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GameOctane’s Pokemon Go first impressions

by on July 10, 2016
 

Ryan – First impression?  Besides the server hiccups and GPS issues, this game has some great potential.  I spent an afternoon with my son at the splash pad today.  We played in the water and took breaks looking for Pokemon.  The game is very easy to use, although a little glitchy at times.  We stood over an Eevee for a solid 5 minutes before the game allowed us to use a Pokeball and pick it up.  The Eevee was also in the middle of a parking lot, which may be a little problematic with little kids.  As a father and a gamer, this is a great way to game outside with my kids.  I need to spend more time with the game to get a true feel for where the game is going.  Will there be trading involved?  Will you be able to become gym leader and get challenged by others?  How will micro-transactions affect the way we play against other players?  Only time will tell.  But right now?  I’m having a blast and can’t wait to catch more.

 

Noel – The first day was riddled with server connection issues, and GPS failures. As my frustration was building to the point of deleting the game off my phone and never looking back, I decided to give it one more shot. As of the 2nd evening approached, the servers seemed to smooth out and things started to become a lot more stable. Looking into the “Geocaching” side if you will of this game, I think the Pokemon theme itself will actually get people and the gaming community to become a lot more active which is always a good thing. I think to myself there is going to be a miracle weight loss story out of this about an overweight gamer with no friends that comes outdoors to play Pokemon, loses weight doing it and gains new friends.

In a conversation I had with my co-worker that happens to also be an Uber driver, being from the Bay Area in California we talked about the idea of printing out a map on the interior roof of his car of San Francisco and all the Poke Stops. Customer gets in his car and can be driven around to all the stops around the city. Fun for the passenger and money for him, seems to be a win win and a huge profit for Uber/Lyft Drivers.

The augmented reality side of things adds a fun concept to the game. I think I have had more fun over the last couple of days seeing what hilarious situations I can get the Pokemon into vs actually catching them.  In regards to the gym in the game, I recently just acquired level 5 so I have not had much time to play with it but will be looking forward to becoming Gym Leader at my apartment complex for sure. Bottom line, the game itself started out really shaky and almost disastrous, however it seems to be quickly recovering itself and I cannot wait to see what new features they add to the game.

 

Allie – I think one of my favorite things about this game so far is the community of awesome Pokemon lovers that are all so excited to live the dream of catching Pokemon! I still laugh at the evening the game was released, when I walked to my martial arts dojo and EVERYBODY was so excited that it was a Pokestop. It has been a long time since I’ve seen such excitement and camaraderie over a game.

Don’t worry, I do have thoughts about the actual game. Although very glitchy at the beginning, this game is so much fun and very unique. I was very pleased to find that my apartment is both a pokestop AND a gym! I was instantly hooked, and as far as I can tell I’m not the only one. I’ve spent a little too much time testing my fiancee’s patience by asking him to drive slowly around the neighborhood so I can catch Pokemon before we head anywhere we actually need to go. But as a certified lazy person, I was irritated to find that to incubate an egg, you really do have to WALK the distance. Driving will not cut it for the incubator! Other than that, I have no complaints so far. I have had a lot of fun with Pokemon Go and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the future!

 

Drew-  Have you ever been so bored at 3am, you just decided to take a walk.. With your phone out… alone.. CATCHING POKEMON?! Yeah, I have. While my significant other was nestled into bed safe and sound, I was out driving to a nearby outlet mall, to become the very best. A growlithe and about 75 zubats in to my Journey I was a Gym Leader.

This mobile phenomen…

Sorry, Had an Eevee step up and want to catch these hands.

This mobile phenomenon has taken a hold of my town, folks I have never met are asking if i have seen any Pokemon near by. People are talking, communities are becoming closer. All of this by a silly mobile app?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. This game has kids outside for the first time in this generation. They are no longer playing Call of Duty or Battlefield at home. They want to be outside, people want to group into packs and show each other what they’ve gotten. This game is so unbelievably easy to pick up and addicting that it’s even taking the older generations by storm. Bravo on creating something so fun, something so revolutionary that everyone can enjoy.  I couldn’t imagine that the game was going to be this awesome. If you are ever in the Folsom California area, look up some red gyms. I warn you though, you will be bested.

