Pokémon Go came out in summer 2016 and was a social phenomenon, for the summer it was all people were seen doing, talking about or writing about. And then it tailed off, people had collected as much as they could, and the thrill had worn off, some people stayed playing and a few returned the following summer when new Pokémon were introduced alongside the ‘Raids’ feature. Steady drips of content have seen players flit in and out across the last two years. Lately the draw back to the game has been research quests, adding a further layer to the game. In particular the ‘mythic’ questline to hunt everyone’s nostalgia filled Pokémon ‘Mew’ (I defy any one who has watched Pokémon the first Movie to tell me Mew is not awesome).
However, a huge new feature was added in the last few weeks and it has added a whole new dimension to the game. Finally, players can trade Pokémon between them. Now this is huge within the Pokémon Go communities across the world as it allows travellers to trade region exclusives and meet new people, it gives further reasons to communicate and talk face to face as you must be with your friend in person to complete a trade. This is awesome and has added to my joy of the game even though I’m not active in big communities. Here’s why:
I’ve been playing Pokémon Go since launch almost daily, sure there have been sometimes where I may not play for a few days, but this has been mainly during the droughts of new content. You see I live on the outskirts of a reasonably large town but work out of town. As such I never really go into town where there are Poke stops and Gyms galore. In my area there are really only 3 Poke stops I can get to easily and even they require going a suitable distance out of my way. Where I work there is 1 Gym and perhaps 1 Poke stop that if I pull the car over I can spin after work but then I’m blocking the small country lane. Despite this my love for the game has always remained and it’s become something that I could only have dreamt of as a child, I am in many ways now a ‘Pokémon Trainer’ as it was explained to me through the cartoon and the original games.
I delight in speaking about the game to the few people I know who also play, sharing what we have and what rare or shiny Pokémon we have. My proudest is most likely a red Gyarados, as I remember searching in vain for this elusive Pokémon after rumours began swirling around my school.
My wife plays too but less than me, and here is why I feel the latest updates have given the game new life and why I love it still.
I can help others now.
My wife unfortunately evolved a Gyarados just before the Mew questline was released and it has a step that is ‘evolve a Magikarp into a Gyarados’ ……… it took her a year and a half to get 1, how will she ever manage to get another 400 candies (Go’s version of upgrade points) before the quest disappears forever. Simple, with my help.
For every Magikarp she caught, so did I. We could then trade back and forth to slowly build up her candy bank until finally the other day we managed it. The feeling of helping her in that way was awesome and a way for me to enjoy the game in an entirely new way. I have found the same with a friend who recently deleted his e-mail account to then realise it was linked to his Pokémon Go account and now had to start again.
Ok no worries let me help you. I have 2 Nidoqueen, that will take you an age to collect so here have one of mine.
This method of kindness and social positivity is a wonder and one that I think Pokémon Go ahs always had but can now add another arrow to its quiver. I do belong to a local Facebook Pokémon Go community but am not active on it. I don’t really raid as its just not what I’m in the game for. So yes I don’t have all the Legendary Pokémon but now I can get there slowly through the research tasks. These reward players with specific Pokémon for completing 1 a day for 7 days. Awesome now I can finally get that Raikou I really wanted but had to go into town and sit hoping for a raid and people to show up.
It’s not that I worry about grouping up, I’ve done it with my wife in a different city on Holiday. We went for a long weekend break to Birmingham excited to go and do some raids. When there we bumped into plenty of people playing the game in groups who encouraged us to join them and we had a great afternoon. My wife had a better one that I did however as I ended up with only 1 legendary Zapdos while my wife caught all available Legendary Pokémon (Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno and Lugia) literally in a row. By the end she was asking me if I wanted her to even try and catch it as she now felt bad for me. It’s a terrific story that we can now tell that we would not have had without Pokémon Go.
Pokémon Go’s addition of these few features has allowed the game to be more accessible for old and new players alike. If you want to group up and play that way then go ahead and your going to have a great time, but if you want to play solo or with just a couple of friends then you can still get those rare creatures that before were locked behind multiplayer.
I love Pokémon Go because it plays on my nostalgia while allowing me to approach it in a way that suits my adult life. I look forward to each new update while enjoying playing what I have in front of me.
As it stands I’m Level 32 and proud of it. I have 148 Pokémon from the 1st generation, 91 from the 2nd generation and 94 from the 3rd generation. I have a few region exclusives from some travels I’ve been lucky enough to take. I have defended Gyms for 1094 hours and had 211 gym battles. I’ve walked 558km with the game since launch and caught a total of 6,667 Pokémon, all while only having completed 4 Legendary raids and 25 in total. I have done all of this in the last 2 years and I’m not stopping any time soon.
At the time of writing (literally) Pokémon Go’s twitter account has announced the new set of mythic quests will be available August 20th and work towards an encounter with Pokémon’s 2nd mythic Pokémon ‘Celebi’. Previously Celebi had only been a reward for attendees at Pokémon Go fest 2018 in Chicago. If you attended and already have a Celebi your reward will be Celebi Candies to power up your mythical Pokémon. In addition, it was stated that you can complete both Mew and Celebi mythical quests alongside each other if you are still working on your Mew questline (Like my wife, Phew).
My friend code is 8465 2120 2174 go ahead and add me if you want.