When Pokémon Go was initially announced, I could not contain my inner child’s excitement. The realisation that my childhood was to become a reality was very overwhelming.
Pokémon Go is upon us and I am so pleased it has received the response it has, not just from veteran fans, like myself, but people who have never even played a game in their life.
However, as comes with the territory of video-games, there are always negative stories. There have been stories reported of people harassing each other to get that Charizard in the street, people playing whilst driving and people who, mid-game, unknowingly walk into busy roads. Most recently, a story has emerged from Missouri about a group of teenagers luring victims to be robbed by using the popular app. It awful to hear of the latter, and thankfully the authorities managed to capture the offenders in the act. Quite frankly, I am tired of hearing the negative stories, you cannot control people and it’s not the fault of the game. It’s the same principle of hearing Google Map stories of people driving into walls or lakes, do you not have your eyes open when you’re driving? I digress.
Pokémon has been going for many years, and this new innovative form of the Pocket Monster series is truly a step in the right direction. For older fans, trying to keep up with the current generation of Pokémon is always humorous; Luvdisc, Chandelure and Litwick. Yes, that’s right. Pokémon is not at its best in terms of the names, the names now stand for literally what they sound like.
I am not sounding biased, or bitter here but the first few generations there seemed to be a genuine effort in creating the Pokémon. I appreciate that as time goes on (it’s been 20 years) the creators could lose the creative juices when thinking of the names. This instalment seems to be a natural fit for the series giving us the chance to re-visit an old flame; The First Generation of Pokémon.
For Nintendo, they have definitely struck gold with this ground-breaking app. Nintendo have been criticised over the past few years, due to their poor console sales and other concerns regarding their creative IPs. The partnership of Nintendo and Pokémon is a beautiful one, and this mobile release is a testament to that. It is heart warming to hear of all the stories from Pokémon Go interactions that are bringing people together. This is something I feel that Nintendo were and have always been good at, since playing my first SNES at 6 years of age.
Pokémon also has that cunning effect of drawing people together, similar to Nintendo and their games. Many years ago, it was the collection of stickers and cards that brought myself and my friends together, it caused arguments but that was part of the package. This is the digital equivalent but created in a more life-like reality. For Pokémon this means a reach out to kids today and being able to stay relevant in a such a digitally focused age.
I think what Pokémon Go has also done is show the power of mobile gaming. When you think of mobile games Candy Crush comes to mind, real casual stuff. Pokémon Go has shown us how gaming on a mobile can be done, and done right.
Overall, I take my hat off to Niantic Inc for bringing my childhood to reality and for bringing Pokémon back into the mainstream. I am excited too see what features will be added in the months to come.