Pokémon Let’s GO, Pikachu! and Let’s GO, Eevee! will be doing away with HMs, which has been an series staple in mainline Pokémon games since Red and Blue.
Game Freak director Junichi Masuda revealed on the variety show Pokénchi that players will be able to call on their partner Pokémon – Pikachu or Eevee – to help with HM activities such as cutting down trees and surfing. This was displayed on video, which showed Pikachu cutting down a tree and catching some gnarly waves:
Instead of the traditional usage of HM moves, which are taught via a rare story item called a Hidden Machine, certain Pokémon will now inherently have Hidden Moves. This is a massive departure for the series, which ordinarily paces its story around receiving HMs that allow for significant back-tracking and improved exploration.
The addition of new moves was also teased, which seem to ignore the limitations of Pokémon type. Pikachu, for example, can learn a Water-type move called Splash Surf, despite being an Electric-type. For those with a basic knowledge of the game or physics should know water and electricity do not typically mix. This move will also lessen Pikachu’s weakness to Ground-types.
Eevee, on the other hand, can learn a Fire-type move called Flare Burn, which guarantees to apply a burn to an opposing enemy. Both moves seem incredibly powerful, allowing for some change to the game’s meta. Game Freak has been altering the foundation of mainline games significantly in recent years, which has alleviated the possibility of the series turning stale.
No confirmation was given on whether these moves will be exclusive to partner Pokémon, but it does seem like these moves, along with HMs, will be a partner privilege. Most importantly, Pikachu has a surfboard again, which he seemed to retire in Yellow.
Pokémon Let’s GO, Pikachu! and Let’s GO, Eevee! will be launching on Nintendo Switch Nov. 16.