If You Played The Original Pokemon Blue or Red - Don't Waste Your Time With GO.

I downloaded Pokemon Go for the iphone. Now to do this I had to use the U.S Itunes App Store, which I didn’t know was possible! Sadly this was the highlight of my evening.

 If you really must - Click here for instructions on how to get the game.

For a little context - I’m not a hater. In fact I was a fan of the original TV show, and the proud owner of a Gameboy with Pokemon Blue. I lost many an hour playing that incredible game. An undeniable work of genius that took over my life, and made me obsessive about ‘catching them all’.  I’ve only completed 3 games in my life, and Pokemon Blue was one of them.

OK, credentials verified - on with Pokemon GO.

The trailer for this game looks unreal.

 
 

 

A very unique use of augmented reality, and pulling enough on my nostalgia to make me want to experience this first hand. It’s a manifestation of every 29 year old's childhood dream. But don’t get too excited - the trailer and the game itself are on very different sides of the pokeball.

a step by step account of my Pokemon GO none-experience:

 
The loading screen. Exciting! An element of real life danger. Truly 'augmented reality'.

The loading screen. Exciting! An element of real life danger. Truly 'augmented reality'.

 

 The game started with a little character on a birdseye view map.  Looks familiar! Oh, It’s the area I live. Now what? There weren’t any instructions, or tutorial. HOW DO YOU EXPECT 30 YEAR OLDS TO PLAY THIS! Jeez, know your audience, Pokemon Company.

Now here is the first problem with Pokemon Go. You can’t do anything if you’re sat in your flat. I waited. Nothing happened. I waited some more. Nothing happened. I'm just staring at a poor man's Google Maps (Did someone say Apple Maps? Ooo, Snap.) I logged out and back in. Nothing happened. Actually I lie, something happened; my battery disappeared.

Suddenly things started to look up. A small miracle from the Pokemon gods - I found a little thing in my bag called an ‘essence’ which calls Pokemon to you. Great! Let the fun begin.

 
The essence is working it's magic.

The essence is working it's magic.

 

I waited. They came, albeit intermittently. YOU CAN’T EVEN FIGHT THEM. Seriously, what is this?! You just throw the pokeball at them in a similar fashion to the super basic basket ball game on Facebook Messenger.

 
 

I felt the need to get to Level 5 (the minimum level required to fight at a gym) in order to fully experience this game. Until then it was just throwing balls and loosing battery.  I wasn’t going to get to level 5 sat in my flat, so it was time to wander into the outside poke-world, dog in tow. (Dogs everywhere must really be benefiting from this game.)

STATS

  • Times I stopped in the middle of the pavement to catch a Pokemon? 3
  • Times in nearly walked into the road and died? 1
  • Times I had to restart the game because it crashed? 10
  • Times I shut my phone case in embarrassment as people passed by? EVERYTIME.

The walk worked. I got to level 5! I went to the closest ‘Gym’ (conveniently accessible from my flat. Bet that would make some kids real jealous.) only to find that the Pokemon there were already 850 levels above mine. 

 
Great. Level 928!

Great. Level 928!

 

I deleted the app immediately. 

This game hasn’t even officially come out yet and people are already at unattainable levels. By my rough calculations you’d need a small powerstation worth of electricity to keep your phone charged enough to get one Pokemon to that level, let alone a whole team.

In conclusion - It’s a game made for people with a lot of time and electricity on their hands. You just wait, or wander around aimlessly and hope to catch a glimpse of a pokemon en route. I have a job, a life, and legitimate (real life) hobbies for my up-time, I'd like a game for my downtime, thanks.

 For me, GO has a similar disappointment level as Pokemon Snap on the N64 - Same level of hype, but a terrible game where you took photographs of the little blighters and scored points for composition. (This had an equally deceptive trailer. Sneaky Pokemon company.) 

 
Dollar dollar bills, Y'all

Dollar dollar bills, Y'all

 

... I guess I could just buy a load of coins, and then use them to buy the ‘essence’ to bring the pokemon to the comfort of my own home...But that’d cost me a fortune. 

Ah, I get it now.  Ok, I take it back. The Pokemon Company know exactly what they're doing.

Bravo.

 
Here's my dog, looking about as impressed with augmented reality as I am.

Here's my dog, looking about as impressed with augmented reality as I am.