I got Pokémon Go the second it became available in North America and I’ve played it every day since, as have many of you reading this. The core concept of the game is great in multiple ways. You go search around for Pokémon, catch them, train them, battle other people, all while exploring outside. This is the freaking dream of everyone’s childhood! It’s astounding when almost everyone you encounter walking around outside is playing Pokémon Go. Getting people to go outside while playing a video game and be social has been a great experience! I assume we can all agree that there are aspects of the game that could be improved despite it being an awesome game. But, we must acknowledge despite its amazingness there is an aspect of Pokemon Go that must change! The absolute worst part of this game is the crashing and glitches and we shouldn’t be giving Nintendo such a pass on this aspect of the game. Like any game you play, you want to rate it based on the functionality, gameplay, graphics, sound, fun factor, and whatever other aspects you find important. Great games do most of these things well and have one or two stand out features that make them great. Pokémon Go has created a unique way to play with people around you, build communities, and get exercise, all while playing a video game. The problem is that games functionality for a lot of people is significantly below many gamers standards. If I was playing any other game that would stop working every X amount of minutes or took me 3-5 times to long in I would think very poorly of that game. Let me give a couple examples of what are common occurrences while playing Pokémon Go (these are all true examples).
- You throw a Pokeball at a Pokémon. The Pokémon goes inside the pokeball and it doesn’t move. The game has the loading icon moving in the top left corner but nothing is happening. You have no other choice but to leave the game to see if you caught it. You return and the Pokémon isn’t in your bag and isn’t on the radar. It was a level 500 Gyarados.
- You are battling to take over a Gym. You get your opponents Pokémon down to 1HP. The games loading icon comes up but it keeps on attacking you. His Pokémon isn’t dying even though it’s at 1HP. You try to run, but it won’t let you. That 1HP Pokémon kills your entire team and you loss the match.
- You go to battle a gym. Right as your waiting for the GO! to disappear to start fighting the game takes you back to the gym menu. You think that is strange so you try to fight again. Process repeats itself 5-6 times until you realize it’s not working.
The list can go on with minor issues as well, but those are some of the worst common issues that me and other players have faced. If these types of problems happened in Overwatch, Starcraft II, DOTA, or some other popular game, people would be super upset and demand change or stop playing. Why doesn’t Pokemon Go’s terrible functionality not have the same expected effects as it would on other games? The most obvious point is that just how good the gameplay is. Secondly, since it is a mobile game it doesn’t take much just to reboot it and start playing within a minute. Thirdly, the game is easy to continue once it works again. If the game won’t let catch that one Pokemon or if it won’t let you beat that one gym it doesn’t really hamper your progress (this is unless the game isn’t saving what you did before it glitched). You can simply continue to play the game once it’s rebooted. Your not going down in rank for losing, you can easily heal your Pokemon, and your progress isn’t lost. These are all things that make it easy to continue playing after it doesn’t work which makes the functionality not as big of a problem to people.
These are basically the reasons I feel that despite Pokemon Go having the worst functionality out of any game I’ve ever played, it is still a very enjoyable experience.
Edit: Also, don’t blame this game for your kid walking into on coming traffic or following off a cliff. Be smart.