Why Pokemon Go Could Be the Ultimate Game
If you’re a Pokemon fan, even in the slightest, you’ve probably already been aware of the new mobile, augmented reality game, Pokemon Go, since its announcement over the past year until now. After a recent, brief period of beta testing across different areas in the world, the game was officially released to the general public on July 6th, with compatibility for both Android and iPhone users alike.
When this project was first announced, I was both confident and excited about this new approach to the franchise. “It’s the perfect idea.”, I thought. It combines the dreamy, rich world of Pokemon, and the real environment around us into one, to simulate the same thrill and experiences we watched the characters in the anime series have growing up.
It’s any escapist’s dream, really — in perhaps one of the best ways possible. No matter what kind of person you are; if you love Pokemon, you will more than likely find your ‘place’ in Pokemon Go. This is what fundamentally makes Pokemon Go such a great idea. It takes this perceived fantasy of endless exploration, allows individuals to indulge themselves in it, and brings people together.
The concept of the game is simple; to primarily to catch Pokemon and accomplish the many tasks that you would normally do in any of the handheld games — evolve your pokemon, hatch eggs, challenge gyms, and so on. Using location data (with your phone GPS), you’re able to encounter different Pokemon in different areas based on your geographical location. Essentially, you’ll only be able to find more Pokemon by physically moving to different spots, or traveling to new areas — close-by or far away. The phenomenon in particular about this game, is that it’s augmented-reality, meaning that along with your location data (which interacts with Pokemon spawns), your phone’s gyroscope sensor utilizes your camera for the 3D Pokemon models to appear as if they are actually in front of you — on the ground, table, in the water, or wherever.
As of right now, the first generation of 151 pokemon, from the Kanto region of the story, are in the game’s data, which makes sense since most people who are familiar with Pokemon would know a petty few from the very beginning of the franchise. With time, however, I am positive that Niantic, the primary developer of Pokemon Go, will add the subsequent generations of Pokemon if they are conscientious enough about the game’s quality and depth.
Since the game’s initial release last Wednesday, and despite the countless glitches and bugs given the game’s early stages to the general public, the popularity of Pokemon Go has gone through the roof. Everyone is outside now — in the streets, at parks, in the forest, etc. It’s easy to enjoy, whether you’re alone or among your friends.
What makes Pokemon Go the ultimate game, as of right now, is that it combines everything that the gaming industry’s future is geared towards. This newfound approach to virtual reality, paired with mobility, where all modern-day phone users can participate — accented by pleasing graphics of rich-colored 3D renditions of all Pokemon. Even if you’re not a very thorough or ‘technical’ gamer, Pokemon Go is a free-to-play, casual, mobile game. It’s nothing to give yourself a headache about. You can enjoy it around your house, across the street, taking a day-trip to go hiking with your friends, or even abroad. It’s also a fun way to motivate yourself to get some physical exercise. You can’t go wrong with this. If anything, it can only get better from this point on, where five more generations (hundreds) worth of pokemon have yet to be added to the game, and further features to be introduced towards the future.
However, on the flip-side of things, Pokemon Go is currently a very dull mobile game in its early stages. With many bugs and glitches in mind, many players have already advanced quite far into the game and it’s hardly been a week since the release. Player characters have no customization for their outfits, server timeouts are very frequent, and in-game player vs. player interaction features are practically non-existent. Let’s also not forget that there are currently only the first 151 Pokemon (out of 721) programmed into the game. That’s a lot of Pokemon.
Personally, I’ve always liked the idea of the Pokemon franchise being normalized in a way that people all over the world could express themselves within it – beyond the scope of a handheld console game. We’ve always understood Pokemon to be about endless adventure, and the creatures we meet along the way, so why not experience that? Pokemon Go could take the thrill of traditional handheld games to an entirely new level. It’s unifying, enjoyable, and accessible for everyone.
What are your thoughts on Pokemon Go?
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