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Interview Interview with Masuda and Kensaku Nabana about Let's Go games

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Masuda and Kensaku Nabana (game environment designer) talked to the website GameSpot about the the Let's Go games, Meltan, the rival and much more.
Despite being inspired by Pokemon Yellow, Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee seem to introduce a lot of new elements not found in previous Pokemon games. What new things should we expect?

Junichi Masuda: The main flow of the story plays out very much like Pokemon Yellow Version. One of the reasons we wanted to do this is that we imagined a lot of fans of the original game were going to be playing through it. There are different parts, but I think they'll recognize the main beats of the story and feel some nostalgia there.

At the same time, we did add a decent amount of sub-events that weren't in the originals. It kind of gives it a different feel because there's a lot of trainers alongside their Pokemon in the actual world itself, so it would be a different impression than the original game, while also covering the same story.

Team Rocket seems to play a more prominent role in Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. Does this mean we'll see more of Jessie, James, and Meowth during the story?

Masuda: Yeah, they definitely appear more in the game than in the original Pokemon Yellow Version. With these two games, we really set out at the very beginning with a main target in mind, which was younger kids who maybe didn't own their own smartphones and weren't able to really participate in the Pokemon Go craze that happened. They weren't able to go out and join in on that fun, so really providing them with a really fun experience that also had some of that Pokemon Go gameplay. But at the same time, we wanted to introduce these new players, for whom this might be their first Pokemon game, through the original story, kind of ease them into the Pokemon experience that way.

Also, I thought it would be fun if players who maybe enjoyed the original game--they're now much older, probably in their 30s--they'd be able to interact with maybe their own kids or other kids that they know that are playing the game. They would actually know the general flow of the story, maybe able to give advice like where to go next and things like that. With Team Rocket, because the animated series is popular--it's in like 85-plus countries--I imagine a lot of those younger kids will have seen the animated series, even if they haven't played the game. So, we're trying to add in the elements like that to make it easier for them to get into the world and recognize the setup.

In the original games, your rival was a huge jerk, but the one in Let's Go seems much friendlier. Why the change?

Masuda: I think the biggest reason that rivals were more of a jerk in the early days is that we were just limited with what we could express with the pixel graphics. There's not much you can do with that kind of little sprite on the screen, so we worked harder to characterize them through dialogue and give them certain personalities. Also, because it's just dialogue and there's not a whole lot going on on the screen, it doesn't give as harsh of an impression even if they're jerks, I think. Now we have HD graphics and the visuals are much more impressive. If you also made him a jerk, the impression would be a lot stronger on players. Another thing, just my own personal take, is that it feels that people with those kinds of personalities these days are not as accepted by players, I think, as they were back then.

In the original games, there was text or some sort of setting where "Pidgey eat Caterpie," for example. That was fine back then, I think everybody liked it. But, I think, as Pokemon has gone on, the fans kind of have their idea of what Pokemon should be. If we did that now, I think a lot of people wouldn't really like it, it would give them a bad reaction.

What about the old man standing outside Celadon Gym who says he loves looking at the pretty girls? Did you have to tone that down as well?

Masuda: Yeah, we definitely re-evaluated all those kinds of things. But at the same time, the fact that you remember that means that it was something memorable. We had to be very careful about which things to change and which things to keep as they were. Definitely check it out for yourself and see if he's still around.
You can read the full interview on GameSpot's site.
 

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So it's pretty clear that these games (and maybe all pokemon games) are absolutely focused on the young audience.
It was surprising to read that Masuda was thinking about the kids that didn't have smartphones yet.
That would get really really young, especially in this digital age.
I'm not sure if kids that young would even own their own Switch.
This makes me cast some doubt on Masuda's marketing capabilities.:cry4:

I don't know if I really like that Masuda's being so conscious about the fan's idea of pokemon.
It kinda looks like he doesn't have his own strong vision on how pokemon should be and instead is being pulled around by what the general public thinks is acceptable.

Perhaps I got a bit too salty here, but Pokemon has stayed strong with Masuda in the lead so he still has my respect :)
 

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In the full article, Masuda mentions the reason why these games don't have held items, eggs and many features that we've gotten used to.
It says that he wanted to make things simple for this game, because they want it to function as an introduction to Pokemon for new fans.
If seems like the developers were drowned in nostalgia during their development of Let's Go.
 

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This makes me cast some doubt on Masuda's marketing capabilities.:cry4:

I don't know if I really like that Masuda's being so conscious about the fan's idea of pokemon.
It kinda looks like he doesn't have his own strong vision on how pokemon should be and instead is being pulled around by what the general public thinks is acceptable.

Perhaps I got a bit too salty here, but Pokemon has stayed strong with Masuda in the lead so he still has my respect :)
Well.... he has a strange idea of Pokémon:
Sure - and does it suggest you have one eye on another Let's Go style game set in Johto?

