It was announced earlier today that the second generation of Pokémon would be rolled out this week on the hit smartphone app Pokémon Go. The news follows the conclusion of the latest in-game event that was centred around Valentine’s day, where candy and pink Pokémon became a lot easier to obtain for the duration of the last week.
The inclusion of gen 2 is a source of great positivity for the app which has faced great criticism in recent months. A handful of these Pokémon are already available in the game, having been released in the days leading up to Christmas, but their arrival was surrounded with a fair share of controversy. Fans were not impressed that only a couple of new Pokémon were added into the game, especially given how much hype had been built up for it in the weeks beforehand. What’s more, the fact that these additions were only available via the method of hatching proved to be a kick in the teeth for the many people who had remained loyal to the app through its ups and downs.
With Spring not far on the horizon, this new batch of Pokémon has come at the perfect time. Although it’s been over seven months since the app debuted, a full release of gen 2 back in November/December would not have had the same impact that it will have now that the temperature is starting to rise again. While die-hard fans would have been out there in the cold looking to catch ’em all, many people who haven’t played the game since the summer would not have bothered. Given the app has the potential to stay around for years to come, it needs to act at the right times to keep the momentum going.
That’s not to say I wasn’t annoyed by the lack of new Pokémon several months ago.
Alongside gen 2 are a handful of new features to the game, including the ability to customise your avatar. There are more berries available at Pokéstops which will have different effects when catching a Pokémon, including the opportunity to increase the amount of candy you receive upon a successful throw. Just make sure you focus when you use a pokéball, because the creatures will now react in different ways during an encounter. Genders and evolution-specific items have also been added into the game.
None of these new features are particularly exciting by themselves, and it’s obvious that the introduction of gen 2 is the main component of the update. Rightfully so, given that adding new Pokémon to the game is a massive step forward for the app. However, given the amount of criticism surrounding Pokémon Go and the plummeting number of players, there needs to be more major features brought into the game soon. While the arrival of gen 2 will almost certainly give the app a massive boost, without any big changes to the mechanics of the game, the resurgence in popularity will not last long.
A few months ago I came up with a few things that I felt needed to be adjusted in the game, and apart from the introduction of these new Pokémon, none of the other features have been adjusted. Gym battles continue to be flawed (although the decrease in the game’s popularity has made it somewhat easier to hold down a gym these days) and player interaction is still non-existent. By the time the app reaches its one year anniversary, it needs to introduce some crucial changes to the gameplay else it risks fading into obscurity.
For now, however, the new Pokémon will do.
As someone who’s almost filled up their gen 1 Pokédex, the addition of new Pokémon to catch is my biggest concern. I still enjoy using the app whenever I go out somewhere, and an increased likelihood in finding something new when I leave the house is a big incentive for me to play the game. Provided that Niantic continue to release regular events like the Halloween and Valentine’s day ones, then I’m sure that these new Pokémon will tide me over for a few months.
There’s no confirmation yet as to when this week that the big update will be released, but given that it’s already Wednesday, it’s likely to be here within the next few days. I can only assume that those Pokémon that were previously only available via hatching eggs will now be found in the wild as well, although again there has been no confirmation on the matter.
Some of the gen 2 Pokémon may be obtainable straight away once the update goes live if you have the right candies. A number of them are evolved forms of Pokémon already available in the game, including:
Bellossom, Blissey, Crobat, Espeon, Kingdra, Politoed, Porygon2, Scizor, Slowking, Steelix, Umbreon
Hopefully Niantic will make all of gen 2 available straight away and not slowly roll them out like they did with Pichu, Togepi and the other baby Pokémon. Given how much of an impact 80+ new Pokémon would have on the app, it wouldn’t be wise to refrain from releasing them all at once.
For now, all we can do is sit and wait for the update to come out, sooner rather than later hopefully. The Valentine’s day event got me back into playing the game so I’m very excited to get out there and start catching some new Pokémon. Lets just hope that the weather works in my favour.