By Jason Naipaul
On July 17, 2016 Pokemon Go finally released in Canada and the explosion of downloads caused a shockwave of server issues well into the next day. Pokemon Go had arrived, and Canadians were ready to submerge themselves in the world of Pocket Monsters. Having no doubt spent the previous few weeks watching their neighbours to the south flood social media with their catches, Canadians wasted no time getting on the Pokemon Express. The game is a smash hit, in Canada and all over the world, as the augmented reality based RPG has presented mobile gamers with a never-before-experienced experience. Haven’t taken the plunge yet and feel like you’re missing out on the party? You are. Here are the reasons why you should download Pokemon Go now.
Editor's note: This isn't the first time Pokemon and Google have teamed up! Do you remember when Pokemon could be found all over the world on Google maps?
Everyone else is doing it, you should too
Okay, so normally this is about the worst logic you can find to do anything. But, in this case, it’s really not. Pokemon Go is a game played within our world and as a result, we all share the same Poke Stops (places in the world you can visit to replenish pokeballs and items), Gyms and catchable Pokemon. Within just a few weeks I’ve seen people out walking the neighbourhood more, talking to each other at local Poke Stops and even while at a wedding I spotted a group in the front lobby swearing the venue was the best place they’d ever seen to catch Bulbasaurs. This game is really bringing people together and creating a common platform for people to bond on, regardless of age or any other typical sub-dividers. It’s always a good thing when media can create community and unite all demographics.
It’s not perfect, but it’s getting better
Admittedly, some of the game mechanics are not quite up to par. For one, the tracking system really doesn’t allow users to freely explore and really narrow their sights on particular Pokemon that they want to catch. Until recently, the answer was “PokeVision”. The tracking website provided users with the ability to track precise Pokemon locations and it even contained information on how long certain Pokemon would be available. The operation was shut down however, and the ineffective in-game tracker was rendered even more useless in a recent update. But all is not lost, Pokemon Go is very much a work in progress. The game developers themselves are unashamed of this fact and the settings page will show you they have our listed our current version at 0.33.0. Look forward to plenty of new game features and updates that will no doubt improve the experience for everyone.
You can catch Pokemon (in the world)
I know, this seems self-explanatory and obvious, but it’s really not. For many like myself, we’ve tried to jump back into the Pokemon gaming franchise at many different points but nothing has ever quite grabbed us the way Pokemon Blue, Red, Green and Yellow did. I don’t know if many of you remember where you kept your old, clunky Gameboy before Pokemon came out but I can tell you for sure that once it did my Gameboy was kept cleaned, readily accessible and full of fresh batteries for my lengthy pokemon catching expeditions. Even with the massive limitations of the Gameboy console, Nintendo managed to create an incredibly immersive world and a franchise that resurrected handheld gaming. This time around, the console is much more powerful and with many more capabilities. This time, it’s the smart phone era, and Niantic is taking us back to the world of Pokemon. Only this time, it’s our world.
Have you played Pokemon Go yet? What kind of interactions have you had?