Pokémon Go levelled up its storytelling at a memorable Go Fest


Eurogamer.net 19 July, 2021 - 10:01am 5 views

Can dialga be shiny?

Unfortunately, no matter how many times players and their friends battle in a Dialga Raid, there will not be a Shiny encounter. They may come across one with perfect stats, but that's as good as it will get. SportskeedaCan Dialga be Shiny in Pokemon GO? (July 2021)

POGO creators Niantic appear to have really lost their way of late when it comes to writing event quest stories. As has been the case for the last five years, up pops the kindly-faced Professor Willow, over-enthusiastically espousing the latest mysteries uncovered by his research, and then you’re given some typically generic challenges to unlock each next step of the mini-story. These will likely be, “Catch 20 different species of Pokémon,” or, “Make three great throws,” or, “Defeat two Team GO Rocket grunts.” They have little or nothing to do with the story, but have you actively playing the game in order to unlock the next clutch of rewards, and—most importantly—specific Pokémon to catch.

It’s the last part that makes most quest chains worth playing. Saturday’s was pretty cute in this regard, having you pick between a Rock Pikachu or a Pop Pikachu, and then between various other monsters who you’d collect wearing a novelty one-off hat. Not a hat that in any sense had anything to do with “rock” or “pop” of course, but rather, for some reason, far more “marching band.”

You were told by Willow throughout that this was all leading up to a concert, and the day’s play was decorated with musical notation falling across the world like confetti. Previously POGO has had music-themed events, and they have indeed climaxed in a delightful musical number. I couldn’t wait to see what my rawk Pikachu, accompanied by Gardevoir and Galarian Ponyta, would deliver. The answer: a photobomb. That was literally it. They photobombed a snapshot the final stage of the quest requested. And then did it some more later, just to underline what a colossally small deal it was. After months of real-world musical numbers being released, how could they not even have a clip of Katy Perry’s Electric?

(I should add here that the game did deliver players a Meloetta at this point, which would have been a bigger deal if she’d been more than a 1600 2*, and the story had been about her.)

The day before the event started, POGO’s current loading screen subtly changed. Floating above the idyllic evening ship scene appeared Hoopa, star of one of my son’s favorite Pokémon movies, Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages. Hoopa has never appeared in the mobile game, despite showing up in the post-Gen VI mainline games. So he was coming, right?!

Then Willow’s storyline made it clear. These magical rings were showing up in the sky, and legendaries were pouring through! That’s Hoopa’s whole thing. He then name checks him. “Look here—it’s the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa.” In fact, he starts setting players up to catch the form-switching mythical beastie.

“That explains why those Legendary Pokémon appeared the way they did. Hoopa uses those rings to move things from place to place—including itself. It won’t be easy to catch.

“Based on reports from the team leaders, it doesn’t seem like Hoopa is in the area at the moment. Let’s use this time to prepare to catch it, hm?

“For now, why don’t you go challenge some raids with other Trainers and catch some Pokémon? You’ll need your skills at their sharpest to catch Hoopa. Now, let’s GO!”

Yay, we’re going to catch it! He said so!

It was only a two-part quest, which seemed odd, but one half of that was winning five raids, so it’d take a bit more time than usual. As it happened I had the special joy of a GO Fester, trapped at home as I was by the UK’s Covid-19 contact tracing system, my plans to take the boy to the nearest city to take part in the event properly cruelly dashed. So I used remote raid passes and the magic of the Poke Genie app to do this.

And once it was complete? The big finish? The end to Pokémon GO Fest 2021? I swear to God there wasn’t one. You got your 10,000 XP, three Silver Pinap Berries and 3,000 Stardust, and Willow didn’t even say a word. It just stopped. Pllrrlllbbtthhhbbthhhh.

Who does that? Who sets up the big annual event, changes the loading screen with this tease, then literally tells you you’re on a quest to catch a fan-favorite Pokémon that’s never been in the game before, and then just doesn’t? What is Niantic’s thing with creating such anticlimax?

I’m not really that bothered. I thought it was stupid, and I was disappointed that all the effort to finish the quests despite my government-imposed house arrest led to nothing interesting. But I’m also 43, and I can cope when I don’t get a cartoon drawing appear on my phone screen. But my six-year-old? That’s a whole other deal. He handled it well, but hell, why set kids up to be disappointed? For money.

It just feels so half-assed, so cobbled together. They put some weird hats on a handful of Pokémon, and let previously established Legendaries appear in raids. The promise of shiny hauls didn’t come through either, at least in my experience. I caught at least 400 Pokémon over the weekend, and got a grand total of two. That’s way fewer than normal!

Niantic could deliver so much more if they wanted to. Instead it feels so miserly, almost to the point of contemptuous. Sure, they have to balance not just throwing everything at players at once, to the point that it breaks the appeal of continuing to play. But come on, something special would have been nice, beyond Pikachu wearing yet another bloody hat.

