Pokémon Go: The Entryway to Pokémon for Beginners

Hey friends!!

If you haven’t been living under a rock the past couple days, you’ll have heard about Pokemon Go, much to the infatuation and also chagrin of others (although I will never understand the latter). Now I have been playing Pokemon since I was old enough to, I’m pretty sure Pokemon Red, Blue and Green came out in the US in 1998 (I was born in 1997!!) Obviously I wasn’t playing Pokemon at 1 year old (lol I wish), I had a friend born in 1990 so yay!! My first Pokemon game was actually Pokemon Yellow!! And then after that it was Fire Red, Diamond & Pearl (…yes…both…), Y, Alpha Sapphire, and soon Moon (don’t try to tell me Lunala doesn’t look majestic and awesomely galactic). In addition to that, Pokemon Battle Revolution, Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Team….I didn’t play the latter until last year and to be honest, it’s a little much for me so I haven’t really played through it much. Don’t ask me why I didn’t play gen 2 and gen 3 when it first came out, apparently gen 2 went completely under my radar and I was just never able to buy the original Ruby or Sapphire(??? not sure how). We also don’t talk about gen 5, ever, pls.

OK well after that nerdy debriefing about my history with Pokemon, let’s get on to the game!! I’m not going to give you any tips and tricks because c’mon, there is more than enough websites, YouTube videos, and Snapchat news stories telling how to curveball your Pokeball throw, or how to level up quickly from level 5 to 20, or how to get Pikachu as your starter.

What I want to tell you is that if you are someone who has not ever played Pokemon and you kind of want to start, but you think you might be too overwhelmed to jump straight into such a large franchise (600+ Pokemon, dear god. I used to be able to name all 493 in order….not sure that I had a life), fear not!! Pokemon Go is a super accessible game to getting yourself involved in the Pokemon universe because it only tackles the original 151, and you’ll find yourself stuck with the same 3 or 4 Pokemon if you live in a suburban area LOL. No, but really, as much as I hate the people who have started playing Pokemon Go acting as if they follow the series regularly and try to talk highly of things they know (i.e. wanting to catch a Pokemon that isn’t even in the original 151………c’mon) (that sounded really snobby. I’m sorry, it isn’t meant to be LOL)

Moving away from this tangent, if it has been awhile for you, or it hasn’t been for you at all and you really just want to see what it’s all about, try Pokemon Go! The thing about Pokemon Go is that it is actually VERY different from the regular games and doesn’t involve all the battle strategy and game mechanics that you would have to learn in the regular game. Pokemon Go is much more simplified and appeals to the completion-ist complex that most of us have; we want things to be complete which is exactly how you’ll feel about filling your PokeDex (that’s basically your encyclopedia of Pokemon, it starts blank and it gets updated as you catch more and more Pokemon!) Catching Pokemon is based a little less on strategy (in the games you’ll battle wild Pokemon and try to get their health low without “killing” them before you try to catch them), and based more on calculating your throw and timing right. I hope that as the game progresses they will add the regular strategy to make it more like Pokemon, but this is a good introduction for new fans!

Although I’m not personally tempted to go walk about to find illustrious Pokemon, a lot of people are, which is cool! It’s awesome to see adults and children alike be involved in such a cultural icon for people my age. If you’re on the fence about Pokemon, or just plain annoyed about everyone talking about it, don’t shut it out completely, try it! Times recently have been very difficult and grief-stricken and a lot of people have been separated, arguing over personal and political values. Pokemon is becoming an awesome bridge of understanding through these tough times. I hope that you, reader, will give it a chance if you haven’t already!

Below, I’ll include screenshots of the actual game aside from those screenshots of people seeing Pokemon through their cameras because I assume you’ve seen enough, haha. These screenshots are a compilation of screenshots from when I first got the game (July 10, I wanted to avoid the bugs and server crashes) on my iPhone 5S, and when I got my new iPhone 6S (literally the next day LOL). I recently just got to level 5 so I will update this later with gym screenshots because I’m writing this post in the morning so I haven’t gone anywhere yet.

Anyway, thanks so much for reading! It’s been so busy over here on my end (I met Stephen Amell and Katrina Law on July 2 at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest NY/NJ!!), hopefully a post will be coming soon talking about HVFF if any of you are hoping to go to San Jose, Atlanta, Orlando, London, or NJ in the future! See you guys next time!

13 July 2016

Photo Descriptions: [Set 1, Top Middle]: My starter!! When you start the game, you are always offered your first Pokemon (called your “starter”), which is always a water-type, fire-type, or grass-type. I personally usually go for water or fire, except in gen 2, I get Chikorita 🙂  It is also possible to get Pikachu instead likening it to Pokemon Yellow, but you can look it up elsewhere to figure that out.
[Set 1, Bottom Right]: This is the character customization screen before you start the game.
[Set 2, Photo 1]: This is the maximized screen of the little tiny white flag in the bottom right corner of the game screenshots. It shows you what Pokemon are nearby and feature little 1-3 foot prints underneath giving an indication to how far away a Pokemon may be. It doesn’t indicate direction but it gives you an idea of distance.
[Set 2, Photo 2]: In the upper right corner there is a big tower with a blue icon on top of it. This indicated a gym that is currently occupied by the blue Team aka Team Mystique. At gyms, your team (either Mystique, Valor or Instinct or Blue, Red, Yellow subsequently) can claim that gym and defend it while the other two teams can battle to try and claim it as well. If your team claims it you can also train your Pokemon there.