Pokémon Let's Go for the Nintendo Switch isn't out yet, but it's already drawn some heat for its seeming lack of challenge. A post-game called "Master Trainer" might be exactly what veteran trainers need to work up a good sweat—or at least break into a light perspiration.
Master Trainer lets you find and challenge specialized trainers around Kanto. You'll find a trainer who specializes in Charizard, a trainer who specializes in Gyrados, a trainer who specializes in Metapod(!!!), and so on. If you accept a master trainer's challenge, you'll engage in a one-on-one fight with your own Pokémon of that particular flavor. No items. Final Destination. Fox only.
It's tricky enough to fight without items, but to make things stickier, the master trainers' Pokémon use "unexpected moves" to spice up the battles. The trailer for the new mode shows the Gyrados master using Thunderbolt against the player's Gyrados—a move Gyrados can only learn via a TM (and a move that devastates Water-types).
Game Freak executive director Junichi Masuda tells Eurogamer there are 151 Master Trainers in all. He hopes the Master Trainer challenge—151 in all, one for each Kanto Pokémon—will prove rewarding for long-time Pokémon fans.
"My favourite Pokémon is Psyduck, so I'd be training my Psyduck amazingly and then would challenge the Psyduck Master, and then gain the Psyduck Master title, and that's something you can put a lot of effort and a lot of time into, if I really wanted to create a challenge for myself," Masuda says. "And these Master Trainers exist for all of the 151 Pokémon in the game, so you know, if you want to collect all of the titles then that's something you can really challenge yourself with."
Will you claim the coveted title of "Weedle Master?" Will the Master Trainer feature be enough to sate Pokémon fans who are miffed about Pokémon Let's Go being streamlined / "dumbed down" in other ways? All of Kanto's mysteries are yours to explore on November 16. Keep an eye on our Pokémon Let's Go guide for more information on Master Trainers.