Hi guys so by now you know that Pokémon Go is here and it has taken the world by storm! This is the biggest thing to happen since Pokémon itself took over my childhood with tazzos! And if you were lucky enough to be a kid in the earl 00’s you know what I am talking about but Pokémon Go is far beyond what I could have imaged and I am here to follow-up on my Pokémon Go Trailer Review I wrote back in late 2015 after actually playing the game.
So if you are living under a rock let me give you a little context, I am going to take it way back to what Pokémon actually is. Satoshi Tajiri the genius behind the lovable creatures created Pokémon in 1995. The name Pokémon comes from the Japanese term Poketto Monsutā which essentially means pocket monster. The original games were RPG created for Gameboy which some of us (me!) may have played on our computer through an emulator.
Anyway back to the point, the concept of the game was to be a Pokémon trainer with two objectives. One to complete an encyclopedia of sorts called the pokedex with Pokémon you caught and train Pokémon to battle other trainers and be the very best, that no one ever was (if you get this reference to give yourself 10 points.) The game like it’s Pokémon evolved over the years producing a total of 7 generations and over 700 Pokémon that includes the first 151. The franchise also has a very popular Anime series and films as well Pokémon related merchandise.
As a gamer it is a great time to be alive as Pokémon Go has brought us the captivating gameplay of our childhood but has incorporated it with modern technology to be one of the most amazing games out there. Pokémon Go retains the basic game concept of the original but makes it interactive for the player by bringing Pokémon into our world.
Pokémon Go is a location-based application meaning it uses your location to map out where Pokémon , Pokémon Stops and Pokémon Gyms are in your area. You get to catch your own Pokémon and evolve them as well as train them by battling in gyms.
Unfortunately it has not been released in every country as yet and here in South Africa you won’t find it in the play store but there is a way around this. You can check out my Facebook Page by clicking here where I will post link to getting Pokémon Go in South Africa.
When you first start the game you get prompted by a spiffy looking professor. You then get to pick your character, choosing between two different types and are allowed some basic customization such as hair colour and clothing selections. You are just about set when you get to select your first Pokémon and your options are Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. Some say you could get a Pikachu but I had already selected mine before this.
Game play is pretty simple, a map of your area appears this shows you where you can find Pokémon, gyms and stops. Pokestops give you some valuable items like pokeballs which you use to catch Pokémon and gyms allow you to battle and gain experience.
At the bottom right corner of your screen you will see a block indicating what Pokémon are near by.You can also track Pokémon by selecting the one you want and following the compass at the top right of your screen.
If you select the pokeball in the middle of your screen you will be taken to a menu where you will find your pokedex, shop and items. On the bottom left you see what level you are at and how far you need to go to the next level.
My Experience with Pokemon Go:
I have officially been playing it for a week now and I have learnt a thing or two about this game. When it came down to selecting my first Pokémon it was a no brainer. I went with Charmander, with my love for dragons and favoritism for Charazard when playing Super Smash Bros, I went with my little dragon. But a week ago I was so naive, my hopes of getting a Charazard dwindled when I found out it would take 50 candies to level.
What are candies you may ask? Candies and what you get when you catch a Pokémon or when you transfer them. When you go to your Pokémon menu and select a Pokémon right at the bottom you have the option to transfer to professor. For every transfer of a specific Pokémon you receive a candy. And I have yet to see a Charmander come up on my radar.
When I started catching Pokémon I ran into a bunch of commons, meaning every time my phone vibrated it was most likely a Zubat! Damn those zubats. I didn’t want to waste pokeballs on them so I caught one and that was it but I quickly learnt that in order to evolve and gain xp I would need more. Catching as many of one Pokémon is important if you want to evolve it.
Something else that is import is the Combat Power of a Pokémon. When you catch a Pokémon you can see their CP levels. As you gain experience the chances of getting a higher CP Pokémon is better. You can also see what attacks your Pokémon have by going into them on the Pokémon menu, It’s good to trade your lower levels and keep the higher ones while you collect candy.
Pokestops are a must you will find these at malls, parks and other buildings usually at an entrance. You select it as soon as it comes up in your area and spin it to get items such as pokeballs. I have managed to collect quite a few and have been playing with 80 to 100 pokeballs since starting. If you run out of balls, you can purchase them and other items in your main menu at the shop.
Cool items I have found are Potions which restores the HP of a Pokémon by 20 points. Revive which restores a fainted Pokémon. Other items you can find when you level up are eggs, egg incubator,and incense that attract Pokémon for 30 mins
I love the incense as it can help you catch some Pokémon that are uncommon or rare. I used an incense the other day to attract Pokémon to my house. Sometimes it doesn’t work well but it I managed to catch a Rhydon which was pretty cool as it had a high CP.
Eggs are also fun as they not only need to be incubated to be hatched but you also need to walk the distance indicated on the egg for you to get a new Pokémon. My first egg required me to walk 5km and when it hatched I got a Nirodan. You can’t really cheat walking with this one as the app does not pick up distances when you are in the car!
I managed to evolve my Zubat into a Golbat after using 50 candies. I had to catch as many Zubats as I could find which wasn’t too hard as the practically live in my house, it must be a cave! I also lost a few Pokémons like Jiggy Puff and a Seaking. I am still not over this but not all Pokémon are easy to catch and I am still getting the hang of it!
Leveling up requires you to catch Pokémon, I received a medal and xp from catching a certain number of Pokémon and catching a certain amount of water Pokémon. You can also level by evolving and training. At the time I wrote this I was close to level 8. When you reach level 5 you are prompted to choose a team. Team Valor, Team Mystic, or Team Instinct.Teams would battle against each other for gyms, I decided to go for Valor and Gareth went with Mystic.
Remember that the game has gained tremendous popularity and new people are joining in each day but with every good game there would be some downfalls. We Pokémon players have our very own PSD and that is the one below. From time to timer the servers have been failing us and we have to wait around until they are up but I have discovered that we should also check our cellphone network provider as I experienced problems with Vodacom and not the Pokémon server and received the Pokémon Screen of Disconnect.
I love the game as it so innovative, Gareth and I have gone to the park to look for Pokémon as well as pulled out our phones while taking a drive to catch some different Pokémon that are not common in our area. I feel like it we are reliving our childhood in the best way possible and are doing it together as a couple activity.
I would like to pursue the game more seriously and am looking into going to Pokémon meet ups as well as purchasing the Bluetooth low energy device made for the game called Pokémon Go Plus that allows the player to find Pokémon without looking at their phones. I have done some research and this item should be released around the end of July in South Africa goes for R600.00 up. Gareth said I could get one but I don’t think he knew the price yet! We’ll see if I get my hands on it in the future.
Besides it being such an awesome game Pokémon Go is promoting exercise and getting people to go out into their world instead of sitting in front of a screen, which no game has done before. I think great things are still to come from Pokémon Go and I am happy to be alive!
Let me know if you have been playing the game in the comments below and what is your favorite Pokémon, mines gotta be Jiggly Puff.
PS; Even though Pokémon is brilliant and captivating please be aware of your surrounds and make sure when you are out catching Pokémon you are safe!