It’s been 20 years since the launch of Pokemon Yellow in Japan, and in that time the creature-collecting franchise has evolved quite a bit. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee revisit the enhanced, Pikachu-focused take on Pokemon Red and Blue, and while Game Freak’s remake is largely faithful to the Game Boy classic, not everything’s the same.
Here are 10 big changes from Pokemon Yellow to Pokemon: Let’s Go.
Pokemon Go Park
Much of Kanto in Let’s Go is a spruced up version of what you remember from Pokemon Yellow, but fans will spot several changes to the overworld—some big and others small. Most noteworthy is the Safari Zone north of Fuchsia City, which is no longer an explorable area where you can capture Pokemon. In Let’s Go, it’s essentially an entryway to Pokemon Go Park, an entirely new area where you can import your creatures from Pokemon Go.
Like the Safari Zone, the Rocket Game Corner has been significantly stripped down. In Let’s Go, all of the slot machines have been replaced by arcade cabinets you can’t interact with, which means there’s no Coin Case and no gambling your way to earning a Porygon. That Pokemon can be obtained through a different means.
Pokemon in Different Locations
In addition to Porygon being in a different location, there’s also no Eevee to be found in the Celadon Condos. In fact, a number of creatures that you could only obtain once by speaking to a specific NPC in Yellow can now be found in the wild. While yes, you can still get a Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle in the same way that you find them in Pokemon Yellow, you can also find them roaming the Kanto wilderness.
Remember the bike shop owner in Cerulean City? He’s now a bike maniac who won’t sell you a bike. That’s right, you can’t ride a bike in Pokemon: Let’s Go—but don’t worry, it’s been replaced by something arguably better. Now you can select any Pokemon from your party to follow you outside its Pokeball, and if it’s a rideable Pokemon, you can hop on and traverse Kanto by land, sea, or air in some fast, fun, and charming ways.
A popular change introduced in Sun and Moon is also featured in Pokemon: Let’s Go but in a slightly different form. That’s right, we’re talking about the removal of HMs. However, instead of using Poke Ride, like in Sun and Moon, your Pikachu or Eevee will learn various Secret Techniques throughout the course of your adventure that effectively replace Fly, Surf, Flash, Cut, and Strength.
Gary, the cocky grandson of Professor Oak, is not your rival in Pokemon: Let’s Go. Instead, the character who will challenge you throughout your journey is a kind and humble childhood friend. Instead of popping up to talk smack and give you a hard time, your rival will support you and even give you a few helpful items throughout your quest. However, that isn’t to say some classic characters from the original games don’t appear during your journey across Kanto as well.
No More Random Battles
Perhaps the most significant change in Pokemon: Let’s Go is the absence of random battles. Instead, Pokemon are seen roaming the overworld, and when your character comes in contact with one, you enter a catching sequence akin to Pokemon Go. While there are still plenty of trainer battles with traditional turn-based style gameplay where you can level up your Pokemon, your party will also gain experience when you successfully capture Pokemon.
Gym Entry Requirements
Unlike in Pokemon Yellow, and every prior Pokemon game, in order to challenge a gym in Pokemon: Let’s Go, you must meet a specific requirement. These requirements vary. For example, you may need to have a Pokemon of a specific type or one that has reached a certain level. A few gyms require rather unique requirements, which we won’t spoil for you here.
No Pokemon PC
Pokemon researcher Bill is still in Let’s Go, but his PC storage system, which has been a staple in all the core Pokemon games, is nowhere to be found in Pokemon: Let’s Go. Instead, you have a Pokemon box in your inventory that can be accessed whenever you aren’t in battle. While it makes things extremely convenient, having the ability to swap out Pokemon that have fainted or are low on HP/PP without having to visit a Pokemon Center lowers the difficulty considerably.
Several changes and features that were added in the generations following Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow appear in Pokemon: Let’s Go. Not only can you choose the gender of your character (first introduced in Pokemon Crystal), you can outfit your character with different clothing options that you find throughout your journey. Added Pokemon types—like Steel, Fairy, and Dark—are featured in Pokemon Let’s Go, as are some of the moves that were added in later generations. You will also face off against other trainers in double battles, be able to obtain Alolan Pokemon, and even have the option of powering up some of your Pokemon with Mega Evolutions.
Those are the biggest changes from Pokemon Yellow to Pokemon: Let’s Go. For more, check out our review of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Let’s Go, Eevee, as well as our compilation of every Pokemon walking animation in the game.
More Helpful Pokemon Let’s Go Guide Pages
Walkthrough: IGN has a complete walkthrough of Let’s Go’s main quest line, complete with information on trainers and Pokemon in each area of the map.
Master Trainer Locations: The Master Trainers are unlocked in the post game. There are 153 Master Trainers, and we’ve found them all!
Alex Osborn is IGN’s associate homepage editor. You can follow him on Twitter.