 

Jason – I was one of the lucky few that got into the Beta as I played Ingress (Niantic’s other augmented reality game where you captured portals). For those of you that don’t know all of the Pokestops and Gyms are actually portals in the Ingress game. So in theory if you would like to ‘add’ a Pokestop or Gym, see if it is in Ingress, if not add it in there it may carry over to Pokemon Go. I actually haven’t been able to play much due to life, and not server issues.Those are definitely around but seem to get better every day. Is it because people are giving up on it or are they fixing their architecture? The Pokemon phenomenon has been around since most of us here at GameOctane were kids, we were born in it, molded by it. So something that has you going out into the real world and catching Pokemon is amazing! I unfortunately where I live in a new development, there are no Pokemon or Pokestops so I have to wait until I get out or get to work to wander around downtown to catch and level up my Pokemon. It’s been a fun couple of days here at GameOctane, everyone one showing off their Pokemon, how many, who they have…It’s like I am back in school again battling my friends. 

But that’s where I’m having a hard time seeing the end game. There are no battles, no skill involved. There isn’t any training or strategy. So how will Niantic keep the die hard Pokemon fans around when Pokemon Sun and Moon come out in November? I truly hope they have something up in their studio. I know for Ingress there was a heavy loyalty within your team and that made you want to capture portals and link them to make your team stronger. So unless they release a worldwide live ticker saying which team has the lead and who’s falling behind, I feel that many die hards will taper off especially when they can get that from the new Pokemon game coming out. I really hope they can incorporate some kind of boss battles where you need multiple members to defeat a gym or strong Pokemon. But other than that small rant, at the moment, I am loving this game and want them to succeed with this game. I want more games like this to pop out, augmented reality is a genre that needs to be tapped.

 

Gameial – Oh lord where do I start? Pokemon GO is a childhood dream come true! Upon first hearing about it I must admit I wasn’t all for it, but when I started to see co-workers walking the parking lot & break room looking for Pokemon with phones raised I knew it would be something serious. I’ve had two days experience so far & for the most part the concept works it should. You walk around in the physical world, while on your screen thanks to the magic of GPS, the Pokemon world corresponds to your local positioning in the real world. As in the famous Pokemon Gameboy games Pokemon show up at random, but also like the game there are items to raise the encounter rate. When a Pokemon pops up on screen you have to tap on it to enter the encounter. Usually they pop up one at a time but I’ve experienced being ambushed with about six Pokemon showing up at once then had to pick which to encounter to pursue. Once an encounter is at hand the Pokemon will be in front of you along with a Poke Ball at the bottom of the screen. To catch the Pokemon you simply swipe the Poke Ball up to throw it at the Pokemon, but beware, they dodge, hit back & sometimes break out of Poke Balls depending on their level. I’ve wasted about 12 Poke Balls on a single wild Squirtle yesterday, luckily it wasn’t in vain & I caught’em. I did the same on my first Nidoran encounter… after wasting balls it ran away. I got one later on (Redeemed myself. Lol). This brings me to the next thing you’ll spend a lot of time doing, finding PokeStops to replenish items. A PokeStop is a real-world location (I’ve come to find that nearly every church is one) where you find items, usually Poke Balls, Potions, Revives & Eggs. Once you find one simply swipe to spin the Photo Disc to release items from it then tap the items to collect them. Aside from PokeStops some real-life landmarks are Gyms which are controlled by teams in which there are three different to choose from. To gain control of a Gym you must battle & defeat the Gym’s Pokemon trainer(s) & knock their prestige down to zero to take it over. Battling is different from the Gameboy classics as it isn’t turn based. Nope. As in typical touch screen gaming you tap & swipe. Tap to attack, swipe to dodge. This mechanic works & doesn’t work. Sometimes it seems like the mechanic of dodging works, other times it seems like it’s a teased false hope (I’ll experiment more on this). Once you’ve knocked a Gyms’ prestige down to zero you came take it over for you team. When you do you’ll need to assign a Pokemon to help defend it, this means you WON’T be able to use it while you’re out & about until the Gym is claimed by another team. Also if you run across a Gym that’s already claimed by your team you can train there to raise the prestige level so it’s harder to claim for another team. Well, I think I’ve covered the basics. Apart from some server downtime which some felt more than me, this is a very solid title. The proof can be seen as when coming home I ran into groups of people with their phone’s out at 1am in the morning. The area I found them at turned out the be a PokeStop. I was with friends & we decided to ask what was up, & yep, they were all playing Pokemon Go. This is turning out to be the beginning of a huge. What can I say… gotta catch’em all! Lol

