Column like I see ‘em
I really want to like Pokémon Go. But I don’t
I was on the hype train with some of my friends for what seems like years before the game came out. This was going to be amazing: the definitive Pokémon experience.
If you’ve ever played a Pokémon game prior to Pokémon Go, or seen the anime, you know what Pokémon is about. Some old scientist guy from your hometown gives you a Pokémon, and then you, a preteen child, leave town on foot to explore the country and “catch ‘em all,” (“‘em all,” referring to every known type of Pokémon).
You catch these Pokémon by calling upon your own Pokémon to do battle with, and ultimately wound and catch the desired Pokémon. Herein lies the concept of the game.
The entire purpose is to acquire Pokémon, train them, and battle them, with the intent to further the strength of your Pokémon, and the acquisition of more Pokémon.
So, imagine my disappointment after I downloaded the game, chose my starter Pokémon, and physically ran out into the world in search of Pokémon, only to be left dumbfounded, unable to throw out my starter Pokémon and engage in battle.
Some random Pokémon just stood there, unflinching, waiting for me to capture it with a simple throw of a Pokeball.
Not only that, but there’s no way to level up a Pokémon. The entire concept of training a single Pokémon through experience to become stronger and better is replaced with catching several of the same exact Pokémon.
How do thirty Pidgeys turn into a single Pidgeot? Think of the logic behind that.
It’s like Professor Oak is grinding all those Pidgeys into some super juice that the last remaining Pidgey is waterboarded with until the stress and genetic overload cause it to hideously mutate against its will. That’s not what real Pokémon is about. There has to be more than just acquisition.
Pokémon Go may as well be a farming simulator.
You can walk around town and find carrots and rutabagas. “Harvest the vegetable!” So you grab it and add it to a list of all the vegetables you’ve picked. “Catch enough potatoes and level them up to a potato salad!” That would be the same game
To the T.
But people say, “Hey Kevin, you can throw berries and get like, higher class ultra balls and stuff so it’s totally different.” Well, I say you can throw fertilizer and get like, a shovel or a backhoe. It’s the same thing. Without battle, the game is just “collector of things for no reason: the game.”
The game does feature gyms that, at a quick glance, could be mistaken for a battle system. I’ve never progressed to the minimum required level five to be able to participate in one, but they seem like the strategically bankrupt finger tappings of a madman, devoid of both carefully crafted move set and the gratifying execution of the battle plan.
Basically, a game without trading, without experience, without strategy, and without battles can’t be classified as a Pokémon game, I refuse to recognize it as such.
The only thing I’m willing to classify that game as right now is “How to coax your nerd into actual daylight for dummies,” and until they make the much needed updates to make it anything but, I’ll be wasting my time elsewhere.
Probably with infomercials.
Kevin Niederman is a junior studying nursing.