4 Hour Review:  Pokemon Go!

Welcome to Pokemon Basic

Pokemon GO

Hey everyone!  I’m finally getting a chance to write a review on Nintendo’s second mobile game, Pokemon Go!  Many of you have already heard a lot about Pokemon Go! from the major news outlets.  When I first heard about the game, I didn’t realize how popular it would become over the last week.  However, based on what I see today, will the game last the hype?  Let’s find out.

The Game and Augmented Reality

Pokemon Go! starts you out meeting Professor Willow. Like many professors before him, he explains the world of Pokemon and briefly goes over a tutorial on how to catch the Pokemon.  From there, you are basically on your own to explore Earth as you see fit.  Your main objective is really to catch them all and if you happen to be by any important landmarks, you can either claim a gym to become the gym leader or you can fight your way to it.  The Pokemon you collect will be recorded in your game and you get to see what the Pokemon in a Pokedex entry.  The game uses Google Maps and the location of your phone using its location software.  Once a Pokemon is near you, your phone will let you know and you can try and catch it.  In the catch mode of the game, you must point your camera in the location of the Pokemon and toss your poke ball at it.  I’ve noticed that actually swiping your finger to catch a Pokemon is actually a lot harder on your first catch since you don’t really have a good idea how hard you should swipe and aim is ok at best.  All you got to do is figure out a good idea on a best swipe and let the Poke Ball land on the Pokemon.  So far, of the three Pokemon I have caught, I’ve been able to get them in a ball in one shot.  Probably makes sense because you don’t actually wear them down in battle to collect them.  All in all, that is pretty much it.

This is also my first “Augmented Reality” game as well, kind of a cool way to play a game being able to play the game in a real world setting.  As virtual reality gets more and more popular, I’d like augmented reality to get popular as well.  Playing Pokemon Go is also a good entry point for augmented reality games and shows just how popular it can be if you have the right IP.

So as an adult or parent why should I even pick this game up?

Minus the fact that its free, I love the fact that this can be included into a family activity, but not so much that it needs to dominate your entire trip.  You can walk around, see some sights, and then grab some Pokemon.  Its a fun addition to your trip which I think you and your younger kids can enjoy together.  Once I am done on this business trip, I plan on playing this again with my kids and adding this into our normal walks.  It does require you to be connected.  I haven’t been able to play it on my 4G/cell service plan, so please be careful on how much data you are using.

If you are an adult with no kids, I think you can still get some enjoyment out of it, being its become a bit mainstream and I’ve heard some good (and some bad) stories of people meeting each other and carrying on a conversation.  Kind of a nice starter topic.

I don’t know if buying things in game store is a good idea or not at this point.  It kind of depends on how much you are in the game.  If you were going to buy something, buy the item that attracts Pokemon to you.  I’ve been able to collect two of my Pokemon that way.

Any issues and will it last?

Not so much of an issue per say, but I feel Nintendo really wanted to play it safe on this game.  I don’t blame them for doing this since it is Nintendo’s early entry into the mobile game market, but the game does feel like it is very much bare bones.  What I expected to play would have at least a trading feature or a battle feature so you can get some new Pokemon or gain some additional exp.  I’m hoping that Nintendo realizes that this untapped resource for mobile games with the Nintendo brand is something they want to look more into.  Last report shows them having a 33% profit increase, so that may be some more incentive.  If Nintendo is smart, and let’s face it the company has been around since 1889, it should realize that in order to keep people in the game, you need to start adding these basic improvements.  If Nintendo gets on this, the game could last a long time.

From a phone perspective, this game eats your battery life.  As I am writing these articles, my phone was at 66% and an hour and 15 minutes later, my battery is nearly dead.

Should I get this game?

I would say, it being free, why not?  Its a fun basic game that adds a bonus to your travels and it might even bring another thing in common with the family.

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Go catch’m all!

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You can find me on Twitter: @ChronoLionheart