Photo by Matthew Faccio

Grand Ledge high school students enjoying their afternoon playing Pokemon GO. These students played Pokemon GO at Hawk Meadow, in Delta Township.

Is Pokemon GO Still Relevant?

How one of the most famous franchise’s take on a mobile game is doing a little over three years after its release.

   Three years ago, one of the most successful mobile apps was released. “Pokemon GO” cleared the waters of any interesting game coming out in 2016. How has it changed since its initial release? It now has so many new amazing features for players compared to when it was first released.

   “Pokemon GO” is a mobile phone game that utilizes GPS tracking to provide an in-game function that allows the person’s character to move with the person, in real life, on a map that is a rough tracing of the actual area. People can interact with various things in the game, such as Pokemon that only pop up in certain areas or Pokestops which are spin to collect items, but they have to walk to these places to receive the rewards.

    When “Pokemon GO” was first released, it had a pretty limited amount of features, including catching Pokemon, spinning Pokestops, battling in Gyms, and walking around to hatch Pokemon Eggs. It was still fun, but because there were only 140 Pokemon to catch when it was released and battling in gyms was relatively unrewarding, the game died down fast.

    “The game really did not catch my interest when it was first released,” Maxx Kroczaleski, a junior, said. “I did not decide to give it a shot until I saw that there were a ton of features and a bunch of my friends were playing it.” The game as of current has tons of features that were missing when it was first released. For example, it has raids, which is when a group of people ranging from four to twenty all get together to battle one very tough Pokemon with the Pokemon they have already caught, and then if they are successful in defeating it they have the chance to catch said Pokemon.

    “I used to play the game as a kid a lot,” Kroczaleski continued. “It kinda makes the experience a little bit more fun catching a bunch of Pokemon I remember from my childhood.” Currently in the game there are approximately 493 Pokemon to catch, which is a much higher amount than it was upon launch. This makes the game longer lasting and makes the player feel more accomplished, therefore making it a lot more fun. Additionally, with players at our school, this adds almost a nostalgic factor because a lot of students grew up playing Pokemon, and the games students would have played when they were kids are just now being added to Pokemon GO.

    “I remember this one time me and my husband were at a raid waiting to see if people would show up to do it with us,” Ms. Sleight said. “all the sudden an ambulance comes pulling in right next to us and the paramedics get out and they are playing Pokemon GO. So they do the raid with us and we are able to beat it and then they get a call and they are gone almost right after they were all finished.” Ms. Sleight is level 40, the maximum level someone can get in Pokemon GO, and has been playing for around a year and a half.

    Getting max level will take some time, but the way the game passively integrates itself into everyday life makes it fun and easy to get the hang of. Whether it is a fun time killer or a thing to do with friends while hanging out, give this game a try, and as long as there is unlimited data involved, it will be the most fun anyone could ask for.

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