I’ve already come to the sobering realisation that this game is gonna destroy my relationship.
If it wasn’t apparent, Pokémon Go was officially released in Canada today. I downloaded the game, then once I realised I needed to get out of bed to play, got ready to rush out of the house. “You may need to put on pants” my girlfriend helpfully reminded me. I grabbed the aforementioned pants, my wallet, some sunglasses then headed out into the neighbourhood. I’d heard rumours of a dratini down the road and I was ill content to let something like that slide.
This game will ruin me. Pokémon has been a pillar of my life since it first launched. I was eleven at the time and I remember re-watching my first episode (the St Anne episode) at least ten times in 24 hours. I was gripped instantly, taking to the grindy gameplay and mechanics. I loved it and stuck with it through every iteration. It’d almost be fair to say my girlfriend is the other woman, given my longstanding relationship with this powerhouse Nintendo franchise.
First impressions? The game is as outstanding as you’d expect, but buggier than you would too. It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who’s been on social media that logging in is the game’s biggest challenge. We’re all aware that stepping out into the world is metaphorically walking into the gyarados’ mouth. Such is the danger of passing cars, etc. Even if you manage to log in, good luck staying that way for more than five minutes. A number of my catches were invalidated through crashes, which brings on the Bad Feels. After roaming the neighbourhood in search of jynx, losing one to a stalled screen wasn’t the highlight of my day. Then again, I’m finding that since I’m at a lower level, any losses here aren’t too dramatic. My catches will only get better.
I’ve yet to encounter any other players, but I’m looking forward to that community experience. Some bored kid at the Church of Latter Day Saints this morning dropped a lure and I lurked around the grounds trying to find anything. At that stage my phone was running out of battery and I had no idea what to do. The rustling of leaves was unintuitive and I didn’t realise how pokestops worked. The usefulness of the “nearby pokémon” tab wasn’t obvious to me and as such I didn’t get a lot done. Also, the game kept crashing.
With that out of the way, this is one addictive game. I’m usually the first to don a mask of snark when I see people failing at basic social interactions because of cellphones. Pokémon Go has made me into the dude drastically trying to log in before the supermarket cashier takes my order. Frankly, I’m just trying to get this entry out of the way so I can leave the house again to play. I figure close to midnight will be a good time to trawl the neighbourhood for fancy pokémon. With people actually having a life, I’ll be free to frolic around in a stable server during its downtime. In short, I’ve become the creepy neighbourhood weirdo. I’m fine with this.
What’ve I done so far? I started with a bulbasaur, who quickly got outclassed by everything else. The two kilometre radius around my house is lousy with drowsees, gastlys and zubats. I got a few hypnos, some shellders, a pidgey and krabby. I managed to find a jynx and golbat (who is my strongest right now with a cp of 128. In a day I’ll look back and laugh at how pitiful that number is). The pidgeotto I caught at the supermarket was lost to a crash, as was my paras. There are a ton of pokestops all around. Murals and public art, churches and community centres. It’s neat to get a larger idea of what physically exists in my local community. Hell, I didn’t realise there was an iconic clock at the corner of Dovercourt and Davenport. The Moar You Know. I’ve picked up a couple of eggs, one of which hatched after 2km to reveal a squirtle. The one thing I haven’t done yet today is shower. Pokéness is next to godliness after all.
I’m chomping at the bit to get out and play, but being an adult I have adult things to do. Dinner needs to be cooked and the game isn’t important enough to put it before spending time with my girlfriend. Yet.
So I’m off to be an adult, because the sooner that’s over with, the sooner I can be a kid again.