Game Freak was initially experimenting with a more photorealistic look for Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee

The folks at IGN recently had an opportunity to speak with Game Freak director Junichi Masuda and lead game environment designer Kensaku Nabana about Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee.

“We imagined it would be in more of a home setting, where there’s kids and parents and siblings,” Masuda told IGN about playing on Nintendo Switch in docked mode. “We really wanted to, at least for this first game, make the visuals as well as the audio just feel kind and inviting, not intimidating at all. So even for the music side, we’ve used more aggressive rock or techno styles in the previous games. We purposefully avoided those in this game just to make it really a warm and inviting experience.”

“Really happy to hear you comment saying it’s a soothing experience. That’s exactly what we were trying to hear,” Nabana added. “Usually, when you would have much more power with the Switch and taking it into HD, I think the natural tendency is to go for a more photorealistic approach. In the earliest days of development, we actually explored that direction quite a bit.

“But we got the direction from Masuda, just like he just mentioned a moment ago, to go for this more kind and soothing and inviting experience with the visuals. After some experimentation, we just realized the more realistic, more photorealistic direction just wasn’t really working for what we were trying to do.”

“Personally, I had a desire to have the current generation of kids experience something similar to what kids 20 years ago also played,” Masuda said. “You know, they started out with 151 Pokemon, then 100 more got added, now we have over 800. I don’t know, maybe throwing 800 or more Pokemon at them right away might be overwhelming. So I kind of wanted to use this as a way to give younger kids right now a chance to experience what people did a long time ago, the original fans did.”

“Really, the goal of this is just to kind of expand the Pokemon playing audience. Probably 20 years ago, a lot of people who played Pokemon as kids then, we want the current generation of kids to have that same experience,” he reiterated. “At the same time, we also want the people who maybe played Pokemon as kids, maybe who are in their 30s and 40s now, to sort of welcome this new audience of players. Maybe also play alongside with them with some of the support features.”

When asked where Let’s Go fits in on the spectrum between Pokemon Go and the core games, Masuda said he hopes it can satisfy fans of both. “It’s hard to kind of say which side, or where on the spectrum it lands. It did start out as a game we wanted to have kids who couldn’t play Pokemon Go start. That was kind of the underlying philosophy, but really, we tried to make it a game that’s just like a Pokemon experience for everyone.”



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