Mington

Pokemon GO

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So this finally came out in the UK, and I was crazy excited to play it.

 

It's absolutely shit. I feel like I spend 50% of my time in a loading screen. The random encounters are too random (40 minutes of walking and not a single pokemon) and it seems to be missing what makes pokemon interesting. 

 

Instead of trying to catch them all, you're trying to catch multiple of the same pokemon, then get rid of it. You can't battle friends, and from what I can tell, the battle system is nothing like pokemon. There's no damage chart, and rock-paper-scissors style play.

 

Why is this so popular? It's barely a game, and what game it does have isn't fun. They've thrown out all what makes pokemon pokemon.

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The in game stuff isn't that much of the appeal. The experience of wandering around the world, the collecting and the social aspects are what people seem to care about. That and the refresher of Pokemon for a lot of people who have lapsed from the games and just have memories of when they first got into it, so they can collect the vaguely familiar cute creatures and give them nicknames.

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It's a collection game that has little more to do than something like Neko Atsume, but instead of cute cats, there are cute Pokemon, and turns out Pokemon is way more popular than people realise. The social aspect of this game facilitated by the GPS-based gameplay and the relative novelty of AR makes it a perfect storm of something that excites people.

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I just saw this video:

 

 

What is this game doing to people?

 

The app haven't been released in Brazil so far, so I wasn't aware of this craziness.

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Haha my friend sent me that video also last night. That's just insane.

 

Man yesterday was just full of shit as 26 countries (including Finland woohoo!) came open officially in Pokemon Go. From midday until night the servers were so hammered that there was no connection to the game at all.

 

I have been playing it sideloaded to my Android for a week and every day before yesterday it has worked normally.

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The in game stuff isn't that much of the appeal. The experience of wandering around the world, the collecting and the social aspects are what people seem to care about. That and the refresher of Pokemon for a lot of people who have lapsed from the games and just have memories of when they first got into it, so they can collect the vaguely familiar cute creatures and give them nicknames.

 

The thing is, it's still an awful app. It's poorly made, and the social aspect, what social aspect? You can't even add friends to battle them or see how their pokedex is coming along. 

 

I expected more, it's pretty much devoid of content, and the content is has is incredibly shallow.

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Social aspect is clearly referring to the way that the game has brought literally tens of thousands of people together IRL who'd never otherwise have met. From a purely academic point of view I'd be fascinated to know how many lasting friendships or even relationships result from this game. I know that with its spiritual predecessor Ingress this happened a lot — in fact I know a woman who's met several dates through it.

It's definitely missing a lot, but in all honesty the whole app screams 'exploratory prototype' to me. I can't imagine that they expected this kind of sudden popularity and would imagine that there'll be lots of additions in the coming weeks and months to milk the fad for as long as possible. Nintendo's big question right now is presumably whether or not it has the legs to be an enduring cultural phenomenon like Ingress.

Without the masses of people playing it everywhere leading to in-person encounters the shine would probably wear off fast. Perhaps more than anything this game is revealing most people's innate desire to connect with others in the real world, and for those who struggle with that it's perhaps a really nice ice breaker and feeling of being part of something. It's not just a idyllic fantasy — people really are connecting through this thing.

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I think the lack of in-game social features is part of what makes the whole thing work, honestly. It encourages conversation outside the game in a way that most games don't.

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The thing is, it's still an awful app. It's poorly made, and the social aspect, what social aspect? You can't even add friends to battle them or see how their pokedex is coming along. 

 

I expected more, it's pretty much devoid of content, and the content is has is incredibly shallow.

 

After nearly a week with it this is how I feel. I'm at a point now where I can't be bothered opening it anymore and any social aspect I've gotten from it is talking about it with people I already know. If I could battle someone who's in the same area, maybe that'd get me talking to them but right now we're just in the same area spinning Pokestops or relaunching the game because it has locked up AGAIN. What's there to talk about? How shit this app is? That's what 50% of my conversations about the game have been.

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The in game stuff isn't that much of the appeal. The experience of wandering around the world, the collecting and the social aspects are what people seem to care about. That and the refresher of Pokemon for a lot of people who have lapsed from the games and just have memories of when they first got into it, so they can collect the vaguely familiar cute creatures and give them nicknames.

 

this is exactly why i am liking it right now. I know how shallow it is, but its not my goto mobile game and i never thought it would be. first of all, you can't really play while on toilet. But its fun to whip out while walking around the city just to check stuff out, and the pokestops are everywhere and I find it fascinating that i'm discovering things in my neighborhood i haven't noticed in 5+ years. Granted, I live in an old ass city with a lot of old ass stuff so that might be why. 

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I think this game will continue to do phenomenally as "just" an app to pop open on your commute and the occasional walk around the block. If achievers and competitive types end up bouncing off of it, that will just end up making the experience more enjoyable to basically the entire rest of the population.

 

I've been back in my hometown over the weekend, and players I met during the day complained that there's apparently a crew of pokelords farming since before the official launch who now drive from town to town every night to claim gyms for their team. I was at a gym later knocking out some of the low level pokemon there (or trying since the game glitched out) and indeed a very obnoxiously styled car rolled by with two people inside, who spotted me and shouted "pokemon freak!" and then "fucking noob!".

 

So honestly, it might be a very good thing for this game if traditional gamer types get bored of it soon, because that's the kind of garbage that audience brings.

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If there are still people unable to look past their own disappointment in this game to understand why it's so popular and affecting to so many, I suggest reading this. It's quick, and not too heavy.

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Oh I understand why people like it. I just think they did a bad job with it. 

 

I could even forgive the glaring issues it has if the app was actually stable. Crashes, freezes, loading...

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A moment in the life of Pokemon Go.

 

Yesterday took a walk, used incense for 30 minutes. During that time caught eight Pokemons and six times the game crashed at the moment when the Pokemon is in the Pokeball and the ball doesn't shake and there is no sound and no Gotcha! text.

 

Had to force restart the game twice per crash because each time after restarting it told me that the game can't retrieve player data from server.

 

It was not the first time that incense has caused the game to crash constantly.

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You might say so. :D

Amount of bugs in this game is incredible.

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You might say so. :D

Amount of bugs in this game is incredible.

I think there's just the one bug of not having good server connection. They did not expect such a huge player base, so probably didn't optimize it as much as they could have.

Question though, would you guys consider Ingress to be a good game? (If anyone has played it) and is it better than Pokemon?

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I don't think better is the right word. My understanding of Ingress is that it's entirely about fighting for control of areas, and much of the work you put into that can be quickly undone by other players. This is great news for very committed players because there's always something to do, but that constant erosion of progress isn't very enjoyable to more inexperienced or casual players. Apart from the IP nostalgia blast, that's probably why Pokemon GO is doing well with mainstream audiences. It does have some territory control in the gyms, but most of the game is just building up your pokemon collection at whatever pace fits you.

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So my opinion on the game aligns pretty closely to the giant bomb crew. It's official, I'm now an old man shouting at a cloud. 

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As a person who only recently bailed from Windows Phone and got an Android device, I finally got a chance to fiddle with this a bit. Given that all the gyms around be have about 2000 strength pokemon on them, there really isn't anything for me to do besides Pokestops and capturing Pokemon, right? Nothing to fight at my level at all?

 

Also, tutorialization in this game is really bad.

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