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Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Week of PokemonGo


Unless you have been hiding under a rock- or should I say an Onix? Geodude? Get it? Then you will have heard of the latest craze that has swept the nation, PokemonGo! If you don't know already, PokemonGo is a mobile application available on the App Store and Google Play that is combined with Google Maps that allows you to find Pokemon in your everyday life, wherever you are in the world. It also implements an augmented reality feature that makes it appear that a Pokemon has appeared in your real life surroundings.

For the lucky ones over in Japan, Australia and the U.S. it was released earlier. I did the 'unofficial' downloading of the game a day before it was released in the UK, my impatience got the better of me what can I say?!

The best way I can describe what PokemonGo is that it is a combination of Google Maps, Snapchat, Paper Toss and of course Pokemon, if the latter wasn't obvious. I say Google Maps because when you sign up it needs to access your location so it connects to the GPS and it tracks your location and gives you a map of your surroundings and the Pokemon located in the area you are currently in. Snapchat for the Pokemon encounter augmented reality feature, because imagine opening up Snapchat to take a photo and seeing a Pokemon on the screen in the exact environment you are in, that is what the feature reminds me of and Paper Toss for how you actually capture the Pokemon. You use your finger or thumb and swipe the Pokeball toward the Pokemon to catch it in the Pokeball.

The augmented reality is a feature within the app which has never been implemented into previous games of the franchise but this feature becomes apparent when the encounter screen appears, you can turn off this feature but it is quite amusing online seeing where exactly other people have caught their Pokemon and also makes it a more personal touch to the gaming experience seeing a Pokemon appear at your local super market or beach etc. Although I did end up turning off mine as it glitched my game on many occasions.

Originally I wasn't drawn to the idea of this game when I first was told about it, as I saw a Pokemon wrist watch and thought I wouldn't spend the money on a watch and walk around trying to catch them but realised it was released as an app and after watching a few Youtube videos (Lachlan's videos are a  personal favourite) and reading a few articles I found myself getting more intrigued about playing the game and so I decided to download and give it a spin. This is what I got up to in my first week of playing the game:

INTRODUCTION: And So It Begins!

Downloaded the game and set up my account from the comfort of my bedroom. The game begins and you meet Professor Willow who introduces you to the world of Pokemon, a common feature in the Pokemon game franchise. You get to choose your avatar and customise their outfit and change hair, skin and eye colour. The game starts and 3 Pokemon appear, the original starter Pokemon- Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. Apparently you can also do a trick where you walk away and Pikachu appears but I'm happy enough to wait and just choose from the original starters. The nostalgia immediately kicks in. Although all of them are cute, I set my eyes on Charmander. After clicking on the Pokemon of choice, the screen loads and to my devastation I had accidentally clicked on Bulbasaur! In my defence it was stood very close to Charmander. Although disappointed with my choice, I catch Bulbasaur and so begins the start of the journey.



DAY 1: The First Adventure & Supermarket PokeSweep

As I started the game late at night I decided to wait until the next day to take the game out for a spin. After work I head home and see what I can catch along the way. I hit up a lot of PokeStops around the area and stocked up on Pokeballs and scored a lot of eggs. Can't wait to hatch them! I Incubated a 2km egg, so excited to see what it will be! I end up catching Pidgey & Rattata which is pretty standard for Pokemon, then Drowzee & Clefairy appears which mixes things up a bit, then Nidoran female & Spearow. On my way home I took a trip to my local Asda to grab something for lunch, it was a good opportunity to scope out any new Pokemon. Nothing particularly new at first but on the way home caught a Venonat, Weedle, Zubat and another Bulbasaur. Transferred the original one I caught as it has lower CP. Levelled up to level 4 and earned a few medals. Ended on a high and caught an Eevee which is one of my favourites from the original Pokedex. Happy days!

DAY 2: A Trip To The Beach

A trip to the beach in the evening to see what new Pokemon I could find. Someone had a Lure Module on so hovered around a while like a little creep. I levelled up to 6 by the end of the trip. Also allowed to battle in the gyms now that I've surpassed Level 5 and chose team Mystic (shout out to any fellow Mystic team members out there!) because Articuno was m favourite original legendary bird Pokemon. Encountered a Squirtle and a Horsea but the server crashed as a I caught them and it didn't save, absolutely devastated! Persevered and caught myself Psyduck, Tentacool, Shellder, Staryu, Poliwag, Magikarp, Meowth and Machop, the latter took 3 attempts to catch as the server crashed twice. I've noticed this is a bit of an issue with the game. Ended on another high though when I caught myself a Dratini! All in all the trip to the beach was a success!|



DAY 3: Evolutions!

