Deaf Game Review – Pokemon Let’s Go

Pokemon Let's Go Ddeaf Accessibility
6 / 6 Reviewer
No voiced dialogue so everything is subtitled, Subtitles are very easy to read, Helpful visual indicators paired with important sounds
Visual Representation of Dialogue
Visual Representation of Sound
Visual Cues

There are many ways Nintendo continually fails in accessibility. Mark Brown outlined some of their biggest issues in his piece for Medium. One area in which they excel, however, is with deaf accessibility. We’ve yet to play a game on the Switch console that disappointed when it came to deaf accessibility and Pokemon Let’s Go fits nicely into that trend (though there are some majorissues with physical accessibility).

Language options screen

You’re asked at the start of a new game which language you’d like to play in and while there are no options to turn subtitles on or off, this isn’t an issue because there is only text dialogue, so subtitles are all you get. This also means that they’re very well done too. Large enough to easily read and always contained within a speech bubble, consistently at the bottom of the screen.

Angry looking boy talking to player character, subtitles shown in bottom text box.
Professor Oak talking to player, dialogue shown in text box.

It’s also very helpful that unless there’s only one character shown on the screen, the speaker is always labeled.

Challenge cutscene, player character looking at challenger with Evee on her head.
Inside Pokemon lab, player character interacting with Evee.

Important info, such as when you’ve been challenged by a trainer or, even more importantly, if Eevee is staring at your face.

Battle scene with Evee showing player how to use controls. White and green pulsing circles in center of screen.
Pokemon petting mechanic screen with Evee.

There are also visual indications for many sounds made in the game. The pulse of when you should throw your Pokeball is a nice bright green that grows and decreases in size, and when bonding with your Pokemon, you see an explosion of hearts and stars (not pictured here because my timing for hitting the capture button sucks).

Pokemon Let’s Go is one of the rare games we can find no fault with. It’s fully accessible to deaf and hoh players and every accessible thing is very well done. Deaf players will have a playing experience on par with that of hearing players.

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