Fans of Nintendo’s monster-raising franchise Pokemon have always dreamed of a reality wherein which they could capture and train their very own fighting creatures, living a life revolving solely around travel and adventure. Up until this point in time, barring the actual Pokemon video game releases, we’ve never really gotten close to seeing this dream become a reality, in fact…I personally never thought such an abstract idea could ever become real. Despite this, there’s a company out there who is trying to make it a reality, and that company is, you guessed it, Nintendo. Announced overnight (for us here living in Australia), the upcoming SmartPhone app Pokemon GO combines the forces of ones own imagination with the reality of which we’re all a part of. Nintendo, who has now partnered up with video game developer Niantic, Inc; who you may know is famous for their similar augmented reality video game title Ingress, plan to release this new app, partnered up with a nice wearable peripheral to help with the immersion, sometime next year, but before you get too excited…what the heck is it?
Pokemon GO is an adventure-type app that connects to the GPS functionality of your phone and allows you to seek out, catch or fight Pokemon in real time…in the real world. It’s what we call augmented reality, and it rocks! While what you see doesn’t actually change, what is happening on your phone is an entirely different story, and when paired up with the Pokemon GO Plus, it’s a whole knew game all together. Oh yeah, I have to tell you about the Pokemon GO Plus: So maybe looking at your phone all the time isn’t the most exciting thing. That’s fine, I’d hate to play an AR game that has you only ever staring at your phone. This is where the Pokemon GO Plus comes in! It’s a wearable device with a single button that simply alerts you to goings on in the video game world of Pokemon GO and allows you to react accordingly. Say there’s a Pikachu hiding in the bushes to the left of where you’re walking, you can capture it without having to even pull out your phone. That’s basically what the Pokemon GO Plus is.
You may be thinking exactly what I’m thinking at this point in time, so let’s address it before we move on: The Pokemon GO Plus has no screen, no audio functionality, and only features a single button that lights up with different colours. How will this make playing Pokemon GO any easier or any more enjoyable? The answer to that question: I have no idea, but Nintendo assures us that it will so I think that means we should just stay hopeful for the long period before it’s eventual release. It would be silly to think that Nintendo wouldn’t release an app like this without trying to earn more money through some physical addition to the game so, for all intents and purposes, this could be an unnecessary add-on…though it does remind me, somewhat, of Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver’s PokeWalker peripheral.
Released alongside the announcement of the new partnership with Niantic, Inc in regards to the upcoming game was an exciting trailer that discussed just what it is you’ll be able to do through Pokemon GO. Unfortunately for those excited by the premise of a real-world Pokemon video game, a lot of what you see in the announcement trailer is very much…embellished. As you’ll see in just a moment, the trailer features men and women travelling the world, discovering mysterious Pokemon and joining together to battle the Pocket Monsters far too powerful for any individual to overcome. This may be the case if you have a large group of friends willing to all play the new game but the idea that a majority of the general populous will be walking around town with Pokemon GO in their hands searching for legendary Pokemon to capture with some other would-be Pokemon Masters is a little too grandiose.
While the announcement did feature a great deal of information regarding the upcoming app, it only briefly showed us the game itself, which makes me think that it really isn’t all it is cracked up to be. I hate being the cynical one, but I can’t help but think that if Nintendo wanted us to be properly impressed by the name game…they would show us the new game. What we got from the trailer was quick flashes of the actual game in action but it mostly focused on the cinematic take on the Pokemon GO experience which mostly centred around physically meeting these creatures; something this app will NOT allow you to do. Granted, I’m sure this game is still in the heavy development phases, so I’ll push my cynicism to the side for now and simply enjoy the idea of an AR Pokemon title that just so happens to include my personal favourite generation of the game; the first.
For more information on Pokemon GO, head straight to the official website by Clicking Here. Hopefully this game blows away our expectations and makes me regret doubting it for even a second. I love to see the best of what Nintendo and Pokemon can provide, and that hasn’t changed with the announcement of Pokemon Go. Time to make our dreams somewhat a reality!