...we still don’t have trading. We still don’t have PvP battles. Events are unexciting. But that’s because the game was so wildly popular at it’s release a year ago that development had to be reorganized to keep up with the intense demand.
Fair enough. I’m no developer and I don’t claim to understand how app development actually works. But I know we keep getting promises and underwhelming follow-through. Case and point: events. What do we get for the anniversary? A Pikachu with Ash’s hat, which is fun, but also doesn’t give it’s dues to how much of a global phenomenon Pokémon Go was just a year ago. Others like the Bloom, Adventure and Solstice event just upped some Pokémon appearance rates. If you’re gonna make hats a thing, give them to more than Pikachu and make events happen more often. I’m looking at you Valentine’s day that didn’t have a Jigglypuff with a hat.
I remember back when Pokémon Go first came out. I was committed to logging in with my Pokemon.com account so I suffered through not playing the first day it was available. When I finally could get on I played for minutes before getting kicked off. I somehow managed to catch a Dragonite on that account before switching to a Google account. I heard that Google accounts were having an easier time logging in so I left behind that Dragonite and whatever levels I’d earned to that point. It was fine because I told myself that I’d eventually get to trade that Dragonite to my new account. Here we are a year after and Dragonite is as good as a ghost.
When gyms were first created the experience quickly devolved into people faking and cheating their way into breaking them. Back then Vaporeon was a over-powered and the metagame was uneven. Today, thanks to a recent total-revamp, gyms are more enjoyable and engaging. Vaporeon might still be a powerhouse but the changes Niantic made elevated the game for the millions who are still playing and added some fun elements for lower-level trainers. I trust that they will take a lot of the same care when implementing PvP and trading.
Along with the missing PvP feature, trading is still noticeably absent from the experience. It wouldn’t be a big deal if certain Pokémon weren’t made region exclusive, like Corsola, Heracross, Kanghaskan, and Mr. Mime. Opening up trading will mean these Pokémon that have only been obtainable through cheating or expensive plane tickets, a necessity for Pokédex completionists. Legendaries are still missing.
Hopefully we’ll see some progress and announcements in the next few months. This will come after the new, possibly legendary, Fests like the one Niantic is putting on in Chicago (and hopefully one in DC soon too!). Niantic is definitely on a delayed schedule, but at least the little bits of progress are in the right direction (even if they don’t always push the hype like they should).
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JpSr388 is a casual(ish) gaymer, hardcore Nintendo fan, designer & writer. He writes about what he cares about, and is always good for some opinions. Keep on the lookout for more editorial, QuickDraws, Hot Takes and reviews here.