I will be the first to admit, that what I thought was going to be a short lived passing interest for very few, has in many respects taken over the world. Pokemon GO is far more than a lite rip off phone game, it has become something huge that has even businesses and churches playing into the hype.
Many are quick to point out the negative effects it has had on society, like people being mugged for going to a poke stop with lure on, or people driving while playing (like those same people weren’t on their phones driving anyway), or people playing in inappropriate areas such as the holocaust museum. I tend to see it in a much more optimistic light. This is the first video game to come out that I can personally say has done the world a global service of good. I have never seen something take the world by storm like Pokemon GO that has gotten everybody to get out of their houses and enjoy the outdoors and local spots like this game has.
There are Pokemon events, such as the ones in Old Town Spring where I live that have been going on for the past couple of weekends where players all get together in a festival like atmosphere, selling shirts for the different teams you can choose from, cosplaying as Ash or Pikachu, and catching as many Pokemon and hitting as many poke stops as they can. It is Pokemon fever, very much reminiscent of how it was for many of us growing up when Pokemon cards and Game Boy games took over the world.
A great thing I noticed at the event last weekend is how Pokemon GO is able to show you interesting spots that you didn’t know about in your favorite places to hang out. I discovered a restaurant with a sidewalk that goes through the inside of it, a civil war museum, and I always find different statues and landmarks that I am glad to find out about thanks to the poke stop feature in the game.
Another feature is the Gym battles, which are definitely different from any other form of Pokemon battling system, at least that I have seen. You attack by tapping the opponents Pokemon & holding the screen for a special attack. It still uses all of the Pokemon types so choose wisely when you go into a battle & take advantage of the different types weaknesses & strengths. For defend you can swipes left or right on the screen to help your Pokemon dodge incoming attacks. If the gym is friendly to your team (Valor, Mystic, or Instinct) you are able to drop a Pokemon off to help defend the gym. You will receive prizes for each time your Pokemon helps defend the gym, such as pokecoins or items. You also can battle at friendly gyms to help raise its prestige and make it harder for other teams to take the gym over. Alternatively, if it is an enemy gym you are able to battle and help lower their prestige, hoping to help your gym take it over. You are still able to battle friendly gyms, but it will only help to train your Pokemon, raise your XP, & raise the friendly gyms prestige level making it harder for opposing teams to take them over.
We’ve covered a lot so far but there is still much more in the vast world of Pokemon GO. Let’s talk about those precious Poke Balls of yours, the ones you scream loudly after throwing only to have a Pokemon break free and kick up dust behind. There was a rumor going around that if you tap the poke balls that miss, they would reappear in your inventory. As it turns out this rumor is false, but it is a feature that Niantic should seriously consider adding. The balls are paid for, or gained by going on tireless runs to different poke stops, so if this were a true feature it would definitely be helpful. There is also a curveball effect that is apparently something you can do strategically to gain more points for a catch, but seems to only happen to me when I am trying to throw it straight causing me to waste 8 or 9 poke balls on a Rattata or Pidgey.
I hope I’ve been able to shed some light for you on this game that has grabbed us all by the phones and drug us out into the bright scary world. It’s been a pleasure and I am sure that I will be able to do future reviews on the updates and new possibilities added into the world of Pokemon GO.
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