ATG Game Review: Pokemon Go Revisited

So back when it first came out I did a few posts about the game Pokemon Go as well as a few videos. Back when it first came out in July of 2016 I quite enjoyed it when I raced to get it on my android phone. It wasn’t the best at first as I loaded it first on my Ipod and the location services through a wifi just aren’t as good as through an actual phone line. I eventually switched to my Android phone which made it a hundred times better since I stopped getting errors. Now I play this on my Ipad which has T-Mobile and it works just fine.

Now 2 years later Pokemon Go has truly blossomed up with releasing 3 or 4 gens of Pokemon now and Alolan forms and even finally getting the ability to have friends and do trading and such. So my big thing with this now is does this game still hold up its playability after two years, has it slacked or has it gotten better?

General Playability-

When Pokemon Go first came out and for several months thereafter there were a lot of problems with Pokemon Go. They weren’t ready with the servers for the load they were finding were playing the game so there was a lot of times where there were outages and downtime to the game as millions of players signed on at once and crashed things. Now after two years they have gotten the server problems pretty much under control as when I first started playing it was out like once or twice a day and now a days there is very rarely a time that I can’t log in. So overall playability has certainly improved. Now I am sure this is from the fall off of the non-main player base who tried it due to the hype and was then like “whatever” and deleted it. Now you basically just have the core players which is still a very active community around the globe as well as better servers ready to handle larger loads. I do have one thing I am not thrilled with when it comes to overall playability though. In the beginning, this was a great game for me as I would turn it on and use it as a reason to walk around the Walmart several times thus it helped me with my recovery from surgery and getting back to walking again. However, as my back got worse and worse I got out walking less and less and thus was able to catch less pokemon and hatch fewer eggs. Add to this that they implemented restrictions past a certain speed fairly early in the game due to idiots playing while they drive and it quickly became a game that is not easy for handicapped people to play. Right now it takes me weeks if not months to hatch some eggs because I have to rely on the slower speeds in the car as we slow down at a red light and then take off at a green light from a stop…this racks up egg KM’s very slowly. To be honest, if it wasn’t for having a gym in my front yard that at least pulls in a small amount of pokemon I probably would have quit this game for not being able to do much of anything.

General Battles-

The wild pokemon battles have not changed much. The whole mechanic of just throwing a ball is not too bad but I do wish you could do an actual battle before capturing something. I think that would be much better than the whole berry thing. Also, I have a problem with having more than one type of Pokeball and the berries. I seem to have less luck using higher ranked balls and berries than I do just catching them with no berries and low rank balls. I will honestly use a ton of berries and higher rank balls on something that is red for the basics and end up exhausting my high rank balls just to catch it on my first or second berryless basic ball throw! I somehow have the feeling that other balls and berries are just fodder to fill your backpack so you have to purchase more space.

Gyms and Gym Battles-

Gyms when the game first came out were kinda annoying. If your pokemon were too low level you couldn’t hold onto a gym but at the same time if you ran into gyms where someone 10 levels over you had plopped in pokemon that they had trained up real good then you couldn’t capture rival gyms and you would have a team sitting on a gym for weeks! They have changed around gyms now so that as your pokemon sits in it it’s CP goes down making it easier to defeat. However I think this has it’s own drawbacks as now there really isn’t any way to ever truly hold a gym for very long. As it stands I lose my gym in my front yard at least once a week as the school kids walk home past my house, they plop a huge CP monster in there and I either waste a few pokemon trying to get it out or I simply wait 2 days for the CP to drop and then go and defeat it no problem. One other thing that kinda sucks is the inability to lure the gyms. It was really nice when the gym in front of my house was just a pokestop because I was able to both spin and lure it and thus bring in more pokemon to catch. Since the gym upgrades my pokestop became a gym and now I can capture it and spin and thus get a good amount of stuff for my bag on each spin but I can’t lure a lot of pokemon to my yard anymore which has a definite downfall for me who can’t get out of my house as often due to my disability.

