Goodbye, Pokemon Let’s Go Johto

Goodbye, Pokemon Let’s Go Johto

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Pokemon Let’s Go Johto seems to have missed its window, and I am officially giving up

I am officially retiring from rooting for a new Pokemon Let’s Go game. The writing has been on the wall for a while now. The last best chance we had was an appearance at today’s Pokemon Presents, but that has now passed us by. Let’s Go Johto is right there, but it seems to be just out of reach. Pokemon has a rich tapestry of spin-offs, but it doesn’t seem like Let’s Go will be getting any more threads spun.

The biggest drawback to a future Let’s Go is its name. While I see it as a darling recreation of Gen 1 with a warmer aesthetic and fun reinvention of different characters and challenges, it was always designed as a companion to Pokemon Go. Once the biggest trend in the world, PoGo is now just another mobile game relying on whales to get by. Though the Pokemon name still does some heavy lifting, it’s no more deserving of a Nintendo Switch game than that guy trying to get gold out of a castle by removing bars that cause lava to spill.

Eevee usinng Bouncy Bubble in Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee!

But it doesn’t need to be connected to Pokemon Go so much. This relationship was spotty at best – while some people had PoGo as their first game and went from there to Let’s Go, sooner or later Pokemon needs to realise it’s the most popular media franchise on the planet. Let’s Go 2 doesn’t need to link up to our Pokemon Go catches or need to sell a compatible accessory, it can just be a remake of Johto with the throws to catch, the bouncy aesthetic, and the focus on catching and candy.

There are a lot of Pokemon spin-offs, and Nintendo doesn’t have the bandwidth to make them all, and often they outsource them anyway. I’m still waiting on a new Conquest, I’m disappointed by the lack of DLC for New Snap, and I was expecting to see a new Mystery Dungeon today. Let’s Go doesn’t bring much new to the table as many see it as a watered down version of the Pokemon experience, while Gold & Silver were already remade as HeartGold & SoulSilver. But it has earned another go around after how beloved the Kanto versions were, right? Hey, at least I’m not putting all my eggs in the PokePark basket.

Why Let’s Go Is One Of The Best Pokemon Games

Pikachu looking shocked in Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu

I still maintain that Let’s Go is the perfect game for any Pokemon player to start with – by far the most accessible, packed with recognisable characters or locations, and underrated as Pokemon’s best looking game, I will forever consider it to be a crucial entry in Pokemon’s overall legacy. However, it is finally clear to me that Nintendo doesn’t feel the same way.

Unless! I make the disclaimer that I reserve the right to come out of retirement when the Switch 2 finally arrives, as it would be the perfect way to show off how the motion controls of this new console work. We can assume it will have motion control and gyro since insiders paint it as a better version of the Switch rather than a new concept, and any consoles with motion capabilities tend to push this hard at launch then gradually scale back as they realise how few people care.

The fact we got a nebulous 2025 release date for Legends hints at the fact it could be Pokemon’s Switch 2 launch title rather than Let’s Go 2, and even if the Switch 2 doesn’t arrive until later in 2025 and Legends is actually a final hurrah for the Switch itself, there’s little reason for Pokemon to hold back from revealing a Switch 2 launch title when everyone is going to assume Legends is one anyway.

Pokemon likes to think up new ideas and then abandon them, as we saw with Megas and Z-Moves and Gigantamax and a million others. But Legends Z-A is teasing the return of both Megas, so maybe it’s a case of never say never? I think I’ve talked myself back around – roll on Summer Game Fest, and the inevitable Let’s Go 2 reveal! Now, the only question is whether I play as Marill or Togepi…

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