The Nintendo Switch’s first full Pokémon games, ‘Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!’ and ‘Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!’ will introduce a new generation of players to the joys of ‘Pokémon: Red and Blue’

Since the release of “Pokémon: Red and Blue” on the Game Boy in 1996, the Pokémon franchise has become iconic around the world, spawning countless spin-off games, an animated series and movies, a trading card craze, an on-stage musical, and most recently, a live action film.

And as Pokémon has gradually secured its place in our cultural memory, the video games have continued to add new layers to the franchise’s rich world with generation after generation of new Pokémon. In the 22 years since the series began, the original 151 monsters in “Pokémon: Red, Blue and Yellow” have ballooned into a roster of more than 800 different species, with even more variations.

It’s a lot to keep track of, even for those who have been fans of the series for years. The days of casually naming every Pokémon are long gone.

On Friday, November 16th, Nintendo will take a step back to the basics with the release of “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee!” The two games, which cost $60 (or $100 with a special controller), are the first games in the main Pokémon series to be released for the Nintendo Switch console, and they represent an effort to recapture the magic that enraptured the franchise’s first generation of fans.

Here’s what it’s like to play the latest Pokémon games:

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