Published on July 19th, 2016 | by Patrick Garde0
Pokémon Go Review
It’s been a long time coming but the elusive Pokémon Go from Niantic Labs has finally been released to the public – and players are ecstatic. Fans of the Pokémon franchise have been hoping to catch Pokémon in real life for the longest time now and this is easiest the closest we will ever come through our iOS and Android devices.
When you first load up the game, you will be visited by Professor Willow. He will explain to you the general idea of how Pokémon Go works and what you can expect from it for when you get started. After he’s finished telling you how to catch Pokémon, he lets you choose between one of the first generation Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander. However, if you would prefer to have Pikachu, all you have to do is keep walking away until they reset position about 4 times, and then you can capture yourself a Pikachu instead.
It doesn’t matter which character you pick, the tutorial that you’re shown is all the same. Basically, what happens is that a Pokémon pops up onto your screen, within your own reality or its own. It will also depend on how you’d prefer to play and then you are tasked with throwing a Pokeball at the Pokémon. Providing you hit the Pokémon with the ball, you will start to see a little ball rolling animation, and if the Pokémon doesn’t break out during the animation then you have captured them. From there, you can name them whatever you wish.
The way Pokémon Go works is by making use of your location relative to Google Maps. When you move a significant distance, like a house-worth maybe, your character will start to move through the locale, following your device’s GPS. As you are walking around, if any Pokémon comes within your circle, it will continuously go off. They will appear on your screen and you can tap them to try and capture them.
A lot of Pokémon games are focused around collecting every single Pokémon you can find, and Pokémon Go is no different. However, there is also other ways for players to spend their time. For instance, throughout the entire game, there are a number of Gyms that you can come in contact with and take down. If you manage to beat the Gym, you take a spot in the Gym until one of your Pokémon are stronger than the Gym leaders, and if you choose to challenge them and beat them, you will be taking their spot as the Gym leader in that location.
Gameplay in the Pokémon franchise has almost always been that of a turn-based nature. Pokémon Go has opted for a more real time perspective, instead, one where you need to do certain actions for your Pokémon to attack the other trainers. Unfortunately, unless you go into a Gym with the likelihood of losing, you aren’t really going to get a chance to try out the combat system. The only fights in the game are exclusively in Gym’s at the moment, so without a strong Pokémon, you won’t have a chance to make a real impact, wasting one of your Pokémon’s potential.
To level up your Pokémon, you have to give them some candy, which you can acquire from giving away one of your Pokémon to Professor Willow, but it also requires you to use some “Stardust”. Stardust however, is a real pain to acquire, unless you go on a mad Pokémon catching spree. If you do decide to upgrade your Pokémon, they don’t actually level up, but their combat power does, which is ultimately the only real stat that matters in the long run.
All of this is well and good, but if you go around and be the Pokémon catching master that you are, eventually you’re going to run out of resources. To replenish these you can walk around, look for these things called Pokestops, and they allow you to get a couple of Pokeballs, an egg, along with a number of other items that can be used. The whole Pokestop system isn’t so bad, providing you live in a town where there are a fair amount of landmarks that. But I can imagine that there will be some places where Pokestops will be few and far between, requiring people to pay real money for some resources that otherwise they might have some difficulty acquiring.
While it isn’t nice having to spend money every now and again, but you can’t deny a lot of the good this game has promoted. I know a number of individuals who don’t like Pokémon or video games at all, but now they’re going out of their way to hunt down the little creatures. Providing that you’re exploring in a sensible and safe way, Pokémon Go is nothing more than a general positive game.
Overall, Pokémon Go is a smash-hit, both among fans and beginners alike. Visually, the Pokémon look nice, although it is a disappointment that there are only so many out at the moment, rather than the entire Pokémon collection. Going out of your way to hunt Pokémon is a great way to spend an afternoon, especially if you go and do it with some friends. Right now, the game has a number of issues like server issues and crashes; problems that are a bit too prominent to be excused, but once they start getting sorted out, Pokémon Go will be even more popular than it already is.
Summary: For the time being, Pokémon Go has a lot of issues that subtract from the overall game, but the moment they start getting fixed, then Pokémon Go will be a massive staple for both gamers and non-gamers alike.