I am in love with Pokemon Go! I live in Miami Florida so going outside in the summer isn’t all the fun when everyday is 90 plus degrees and humid but there hasn’t been a day since the release of Pokemon Go that I haven’t gone for a walk or gone to the park to catch a few pokemon. A nice side effect is that I have lost 5 pounds and I look for any excuse to go somewhere to discover what new pokemon I will find. The fact that they are starting with the original 150 is also a huge reason it has its hooks in me. I was obsessed with Pokemon Red and Blue when I was younger, I started with Squirtle and I beat the game with my level 99 Blastoise. I caught every pokemon and it was the first game that made me want to grind to level up all my pokemon, so when I run into a new pokemon in Go it takes me back to those days and brings up a ton of memories.
Pokemon Go is a GPS tracking augmented reality game, in which you find Pokemon in the real world using your phone. It has 150 pokemon to find as of now, although there are some that no one has been able to find such as Mew, Mewtwo, the 3 legendary birds Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. Also Ditto has yet to be caught, but seeing that Ditto can take the shape of any pokemon we might already have it and not know it. There are also region locked pokemon such as Tauros in North America, Europe has Mr. Mime, Farfetch’d is exclusive to Asia, and Kangaskhan to Australia. It’s rumored the region locked ones may be hatched from an egg. Eggs are found at poke stops and hatch once you walk the required length, it ranges from 2km to 10 km. Pokestops are all over and contain the items you need in the game like pokeballs, health potions, revives and more. You can also get items by leveling up. Pokemon Go is free to download but you can buy items in the game to help you catch them all. Thankfully it doesn’t have a pay to win system, the items you can buy you can get for free by playing. The goal is to have pokemon powerful enough to take over Gyms. Gyms are all over and are currently the only time you can battle your pokemon.
The future of Pokemon Go is a bright one if the team at Niantic and the Pokemon company play their cards right. The initial trailer (Which you can see at the top of the page) shows a lot of features that have yet to show up in the game. The ability to trade and battle other trainers is shown in the trailer but not in the game currently. Another big stand out is at the end when a group of trainers team up to take down a mewtwo. This interactivity between trailers hasn’t made its way into the game just yet but the team at Niantic has said it will be coming in future updates.
As I stated earlier the game launched with 150 Pokemon but the world of Pokemon has over 800 including the new ones soon to be introduced in this fall’s Pokemon Sun and Moon for the 3DS. So there is no shortage of new pokemon they can introduce into the game. I doubt they would do huge expansions but adding 50 here and there can keep the game fresh for a long time. I am curious to see how they handle legendary pokemon and the ability to catch them, are they are going to do raids like the one seen in the trailer to catch Mewtwo and how are they going to spread that out to make it fair to all players. Seeing Nintendo’s push into the mobile market and the questions surrounding the Nintendo NX with the rumor that it’s a hybrid system that brings mobile and home consoles together, brings up interesting possibilities that could be introduced to bring the worlds of Pokemon together.
I personally would love to see more pokemon in the game and the ability to interact with other trainers around you. Leaderboards to see how our friends are doing and compare collections. Aside from gyms I would like to see other forms of battle in the game, random encounters that could be triggered with an online matchmaking system would be amazing. A buddy mode that adds a pokemon of your choice to walk alongside your avatar like pikachu and ash did in the show would be nice. The customization of your avatar could also see some upgrades. I’m excited about this game unlike any other mobile game I have played, and it’s up to the developers to keep things fresh so that players don’t move on to something new.
Pokemon Go Plus is a wearable add on to the game that allows gamers play without looking at their phones. The peripheral notifies that player when there is a pokemon around and even throws the pokeball for you if you have caught that pokemon before. It also notifies you if a pokestop is near and lets you see what they have to offer. I don’t know how to feel about this peripheral yet, I can understand why it exist but it’s an easy mode for the game if you want my opinion. I do understand you can’t always have your phone out and running so for those gamers that just need to always be aware of the pokemon around them i guess this works for them.