Random Pokemon Encounters-

This hasn’t really changed…there are still a lot of Pidgeys and Rattatas but now they have a lot of other small pokemon that you can overload with easily as well due to the new gens being added. However, the one thing that has not improved at all is encountering the pokemon in more rural areas. When I go to my parent’s house which is in the middle of two small towns in the middle of nowhere Florida I just never find any pokemon unless I go into town. There are maybe 3 pokestops within a mile of us and one gym! If I was living out here I would not be playing Pokemon Go simply because the amount of catches suck unless you hit up the local Winn-Dixie or Walmart!

Eggs-

Eggs haven’t changed much except that now that you have friends and they can send you presents you might get a friend egg for a 7km walk that will give you an Alolan form of a pokemon which is kinda cool….unless it’s Meowth as his Alolan form just looks kinda odd and then when it becomes Persian just looks stupid as can be.

Buddies and Friends-

A good addition that wasn’t in the game in the beginning are both the buddy system and the friend system. With the Buddy system you can have a pokemon walk at your side and find candies after a certain amount of distance walked. This can come in handy with things like Magicarp and Swablu who need 400 candies to evolve or if you’re just having problems finding that one last candy you need to evolve someone! Friendship is a cool little thing as well. This allows you to make friends all over the world with a friend code and this was just recently implemented. Friendship gets you XP as you go up in levels and the presents you can gain from pokestops and gyms can be sent to friends and when you open them you can find stardust, eggs, pokeballs and more! This system also lets you trade pokemon which brings me to my next section.

Trading-

In the beginning trading was non-existent but said to be coming soon. Well 2 years later and it is finally in the game. I have a HUGE problem with the trading system however. In an early pokemon show they had Team Rocket attack a pokemon center to try and steal Pikachu and there was a fire and all sorts of insanity and what did they do to save the pokemon? They teleported them away to another pokecenter! So we know teleporting pokemon is a thing in fact when Ash gets more than his 6 pokemon that he carries with him all the time he teleports them to Professor Oak to take care of otherwise he would have to go back to Pallet Town all the time. So now I have friends in Slovakia and England and Australia but you know what I can’t do with these friends? I can’t trade with them because they are too far away. In fact I can’t even trade with someone in Jacksonville just 3 hours away from my house because they too are too far away! So looking it up the max distance for a trade is 100 meters or in other words just 300 feet! This is a hugely limited distance for trades. This is a HUGE disadvantage for people like me who don’t have local friends really and because of disability can’t get out much to do things.

Here is a good guide all about trading in Pokemon Go~~> https://www.polygon.com/guides/2018/7/2/17500714/pokemon-go-trade-guide

Raids-

Another thing that came to gyms was the raids. This is where a powerful pokemon basically goes to a gym and you get a bunch of friends together and go beat the hugely powerful pokemon in the hopes of then being able to catch it. There are a lot of rare pokemon that show up in the raids and even some legendaries! The biggest problem is even a Magikarp from a raid has like 11,000 CP and others have even more! Unless it is a smaller thing like a Magikarp you NEED to work together to take the big guys down. People like me again who don’t have local friends or don’t get out much due to disabilities will not be able to do this successfully much, if at all.

Overall, I do enjoy playing Pokemon Go and I think if I were able to get out and go for walks and such like I used to I would love it even more! This and other AR games certainly aren’t the greatest for Disabled people that can’t get around but if you’re lucky enough to live right next to a gym like I do then it can be overcome to some extent. All in all, I think this game has held up over the years and with the field research and quests that have been added I think it just has gotten better over time. I still highly recommend this game and I hope it does nothing but get better and better!

What do you guys think about Pokemon Go? Have you played it? Are you excited for Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee which is basically a combination of Go and the original Pokemon Yellow? Sound off below and let me know what you think! Also if you want to support our group feel free to head over to Ko-fi.com/thalra and leave us a tip!

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