byTasha-BBY07-08-201612:22 PM - edited 07-11-201610:31 AM
Alright, it’s about time that I fess up: I am not much of a gamer, and I don’t say that lightly. My husband handed me the controller to play Call of Duty and I’m pretty sure he still regrets that choice to this very day as he remembers me aiming at the sky or ground, and nowhere useful. While I’m aware of what’s going on in the gaming world as my husband and friends are pretty well immersed, my gaming abilities pretty much stopped developing after the original Mario Party on Nintendo 64 and Crash Bandicoot: Warped on PlayStation 1.
Now that I’ve confessed, I must say I have always been sucker for Pokémon. I remember watching the show after school before starting homework and collecting and battling with the cards of the original 150 Pokémon! My first Pokémon game was Pokémon Red Version on my yellow Gameboy (not even a Gameboy Color). I even had the first three Pokémon movies (Mewtwo Strikes Back, The Power of One, and The Spell of the Unknown) and saw them in theaters, and collected the limited edition cards. As I grew up, I lost track a bit, but I did buy a Nintendo 3DS and buy both Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, which I’ve really enjoyed playing. I’ve even binged some of Indigo League on Netflix!
Now, with the latest release of Pokémon GO for Android and iOS, I’ve been completely immersed in the world of Pokémon, but this time literally in my own backyard! This app uses your GPS and camera to place Pokémon in your area for you to catch. This means that you can’t move in the game unless you’re moving in real life. Not only does this get you out of your house and active, but you can find Pokémon at your local park, mall, and many other places. Needless to say, I got some pretty odd stares as I wandered about my neighborhood in a seemingly senseless manner, staring at my phone, and changing directions on a dime when I saw I was getting further away from my target Pokémon rather than closer.
Upon sign up, you create your avatar and choose one of the original 3 Starter Pokémon. For those not in the know, those would be Squirtle, Bulbasaur, or Charmander. However, if you’re anticipating battling wild Pokémon, you’ll surely be disappointed. You don’t battle wild Pokémon to weaken and catch them as you do in the video games. Rather, your ability to catch a Pokémon is determined by its stats, the Poké Ball used, and your technique at throwing the Poké Ball. So how do you strengthen your Pokémon, and potentially evolve them, before battling at a Gym? You catch other wild Pokémon and transfer them back to the Professor for Stardust and that Pokémon’s candy. You can then use the Stardust and Candy to power up or evolve your Pokémon.
There are also PokéStops and Gyms in your area, at actual real-world locations. PokéStops allow you to collect eggs for hatching, Poké Balls, and other items. You should note you can only use a PokéStop on occasion, and cannot continuously retrieve items from one. Gyms are claimed by one of the 3 teams you are able to join once reaching Level 5, each with their own values: Instinct, Mystic, and Valor. Instinct values, well, instinct, Mystic values wisdom, while Valor values strength. Choose wisely though, as there’s no changing it later. Once you’ve joined a team you may assign Pokémon to a team claimed Gym in order to train your Pokémon, as well as defend the Gym, or you may battle at an opposing Gym to weaken it, and perhaps even take control of that Gym!
Careful when wandering about though! You should ensure you are aware of your surroundings and know where you are going if you are wandering into an unknown area, and of course use all your other common sense safety rules. Also, make sure you watch your data if you don’t have an unlimited supply, and your battery life. Currently, the game can drain your battery insanely quick. After capturing several Pokémon in my area, I found myself having to run home to charge for a bit, because my portable battery pack wasn’t charged to bring with me. Alternatively, a battery charger case may be more optimal for some users.