mairie;;pokemon;;app;;ios;;android;;niantic;;nintendo Mairie "Mary Appins" Heijnen

POKÉMON GO: A RETROSPECTIVE

By Mairie "Mary Appins" Heijnen on September 7, 2016

At first, I said that I wouldn't write a review last month, just to enjoy my holidays to their fullest. BUT, then I found out that a very special app was going to be released, so I changed my mind and yelled DIBS at the top of my voice (and trust me, that's really, REALLY loud). I had to be fast because although it is technically an app, which is the category I write about, just knew a lot of my fellow crewmembers had their eye on this game as well.

Today, it has been nearly two months since the since the official European release. Yes, I was one of the few who waited patiently for the official release, because I just didn't want to take the risk of getting banned. Since its initial release, the Pokémon GO star has already lost quite a bit of its shine, but there are still a lot of people out there wanting to 'be the very best, like no one ever was.' and trying to catch 'em all. As with most of these hypes, Everyone wanted to play it as soon as it came out, which resulted in overloaded servers and the corresponding connection problems. This was the main reason for postponing the worldwide release in the first place. Nevertheless, Pokémon GO was finally released and everyone could throw their Pokéballs around to their hearts content. And man, I was jumping up and down like a 6 year old getting an ice-cream when I found out I could finally officially download it from the Play Store. Thank god I wasn't at the market or somewhere else where a lot of people could actually see me... oh wait... I was!

Pokémon GO is the game that a lot of people have been excited about for many, many, many months, mostly due to the fact that is was delayed several times. But man, it was definitely worth waiting for! However, to be honest I thought I would become more addicted to it which, in fact, I am not. I play it casually, and although I never leave the house without my smartphone, it's not like I only walk around playing Pokémon GO. Apart from that, I have never been much of a competitive player, I just want to "catch them all" and have the highest cp as humanly possible. And I don't want to waste all of my Pokeballs on F*^%k$g Pidgeys, Ratatas and Spearows. I know collecting these 'lesser' Pokémon might give you a tactical advantage in the end, but I just don't think it is fun. And yes, I just play the game for fun.

So, while I might have caused some hearing damage by screaming DIBS! at the top of my lungs, this doesn't mean I am a bitch who doesn't want to share the spotlight. So I sent out a questionnaire to my fellow reviewers and some of them even answered the questions I asked them. So instead of a standard review this is turning into a groups review. They all had the chance to play the game for an extended period of time, so let's see what they all made of Pokémon GO:


What was main the reason you downloaded Pokémon GO?

Gaz the Dungeonmaster:
Well, my minions were so annoying,so I needed something to distract me from their incessant yammering. Usually, I don't really like going outside, so I needed a damned good reason. And, well, nostalgia seemed as good a reason as any.

DumeeGamer (the BOSS):
To be honest, I want to lose some weight and be fitter. Walking is the best way for me to do that. But I don't enjoy just walking without a goal. Pokémon GO is about collecting Pokémon wherever you are, so I thought it would make my walks more fun. (which it did)

Daisy Gunpowder:
Plain and simple curiosity; I had never played Pokémon before.

Mary Appins:
I must admit I am still a big Pokémon fan. I even have a collection on display. So it is a dream come true to catch Pokémon in real life. And, since is still haven't got my letter from Hogwarts, this had to do.

What were your initial expectations for Pokémon GO?

Gaz the Dungeonmaster:
My expectations were basically that it would be what it is, a nice app that kills time while walking the dog... and that's it.

DumeeGamer (the BOSS):
I downloaded it after the official release in the Netherlands. Other people where already playing it and you could witness the resulting chaos while watching the news. People weren't paying attention anymore to anything else than Pokémon. So I think I mostly expected chaos.

Daisy Gunpowder:
I didn't really have any expectations to begin with. I just wanted to understand why some people liked the game so much.

Mary Appins:
I thought you would walk around and find all kinds of Pokémon in the real world, and you would be able to catch them, and train them and so on. So I think my expectations were spot on!

What was you first impression of Pokémon GO?

Gaz the Dungeonmaster:
My first impression was not very good... because it said servers were busy all the time. My second impression was that the app feels somewhat unfinished.

DumeeGamer (the BOSS):
Cool game and easy to learn.

Daisy Gunpowder:
It looks promising, but I have really no clue what to do.

Mary Appins:
OH MY GOD!!! There is a Pidgey in my living room and I can catch it! And trust me, this reaction hasn't change, every time I find a NEW Pokémon I am happy as a 6-year-old girl getting an ice-cream.

