One of the biggest mobile games in the world finally got a much needed update after 2 years of waiting. Pokémon GO! continues to be updated, even though many that were on board at the initial launch have drifted off to other games. More exciting still, is that for those who have persevered, Nintendo’s Switch will get games that will support Pokémon GO’s titular creatures via transfer. The question is, with all of these additions that have finally been added on, is it too late for the game to capture the same magic it once did?
Although I think trading and friends should have been implemented sooner, I don’t feel slighted or that it’s too late. Although many casual players may have drifted off, Pokémon GO maintains a strong player base.
The latest update has once more sparked everyone we know into a frenzy. New and casual players are sharing Friendship codes, groups are organizing trading parties, and even my wife and I have been searching out pokéstops (old and new) to gather presents.
If there’s one complaint, it’s the cost of trading the Legendary and Shiny between the lowest levels of Friendship. Few people will be willing to drop hundreds of thousands of Stardust (let alone a million) just to complete their set.
Still, I think this will only encourage the core players to interact and hangout more, if only to increase Friendship Level and be able to trade easier.
While I share some of Brook’s core sentiments, I am not sure if I care enough to go back in.
I really enjoyed it initially, and I played for around 3 months. But, after seeing that the needed updates weren’t coming anytime soon, I quit it. While it’s great that Niantic has continuously updated the game since launch, for many of us it’s too little too late. Mobile gamers (and mobile users in general) have a bit of ADD when it comes to games, and if you don’t strike it while it’s hot, you tend to lose users — especially those who are casual. This is what happened to me. More to the point, I had younger nieces and nephews who played, and even when contacting them about the new features, they weren’t all that enthused.
The newly-implemented trading feature is something that should have been baked in from the get-go, and I still stick by the fact that if this was done, we may have had a different conversation on how this game was received. Even if Niantic had waited a year to fix all of the bugs, it still would have been better than to release a half baked, yet very popular game only to do a slow drip of updates.
I will probably fire the game up a few times, but I doubt that I will seriously reinvest in a wasted opportunity 2 years later.
Pokémon GO!‘s allure is still divisive among fans. While it offered a way to mimic what the anime trainers did, some of the new feature come along at a time when the moment for having them has long since passed. On the other hand, it now offers something for long dormant fans to have a way to get back into the game. Even for those who sat on the fence all this time may have a reason to finally take a look. Whether these changes keeps Pokémon GO! relevant even once the new Switch games arrives, remains to be seen.