Looking Back and My Hopes for Pokémon Go in 2023 (After its First Community Day)

Despite problems from last year, Niantic’s Pokémon GO is still a game played around the world. Hopefully it’ll fare better this year.

Pokémon Go

Niantic’s Pokémon GO had quite the mish mash of hits and misses back in 2022. From massive coding gaffes that made gameplay frustrating to the release of new pocket monsters with statistics that can break the game, I’m glad this year is off with a good start. This weekend’s Community Day bonus went off without a hitch! Although how the new pokémon is supposed to appear at stops is said to be a bug by this software developer, I hope they can leave it alone because it makes finding them easier.

I’m guessing the coders learned from their mistakes. As I look back at everything they’ve offered in the past, all I did was shake my head. Whoever wrote the code didn’t consider all the permutations, or considered the issues that would go along with “copy and overlaying” one Pokémon’s appearance (and statistics) over another, or where spawns should exist, leading to these pocket monsters disappearing off the map! As a result with the former problem, if placed in a battle environment, there would be unbalanced fights. That is, their biggest gaffe was with Zorua. This mimic was launched at the end of Community Day in early October. The lack of testing caused this Pokémon to get crazy stats and, if used in PvP battle or raids, it would break the game.

As we enter 2023, a new ‘mon for completionists is finally released! This weekend released the elusive Kecleon, and it likes hiding. Thankfully, it does not copy the abilities of another pocket monster. But, it won’t pop up unless gamers touch every spinner in hopes this invisible wonder is there.

How to catch Kecleon in Pokémon Go - Dot EsportsFortunately, its brown striping is easy to spot and players just have to fling this salamander-like creature off landmarker and onto the game field. It isn’t too hard to find this chameleon, and I’m hoping something new at the end of each monthly Community Day will become a regular feature. I’m liking this approach because it actually gets me interested in participating.

One aspect of the game some players, including myself, don’t do are “dailies.” The game asks that you spin a stop and catch one mon per day, and unfortunately the payoff isn’t all that rewarding by day seven. I noticed that there’s hardly any difference with the rewards when a day is missed. Also, the release of a daily 15-minute adventure incense is not much of a motivator when the catch rate for the Galarian Birds is less than 1%. They will only appear when this cannister is used, and a lot of players are just waiting for its eventual release in another mode of play.

As we enter a new term for a seven-year-old game, there’s plenty of people around the world who is playing. Yes, I’m still poking at it, but Winter is a time I scale back. I’m not all that interested in getting the costumed varients. Unless a physical redemption is included for finding a shiny version (which I’m sure is super rare to obtain), there’s no feeling of victory here. This game is mostly about catching and showing off what an individual has caught.

Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) / Twitter

As a result, Pokémon GO isn’t as good as the games released by The Pokémon Company. They are far more interactive and is less about showing off one’s bling (pocket monster). Also, most players know Niantic’s game will never fully integrate with the other products since it can lead to ‘catching them all’ too fast. Thus, another problem pointed out is the fearing of missing out on day-one surprises. As a result, since news of what will cap off Community Day is saved last minute, the bonus is very likely to keep players coming back. In regards to how long it’ll stay in the game depends on a variety of factors. No one is certain if Kecleon is a limited time thing or not. Since it follows in the same pattern as the previous release, I suspect this new lizard will be around, but it’ll take time to find one or two!

Fortunately, for other types of creatures, they will return in due time; all any player has to do is to keep tabs on resource sites like Leekduck.com to know what’s coming up, and make friends with those players obsessed with getting the best pocket monsters of them all. They can alert the local community when something big has been found.

Pokémon Go In Conclusion

Niantic knows that unless something ‘new’ is offered on some regular basis, they’ll lose part of their player base with this specific game. They haven’t been hurting since they have Ingress, and two other games–Marvel: World of Heroes and NBA: All World–due for release this year. Perhaps that’s why all these persistent worlds remain what it is, and I’m crossing my fingers that monthly Community Day continues in this changed format.

As for what’s next, the Spring may well be a make it or break it year. I’m predicting that all those missing pocket monsters will finally appear in the game as 2023 keeps on chugging along. The mainstream product line is up to generation nine, and PoGo is considered two digits behind since not every pocket monster is there. There’s holes that need filling, and the love for PoGo can’t remain in a melting pot forever.

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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