Tag Archives: Niantic Labs

With Team Rocket Leaders, Pokémon GO is Worth Returning To

10 Nov

pokemon-go-logoBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Anyone waffling on whether returning to play Niantic Lab’s Pokémon GO will find the latest add-ons worthwhile. The latest updates finally give players a sense of dealing with threats as Ash did in the anime. Unlike the comedy antics of Jessie and James of Team Rocket, the brutes in the augmented reality game are not easy to defeat. If there’s ever a time to create a motivation to keep on playing, it’s to find and grind those weaker pocket monsters into candies to power up the better ones.

The previous add-on’s were window-dressing. They offered no substance. The player vs player option was very lacklustre because all that mattered was who had the fastest finger (and virtual creature with the best move set) to defeat opponents. The higher level raids simply depended on being on a local Discord group to coordinate just for the sake of candies and bragging. Even finding more of your favourite critter with the current radar can be tedious. I’m still waiting for an improved version to filter results than to see if rare Pokémon are nearby.
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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, 9¾ Weeks Later…

28 Aug

After more than a month of playing Niantic/Port Key Game’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the addiction is real. Searching for missing fragments of various foundables makes me feel like I’m going through the Deathly Hallows experience. I’m reminded of when Potter, Granger and Weasley were looking for the horcruxes containing parts of Voldemort’s soul. The only difference is these people and objects are not intentionally splitting themselves apart. Paywall problems aside, I want my fantastic beasts whole.

This game is essentially about collecting pieces to a jigsaw puzzle where players have little control of finding the final segment. Unless a radar is put into the game, finding that last deoxy will be difficult. Alternatively, players can use Discord to report where Ron Weasley’s right ear went. This game is all about exploring and hoping that final fragment is nearby–either in the wild or hidden in a fortress.

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The Good & Bad with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

1 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

After playing Niantic’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite for a little more than a week, I find it’s a slightly different game than Pokémon GO. Instead of catching them all, it’s finding lost objects to send back to the owners and collecting ingredients to make potions. Doing both is very important in this game. The experience is not as much about expanding the universe J. K. Rowling created and I don’t recall hearing about her endorsing or approving the story behind this product.

The basics of what the Harry Potter universe is about is there. You are part of his team and join fellow magi to prevent the muggles (normals) from discovering this world. This game requires at least half an hour to an hour a day to accomplish the daily tasks for the in-game rewards. Missing a day won’t hurt. When players want free coins to spend, the game is still about grinding for them than creating an authentic franchise and augmented reality (AR) experience.

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Ed’s Pokémon GO Journals: The Legendaries are Here & Hopes for Year Two

27 Jul

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Yes, I admit it: I’ve returned to playing Pokémon GO. All the various arguments on how monotonous this game is are heard before and I do not need to repeat. The fact the Legendary Bird Pokémons are here is enough to get me back and look for groups of people who are there for that Luiga or Articuno (at present) appearing at the gyms. The real life game is to hunt for people to play with than to continue on my own. Otherwise, I could not be bothered to turn the game on.

A report from Cnet makes a compelling argument to turn on any casual game for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. The way my life has been lately could do with less stress.

I have tried the new gym system, and I have kept up with the rumblings about this game. I do not see Niantic as being the blame for the Pokémon GO Fest “disaster” at Chicago. Not all of the mobile companies listened, and they are more at fault for not installing the necessary equipment to make the connectivity issues go away. My guess for why the events in Europe is not happening is because Niantic can not reach the appropriate folks from the service providers to develop the infrastructure needed to make make the party work.

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