What changes, if any, would you make if you had the chance?

Gaz the Dungeonmaster:
MULTI TRANSFER... I want to be able to transfer like 40 Pokémon at once.

DumeeGamer (the BOSS):
I would like that the app counting my steps whether it's on or not, like a step counter. It would really make a difference when trying to hatch those pesky eggs.

Daisy Gunpowder:
More Pokémon to catch!

Mary Appins:
I would have used the real Google maps for the screen to walk around instead of the game made map.


What did you miss, and hoped they would add in coming updates?

Gaz the Dungeonmaster:
A trading system would be nice... I would like to have the opportunity to trade Pokémon with other people.

DumeeGamer (the BOSS):
I would love to be able to exchange Pokémon with friends!

Daisy Gunpowder:
A short user manual.

Mary Appins:
Uhm... Mostly things like, battling with friends, trading with friends, meeting in game trainers to battle against. Things like that, giving it a more of an old-school Pokémon feel.

Will this be a short Hype, or a long-running new life style?

Gaz the Dungeonmaster:
I think the hype will blow over but there will be a core set of players that will keep the game alive. And every so often, when major updates come along, it will be hyped up again.

DumeeGamer (the BOSS):
Like every other trend. There will be players who eventually lose their interested and stop playing in the end. And there will be a group of hard core fans, who play this thing until the day they die... from natural causes or by a Pokémon-related accident.

Daisy Gunpowder:
Personally, I think Pokémon GO is going to a short-lived hype

Mary Appins:
I am already noticing that the hype around the game is cooling down. Where you once saw masses of people walking around and sitting outside playing Pokémon GO, these numbers have been decreasing. But I don't mind, this just means there are more Pokémon left for me to catch!

What is your most strange/crazy/memorable/funny/dangerous/etc. Pokémon GO moment up till now?

Gaz the Dungeonmaster:
I don't play it enough to have some moments with Pokémon GO, but I did the most wonderful thing by hatching an egg, while sitting in bed instead of walking around... hurray for GPS tracking!

DumeeGamer (the BOSS):
I don't have an exceptional moment, I just enjoy my weekend walks with the Pokémon GO app. And every time it is exciting: Will I find a new Pokémon today?

Daisy Gunpowder:
I still feel a bit awkward walking in the street, looking intently at my phone to see if there are Pokémon around for me to catch. I sometimes feel a bit ashamed too; I put my phone away when I see people coming my way. But I did find out, that in the park (less people) there are a lot of Powerball loading stations (or whatever the heck they're called) and also a bunch of Pokémon to catch.

Mary Appins:
Besides the fact that I almost walked into a lamppost once or twice, the most memorable moment, not in a good way, was the fact that I had a Pikachu right in front of me and it ran away after breaking free of my Pokéballs several times.

Some end notes:

Gaz the Dungeonmaster:
If I catch any of my minions playing Pokémon GO, I will personally put them in a small steel ball and turn them into candy. So beware!

Daisy Gunpowder:
It's better (for me) to play Pokémon GO with two or even more people. I can get help and I won't get arrested for being seen as that crazy Pokémon lady, looking at her phone all day, catching Pokémon she can't even remember the names of. Really great are the Pokémon loading stations; apart from supplying you with the much needed Pokéballs and stuff, you can actually learn something about the city.

Mary Appins:
I would like to thank my crewmates for answering my questions and, by the way, here's a birthday present heads-up (my birthday is 23-09): I would like the Pokémon GO Plus, so I can catch Pokémon in class without my students noticing!


So, what more is there to be said; the opinions are divided, just as they are with the masses still playing Pokémon GO. Some love it, others like it, and some just don't get the hype around this 20 year old franchise. One thing is certain though: the Internet exploded over it and almost the whole world went absolutely crazy for a short period of time. But, as with most hypes, things seems to go back to normal and people are picking up their lives again. Since they won't be the first to catch them all, because others already did, they file Pokémon GO under 'fond memories' and wait for the next big thing. Niantic has already released some updates and I'm sure that many more will follow.

So just hang in there for a bit, the trading and battling will come. We'll just have to wait like we did for this game, only not quite so long. At least, I surely hope we won't have to wait another ten years before we can once again rejoice and go crazy over Pokémon! As for me, I will be playing it for many more hours, trying to become the very best, like no one ever was. And also waiting for someone to develop and release Hogwarts GO...


available on:

POKÉMON GO: A RETROSPECTIVE
Niantic, Inc. & The Pokémon Company
July 2016 (original release)