Pokemon GO has finally imported some wildlife from the Johto region. The latest update also offers delicious new berries that should make it easier to catch your new friends from Pokemon Gold and Silver.
The question is … will you? Has the update re-kindled your desire to go Pokemon-hunting? Or are you just not interested (and / or it's too dang cold out there)?
Short answer: No. Long answer: Nope.
Fact of the matter is that I'm pretty much immune to the charms of Pokemon Go, and Pokemon in general. I know enough about the game to understand its appeal: It's just not for me. Instead, I'll be playing For Honor's brilliant multiplayer - my latest obsession.
I am a broken and beaten man. When the sun's light touches my velvety chocolate skin, what begins as a rash turns into wholesale burning as my vampiric countenance retreats from a sunny reality. I do not go 'outside' often. My only forays into that world involve my trips to Starbucks for coffee. I have all I need here, in my hovel. In my lair.
Nah, the truth is I live near places that have a good number of available Pokemon, but I don't quite live in a place that does. That means playing Pokemon Go tends to require a certain amount of travel, which greatly diminishes my desire to play. Pokemon Go is my city game; I play when I'm in the city or when I'm traveling. Otherwise, the game remains hidden on my phone.
Given that, new Pokemon don't change my playstyle or playtime in any major way. When I'm in DC next or in Boston for PAX East, I'll be playing. Otherwise, I have tons of home console games to keep me company.
I really want an Espeon and that fluffy pink hat. So in short, yes, I’ll likely return to the game over the weekend. But I probably won’t stick around too long.
I bounced off of Pokemon Go relatively quickly because I got bored, and I got bored fast. I live in San Francisco, and the gyms around my apartment are multi-tiered Team Mystic. As a lone Team Instinct, I can’t possibly take them on. I imagine adding 80 new Pokemon and a few customization options won’t change that—though the changes are definitely welcome. I don’t think this update will recapture the magic of those first two weeks, when seemingly everyone on the street was flinging their augmented Pokeballs at the same low-level Pidgeys, but alas. Maybe when I go for a stroll later, I’ll see a stranger swiping upwards on their phone and we’ll nod in approval knowing that we both moonlight as AR-inhibited Pokemon Trainers. Or maybe I’ll just catch more needless Pidgeys, and delete the app off my phone once more.
This update is some good timing as far as Toronto is concerned: We'll be getting way above seasonal temperatures this weekend and through the next week. But my main problem with Pokemon GO isn't that I got bored with it. Rather, my neighbourhood is pretty bereft of PokeStops and Gyms, so it's hard to garner a good store of PokeBalls. I live in a more northern area of the city, and I guess not too many Ingress players laid down roots here. So when Niantic slapped the Pokemon GO skin over Ingress, the people of my neighbourhood were immediately out of luck. I really wish Niantic would let us submit suggestions for PokeStops.
I doubt the update will throw the world into a repeat of the frenzy we saw last summer, but I predict a small resurgence of the hype. That should be nice. Even though oh-so-clever political cartoonists scorned Pokemon GO's popularity (look, you either think millennials are isolated and lazy, or you think they're foolish for going out on long walks with friends -- it can't be both), there was a real kinship between us all, and it was remarkable to be part of that.