Curt – Soooo….. Pokemon is something I’ve never ever been into. When the show first hit the US shores and started an unstoppable craze I was at least 12 or 13. So I thought I was way too cool for that business. Since then I’ve understood only an outsiders perspective of the lore and fascination with catching little pocket monsters. Without too much effort my buddies here at GameOctane and my brother in law I decide to join the craze while I was on vacation in Portland. More interesting than the Pokemon I was catching were the landmarks that were bring chosen as pokestops and training gyms. At this time I was having all the server and login issues so I didn’t get a ton of play time there. I managed to catch a couple low level Niordans and Pidgys before leaving Portland. But it wasn’t until the next night that I realized how game changing this Augmented Reality mobile game would be. Having been gone for a whole week my wife’s car battery had died and needed a jump start. after jumping the car I wanted my wife to drive around to have the alternator charge the battery back up a bit. At this point it was 10pm and I figured a half an hour would be sufficient enough for the battery, but while driving around with no particular place to go….. we might as well drive around so I can get a better impression of this game. A block away from my house is a historic city park with several stops and 3 gyms. So we head that direction to see whats this thing is all about. Making the turn towards the park I realized we were being followed….. weird for being so late in the evening but as I look around I see around the park are about 30 or so people in small groups all around the park. I couldn’t keep my self from laughing, at first, it was an incredulous with a hint of mocking. I then realized that I was there for the same reason….the laugh turned into a giggle. After about 30 seconds in the parking lot we decided to move on, I was only a level 3 at the time so I couldn’t battle at the gym. As we pulled out of the parking lot two city cops were rolling down the street, my wife had a headlight out so we were pretty sure that they would pull us over. Seconds later the cops flashes his lights and we proceed to follow the typical protocol for being pulled over. The officer tells us the headlight was out and thats why he pulled us over. He then asked for my wife’s drivers license and how long we were in the parking lot. I explained we were only there making a quick loop to help charge the battery for the recently jumped car while my wife explained she didn’t have her license….. uh oh theres a ticket for sure…. but just as my wife began to explain the missing ID situation six or seven teenage kids were walking out of the park. The officer turned around saw them and sent us on our way with a warning to fix our headlight. So because of Pokemon Go my wife was pulled over and was going to get a ticket for driving without a license, but because of Pokemon Go we got off with a simple warning…. hahahaha.

My sister who is away from home at college has also recently started playing PMGO and the local library is a hot spot with four stops that have had almost constant lures on them this has drawn a crowd of a couple hundred college students almost around the clock. This picture was taken about 11:30 PM 

This is what happens when that crowd finds a unique Pokemon!

This is guaranteed cultural phenomenon and who knows how long it’s going to last. As mentioned earlier the affects of the micro transactions in a pay to win scenario could get out of hand. I’m also interested to see if this will still be big with younger crowds when summer ends and school is back in session.

Parris- Hype? check! Eevee on your coffee table? check! App crashes? Yeah… there’s quite a bit of those too…

As a long time fan of Pokemon, the creation of PokemonGO was completely Poke-fan heaven! The subtle pushes towards community (like 3am voyages to get the Charizard down the road), meet ups at PokeStops around town, and the fact that they were genius enough to trick us into being active together (or alone) are all fantastic! Even if the reward for your incubator hatch is a Rattata with like 12 CP, it’s all good! At least we all get to walk miles in the hot sun together! I walked 5+ with my best friend and caught a Vaporeon, so it worked out for me. Some users online have reported that there’s even a correlation between weather/ location, and the types of Pokemon you can find. Though some reports, such as being able to recapture your missed pokeballs, have yet to be proven true with my personal tests. So don’t believe everything you hear!

As a game that has been out for only a short while, even with prior beta testing it has some gamers raging from the still unsolved kinks. Even some celebrities are flaring up from the abundant server crashes, and lost GPS signals (Sorry Jordan!). Like most apps of its type, and popularity we can expect at least a few hiccups. I believe we can expect more great things in the future with any updates so the app can run smoothly, and all our concerns will be like water off of a Psyduck’s back.

 

All i ask is that you don’t do Pokestop drive by’s…pull into the church, get your loot, and go! It’s that simple!

We all hope everyone is enjoying the game. Please post in the comments any fun things you found, or issues you’ve ran into!

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