Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu / Eevee director on the graphics, major changes, GO mechanics, lots more
Enjoy a brand-new adventure in the familiar Kanto region!
“The original concept came from Pokemon GO and its mechanics.”
Please tell us about how you implemented Pokemon GO and its mechanics in the Let’s GO games – when did you come up with the idea in the first place?
Masuda: It was something that I had been thinking about for quite some time… When was that, now…
In fact, in an interview with our magazine a few years ago, you mentioned something pretty close to it. Is it something that you’ve been working on since then?
Masuda: Really now! (laughs) In any case, I had been thinking about some kind of mechanic in which you’d connect your Nintendo 3DS and your smartphone, but that ended up proving to be a bit too complicated. At the time I thought that there are a lot of people looking to have more fun while exercising, so I figured I could manage coming up with something simple that revolved around that. There wasn’t much we couldn’t do, in fact; there were lots of methods that players could set their preferences through initially, such as connecting through the internet through a computer and the like.
That doesn’t seem too practical, though…
Masuda: Right – I didn’t even want to go through with it. (laughs) It was the Nintendo Switch that ended up solving a lot of the issues we were having. By utilizing BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) we were able to come up with a simpler alternative for connecting the devices.
In concrete terms, exactly how simple is connecting the devices?
Masuda: A great deal of Pokemon GO players are already able to connect their smartphones to their Pokemon GO Plus device. Connecting through BLE acts in a similar way – imagine it’s the same kind of sensation as connecting to a Pokemon GO Plus.
That does seem pretty handy! Regardless, I didn’t know you went through so much difficulty in order to implement such a feature.
Masuda: It was pretty difficult to understand. After a good deal of talks between Nintendo and Niantic, Inc., we were finally able to come up with a concrete idea. Nevertheless, even though we’ve figured out how to connect smartphones with the Nintendo Switch, there are a variety of types of phones from a whole host of manufacturers… As such, we’re doing our best to make the technology work with as many types of phones as we can.
We’re really looking forward to seeing how it all pans out! Incidentally, I think there are a lot of people who’ve gotten attached to the Pokemon that they’ve caught in Pokemon GO; do these games have an appeal to that kind of player?
Masuda: I think one of the best things about Pokemon GO is that it’s the kind of game that really allows you to remember when and where you caught your Pokemon. Naturally, then, you’d want to keep those Pokemon and the memories they carry close at hand, right? You can take those Pokemon – and the countless other Pokemon you’ve captured – to the Let’s Go games; you can add them to your team, interact with them, or even just enjoy their in-game animations in the games’ “GO Park.”
I’m sure the more Pokemon you transfer, the more familiar the mechanic will become. Can you tell us anything about the “GO Park” mechanic?
Masuda: The “GO Park” is the method by which you bring your Pokemon from Pokemon GO to the Let’s Go games; Pokemon that you have on-hand can be brought over.
Speaking of, will Pokemon maintain their CP value after being brought over into the Let’s Go games?
Masuda: It has to be recalculated to fit with the game, so no, a Pokemon’s CP will not necessarily remain the same. Pokemon with a high CP value in Pokemon GO will have a relatively high level after being brought over to the Let’s Go games.
How do a Pokemon’s level and CP differ?
Masuda: Well, for one, two Pokemon of the same level may have entirely different CP; this generally means that the Pokemon with the higher CP must be better in some way. (laughs) If anything, the CP value is only there so that fans who have played past entries in the mainline series can better understand the strength of their Pokemon.
So, in other words, a player who wants a high-performance Pokemon will have to keep an eye on its CP value as well. That reminds me, around May 30th’s Pokemon press conference, there were some rumors that players may be able to befriend Alolan-form Pokemon as well… Is there any way to catch these Pokemon aside from bringing them from Pokemon GO?
Masuda: Alolan Pokemon will not appear in the wild in-game, as such, they can’t be caught in-game. However, it is possible to acquire them through means outside of Pokemon GO. I can’t say exactly how to get them yet… But I will say that you get them through something that’s a pretty well-established part of the mainline Pokemon series… Probably. (laughs)
I see, I see. (laughs) I suppose that means that you can somehow get them even if you don’t play Pokemon GO. By the way, what about the Pokedex? I’d think that players who have already caught all 151 Pokemon in Pokemon GO would be able just transfer all of their Pokemon through the GO Park to complete their in-game Pokedex, for instance. What do you think about that?
Masuda: Actually, it will only be possible to bring Pokemon over from Pokemon GO after reaching Fuchsia City. Until then, you’ll have to use Pokemon that you catch in-game, so even players who have only played Pokemon GO will be able to enjoy the game! Again, it’ll all be a great deal of fun to play through – so do your best to catch them all!
We can only wonder what’s in store for us – we’ll be paying close attention to the games’ actual contents!
Masuda: Again, I can’t really say much, but if you catch all of the Pokemon within the Kanto region, something good is bound to happen! (laughs)