by Jessica Pahutski – Staff Editor
Ever since its release back in July, Pokémon GO has skyrocketed Pokémon’s popularity to levels not seen since 1998. It seemed that, at least for a while, it was everywhere. People walking down the street, across the street, into oncoming traffic…Quite literally everywhere. It was inescapable.
When Pokémon GO first came out, there were many bugs, it was almost like it was released in its alpha or early beta state. And it was. Look out world, version 0.38 is coming soon. This time, they will fix some graphical thing nobody cared about and break what is left of this internally rotting ball.
In all seriousness, Pokémon GO should…well…go. Not only is it extremely and noticeably unfinished; it is antithetical to the core values of the series and, above all, completely pointless.
First, that “version 0.38” line is not a joke: the game was released in a version number reserved for beta builds. This situation just so happens to be a lot like a certain other (in)famous game based on a popular series–that game was E.T. for the Atari 2600. E.T.’s programmer was given just six weeks to make it from scratch in order to get it out by Christmas.
That happened thirty-four years ago. Sure, that one sold a lot too, but look what it did to the people behind it and the fledgling industry. It almost single-handedly ended both.
What makes the matter even worse, it came out after “Pokémon Sun and Moon” was announced, which is pointless on virtually every level.
If it were out, say, last year, then it would have much more impact on the series. Heck, January or even early February would’ve been better for it. It either should’ve come out before the first trailer on Feb. 26 or waited until after Nov. 18 for the hype around the other games to die down in order to make sure more people would be playing it.
This issue doesn’t get better, it gets worse. Pokémon GO, by design, actively goes against the “love and friendship” idea of the rest of the franchise. Happen to catch a Pokémon with a low power level? Just go out and get a better one. Those “things” do not have real value if they cannot beat some other guy’s “thing.” All that is needed to evolve one is to catch a whole bunch of that species. It’s not like they are individuals or anything. The funny thing is, they are.
Having fallen in love with Pokemon at the age of 5 with LeafGreen, followed by Emerald, Pearl, Platinum, SoulSilver, White, White 2 and Y, it is no wonder that Pokemon is close to my heart. They were, are, and always will be close friends, and no amount of shiny AR gimmicks and Wi-Fi horsehockey can ever change that.
But stay far away from GO. And if a friend or two has it and invites you to join in, it would be best to politely decline and move on. Something better is on the horizon; go towards it.