A Pokémon gamer’s guide
Nintendo brought the monster-collecting Pokémon craze to the United States with Pokémon Red and Blue for the Game Boy 20 years ago, and gamers still excitedly jump at the chance to "catch 'em all." Pokémon video games have become bigger and more refined over the decades, and whether you are a grizzled veteran who proudly found each of the first 150 creatures, or a newcomer who wants nothing more than to make friends with their very own Pikachu, these exciting Pokémon adventures are sure to keep you battling, catching, and trading your favorite pocket monsters for countless hours.
Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee & Pikachu
Both younger and nostalgic Pokémon fans are going to fall in love when they visit the Kanto region from the classic Pokémon Red and Blue games in their choice of Pokémon: Let's Go or Pokémon: Let's Go for the Nintendo Switch. Trainers will follow an easier and greatly updated version of the first Pokémon video games alongside the partner Pokémon gifted to them at the start of the game: either Pikachu, the iconic electric mouse, or Eevee, the fluffy puppy-like Pokémon.
There are plenty of ways to play your preferred version of Pokémon Let's Go, such as importing up to 1,000 of your Pokémon from the ultra-popular mobile game Pokémon Go to help you collect all eight gym badges and defeat the Elite Four. The Pokeball Plus accessory is a charming optional add-on that simulates throwing a real Pokeball to capture wild Pokémon in Pokémon: Let's Go. This device lights up, vibrates, and emits the unique cry of the species you've successfully caught, which makes for a more immersive and personalized experience for children.
The biggest difference between the Eevee and Pikachu versions of Pokémon: Let's Go--other than the obvious choice between who the player's new best friend will be--is that a handful of Pokémon are exclusive to each game. For instance, you can only catch Koffing, Arbok, and Pinsir in the Eevee version, and Grimer, Mankey, and Oddish in the Pikachu version, so plan your adventure around collecting your favorites, and you'll have that much more fun.
Pokémon Ultra Sun & Moon
Pokémon trainers who desire a greater challenge will want to head to the tropical Alola region featured in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon to capture, trade, and battle an impressive collection of 807 Pokémon with players worldwide via the Nintendo 3DS. Although there are plenty of other excellent Pokémon games available on the Nintendo 3DS, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon boast a number of special bonuses the others don't. For example, the Ultra Wormhole area, where brave players can travel through time and space to discover incredibly rare and powerful creatures like Palkia, Articuno, and Regirock, and the ability to catch an additional 100 species that were unavailable in the original Sun and Moon games.
Online battling can be fierce, and for a kid-friendly series, there is a surprising level of complexity that comes with training a winning team of Pokémon. Even so, everyone can enjoy the action-packed story, hunt for new species of Pokémon across four wildly different Alolan islands, and make friends with Pokémon by feeding and grooming them.
Once again, the biggest differences between these video games are the exclusive Pokémon you may encounter in each title, such as Passimian and Clauncher in Ultra Sun, and Oranguru and Skrelp in Ultra Moon.
Retro Pokémon Games
The Nintendo 3DS virtual console sports a collection of timeless Pokémon games that initially launched on the Game Boy in the '90s, with Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Gold, Pokémon Silver, and Pokémon Crystal. These enduring games introduced the Pokémon series to the world, and though they aren't packed with many special features commonplace in modern games, it's fun to go back in time to see where it all began.
Enjoying the first few Pokémon games in their pixelated glory is a retro treat, but the cherry on top is the ability to transfer every Pokémon you've caught in these downloadable classics to newer 3DS games with the aid of the downloadable Pokémon Bank software. As a special bonus, all Pokémon that make the jump to the modern era come with a special "Hidden Ability," granting them a rare tactical advantage in a Pokémon battle. Take Venusaur, the popular final evolution of Bulbasaur, for instance: it's a powerful but fairly slow Grass-type Pokémon, but with the new Chlorophyll ability, its speed is doubled when the battlefield is bathed in bright sunlight, allowing it to get the lead out and bulldoze the competition.
If you were one of the millions who was introduced to the massive world of Pokémon via Pokémon Go and would like an engaging story, more complex battle system, and a horde of new creatures to care for, you can't go wrong with any of these great Pokémon games.
Arnold Carreiro is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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