6 Thoughts on Pokemon GO
It’s been a month now since Pokemon GO took over the world, and I’d like to think everything has changed for the better — though I suppose nothing has really changed at all. The world is still the world. And Pokemon GO has not yet become the perfect game it was always meant to be. It’s got a long way to go and a lot of updates ahead of itself. But hey, at least it’s fun.
Right now, I’m level 18 and am on Team Valor. I’ve seen and caught 60 pokemon with a pretty empty Pokedex. I’ve captured a few gyms, but one can’t really hold a gym for long. I’m not really in it for the gyms anyway. My strongest team is made up of mostly Eevee evolutions, because that’s just pretty easy, apparently. And I catch more Weedles and Rattatas than one would ever want. Fortunately, that just keeps boosting up my Stardust reserve for when I really need that stuff down the line.
I’m excited to see the world get into a pokemon mood, and I’m doubly excited now for Pokemon Sun and Moon coming in November. So join me after the jump for my thoughts on the phenomenon that is Pokemon GO!
6. It’s not very good, but I’m enjoying it anyway
I enjoy playing Pokemon GO, but I can readily admit that it’s not a very good ‘game’. There’s just not much to it at this early stage. You walk around collecting pokemon that you randomly find, and if you’re up for it, you try to battle at some Gyms. There are no trainer vs. trainer battles. No trading. No badges or masters or Elite Four. You just walk around and hope that something interesting pops up. And even if something doesn’t, you can still catch the lame garbage pokemon and use them for resources. It’s just endless collecting with only fleeting future goals in mind. But that’s fine by me, because…
5. I’m in it for the collecting
Like I said before, I’ve captured a couple of gyms, but in my town, they don’t stay captured for very long. Definitely not long enough to collect any coins or accomplish anything noteworthy. There are just too many other people with much higher pokemon than me. So why play? Because I like the very basic, very simplistic goal of spotting and catching these colorful critters. I’ve been a Pokemon fan since the very beginning. I could probably name you all 150 original pokemon (if I saw their pictures). So adding to my collection is just plain fun. There’s little work involved. I’ve got a ton of Poke Stops in my town to gather supplies. And the excitement of catching something new or rare is really kinda great.
If Niantic ever gives us a legit tracking feature, I’m going to love the game even more. When Poke Vision was working and I could actually track down pokemon I wanted in the wild, I was having a blast! I will build my collection and make my pokemon strong, just let me at it, Niantic!
4. Why are our starter Pokemon so lame?
When the game starts, we catch our first pokemon: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle or Pikachu. I picked Bulbasaur, obviously. But then…what the heck are we supposed to do with them? I’ve spotted one Bulbasaur in the wild, a couple Squirtles and zero Charmanders. There has been little to no opportunity to power up my starter pokemon, let alone evolve him into something big and bad. Plus, at level 18 or above, when I do find a wild Bulbasaur, he’s going to be multiples of hundred times stronger than my starter. It would be a massive waste of resources to get my starter pokemon into battling shape. So why bother? Ostensibly, it’s because our starter pokemons should be the most important ones! They’re our starters, our first pets! But due to the very nature of the game, they’re pretty much the weakest pokemon we’ll ever hold on to. It’s just a big shame.
3. Is there any way that I, alone, can have Mewtwo?
Mewtwo is my favorite pokemon. So could Niantic, somehow, make it so only I get to possess Mewtwo? I mean, there’s only one Mewtwo. That’s the entire point of his character. So it wouldn’t make any sense for Mewtwos to randomly start spawning in Pokemon GO. There can be only one, and for purely selfish reasons, I want him. Simple as that. Make it happen, Niantic!
2. I am far more interested in the underlying technology
Pokemon GO is a veritable worldwide phenomenon, and that’s great. I love the idea that everybody in the world is playing and enjoying the same game. But more importantly, I’m excited that this game has made Augmented Reality a much bigger deal. I am convinced that Pokemon GO is the babysteps towards the Star Trek Holodeck. There have been some amazing strides in virtual reality in the past couple years. I don’t follow the tech world that closely, but the videos and articles I have seen online get me very excited.
Through Augmented Reality, Pokemon GO puts us into a real pokemon world. They pop up, we catch them and we battle, and it looks kind of like they exist in the real world. It’s obviously not perfect, and our cell phones are a restricted delivery system. But I love how the game piggybacks on the real world rather than create some giant virtual world. And hopefully this is only the beginning. Hopefully we can marry the progress in virtual reality with the potential of augmented reality and create real, fully-immersive video game worlds!
In which we’ll play Grand Theft Auto or The Sims.
1. It’s got me up and walking around, people!
Seriously, I’ve gone on several walks around the neighborhood, and I hope to go on even more. This is a big deal, people! I’m getting exercise, good exercise, willfully and cheerfully. And when the weather cools down a bit and we stop getting these swelteringly hot days, I hope to do even more walking! Me! Walking! I don’t really find many pokemon on my chosen route, but the path is littered with Poke Stops. It’s a great way to get out there, and I desperately need a way to get out there. Go Pokemon GO!