Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Gotta Catch 'Em All (That Are Available On Your Continent) - Pokemon Go iOS Ryview

Pokemon Go, by Niantic.

I was going to explain what Pokemon Go is, but I figure if you're reading this you definitely already know or solidly don't care.

Although, that being said, describing games makes me feel important, so away I go: Pokemon Go is an app where you run around in the real world to catch Pokemon. You find them "randomly" around town, although there are nests and spawning areas that you can find to lower the random factor. And you also have to refill your items at "Pokestops" which are generally landmarks around town, and those are the ones that are making people famous for trespassing while trying to get some extra pokeballs.

As a fun, Pokemon inspired game, this is a pretty cool app. You feel like a real Pokemon trainer when you're running around trying to nab those crafty little monsters, and it's fun being able to manage them (sometimes). But my biggest complaint is how dissimilar this is from the actual games.

Very few occasions to rip random animals you find to shreds [2]

There's no normal battle mechanic in the app. You battle at gyms, which is a fun way to have your team/alliance/cult come out on top, but that isn't really super prevalent, especially early on when all the nearby gyms are super overpowered for you anyway. The classic games had you battle random Pokemon and you had to strategically try to catch wild ones once they were injured. There's none of that here. And I don't really know why.

This would be a much better game (in my opinion), if it was more like the actual games. Get a starting Pokemon from Professor Not Oak and go catch some wild ones. The app is already pretty much set up for everything. Just use the battle mechanic from the gyms for wild encounters, but have a button to switch to trying to catch it. Then the app functions like it does now. That could also allow you to level up your Pokemon through battling, just like in the games.

What this app turns out to be is a shoddy imitation that feels like some sort of tie-in game. where it's the same characters but none of the spirit.

That being said, I also have a lot of complaints with the actual app creators. Their tracking system didn't work, so they disabled it entirely. They stopped people from researching where to find things, which means if you live out in the middle of nowhere you're pretty fucked. And they recently made it harder to catch wild Pokemon. So you know that super rare guy you just found? He'll run away faster now. Oh, and you'll need to use twice as many pokeballs on average to catch him. Good luck.

I don't need any more friggin' revive tokens!!1! [3]

Plus, as my title indicated (pause so you go back and reread the title), some Pokemon are region specific. Which is all fine and dandy, but I'm not flying to Australia to catch a Pokemon. Couldn't you just have a system where each square 500 miles, or 100 miles, or whatever you want within some semblance of reason, has every Pokemon that currently available? Right now it seems a little insane, and by a little insane I mean what the fuck were you thinking?

At any rate, I'm enjoying it for what it is: an activity to distract myself while I'm walking. It's good motivation to exercise, and it's fun trying to "catch 'em all", even if that statement is entirely impossible right now since only 146 or so Pokemon are even in the wild right now, even globally.

If you're a Pokemon fan and you haven't already started playing, it's worth a try just to relive your glory days. But you might want to play an actual Pokemon game on the side.

And if you hate Pokemon and wish it would die, go hide under a rock for another month or so. This app is sure to be a fad that dies away at some point.

At least until they start releasing Gen II Pokemon into the wild...

Let me know what you think of Pokemon Go in the comments!

Until next time,


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