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Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee are going to be divisive. The games seem meant to introduce a new generation of players to Pokémon, especially players who started with Pokémon Go. The changes made to gameplay may frustrate longtime fans, including me; I started playing in the late ‘90s and kept up with the franchise since. But I can’t bring myself to dislike Let’s Go! Eevee. Despite the changes and the modern Pokémon Go-influenced touches, the magic of Pokémon persists in Let’s Go, just by virtue of it being Pokémon.

This piece originally appeared 11/13/18. We’ve bumped it today for the game’s release.

Let’s Go! Eevee and Pikachu are a rehash of Pokémon Red and Blue. This week, while reviewing the game, I happened to be visiting home; playing this game in my childhood bedroom, where I played my first Pokémon game, felt eerie. I sat with my Switch on my old bed, in a room that my mother hasn’t changed one bit since I moved out, surrounded by pale blue walls bedecked with magazine cutouts of musicians I discovered alongside my passion for games through Pokémon. As I play, the Strokes gaze down on me from an old Spin magazine cover from the early 2000s, alongside pictures of Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes.

I had the perfect 2000s-era song lyrics for my Let’s Go experience: “Losing My Edge” by LCD Soundsystem, whose lyrics illustrate how far away childhood feels. In the song, the band’s frontman James Murphy recounts all the ways he feels like young hipsters are slowly pushing him into irrelevance. “I’m losing my edge to better looking people, with better ideas and more talent,” he talk-sings, “who are actually really, really nice.” In the 2000s, I didn’t really get this song. As an adult, playing Pokémon, I finally do.

If you’re looking for a Pokémon game designed for the seasoned player, this ain’t it, chief. This is a game designed specifically for the kids I’m losing my edge to. This is a game for Pokémon Go players, for people who care more about catching Pokémon than battling them, and the mechanics have changed to suit them. You don’t have to battle Pokémon to catch them. You just have to be good at throwing a PokéBall, and you earn experience through catching alone. Most of the grinding you do—and you probably won’t do very much of it—is through catching Pokémon, especially catching multiples of the same kind of creature. You get an experience bonus if you’re on a streak of catching the same Pokémon over and over. Like in Pokémon Go, you earn candies by sending these excess Pokémon to Professor Oak, and these candies make your Pokémon stronger. You can also use these candies to outright change their stats

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