Junichi Masuda: So you know maybe - if everyone enjoys playing these games [laughs] - but you know more than that, I know that a lot of people and fans have spent a lot of time hatching eggs, they've hatched... a lot of eggs, but we want them to kind of discover new ways to enjoy Pokémon games, you know I'd be really sad to think that for them, Pokémon is hatching eggs, so with this one we're trying to show them a different side of the game.
This is from an interview made by Eurogamer (I forgot to add it :suspect:)
If fans have spent a lot of time hatching eggs there's a reason: to get a competitive Pokémon. If you want a Pokémon with and egg move you have to hatch an egg. If you want a Pokémon with perfect nature or IVs you have to hatch an egg. Why? Because it's the only way and they designed the game like that. Sure, now we have the training for the EVs and the bottle caps but what about the nature? We still need to hatch Pokémon.
And yes, if someone don't play competitive they don't need to hatch a lot of eggs but it's stupid to say that they want someone to discover new ways to enjoy Pokémon... what if they enjoy hatching eggs? :suspect: ok, I doubt someone like like to hatch eggs but maybe they love the competitive and don't care about the Pokédex

In the full article, Masuda mentions the reason why these games don't have held items, eggs and many features that we've gotten used to.
It says that he wanted to make things simple for this game, because they want it to function as an introduction to Pokemon for new fans.
If seems like the developers were drowned in nostalgia during their development of Let's Go.
:yesyes2: :sisi2: for sure
If they wanted to do a Let's Go game... why not creating a new region with a few of Pokémon from all generations? It would be a good spin-off :yesyes: and people would be more happy and relaxed (because many thinks that the next game will have Let's Go gameplay or other things in it)
 

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A video with Masuda and Nabana
I have that Pikachu plush!! :winner: :win: (The only thing I was interested in this video was that plush XDDDD)
 

unownzone

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Well.... he has a strange idea of Pokémon:

This is from an interview made by Eurogamer (I forgot to add it :suspect:)
If fans have spent a lot of time hatching eggs there's a reason: to get a competitive Pokémon. If you want a Pokémon with and egg move you have to hatch an egg. If you want a Pokémon with perfect nature or IVs you have to hatch an egg. Why? Because it's the only way and they designed the game like that. Sure, now we have the training for the EVs and the bottle caps but what about the nature? We still need to hatch Pokémon.
And yes, if someone don't play competitive they don't need to hatch a lot of eggs but it's stupid to say that they want someone to discover new ways to enjoy Pokémon... what if they enjoy hatching eggs? :suspect: ok, I doubt someone like like to hatch eggs but maybe they love the competitive and don't care about the Pokédex


:yesyes2: :sisi2: for sure
If they wanted to do a Let's Go game... why not creating a new region with a few of Pokémon from all generations? It would be a good spin-off :yesyes: and people would be more happy and relaxed (because many thinks that the next game will have Let's Go gameplay or other things in it)
I can understand why Masuda would want to remove eggs from the game now. You're right that there's no other way to create competitive pokemon than to breed, but I think Masuda didn't like so many players spending too much time on Pokemon just going in circles to hatch eggs. I hope he came up with a better way to create competitive pokemon without having to do something so repetitive.
 

unownzone

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A video with Masuda and Nabana
I have that Pikachu plush!! :winner: :win: (The only thing I was interested in this video was that plush XDDDD)

They mentioned why Eevee was chosen as the counterpart for Pikachu for these games.
Personally, I feel like they promoted Eevee on too many levels on letting it be a boxart pokemon alongside Pikachu, but out of all the gen 1 pokemon, I admit Eevee was the best choice.:yesyes2: :sisi2:

2:54 "There's just tons of things to look at, to discover...Ummm":haha: :hahaha:
Well there won't be that many new things to discover because so many people are too familiar with the Kanto region by now.
That's the limitations of a remake. :yesyes2: :sisi2:

3:12 "The biggest thing is how the visuals look different from the original game"
Unfortunately, good graphics don't always make a good game. I hope that's not the biggest thing they had to offer us....
The game does look beautiful tho. :yesyes: Thumbs up for Switch graphics. :yeahyeah:

3:49 "When you're playing it on the Game Boy you really did had to use your imagination just to fill in the details"
Thus, the better the graphics, the less room the fans have to imagine for themselves.
So if the graphics aren't how the player wants to imagine them, it will be less appealing.
Again, the graphics are really nice, and I don't want to see Pokemon go backwards by making worse graphics, but I just want to mention that I always envisioned the Viridian forest as a spookier place, especially because of the music. Now, it looks too bright and safe. For kids. :nono2:

I realize that this is why many gen1 fans were not pleased with these games. The Kanto region in their minds are too different from how it is shown in these new graphics.

Also, thanks to bad graphics, the older games were able to become very creepy. It let the player use their imagination to scare themselves, like Lavender town, glitches, missingno and the creepypastas/hacked games based on these experiences. I think this is one thing that the older games will always be better at.

[On the Pokeball Plus]
I like how they're trying to make the game more immersive, but I don't think hardware like this will last very long with the fans.
 
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