I’m Still Waiting For My Shiny Umbreon

By: Ricardo Suarez

After about a year of anticipation, Pokémon GO is out in the wild and realizing the dream many have to become Pokémon trainers. Well, for the most part. The app doesn’t quite capture the feel of living in the wonderful world of Pokémon. Ignoring the obvious problems such as server issues and game freezes, these are the top 5 things Pokemon GO should do to make it more like the profession most 90s children wanted to be.

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Music Variety

The music in Pokémon has always been some of the best in all of gaming. From the warm feeling of home when you enter Pallet Town to the eerie feeling of Lavender Town, the music set the mood perfectly for any environment the trainer may find himself in. But most importantly, the music was varied. No two songs sounded similar. Each track is highly memorable and never felt stale throughout the players adventure.

However, in Pokémon GO, the same song is on a loop the entire time as you walk around, only transitioning when you’re attempting to catch a Pokémon. The song in question, isn’t even one of Pokémon’s best tracks as it feels very bland  and uninspired.

I’m not proposing that Niantic and The Pokémon Company should make songs for every tiny region of the world. Only a mad man would even consider that. Instead, my proposition would be to make the tracks tied to the type of Pokémon in a given area. Mostly fire-types? Lets have a hot, fiery theme. Urban Pokemon?  Lets have that Pallet Town hospitality playing during our journey.

Just please, don’t make me listen to the current song in Pokémon GO again. It already haunts my dreams like a starving Darkrai.

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Trading

Trading is easily one of the most important aspects of Pokémon titles. We all still have those fond memories of bringing our GameBoys to school and trading our version-exclusive monsters with our pals. This was the only reason to justify even having multiple versions of the same game. These games brought a social interaction to people’s lives and bloomed many friendships.

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In Pokémon GO, there is no interaction with other people you may meet alongside your adventure. The extent of your social interactions with the game would be to casually run into someone, ask them if they had found anything, and then move on with your day. If I caught a Meowth and my friend had a Diglett that I really wanted, I should be able to give him my talking cat for whatever Diglett is (Is it a mole thing?).

Remember the days of duplicating legendaries in Pokémon Emerald through a Battle Frontier glitch and offering those abominations in trades? No? That was just me? Well regardless, this lack of social interactivity brings me to my next point…

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Battles

Imagine, if you will, a walk through your local park. It’s a nice day, the sun is shining, and the smell of spring is in the air. Then, you spot another trainer. Your eyes meet, then he proceeds to walk up to you. He spouts some nonsense about liking shorts because their comfy and easy to wear then suddenly, you’re whisked away into battle.

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Sadly, the only place this can happen is within the main Pokémon games. You can catch and power-up all the pokémon you want but unfortunately, the only place to battle is at the various Pokémon Gyms. Battles consist of two moves that happen in real-time as opposed to the four move, turn-based battles found in the main games. The battles are a little janky and odd to get used to, but the experience would be enhanced if players could battle other trainers they may meet along their journey.

Battles are arguably, more important to Pokémon than trading. But just like trading, battling adds to the social aspect of Pokémon and led to all of those childhood memories of having a link cable and duking out your creatures against one another.

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More Pokémon

The first generation of Pokémon is fantastic. It is easily the most nostalgic generation, and the most iconic. It created many fan favorites such as Charizard, Blastoise, Dragonite, and of course, Pikachu. However, as time passed the series has grown to more than four times it’s starting size as each new generation passed.

Currently at the time of writing, there are 721 pokémon to be found in the main games with even more coming with the release of Pokémon Sun & Moon. That’s a lot of critters compared to the measly 150 in Pokémon GO. This isn’t even including the idea of adding shiny pokémon. Adding in more generations of Pokémon may be a big step for Niantic and The Pokémon Company, but I would love to be able see them added in through future updates.

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One day, Shiny Umbreon shall be mine!

I can just imagine walking through a downtown area, looking up at the sky and screaming “Oh my god there’s a giant Wailord on top of the skyscrapers!”. But a man can dream.

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An Official Pokémon League

Since Pokémon Red & Blue, the layout of every game has been mostly the same. A kid catches pokémon, battles 8 gym leaders, takes on the Elite Four, and defeats the Pokémon Champion. Adding an official Pokémon League to the mobile game might be asking for much but just hear me out.

In Pokémon GO’s current form, there are gyms scattered about that trainers can “take over” by defeating its current gym leader and replacing it with one of their own. For every 20 hours a Pokemon is defending a gym, the players can earn PokéCoins and Stardust. That’s all well and good but what about players that have shown the skill and determination to conquer, lets say, eight gyms. How should these players be recognized?

An official, seasonal, Pokémon League would be the perfect way to commemorate a trainer’s hard work and dedication to become the very best. Every season could start out with each trainer on the same level. Each trainer could conquer 8 gyms and receive 8 badges. Players could use said badges to take on an Elite Four that is pre-built in the game. Afterwards, much in the same way that gyms work, trainers would fight a pokémon that was left over from the previous champion and receive additional rewards for being the Pokémon League Champion of your area. Then the season ends, and trainers repeat the process of becoming the Pokémon League Champion.

I would love to have the motivation of becoming a Pokémon Champion, and I would be the only trainer able to do so with nothing but a magikarp. Just you wait and see.

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Pokémon GO isn’t quite where it should be right now and doesn’t quite deliver on the promise of living in a Pokémon world. The game holds much to be desired but shows a lot of potential. Here’s to hoping that the app continues to evolve and become a platform worthy of transforming our day-to-day lives.

Expect a full in-depth discussion of Hidden Item’s impressions of Pokémon GO. But in the meantime, for all your gaming and Pokémon news, keeping searching for Hidden Item.

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