You know for a guy on the gaming beat for this website, you would think that I would have played through one of the most important RPG franchises of all time. This is not the case, I never really like the idea of a handheld gaming device since I was about 13. The devices always seemed to be too large or didn’t offer the library that I liked. It also didn’t help that my school would confiscate all non-calculator electronic devices on site and you would have to wait till the end of the year to get them, making the school yard Pokemon community, seem more like a black market. Not wanting to waste $200 just to play Pokemon, and giving into the hype I downloaded Pokemon Go for my iPhone.
I think that it should be noted again, at how horrible the launch of this product is. Since I am an iPhone user, the app didn’t appear on the app store till about 8pm central time. Once downloaded, trying to register with the Pokemon site just didn’t work. You think that Niantic and Nintendo would realize that when you break your iconic franchise away from platform exclusivity, would be like a DDoS attack on servers. These issues still haven’t gone away but at least I can play the game from time to time. So I signed up with my Google account to get into the game, only to find out that Niantic has full access to my Google account. The game (at least on iOS) is prone to freezing, crashing, and drops in connection. Playing the game is an exercise in patience, as playing it as intended turns out to more a game of luck if the app works or not.
So Pokemon Go, is a mess, but why is it now pinned on the home screen on my iPhone? Pokemon Go for all its flaws is a fulfillment of what the original concept could be. An adventure in your pocket with tons of whimsical creatures who you can find and friend.
Game of Thrones season 6 ended and I didn’t know what do to on a Sunday night so I ended up taking a 4 mile walk to see if I could find some rare Pokemon. Despite my frustration with the app never finding a GPS signal or being able to use any of my items, I still had a fun time getting exercise in. As I approached my house my phone started to connect to the wifi, the app came back to life. I was shocked to see a Pokemon that even non-Pokemon trainers would know sitting on in my front yard. Low and behold a Jigglypuff! I frantically tap the screen to catch this Pokemon, the first ball hits, the animation plays, the camera zooms in, the ball just sits there…and sits there… and sits there… and the app crashes. Then I realized why Pokemon Go will be the long lasting mobile hit that everyone wants it to be, I had a fisherman’s, “the one that got away” story to tell.
So as a first time Pokemon Trainer, do I advise you to download the App? Yeah, its free, why not. Just don’t expect to have the great adventure you imagined until there are some major stability patches. Pokemon Go is a game about personal stories, because it requires the real world as the game space. It is not with out a bunch of problems. The game will give you an adventure and get you out of the house. If you skim the news, I am sure you find the article of the 16 year old Wyoming girl who found a dead body, which is always an adventure… in a morbid way. Just try not to be mugged when playing it, unfortunately that is a concern, but you can’t blame a game on that, that is society and shitty people. I am addicted to this app for what I have to do to succeed, and I can’t wait to head out on my next adventure down to Lake Michigan to find some more Pokemon.
PS. Don’t listen to Kyle, Team Valor is dumb, GO TEAM MYSTIC