Since its launch, Pokemon Go has, as expected, taken the world by storm and it could be a genuine revolution in gaming.
The view of gamers still remains one of sceptisism. They stay in their darkly-lit bedrooms and develop square eyes whittling away hours in front of screens as Zubats fly around the room – but Pokemon Go forces the user to go out, have a walk, and enjoy the scenery of their town, and have genuine fun at the same time.
It is not the first time Nintendo have tried to get their audience active. They tried it with the Wii console, but once people figured out that instead of exercising you could just shake the remote to get equal results, the effect wore off, Pokemon Go does not seem to have been plagued with the same problem.
Nostalgia is the buzzword with Pokemon Go, and with good reason, this game is clearly more targeted at the ‘older’ player. Only Generation One seems to feature, so the 20-somethings who grew up on Pikachu, Charmander and Pidgey in their developing years have not been turned off by having to hunt a Popplio, or a Lunalu, or a Rockruff, whatever the hell they are.
Elements of traditional Pokemon has been lost, however, which will hurt fans. Perhaps the biggest change in this sense has been the loss of the battle aspect these games have become iconic for.
Training your little animated buddy has completely changed, the painstaking task of knocking out Rattata after Rattata you stumble on in the grass has evaporated. Now you rely on ‘Stardust’, which is gained after every Pokemon you catch and to evolve you need the candy of the desired Pokemon you wish to evolve, which yes, does mean you have to catch about 50 Bellsprouts if you want a Weepinbell.
Gym battles, also, have been radicalised. Instead of the strategic meetings, it is a spam-off with your competitor as you ram the screen as hard as your fingers will let you – tactics are a thing of the past, but overall, the magic still exists. Especially if you have managed to catch a Kadabra.
Overall though, this app is a force for good. It allows the teenager that has not quite grown up to re-live their childhood while also introducing the 21st Century infant to an existence they understand, in an age where everyone seems to have a phone.
Already the game has had positive impacts. Mental health is getting tackled by depression sufferers taking the nice walk outside in the sunshine that they so desperately craved while simultaneously escaping into their own world, away from the real one full of darkness and despair. Friendships, somewhat ironically, are getting made too, and not just with the cute animated ‘mons’ you catch. A pastime that gets people glued to their phones has got budding trainers together in both the virtual and real surroundings.
More and more Pokemon Go is becoming a social network and an exercise regime, not bad for a game.