If there’s any RPG that I love the most, it’ll be Nintendo’s Pokemon series.
From the days I’ve spent looking over people’s shoulders to watch them play on their gameboy… to all the times I tried (unsuccessfully) to convince my parents to buy me one.
There’s something about that catch ’em all, grind, and beat ’em all concept that just appeals to me. Time and time and again I’ve gone back to playing the games.
But no matter what, Pokemon stayed on in Nintendo’s consoles. Fine, they had mangas and animes (I watched and read them too), but game wise, it was also on their system. Even when mobile gaming took off and Square Enix brought Final Fantasy (another JPRG success story!) and Dragon Quest to mobile, Nintendo refused to budge.
That is, until half a year ago. Now, I’m playing Pokemon Shuffle on my iPhone. Yes, they finally have an official app on the app store. I’d say it still needs a lot of improvements, but it’s heartwarming to see that at least they are finally opening up.
Something greater is about to arrive on the mobile scene though, with Pokemon GO! Watch the trailer below.
Pokemon GO! is a augmented reality (AR) game that promises to let you catch wild Pokemon, trade Pokemon with friends, and battle with other people’s Pokemons. It also features cooperative play. At the end of the trailer, a huge crowd is featured working together to catch Mewtwo. Of course, how well and how smooth the gameplay experience translates out in the real world remains to be seen. Nintendo has partnered with Niantic, Inc. to develop the game. Niantic certainly is an expert in the field of augmented reality, having created Ingress, an AR game that uses GPS technology to create a global, sci-fi game.
Together with the mobile game, Nintendo has also developed a pokemon ‘watch’/device (call the Pokemon GO Plus) to alert you when Pokemons are nearby, so you don’t have to keep on checking the mobile app.
I’m definitely excited to see try out the game for myself, though I won’t be so sure about spending money to get the pokemon watch. I might be getting just a little too old for that perhaps. Still, I’m really excited to see Ninendo finally making the step forward. Because if there’s any one bad thing about Japanese people, I’d say that it’s the fact that they are… fairly conservative. They prefer to hold on to old ideas and concepts, and are afraid of breaking into new frontiers. (Even if that frontier is old to anyone but them.)
Let’s hope that we’ll get to play with Pokemon for years to come!