Pokemon Go is finally here and all you have to do to see this is look around; People everywhere are trying to catch ’em all. Nintendo and its affiliates have always been exceptionally good at bringing people together with one purpose in mind: to have fun playing video games. There’s no denying that Pokemon Go embodies this magic completely. There are people everywhere playing, and many of them weren’t gamers or at least don’t play on a regular basis. It’s incredible to see people everywhere embracing this wonderful and magical world.
I’m a huge Nintendo fan, and just as big of a Pokemon fan. Seriously, ask my wife; Nintendo is about half of what I talk about when it comes to games. Unfortunately I was unable to play on release day. I was busy with work that day, and it didn’t hit Android in America until later and I was tired. I intended to hit the ground running the next day and I did… well, mostly. We drove and ran around to cover more ground.
My friend Mike and I carpool to work on most days and he asked if I wanted to go Pokemon hunting after work. It may as well have been a rhetorical question because the answer was obviously ‘Yes.’ As soon as we clocked out, we headed out into the magical world that now finally awaited us. I have been wanting this to be a reality since I was a kid, so my apologies to Nintendo if I’m a little bitter. It’s summertime and I live in Oklahoma so I normally just stay inside as much as possible, but on this day I was outside for over 6 hours – and, despite being about 100 degrees, it was incredible.
Now we live in a large city so please understand your mileage may vary and I mean that quite literally; you may have to travel a lot farther and wider if you live in a more rural area. In Tulsa there are stores, places, landmarks, parks, and more everywhere so it didn’t take much traveling for the party to begin. As soon as Mike and I left our workplace we started finding Pokemon and Pokespots immediately, and there wasn’t too much time in between encounters and locations. Every location and encounter was filled with excitement and fun. Sure, we were exploring locations that we could have been going to all along, but this was just so much more compelling and exciting. One of the first locations we stopped at was the parking lot for our local zoo. It’s quite a big parking lot and it was near a zoo, so we were thinking there’d definitely be some good Pokemon and hopefully some pokespots, as well. This is where the TRUE magic began.
As soon as we got to the zoo we saw a guy driving around near us glancing at his phone and we wondered if they were playing Pokemon Go as well. We were skeptical. I mean, after all, this was a gamer thing … right? Wrong. We held up our phones as we drove past and yelled “Pokemon?” and, sure enough, they held their phone up and yelled “Pokemon!” right back at us. This was interesting and exciting. We knew there were other people playing, but this was different. This was out in the open and, for the most part, everywhere. It was so cool seeing people playing right out in the open. And that was just the beginning.
Everywhere we went we saw people playing Pokemon Go. We went to parks, parking lots, a museum, a college campus, and everywhere we went there were groups of people and individuals looking for Pokemon. Mike and I even awkwardly walked around a hospital looking for the gym that was located inside. It was a statue of a boy playing–next to the front desk. It was awkward because the staff were trying to help us and we were just playing Pokemon. How often have Mike and I walked around for miles and had a blast in the process? Never. And now we plan on doing it weekly.
One of my favorite aspects of Pokemon Go is definitely the multiplayer and how different it feels. For those that haven’t played yet, this may sound confusing but it’s almost a new form of multiplayer. We were walking and driving all over the city and having conversations with other trainers. We discussed strategies, what was ahead on the path we had come from, nearby Pokespots, gyms we had bumped into, and it was wonderful and friendly.
Reality is never this simple to navigate for gamers. I normally don’t like hiking around the city; Now I don’t think twice about it. This is what games are all about and Nintendo and The Pokemon Company are completely aware of it. Graphics and game design may be important, but nothing will ever truly triumph over the fun factor.
The impact of this game is undeniable and all you have to do to see for yourself is ask your local police department or your neighbor about it. Believe me – they’re already playing and they’ll be able to tell you what Pokemon are near their location and where they normally hunt for wild Pokemon. The game itself is a blast and I know I will be playing for years to come.
Pokemon Go may seem simple in its design, but it’s deceitfully addictive and fun despite its simplicity. The game uses your phone’s data and GPS connection to interact with the world around you. As you travel you’ll encounter Pokemon to capture to add to your collection while also replenishing your supplies at Pokespots. It’s at these Pokestops that you’ll obtain incense, pokeballs, potions, and more to aid you on your journey. In all honesty, as long as your play the game as it was intended you’ll never need to spend any money. I am currently at level seven with around thirty Pokemon and I haven’t felt the need to spend a dime.
As you travel around catching Pokemon you are bound to bump into Pokespots and replenish supplies. If you live in a rural area then you may not have as many, but in my experience it only takes five minutes for the Pokespots to refresh and allow you to collect items again. I have over a hundred pokeballs and many other items, as well. The only items I might consider buying would be some incense, and that would just be for days I want to play Pokemon Go without the “Go.” Incense draws Pokemon to you and this helps a ton if you’re already traveling, but it can also cause them to show up if you’re just sitting on the couch. There will be times I will want just that. Overall, I am having a blast with Pokemon Go and there is very little I would want updated.
But there are a few things about Pokemon Go that I’m hoping they’ll change in the near future. My only major issue is the battling and trading. There is currently no trading, and the battling is very limited. I don’t know if they intend to make any changes to how these things operate, but I am hoping they do.
As I said, trading doesn’t currently exist, and I understand that they may fear it would take away from the “Go” aspect of the game, but I disagree. I think it would increase interactions and travel because you’d want to travel, not just for the locations themselves, but also for the people playing. It certainly isn’t a deal breaker and it doesn’t take away from the game, but I would love to trade with others. It would also add to the social aspect that I know The Pokemon Company loves so much.
Battling is in the game but only with gyms. Battling consists of tapping and long presses on your Pokemon, while moving to dodge attacks from your opponent’s Pokemon. It’s also never between two people. Gyms are stocked with the current gym leader’s chosen Pokemon that they to leave there. You see, after someone beats the current leader’s team, they get to leave some Pokemon there and they remain there until someone beats them. You’re never directly defending your gym. However, I don’t mind this system at all.
It actually makes a lot of sense because you can have up to ten gyms, and it’d hold the game back if people were constantly trying to battle a gym, waiting for you to respond to them. I understand this thought process, but I really wish they would add local wireless and online wireless battles just like in the 3DS games. I don’t think this would detract from the current mechanics at all, and I think it would also add to the multiplayer aspect. I also wish that the battles were taken in turns, allowing you to choose your attacks like in the core games.
Pokemon Go is already incredible, and it only came out two days ago. I am already fully engrossed in the experience and excited for the future of the game. I can honestly say that I will be playing for years even if they don’t make any changes or improvements to the game. I’m also thrilled that there are people traveling all over, communicating with each other, and having fun all because of a video game. If you haven’t checked out Pokemon Go yet, then I highly recommend you download it and give it a try… Your very own Pokemon legend is about to unfold!
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