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Pokémon GO Fest 2021 Players Caught 1.5 Billion Pokémon

Screen Rant 19 July, 2021 - 06:22pm

In honor of the game's five-year anniversary of release, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise as a whole, the annual Pokémon GO Fest was particularly massive this year. Pokémon GO Fest 2021 featured a mix of in-person and virtual events, ensuring that fans were able to celebrate the occasion in whatever way they chose. Physical events were held in more than twenty major cities across Europe, the United States, and New Zealand, meaning players in those locations could disregard virtual tickets. Those who took part in Pokémon GO Fest 2021 digitally were able to buy digital tickets for the event, and the price of these tickets was reduced to only $5 after costing $15 in 2020.

This year's event was styled after a music festival, with many of the events and details being centered around music. Pokémon GO Fest 2021 festivities included new shiny Pokémon variants and a Mythical Pokémon appearance, allowing players to get their hands on rare and unique monsters for their collection. The Pokémon GO Team at Niantic has revealed a number of impressive records that players reached throughout the course of Pokémon GO Fest 2021. The statistics show that the game's player base caught a combined total of over 1.5 billion Pokémon during the two-day event. Other impressive accomplishments including pinning over 900 million PokéStops, completing over 23 million raids, and collectively walking over 125 million kilometers. The post also includes a run-down of the celebration's events and an acknowledgment of all the players who partook in Pokémon GO Fest 2021.

Thank you, Trainers, for making #PokemonGOFest2021 so special! We were delighted to see how you all enjoyed the event, whether at home, at a local park, or even at one of our city celebrations! Here’s a look back at some highlights from the weekend. https://t.co/18MlXE1Ihb pic.twitter.com/8zBPsMmTOi

While Pokémon GO Fest 2021 has just ended, Niantic is already looking ahead to the game's next event. July 22 was meant to mark the beginning of Pokémon GO Air Adventures, an international event allowing players to catch rare Pokémon variants only available in certain regions. This tie-in was meant to be part of a larger air travel initiative from The Pokémon Company, but Niantic recently announced that Pokémon GO's Air Adventures event is being delayed until August 22. The cause for the event's delay has not been confirmed, but many assume that a rise in COVID-19 cases has led to the temporary shutdown.

Over five years, Pokémon GO has established and maintained a loyal player base of digital Pokémon trainers. The game emphasizes outdoor exploration and monster collection, and this has proven to be a seemingly perfect combination. With millions of players tuning in to celebrate the game's birthday, it's no surprise that Pokémon GO Fest 2021 resulted in the capture of more than 1.5 billion Pokémon.

Pokémon GO is available on iOS and Android.

Source: Niantic, Pokémon GO/Twitter

Pokemon GO Fest 2021 Was The Best Event Yet

TheGamer 19 July, 2021 - 04:25pm

The event ran from 10am-6pm local time on Saturday and Sunday. While most of the festivities were available to all players, those who paid $5 for a GO Fest Pass — down from $15 the previous year — were given access to a lot more content, including a special research assignment, global challenges, bonus experience, free raid passes, cosmetics, and much more. If you played even just a few hours on both days, you likely filled your bags with useful items, caught hundreds of Pokemon, and battled dozens of legendaries in raids.

Related: Pokemon GO: A Complete Guide to Buddy Pokemon and Hearts

Saturday was the more story-driven day between the two, and featured the best chance to catch shiny Pokemon and some of the more uncommon spawns. Each hour of the day featured a different biome, and if you managed to catch all of the Pokemon from that zone, you’d earn some extra experience and rewards. Additionally, all Go Fest participants worked together to complete global challenges which granted more rewards and unlocked a series of new events that will take place over the coming weeks. These timed events and global unlocks gave GO Fest a sense that everyone across the world was playing together and it was a lot of fun to see the progress bars fill up as millions of players caught Pokemon all at once.

One of the things that really impressed me this year was the theme of GO Fest. The musical Pokemon Meloetta made its debut as the grand prize for completing the weekend’s special research assignment. Each step of the quest involved assembling Pokemon to form a band, and players were given several choices about which Pokemon would join the band. In the first step, you’d choose either Rock or Pop, which would cause the background music in the game to change accordingly. Pikachus dressed as either rock or pop stars then started spawning depending on which choice you made. There were a few more choices throughout the research event that all unlocked special event-themed Pokemon in costumes. At the end, each trainer got to catch a Meloetta as she sang on stage surrounded by your band of musical Pokemon. There were a lot more little touches that added to the theme throughout the weekend, and I thought the whole thing came together beautifully.

The first day was definitely the big catch-a-thon of GO Fest, so I headed out to a local community college that had tons of Pokestops scattered around. While I’m still nervous about crowds, it was incredibly heartwarming to see so many other people out playing the game again. It reminded me so much of the first summer of Pokemon GO five years ago, and I loved being out with other trainers chasing down Pokemon together. It made me really aware of how much the game has grown and improved over the years, and while there’s things that I think Niantic still needs to improve, it’s really no surprise to see that the game is bigger than ever.

