Pokémon: Let's Go Director Explains Why the Game is Shorter to Play

Fans of Pokemon found that Pokémon: Let's Go had a shorter path to the Hall of Fame, so game director Junichi Masuda explained why this was the case.

December 30, 2018

Whether you consider Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Eevee! to be a core Pokémon title or not (Nintendo certainly does), it certainly added many quality-of-life improvements to streamline the usual experience. This may have led to a shorter game for many players, and director Junichi Masuda acknowledged this in the game’s strategy guide.

Essentially, Masuda wanted Let’s Go to fit in with the routine that players have in the age of smartphones and social media.

When you consider how people live in this day and age, I think it’s safe to say everyone’s pretty busy. The way we spend our team is different now from how it was 20 years ago. Thanks to smartphones, you’re constantly bombarded with new information, and it’s natural that you end up thinking you want to play some other games, too. So I felt like perhaps the time you spend on your adventures in these games didn’t need to dominate all your free time. We sped up the walking speed for the player and kept the playtime needed to reach the Hall of Fame on the shorter side. For the people who want to play more, I’d like them to enjoy cuddling their partner Pikachu or Eevee and giving them Berries, having fun with outfits, and building up their bonds with their partner. And after they reach the Hall of Fame, I hope they might also enjoy battling the Master Trainers, who can give you special titles to boast about.

It’s a controversial philosophy for sure, one that hardcore Pokémon players might not be used to. Given the context of potentially bringing in Pokémon Go players into the fold, the move makes sense. The mobile game from Niantic was somewhat meant to be a part of everyday life, rather than totally taking over it. In theory, Go players can just walk around on their usual commute and casually play the game on their phone in the meantime.

At the same time, I’m also just happy that Game Freak and Nintendo just want you to spend more time cuddling with your Pokémon. Players can probably expect a more intense and lengthy experience with whatever next title will come to the Switch in 2019.

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Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Eevee! is available exclusively for Nintendo Switch—read our review right here, with the game available for purchase through this link. Players of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can unlock Pikachu and Eevee Spirits with their save file and purchase the soundtrack separately on iTunes.

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Chris Compendio

Chris is a writer currently based in the Philadelphia area. They are currently writing for film website Flixist, podcasting for Marvel News Desk, and were an editorial intern for Paste Magazine's gaming section. They graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a creative writing major.

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