Pokemon Go: Essentially one of the most talked about Smartphone apps of the century; Do I still play it? I”m unashamed to say absolutely! But This week I’m going to revisit the game that took over the world in a matter of weeks, and had people from all walks of life interacting with each other. Pokemon Go was one of the most popular games to exist during the Summer months, but as Winter settles over the United States, the game’s popularity has severely waned. Now, the company behind this smartphone app, Niantic, has done a few things in an attempt to regain their player count. “Like what, Charlie?” Well I’m glad you asked imaginary audience member I made up to create this transition, allow me to tell you!
Back in October 2016, Niantic updated Pokemon Go that did quite a few important things: It cleaned up the game in certain spotty areas, changed the background from a character walking into the open mouth of a Gyrados to a character being eerily stalked by a Gengar in the shadows, and made Ghost-type Pokemon easier to catch during the spoopiest of holiday seasons. Niantic attempted to regain players again in November, when they unleashed the option to capture Ditto, a shape shifting Pokemon. They also integrated a new Tracking System, that for the most part, is really good. It even lets you know when the Pokemon you’re tracking has fled the scene. (Also it’s better than no tracker, thank the heavens.) And now it seems they’ve done it again. Only this time, the update is even better – and it could mean bigger things for this app’s future. On December 7th, 2016, The official international Pokemon Twitter tweeted the following, somewhat cryptic message:
Many speculated; Some thought it might mean the release of the Legendary Pokemon, (Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos.) Others were sure that it meant the release of the generation two Pokemon. While the latter was closer to the truth, it didn’t exactly hit the nail on the head. On Monday, the official Pokemon Twitter announced that a handful of generation 2 Pokemon would be available, BUT you could only acquire them through hatching eggs. Multiple sources have confirmed that these are the Pokemon you can hatch: Cleffa, Togepi, Elekid, Pichu, Igglybuff, Magby, and Smoochum.
Now, Cleffa and Igglybuff can be acquired from 2KM eggs, Pichu and Togepi can be obtained through 5KM eggs, and Magby, Smoochum, and Elekid can be acquired from 10KM eggs. After doing some research and viewing the Pokemons’ evolution charts within the game, it appears that their evolutions ARE included as acquire-able Pokemon in this update. What’s more is that if you decide to use any of these baby Pokemon as your Walking Buddies, your avatar will hold them in their arms. (Which is super cute. I’ve always wanted to be like Misty and hold a Togepi.)
But Pokemon aren’t the only additions within the new update. Niantic reformed the loading screen once again, and while the constant warning of paying attention to your surroundings remains, the background focuses more on the Pokemon and their attempt at decorating for the holidays. The tracking system received further updates, and is even cleaner than before, which has made many the Pokemon Go player EXTREMELY happy. To top off this exciting new update, Niantic added in a small, Christmas themed easter egg. It seems that, should the player be so inclined, they can capture a RARE version of Pikachu. There are rare Pikachus roaming the world, who are celebrating Christmas by sporting little red Santa Claus hats on their head. Rumor has it, (though I can’t 100% confirm this, so if you’re sure, let me know) that if you evolve a Christmas-themed Pikachu, you’ll get a Raichu wearing the same Christmas hat. Does this mean more generation 2 Pokemon to come? Will they be strictly through hatching, or will we be interacting with the new generations in the wild? I can’t say for certain, but I can say that the Pokemon Go addiction is far from being over! Thanks for reading, and tune in to the next TGON Plays!