So we’re coming up on one whole week since Pokemon Go launched, and needless to say this shit is fantastic. Nintendo’s stock is skyrocketing. Kids are overcoming debilitating social anxieties with the help of the game. Every park, beach, and landmark near my house has been SWAMPED with people lately, most of whom are socializing with one another, meeting up to travel together, and sharing knowledge of Pokemon locations – bringing lifelong fans of the franchise the closest they’ll ever get to experiencing the fictional Pokemon world firsthand.
And while Pokemon Go is already breaking all kinds of ground in the realm of mobile/AR games, it’s still very much an unfinished product. Nintendo definitely pushed Niantic to achieve an early July launch date so that the game could dominate the Summer (and it probably will), so there’s no doubt that there will be tons of updates on the horizon. While Nintendo and Niantic figure out a way to power their servers with something other than Easy Bake Ovens and potatoes connected to 9-volt batteries with copper wire, here are the biggest features I’d like to see in future updates.
Make Candy Suck Less
I haaaaaaate the “Candy” system. If you want a Pigeot, or a Fearow, or a Raticate – congratulations! You’ll have enough candies to fuel their evolution in no time, and plenty left over to jack them up enough to knock over some gyms in the process. But god forbid you want to beef up that lone Hitmonchan you found at the park – because if you don’t find another, you’ve got no hope to make him a contender in the ring. My suggestion to Nintendo for the Candy system is to make the candies type-specific, not family-specific. Fighting Candy, Psychic Candy, Steel Candy, etc. – this way players can fuel the growth of the Pokemon they actually want to use, but will still need to work hard to power up Pokemon of rarer types.
Why isn’t this a thing already? Something tells me this is the first new feature that gets added. And why not? You’re already linking your Google account to sign in – lets throw a Twitter/Facebook linking option in so players can see which of their friends are playing and where they’re at. A built-in messaging system for players who control the same gyms would also be pretty sick.
Rivals have been a part of every Pokemon game since its inception, and I’m hoping a “Rival” system of some sort is implemented along with a friends list. Pick a player, designate them as your rival, and maybe get some bonus XP when you beat them in a battle? Oh what’s that? We can’t fight other trainers yet? So throw that in too! The battle system is pretty wacky right now, but PvP is definitely coming. Hopefully, some way to designate a Rival comes with it. Oh, and fix the fucking Gym Battles already, Nintendo. Its a borderline pointless endeavor to try and capture them at this point because its the glitchiest part of the game by a long shot.
NPC Gym Battles
This one’s a longshot, since the idea is to play with real people – but creating singular hubs for each city with some sort of challenge mode would be pretty cool. Maybe theres a randomized NPC that holds down the busiest area of a city, which players can challenge each day for new rewards. Something like a daily quest system that most modern RPGs have.
This needs to happen. You ever dump a shitload of candy and stardust into a Pokemon, only to catch a CP 10 version of it with much better attacks? Yep, so have I, every single day. Make TMs a part of PokeStop rewards and I’ll be a happy little handsome baby boy.
Smart Watch App
If you haven’t seen it already, Nintendo’s coming out with a watch-like accessory called the Pokemon Go Plus that’ll ping and vibrate when players approach PokeStops and hidden monsters. Nintendo’s doing this so that players will spend less time with their faces buried in their phones, but I can’t see anyone other than serious die-hard Pokemon fans, shameless adults, or kids wearing this. While its not unattractive, it definitely isn’t subtle, and it could help Nintendo to make a companion app for Smart Watches across the different platforms. Lets say Nintendo decides to charge $20-$30 for this Pokemon Go Plus watch. Why not just charge the same for the companion app that boasts the same functionality without requiring the player to wear MORE technology? Seems like a no-brainer to me. Hell, I’d buy it.
This one’s probably already in the works too – so I’m anxious to see how Nintendo treats the arrival of Legendary Pokemon. Each player eventually has to join a team bearing the crest of one of the three legendary birds, which seems like plenty of foreshadowing to me. Does Nintendo drop these off in main cities in one specific location? Is there a series of challenges one must defeat before earning the right to attempt capturing one of the birds? Or are they already out there waiting for us to hunt them down? Only time will tell.
Well, those are my thoughts on the future of Pokemon Go. It’s already a great game (however troubled the launch has been) and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next. What features are you hoping to see in future updates to Pokemon Go? Scream at us on Twitter at @WickedGoodGames and make sure to follow the new Instagram @WickedGoodGaming.
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