Go, Pokémon Go!

Six score and six years ago, the founding father of gaming brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in frivolity and dedicated to the proposition that all gamers are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great console war, testing whether that nation can long endure. A war that may harbor the destruction of all mankind; a war that might be ongoing for generations to come. A war that began in this country. Let’s travel across time, shall we? Nintendo was founded by our father, the late Fusajiri Yamauchi, in the late 1880’s as nothing more than a company that was manufacturing trading cards – Hanafuda – to Japan’s youth. Yamauchi then passed the company to his son-in law who in turn passed the company to his grandson, Hiroshi Yamauchi, in 1949. Hiroshi had to leave one of Japan’s most prestigious colleges in order to assume the position. As a result, he was often looked down upon at the company, due both to his juvenile demeanor and retired education.

Soon after, he asserted his authority by dismissing several employees who questioned him, including those who had served under his predecessors. After several alterations of the company’s name, it was finally decided that to diversify the company, it was time for stock to go public. Several new ventures were in place, including instant rice, taxi cabs, and love hotels. It wasn’t until he noticed Gunpei Yokai, one of the engineers of Nintendo, fiddling about with a extendable claw, that Hiroshi explored the future of his corporation. He ordered Yokai to develop the claw into “Ultra Hand,” a children’s toy that was a major success, and led Hiroshi to the toy making industry. Over the years, the company developed products and consoles that lit the fuse on the gaming dynamite stick, which led to this current war. Nintendo assisted a future competitor with a peripheral that was designed for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that had transformed into the Sony PlayStation. Nintendo also had influenced Microsoft, who would later enter the war with Xbox. Now, in this age, the war might be coming to an end.

Imagine a world free of democracy and full of adventure, where anything is practically limitless; one can travel by air, land and sea (as well as thwart criminal syndicates) using a creature of illusion of mystery that has many moves as its disposal. Although it may seem as a world fabricated, it’s not. It’s not fantasy to the youth that dedicate their time, night and day, to maintain these wondrous creatures. The creatures don’t need walks or to be fed regularly. The world in which the creatures live is an integral cause of the war, and their owners, the warriors. These caring, loving creatures are a digital companion in a digital world. You see, long before a franchise would copyright use of “Digital World,” there stood the World of Pokémon, and it remains one of the greatest allies in the gaming conglomerate. In retrospect, the only problem is with video games is that we, as power-hungry – yet compassionate – individuals, need real adventure… real pets… real AIR. We can’t make this dream world a reality, or can we?

From the creator of Ingress, and our very own Nintendo, comes the answer to the age-old question: are Pokémon real? Introducing Pokémon GO, a concept that might possibly bring an end to the war indefinitely. Currently being developed by such legends as Tsunekazu Ishihara, Junichi Masuda, Shigeru Miyamoto, John Hanke, and the great, late Satoru Iwata…Pokémon GO will revolutionize gaming as we know it. Using a smartphone with GPS location settings and Bluetooth, you can capture Pokémon in the real world. No more cords, no more itchy trigger finger(s), no more of the following exchange: “Mom/Dad, can I go watch TV/play video games? No, honey, go play outside.” This is Nintendo’s and Niantic’s response for gamers and their parents who wish for a more active lifestyle, due to their common refusal to breathe in the outdoors. On Thursdays (or Saturdays in the United States), after watching the brand-new Pokémon episode, go ahead and embark on your own journey to become the very best that no one ever was!

Worried about your low negative cash flow? No problem. This application/game, on the market for Android and iOS devices, is absolutely priceless, as will be the memories you gain from using it. Unless, you are a TRUE, hardcore Pokémon Master. Then you’d want to spring for the ultimate in Pokémon accessories and the one thing any aspiring Pokémon Master doesn’t leave home without – a Poké Ball! Pokémon GO Plus, reminiscent of the Pokéwalker, is the reason that you need Bluetooth and was designed to enhance the game and provide the ultimate combination of fashion and authenticity to even the most weathered role-playing gamers and cosplayers. It is a device that has the shape of a Google Maps pin (think: the challenge) that comes in the form of either a wristwatch or an actual clip-on which actually notifies you via vibration and multi-colored LED illumination of any related event. The location of a Pokémon is measured in “meters”, which equate to real-time paces. When you manage to get a Pokémon in range, you have to battle it – and in the case of Pokémon caught by fishing, reel it in with a virtual rod – and to capture, you click the button on your Pokémon GO Plus – which, as the animé denotes, is the process of preparing for capture by enlarging the Ball. You can also trade and train Pokémon (as in the game, the level and HP are displayed alongside the Pokémon). If you are (or have in your care) a child without access to a smartphone, no worries. Simply pair the Pokémon GO Plus to your smartphone and give the accessory to the child. It’s a fun way to explore and bond with friends and the entire family.

Now for some speculation. The release date is in early 2016, yes, but will it be closer to the anniversary dates, such as February 27th (RGB) or April 1st (animé)? Will Pokémon appear in their respective locations? Imagine a Chansey found at a hospital (Pokémon Center), near one of the nurses. Or a Growlithe at a police station, near one of the officers. Lurking in the shadows might reveal a Ghost-type, such as Haunter. Purchases akin to the videogame are available, but at what cost? A potion might be $2.00, but Full Restores and Elixirs might set you back a pretty penny.  Name entry is available (in the trailer, a Pikachu – who else? – belonging to one of the people in the throng of crowds – lands a devastating blow to Mewtwo to enable capture), but will the name be restricted to a certain amount of alpha-numeric characters? Take note, if you will, of the time limit. To exhibit urgency, will it only be displayed with certain Pokémon, such as Legendaries? At the end of the battle, the display reads that Mewtwo was caught by everybody. Does the capture apply to those who participated in the battle, or anyone in the general vicinity who just happened to click their Ball? Will Pokémon from regions other than Kanto appear domestically or will we really have to “travel across the land, searching far and wide?” Will mobile Pokémon, if followed around the screen, be available for capture (we all remember “Dig Those Diglett!“, and the near-endless drone of “Diglett-dig, Diglett-dig, Trio, Trio, Trio”)? Is Pokémon GO to communicate with Pokémon X and Y/Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire via Wireless Connection? Which brings me to the most important question on everybody’s mind: where will we be gifted our Starter Pokémon? Only Nintendo and Niantic hold the answer to our questions.

As with most games in the series, Pokémon GO should have an interesting storyline, fueled by player response and suggestion, which would make for a worthwhile investment of time. There could also be tournaments, where players can recharge their Pokémon, if not near a Pokémon Center, and strategize and communicate with other players in the general vicinity. It is, after all, proof that some games are never meant to age. Happy twentieth anniversary, Pocket Monsters. Your journey has just begun, as we can only hope that it’s a white tomorrow. Fellow Trainers, Gym Leaders, Champions, and Masters, remember: gotta catch ’em all!

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