Pokémon GO: From Awesome to Awful

July 6, 2016. A date which will live in infamy.

But seriously, Pokémon GO was probably the best thing that happened to the App Store since Angry Birds. Pokémon GO is a revolutionary app that made people actually walk outside of their house to play Pokémon. But this game is not just for hardcore Pokémon Masters. It reached out to everyone that used to play it as well as people who did not. This is reflected through only putting the original 151 Pokémon in the game.

In fact, Nintendo’s sales have skyrocketed since the release. Now, if you look at your phone, you can plainly see that you fall into three groups: people who have the game and play it religiously; people who had the game and either scarcely play it or deleted it; and people who did not care for the game in the first place.

Now, normally, I would go on and on about how awesome this game is, but I won’t. Not just because I do not want to type that much, but rather, because the game really isn’t that good to begin with. When it was first released, Pokémon GO topped the charts in every category on nearly every app store worldwide. Then the problems started to happen. The game was shown to be more glitchy than Sonic ’06. (Maybe that’s pushing it.) Some glitches include: the Poké Ball hit freeze, which froze the game on a capture; Phantom Pokémon, which caused Pokémon to always appear three steps away; and the 1 HP glitch, which caused Gym Pokémon to survive indefinitely with 1 HP.

Glitches are not the only problem this game has. When it was first released, Pokémon were to appear everywhere, in parks, watersides, restricted areas, and people’s lawns (but not in streets or water). The same went for PokéStops, but regardless, people went into these forbidden places to catch Pidgey and Rattata. Did I mention the people who went off cliffs for Weedle? The worst part is the fact that most Pokémon are found in cities rather than rural areas. People were trespassing, crashing their cars, fighting in the streets, just for a buggy Pokémon game that is not really a Pokémon game? Prior to release, people thought that this game would be Pokémon without an emulator. But it turned out that it hardly had the qualities of a Pokémon game. No trainer battles and not trading Pokémon means that it’s really just tricking you into exercising. In recent updates, perhaps to combat this perception, Pokémon GO added Individual Values, or IVs for short. This is from the original Pokémon games, but it didn’t work quite the same way in GO. In the games, Pokémon can have up to 31 IVs rather than 15, making it harder to get the full 31 without constantly having Pokémon breed. People tried to make Pokémon GO tiers, with Dragonite and Snorlax on the top tier and Magikarp and Weedle at the bottom. I thought this was a pretty good idea to put in. It gives the sense of strategy that Pokémon is known for to the game. But that is the problem: people did not want strategy. They wanted simplicity. They wanted to be able to walk from Albany to North Carolina and be a Pokémon GO master. This is when people started deleting the game. It wasn’t just because of battery consumption. In the end, was it really worth it? Was it awesome, or awful? Think about that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to chase of the strangers off my lawn by throwing my Game Boy Color Pokémon games at them.

Image credit: imgur.com

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