Pokemon GO | Best and Worst of 2020

Hey guys! As this year finally draws to a close after 45 long months, we’re looking back at the best and worst things to come from Pokemon GO this year. And so that I don’t ramble too much, I’ll narrow it down to the five best and five worst!


BEST

In this subsection, the honourable mentions go to the Wooper Watch and the Buddy system.

COVID-19 Adjustments

This was by far the most appealing feature this year. As Abra Community Day was postponed in March, Niantic decided to drop several new features to enhance our stay-at-home gameplay. It included bonuses such as halved egg distance, more Gift allowance (both in inventory and to open), more emphasis on Poke Balls in Gifts, a daily guaranteed spawn and a daily bonus Field Research. Community Days, Research Days and events were adjusted to ensure they could be played from home.

While some of the features were dialled back (but then later returned for the most part), it’s critical that they are kept, as things are still pretty bad in the world (particularly the UK, unsurprisingly).

GO Fest

While GO Fest was marred by problems this year (namely the Friendship portion of the event), because of the global launch, it would be the first time that a lot of players (myself included) got the opportunity to attend a GO Fest at all. It was spread across two days, and introduced shiny Unown, as well as Heatmor and Durant’s shinies. It was also the only time that Rotom was accessible too. Overall, even with the issues I had a lot of fun with it.

Level Up Requirements

This was another fun upgrade to our otherwise stale gameplay. A lot of people stopped focusing on XP gains after hitting Level 40, and I’m kinda laughing now, because I was one of them! But I found it refreshing to have to do extra tasks on top of the XP gain. I suppose this made it so that a lot of those hardcore XP grinders couldn’t just go on to Level 50 straight away. I accept the challenge, and challenging it is (I’m currently on 44, waiting for more Grunts and Leaders).

Throwback Challenges

The Throwback Challenges were, for the most part, a lot of fun. We did have a hiccup with the Sinnoh one, where the only two eligible spawns for the Ground-type task, Gible and Hippopotas, were nowhere to be seen. In the end, Hippopotas did spawn more frequently. The tasks, even if they were awkward for the most part, tied in well to the games (the type-related tasks related to the Gym Leaders of that region). It was soon after this, though, that I took a break from Pokemon GO, though, but the Champion challenge was still waiting for me when I returned.

Remote Raids

Remote Raids were controversial at first, and I will admit that they still have their flaws today. I’m still annoyed that you can’t convert your Premium Passes into Remote Passes, and that you can no longer get a weekly free Remote Pass, nor can you use your daily free pass into a Remote Pass. However, I’ve been using the Remote Raid Passes when I have gotten them, especially in the one Gym that is nearby but legally inaccessible, as it’s on a gated college campus. Heck, I even obtained a few shinies and a 100% Deoxys from a Remote Raid!


WORST

In this subsection, the dishonourable mentions go to the mandatory AR Mapping tasks and the Kalos launch.

Monetised events

I can keep talking about the impact of monetisation in Pokemon GO until I turn blue in the face, but I just have to look towards the paid Galarian Mr. Mime event to see that we’re not exactly on the right track. While there are paid events that are more or less worth it, such as A Drive To Investigate, or the Community Day tickets, it’s set an unhealthy precedent for the game, and we can expect to see a lot more paid events from here on out.

Costumed Pokemon

I look towards the Holiday 2020 and the New Years events to show you just how bad the costume issue is. Costumed Delibird. Costumed Pikachu (again, and it’s not even cute). Costumed Cubchoo. Costumed Stantler. Costumed Slowpoke. If I get any of these shiny (which I did get Cubchoo), then it won’t count towards my shiny living dex, because it won’t transfer to HOME. In a way, it makes me want to play a bit less because of it.

While you can now mass-transfer costumed Pokemon, I’m sick of costumed Pokemon.

Community Days

Community Days this year have had a massive shake-up. Instead of featuring Unova starters this year, we’ve had a strange variety of Pokemon. We’ve also had voting processes for Community Days, and there were huge red flags when Niantic entertained the idea of re-doing past Community Days. Our worst fears were confirmed when Charmander got its second Community Day, but not before the disaster that was Magikarp. Remember I didn’t do any Community Day posts for a while, and these were the reasons.

GO to HOME integration

We’d been crying out for this for a long time. This was going to be our saviour, but then news came out that there would be a paid element to it. Okay, maybe it won’t be that much. Long story short, the GO Transporter Energy is so little, and at most you’re only able to transfer four shinies at a time – and only one shiny Legendary at a time. I anticipated the recharge time would be 48 hours at most, but I forgot that this was Niantic we’re talking about, and I was disappointed that we have to wait a full week to have the entire lot recharged. And even if we want to negate that, we’d have to pay 1,000 coins (or £9.99) to do so! It’s a long game for me, trying to get all of my shinies into HOME for my shiny living dex, but I’m managing so far!

Strange Eggs

Strange Eggs, considering the pandemic, was a strange move indeed. We’d have to walk 12km (or 8 with a Super Incubator), and hope for something not shit. Of course, the only things considered ‘not shit’ right now would be the ever-elusive Sandile (thanks Sam for the trade!), Deino and Larvitar if you need the extra candy for your Tyranitar. I question the fact that Absol and Trubbish are in these eggs, considering Absol was in the 10km egg pool for a long time, and is in and out of raids and can be soloed now, and Trubbish is a relatively common spawn. I think the worst thing is that you can only get these eggs from GO Rocket Leaders. This means that if you’re not battle-adept, or you’re just playing the game to collect Pokemon, you’re going to be hard up.

Overall, the issues are the diversity of the eggs that you obtain, the difficulty for some players, and the distance required to hatch.

Imagine if Spinda were in these eggs though…

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