The weekend around Pokemon Go Fest 2022, which was meant to introduce a broader storyline to get fans hyped up for the summer, failed miserably to set the tone for the Season of Go.
This year’s version of Go Fest was disappointing on several levels, the centrepiece of Niantic’s annual celebration has become one of the highlights of the game’s year. A bug related to incense and lures was one issue players had to contend with while playing. As a result, players had to deal with a number of head-scratching moments when they tried to tap on Pokemon that were specific to incense. However, they discovered they were gone.
I think the perceived issue that has garnered the most complaints so far is the fact that there are no shiny variants available for players. There was a lot of difficulty getting these creatures on Saturday as players tried their best to get them. On Day 1, the year before last, I had a respectable haul of 38 shiny Pokemon in my collection. Unfortunately, I only managed to collect 13 this year.
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A portion of that can be attributed to the RNG aka chance, but some of it can also be attributed to the overall structure of the first day celebrations. Pokemon Go Fest was a large event with too many things going on without any rhyme or reason. The day’s personnel had previously addressed a story that was supported by the day’s personnel. In Pokemon Go Fest 2019, players were required to capture Kricketot, Bronzong, Loudred, Jigglypuff, and more. The Pokémon that seemed random had to be summoned in order to wake Jirachi up from its slumber. In the end, there was a rewarding “a-ha” moment when the storyline ended.
In addition, last year, Go Fest had a musical theme that was similar to this year’s, but players had to put together their own band and they were given costumed versions of Pikachu, Gardevoir and Vibraza to help with their efforts. All four of those Pokemon tied the event together, as players caught Pokemon in four different habitats to tie the event together. Meloetta was the last Pokemon encountered in the event.
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It comes as no surprise to me that logic has been thrown out the window when it comes to the habitats for Pokemon Go Fest 2022. However, Niantic has chosen to give players more options in approaching the Special Research on Shaymin, though it is difficult to discern the reason for the inclusion of Klink, Tropius and Torkoal in this questline even though they are reward characters. Moreover, the quest, in its attempt to accommodate different playstyles, was lacking a definite focus, making it quite chaotic, with battles, raids, and the rotation of habitats being the main events.
Additionally, some of the habitats and species that were selected made little sense to me, making matters worse. The reason why Wingull resides in Tundra is because it nests on steep cliffs by the sea, which are higher than the sea. According to Meditite’s lore, the creature lives in high and cold regions with its mate, Medicham, so at least technically it worked with the biome. The choice of Binacle and Skrelp as the Rainforest Habitat is even more odd. Hitmonchan without Hitmonlee was also a curious selection.
The overall roster was not as cohesive thematically, and the pocket monsters available did not fit the desires of the majority of players. In fact, there were a lot of Pokemon that already had Community Days. Although it’s a good update for new players to the game, veteran players (and whales) who have been playing for many years won’t notice much change in the game except for Shelmet, Karrablast, Numel, Shroomish, Unown B and Axew. However, that isn’t enough and I wasn’t able to find these variants very easily. Honestly, I have no shame in admitting that I have done more than 30 raids before I have gotten a shiny Axew, and my PokeBall Plus failed miserably to keep pace with my distracted actions.
A combination of all these things resulted in a wretched experience, which was disjointed and just plain awful. I hope Niantic is able to make up for the train wreck that players experienced Saturday with what they have planned for August.