Had to run an errand so had the game on so it could continue going towards hatching my incubated eggs. Caught a Krabby on the way back. Went to the Metro Centre later in the evening for a Five Guys and got caught in slow moving traffic on route. Slow moving traffic= great for egg hatching! The first 2km egg hatched, sadly it was a Pidgey so no exciting new Pokemon as of yet. Incubated two more eggs, a 5km and a 10km. Hope those two are a bit more new and exciting. Got to the Metro Centre and someone had a Lure Module on near Five Guys so we were able to catch more Pokemon. I caught a Kakuna and enough Pidgey and Rattata candies to fully evolve them so now have a Pidgeot and a Raticate. My GPS stopped working so missed out a lot more Pokemon. However the catch of the day goes to Seel which I caught in the queue for Five Guys haha!

DAY 4: Incense & Power Ups

Ventured out with the bf as someone was using a Lure Module near by. I feel like I am using people's Lure Modules for my personal gain haha! I should probably give back. I levelled up to 8 and received one myself so will definitely give that a try at some point, might help someone else out the way other's have for me. The new catch of day goes to Beedrill that was at the PokeStop. I also decided to try out the incense, both the Lure Modules and the incense have helped me receive Pokemon I've already caught so using the candies to power them up. Powered up my Pidgeot up to 450+ so that is my current highest CP and also powered up Beedrill and Raticate. Also caught another Eevee, so incredibly close to evolving that so can't wait to see which one I'll get. I'm desperate for a Vapoureon as that's my favourite. I also tried incense near the house and caught myself a Gastly.


DAY 5: New Pokemon & More Evolutions

This was the best day of gaming for me on record so far! I took another trip to the beach as I was impressed with the variety of Pokemon they have down there. Before I did that though I quickly but the game on whilst having lunch at home and I caught a Jynx! Also incense is my new companion on my Pokemisssions as I think that is extremely useful. I'd nearly go as far to say it is better than Lure Modules as I found more with incense than I have lurking around the lure modules but I haven't used one yet so I can't knock it 'til I've tried it I suppose. On route I got ambushed by a hoard of Drowzee, has that happened to anyone else? I've never known the game to do that until now. Got to the beach and I caught myself Oddish, Metapod, Bellsprout, Squirtle, Paras, Caterpie, Fearow, Slowpoke, Abra, Ekans, Jigglypuff, Kingler, Jigglypuff, Voltorb, and my personal favourite catches of the day, Vulpix, Sandshrew, Rhyhorn and mainly Snorlax! Then I had enough candies to evolve Zubat into Golbat, Drowzee to Hypno and my favourite, Eevee to Vaporeon! I read online that if you give the Eevees the name of the Eevee Brothers off the Pokemon TV Series it makes them involved into certain ones so I tried it and it works. Happy to get my Vaporeon at last!



DAY 6: Lunch Break
Not a massively exciting report for today. Was stuck in 2 hour slow moving traffic on the way to work so decided to take that opportunity to hatch some eggs whilst I waited and got one Meowth and two Poliwags. Went out for lunch and caught a Kabuto and a Horsea. I also evolved another Eevee into Jolteon and Poliwag into Poliwhirl. Whilst walking around the city centre I hatched another egg and it was a Mankey.

DAY 7: Let The Battle Commence!

The other day at the beach I tackled the gym there with Snorlax and got absolutely annihilated! I beat the opposing Jynx but hilariously lost against Jolteon-the second out of 4 in the gym. I decided to take on a gym near by that was not easy to reach which had a pretty low CP Raticate because why not? I ended up winning and overthrowing Team Instinct! Hooray! TEAM MYSTIC FOR THE WIN!
I was able to take over the gym and left a low CP Pidgetto guarding it because I couldn't be bothered/care enough to have one of my high CP ones look after it and wanted to give others a chance to have a go too with something pretty easy. I know this is not the right way to play the game but we all need to remember it is just a game and it's all in good fun.



Overall I can see myself already becoming addicted to this game! The only issue I have with the game is the temperamental server. I think depending on what time of the day it is or what day of the week it is effects the server massively. I have been quite fortunate to get on the server the majority of the time however usually late afternoon when the school's finish then it proves difficult, I imagine its because the school kids are finished for the day and all rush to go on as soon as possible. Same for timing the best day for it, the weekend was terrible to getting on it. Most likely because the majority are off work/school so everyone is trying to access it in one go.

On a more positive note there are two things about this game that I really enjoy. One being the sense of community, although out in the real world when I'm walking about I prefer to be in my own company not like those I've seen online who talk to people out in the street and stuff, I'm not that bold haha, but I do enjoy sharing online what I've been up to and I love seeing what other people have been up to: have they took on a Pokemon gym, what team they've joined (Team Mystic ftw!), what they chose as their starter Pokemon, what Pokemon they've caught that day, what Pokemon they have in their Pokedex and what Pokemon have hatched from the eggs they have. I find it amazing this sense of community brought together with one common interest.

My other positive for the game is that it makes you exercise and get outside which for someone like me who a) works from home and b) works indoors at a desk all day, it is a really good concept to get people to go outside because there's Pokemon to find at certain locations and walking so many kilometres will hatch that egg we've been carrying around. I think it is a very subtle but clever feature that encourages people to go outside and exercise.

Thanks for reading!
What do you think of PokmonGo? Let me know below :)
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