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Pokemon Go Review – Part 2 November 27, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Reviews.

Over a year has passed since Niantic and The Pokemon Company released the smartphone phenomenon Pokémon Go and while we did a fine job reviewing the game when it initially launched, Niantic has added so much more to the game in the past year we decided to write an addendum to our initial review and give our thoughts about the newest features of Pokémon Go. Let’s get started shall we?


Our initial review of Pokémon Go didn’t include any review of the game’s Gym battles. While this may seem like a huge oversight now, Gym battles were not a huge priory at the time due to the game’s initial instability and the lack of proper in-game documentation about the feature.

Gyms can be found throughout predetermined locations throughout the real world, and players can interact with a Gym location after reaching level 5 when they select their team. With recent updates, all players can now use a Gym like a PokéStop to earn some in-game supplies, but higher level trainers can do battle there.

Since players can’t weaken Pokémon found in the wild before attempting to capture them, and two Pokémon Go players can’t battle each other directly, Pokémon Go‘s Gym Battles are the only way to actually actively have a traditional Pokémon battle in the game. However, other than the fact that a Pokémon’s typing comes into play, Pokémon Go‘s battles work nothing like their Nintendo game counterparts since Pokémon Go battles happen in real-time. During the battle, a player taps the screen to do a primary attack, swipes to dodge, and if the status bar is filled, holds down on the screen for a secondary attack.

Depending on which team is currently controlling that Gym, you can battle the Pokémon being stored in an opposing team’s Gym if the Gym you’re near is controlled by another team. If the gym is already controlled by the team you’re on, players can drop off one of their Pokémon in the gym to assist your team in controlling it.

Controlling Gyms is important because is currently the ONLY way for players to generate in-game currency without paying for it. Over the past year Niantic has done a lot of work to tweak the Gym experience, and have a strict limit as to how much in-game currency can be generated per day.

Pokémon Go Plus

Pokémon Go Plus was announced alongside Pokémon Go but its initial release was delayed by several months. Now that the accessory is out in large enough quantities, I would like to talk a little about it. First off, setup is a breeze, and you’re welcome to watch this video of us setting up the accessory below.

Once its connected, Pokémon Go Plus becomes an incredible assistant to players. Players using Pokémon Go Plus can do tasks like hatch eggs, catch Pokémon and activate PokéStops while their smart device is in standby mode. It runs on a non-rechargeable coin cell battery, and can last for quite a while before it has to be replaced. In my opinion, Pokemon Go Plus is a must-own accessory for any serious Pokémon Go player that doesn’t own an Apple Watch.


Occasionally, a Pokémon Gym will be taken over by a legendary Pokémon for a limited time. When this happens, trainers from all over the area can band together to take down this special Pokémon with the hope of catching it. This is currently the only way to obtain the legendary roaming Pokémon from GEN2, and it isn’t easy.

Raid battles are real-time and play exactly like Gym Battles. However, unlike a Gym battle, a trainer involved in a raid can be joined by twenty other local players, and if the raid is successful, all of the participating trainers will earn the opportunity to catch whichever Pokémon was being offered in the raid event.

I have a few problems with raids. I don’t like the fact that Niantic chose to host these events at areas already designated as Pokémon Gyms. When a raid begins, all progress at the Gym is essentially paused for an hour as the Raid event happens. It is also very difficult to catch a Pokémon after winning a raid, since raid players can only throw premiere balls at the defeated Pokémon. In my experience, berries have little to no effect to improve a capture’s chances. Raid passes are only offered once per day, but that is pretty moot since if a player fails to capture a raid boss, they are locked out of attempting the raid again after completing it.


Special limited-time events are occasionally hosted within Pokémon Go. After the disastrous Pokémon Go Fest earlier in the year, I believe the most successful in-game events have been the ones that didn’t require players to be in one geographic spot to participate. As of the time of this article being published, the most recent special events in Pokémon Go have included the Halloween event where several Generation 3 ghost types were in the wild, and the successful Global Catch Challenge.

It’s clear to me that as long as Niantic doesn’t keep an event to one geographic location and allows players all over a region to participate, it can become an incredible event for new and long time players. It’s always fun to see new Pokémon in the wild, and events like the Global Catch Challenge prompted players from all over the world to team up to unlock a rare Pokémon in the wild for a limited time.

Technical Issues

I’d like to say that over a year after the release of Pokémon Go the game is perfectly stable but that would be a lie. The release of iOS 11 on iPhone brought a lot of technical issues with the game that Niantic still hasn’t fully ironed out. Since the release of iOS 11, there have been widespread reports of poor connectivity with Pokémon Go Plus ranging from random disconnects during standby to lagged response times across the board.

That all said, each new update brings more fixes to the game, and while it is taking a while, Niantic is still ironing out the game while providing players new in-game features. I can safely cancel my previous request not to spend money on the game, and if you choose to do so.


So those are my thoughts about Pokémon Go over a year after it was released. I think it’s a great application well worth your time and I encourage everyone to check it out!

Pokemon Go is out now for Android and iOS devices.


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