game Environment Designer Kensaku Nabana recently sat down with Nintendo to give insight on picking Eevee as the counterpart title character to Pikachu as well as other creative decisions for Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Let’s Go, Eeevee!.
Masuda explains that one of the first reasons for picking Eevee as a title character is a callback to Pokémon Yellow where the in-game rival uses the Normal-type Pokémon. The other — and probably bigger — reason was for the fans. Masuda says:
“Over the years I’ve received tons of just like fan art and comments on Twitter from fans that just love Eevee. And I learned at one point that in Japan at least, they had come up with a kind of fan determined special Eevee Day on November 21st, because you can read out November 21st one-one-two-one as E-E-Vu- E: which is the Japanese name for Eevee. So over the years I realized how popular Eevee had become. You know the furriness and fluffiness of it’s tail and everything and just kind of how cute and attractive as a Pokémon it is. So that was the reason I ultimately determined that Eevee would be the second version.”
As far as visuals and environments from Pokémon Yellow being updated for the Nintendo Switch, Nabana explains that he wanted to recreate what he imagined playing as a kid on his Game Boy. For Masuda, it was more deciding not go with a “photo-realistic style” and stick with a more with a fantasy stylized art design.
Shipping alongside the game is the Poké Ball Plus, a controller that you can use to play the game with as well as a device that can store Pokémon with and take them on the go. Masuda also talks about the latest peripheral:
With Poké Ball Plus I first saw the concept for this idea at the time it was just kind of like an idea for a controller and the size and all the other details, using HD Rumble and what kind of LED lights we would use to express the Pokémon was inside their catching it, and also the feel of it. None of that was decided, but I knew it would be the perfect device to be paired with the game Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!. So we worked really hard with the team at Nintendo to really focus on the details. We added the ability to put Pokémon inside and really just spent a lot of time just getting everything perfect for this controller to let trainers really just role play that they are a Pokémon trainer.
Pokémon Go integration was also lightly discussed during the short video. Masuda mentions the feature Go Park, which allows players to migrate Pokémon that are caught in Pokémon Go and bring them into Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!. Here, players can interact and play mini-games with all the Pokémon they just caught on their smartphones. Alongside that, a special mystery box will be featured in the integration, which unlocks the ability to catch Meltan in Pokémon Go.
With a little less than a month away from the release of Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! be sure to read up on what else Masuda had to say in a recent interview and check out the Master Trainers Trailer.
Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! release next month on November 16 for Nintendo Switch.