I personally caught six shinies on Saturday while playing for about six hours. I know there are those that didn’t find any, but I also saw a lot of people mention that they found even more. What made the Saturday event so great was the sheer variety of Pokemon to find. The entire spawn pool changed once every hour so there was always something new to see, but at the same time, you had a good idea of what to expect so you could plan out when you wanted to play. There were tons of starter Pokemon spawning, which are always a fan favorite, but there were also lots of music-themed Pokemon, and of course, lots of event-themed Pokemon to make the day feel extra special and exclusive.

The second day was a lot different from the first. Instead of rotating biomes full of event-themed Pokemon to catch, Sunday was all about the legendaries. Once again, biomes rotated once every hour, but this time, the biomes only determined what type of legendaries would appear in gyms. Trainers could grab a free bundle of remote raid passes to get started, and could earn an additional remote raid pass every time they completed a raid, up to eight times.

Remote raiding was added to the game last year to help players get to more raids during the pandemic, and it had an immediate positive effect on the game. Not only does it help players participate in raids without physically being there, it also allows players to invite friends from anywhere in the world to participate. Batting and catching legendaries with my friends is one of my favorite things about Pokemon GO, and Sunday was a non-stop avalanche of legendary catching.

Before Sunday, my Pokedex had only one legendary (mythical and ultra beasts aren’t considered legendary for some reason). By the end of the day Sunday, I had 18 legendaries, including two shiny ones — Latios and Cobalion. The vast majority of those legendaries were caught with my friends in other countries. Thankfully, I only ended up needing to purchase a couple of remote raid passes. Seeing my legendary collection grow so rapidly was incredibly exciting and made the whole event feel really special. It probably takes an entire year if not longer to catch 17 legendaries, but GO Fest let me do it in a single day.

More than anything else, I loved GO fest because it gave me an opportunity to get out and play the game with other trainers. That’s what Pokemon GO is all about, and it’s been a long time since I got to feel the community aspects of the game. It feels like Niantic learned a lot of lessons from past years and put together an incredibly thoughtful and memorable event. I had the best time, and I’m already excited to play next year's GO Fest.

Trainers Caught 1.5 Billion Pokemon During Last Weekend's Pokemon GO Fest

TheGamer 19 July, 2021 - 03:39pm

Along with 1.5 billion Pokemon caught, trainers also spun 900 million PokeStops and walked 125 million kilometers (or 78 million miles, if you're so inclined). Trainers fought in 23 million Raid Battles after the day one concert brought out Meloetta and day two brought Hoopa, who decided it would be a great time to bring out many millions of Legendary Pokemon for trainers to fight in Raid Battles.

Niantic even livestreamed the Together We Raid event, which included a bunch of giant eggs that displayed what Legendary was currently available in Raids. They also doubled as giant gyms where everyone who was taking part in Pokemon Go Fest's in-person events could join.

Pokemon Go Fest might be over, but the celebrations for Pokemon's 25th anniversary aren't stopping yet. Mabel's latest music video for "Take It Home" has her play hide and seek with a Jigglypuff while Pikachu looks on in abject amazement.

Freelance writer and contributor at The Gamer, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. If you ask Sean what he likes, he'll say, "Robots, Ninjas, donuts - in that order."

Players caught more than 1.5 billion Pokémon during Pokémon Go Fest 2021 | Dot Esports

Dot Esports 19 July, 2021 - 01:34pm

Pokémon Go Fest 2021 is officially over and players around the world caught more than 1.5 billion Pokémon during the event, up from just under one billion in 2020

Combined across both days of the event, players were busy encountering new Pokémon, acting as a concert director during Special Research tasks, and dealing with the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa causing legendary mischief with the raid rotations. 

Go Fest 2021 was a massive hit. Niantic’s second year running it as a global event with hybrid mechanics for players at home and outside increased the number of players who were able to participate. And the habitat rotation actually worked as intended this year, too. 

Over the course of the weekend, players caught more than 1.5 billion Pokémon, spun more than 900 million PokéStops, completed over 23 million raids, and walked a collective 125 million kilometers.

And even though Go Fest is technically over, players unlocked a lot of bonus content during the event that will be going live soon. 

Starting on July 23, the Ultra Unlock bonuses will begin because players were able to finish all 24 of the global challenges hosted in the Global Challenge Arena during Go Fest 2021. This means three additional weeks of themed content will run from July 23 to Aug. 31, featuring more new content and surprises. 

We still don’t know much about the events right now, but Niantic has already teased that the Time Ultra Unlock week will add shiny Cranidos and Shieldon to the game for the first time. Many fans are speculating that Hoopa could officially become available during the mysterious final week, too.

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