Last summer Pokemon Go became a mega hit on mobile devices. A frenzy that was almost unavoidable, seemingly everyone from kids to adults wandered the streets on the hunt for the original 150 classic creatures. It was a time of discovery and rose-tinted nostalgia that ultimately came to an end once the seemingly endless grind set in at later levels.Yet even as the game started to lose large quantities of its amassed player base many people were asking the question, “So…when are they gonna add Gen 2?” Months later we’ve finally got our answer.
Pokemon Go is set to deliver its first big content expansion later this week. The new trailer shows gameplay of all three “starter” pokemon, Cyndaquil, Totodile, and Chikorita, as well as Skarmory, Donphan, Marill, Murkrow, Hoppip, and Crobat, but that’s just a taste. “More than 80 new Pokemon” from the Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions’ Johto Region will be added to the game world along with other new features. New berries will now be available to obtain from Pokestops with effects like stunning creatures to make them easier to catch or doubling the amount of candy you get for capturing the pokemon. Character avatars and wardrobe options will also be expanded, and additional items will enable players to evolve old Pokemon from the Kanto region into new forms. Pokemon will also be more difficult to catch as Niantic states, “Don’t be surprised if [pokemon] react in new ways as you’re trying to catch them,” hinting at new abilities for Pokemon to evade capture.
As someone who loved the excitement of Pokemon Go’s first few weeks, I’m hopeful this update can rekindle some of the magic the game has lost. But I’m doubtful of that. Features that a lot of people have been asking for, like trading and direct player battles, are still nowhere to be found in this expansion. Pokemon Go has become a sort of pariah in our culture. After being so popular that presidential candidates made excruciating jokes about it and inspring McDonald’s to develop a partnership with Niantic in Japan, the game’s seemingly abrupt demise in the late summer has become something of a cultural joke. It’s very easy to find articles online with headlines “Why Pokemon Go failed?” Yet the game is still moving along, adding features and developing over time whether we’re paying attention or not. Even if this isn’t the update to truly bring about the promise of those few months last summer, the fact that Niantic is still producing content has me hopeful for the game’s future.
[Source: Pokemon Go Live]