In during dwindling hype.
The premise of Pokemon Go is that you can catch pokemon “in real life” by finding server-based spawns that correlate to your phone’s GPS positioning. A ball-flicking minigame ensues when you encounter a pokemon, and based off a number of bullshit factors you will either capture the pokemon or fail harder than fansubbing in 2016.
In practice, this entails a bunch of social rejects wandering around downtown areas (for better spawns & items), swiping grease across their budget smartphones and setting the human race’s shame threshold back centuries.
Pay to Play
Go is touted as a free to play game, but that honestly only rings true for homeless people sleeping in parks or casualfags who don’t understand how fucking serious this children’s game really is.
There are three ways to acquire the pokeballs that are needed to play the game:
- Level up
- Find a pokestop (landmark, not likely going to be your house)
- Buy them
If you don’t live near any pokestops, expect to run out of the “free” part of the game relatively quickly. Rural players are essentially fucked from the get-go, but you can get reamed even in a densely populated area because the map data regarding landmarks is complete bullshit.
Come higher levels, the number of items required to catch pokemon or improve your standings vastly exceeds that which you can acquire from the free methods, so you’re pretty much gated based on how easily you’re parted from your money. Not exactly a novel tactic for f2p trash, but it’s a sad new low for Nintendo, and that’s saying something.
When it comes to pvp, don’t even bother thinking about it unless you’re willing to blow a couple hundred at the offset. And actually, don’t even bother thinking about it in general. The gym system fucking sucks beyond any wordly description, and even the paste eaters who didn’t choose Team Valor can probably understand that.
Glitches and Such
Ignoring the poor gameplay, Pokemon Go is plagued by glitches. Expect to force quit every five minutes in the vain hope that your next load might by tolerable.
- “Nearby” pokemon that show up on the tracker are often not even there, due to sync issues
- Servers are frequently down
- Gym battles can straight glitch out, causing you to face invincible gym leaders (but if you care about gym battles you deserve to be fucked)
- Capturing pokemon can cause infinite loading, meaning fuck you, you didn’t capture Dratini after all
- GPS frequently fails, throwing your character into an ocean as devoid of life and meaning as the Niantic server support team
Dozens more issues haunt this low-budget cash-in, but I suppose anything that gives you an excuse to NOT play this game is a blessing in disguise.
Look, Pokemon Go shouldn’t be judged as a game — it’s a social experience fueled by a sense of exploration, nostalgia, and group dynamics. Think of this shit as a treasure hunt that you aren’t looking for excuses to avoid.
The primary hook for me is having something to do with your friends when you have no better alternatives. Take last Friday, I was hanging out with my buds cuz Monster Hunter had just released and we frequently have local co-op hunts for MonHuns. Turns out Generations sucks harder than 4U’s end game, so we went out for a quick walk to catch some pokes instead, and ended up on a 5-hour tour of the best back alleys our town had to offer.
Since then, I’ve spent way too much time doing the dumbest shit in the name of catching Weedles and Pidgeys. Much like an anime con, I can’t suggest you play Pokemon Go if you don’t have any friends willing to waste an evening or two breaking social norms and pissing off the easily offended. But if you do, expect some dumb, quality fun. Just don’t get caught up in the game’s gaudy interface and think that it’s Pokemon Go itself you’re enjoying.
Rating: 3/10, on a good day