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Checking In: Pokemon Go’s 2nd Generation

"Gotta catch em all Johto style"

It’s been almost two weeks since Niantic launched Generation 2 for Pokemon Go. 80+ new Pokemon are out in the wild waiting to be caught. That alone has reinvigorated the game among both casual and hardcore players. Popular hotspots were once again crowded with people stampeding whenever a rare Pokemon is found just like the game’s early days. However is new Pokemon just enough to keep playing the phenomenon that swept the world last year?

Gen 2 was introduced in Pokemon Gold/Silver where we got new Pokemon and gameplay mechanics. The same is the case in Pokemon Go. New items have been integrated into the game alongside these Pokemon. We got nanab and pinap berries making their debut. The former allows Pokemon to move less erratically while the latter gets you double candy assuming the Pokemon gets caught. I personally found nanab berries useful for Pokemon that hover or fly moving around the screen in attempt to avoid Pokeballs. The pinap berries have been handy for catching low CP Pokemon that have stage two evolutions or are rare to find. The new starters for example have been pinap berry targets for me despite the capture rate for them still being less than normal. Niantic also increased the candy rates for catching evolved Pokemon in the recent update as well.

Alongside the new berries are the evolution items that were also first introduced in Gen 2 of the main games. Items such as King’s Rock and Metal Coat allows players to evolve specific Pokemon to require it. These items can be obtained in Pokestops, but at a very low rate. This makes sense so players don’t get to complete the Johto Pokedex quickly, but relying on luck is still unfortunate. I do hope there’s more use for these items in the future besides evolving Pokemon. King’s Rock for example increases the chances of flinching an opposing Pokemon in the main games. Pokemon Go hasn’t implemented the battle items system yet, but that’s a possible addition later this year.

As far as what’s next after Gen 2 for Pokemon Go, Niantic at GDC did say they’re working on three big updates for the remainder of 2017. PvP battles are high on the list of what fans expect along with trading. The battle system does need a few more additions to extend the depth that the main games have at this point. Hopefully the PvP update does implement battle items, status effects, abilities and natures. Then again I can see Niantic not add much to keep things simple. Gen 3 is also a possibility for later this year adding more than a hundred Pokemon into the mix.

In the meantime, it’s been great seeing players playing Pokemon Go again with the Gen 2 update. From nest grinding, rare Pokemon stampedes, and hatching eggs, the phenomenon has been back to what it was back at launch. Of course some players have been quick enough to complete the Johto Pokedex. They’re once again back in a state where they’ll wait on more Pokemon or battle gyms. There is also new regional exclusives to get as well with Heracross and Corsola. As of now, Heracross can be found at South and Central America while Corsola is weirdly at tropical regions. The new mechanics have been fine so far, but we’re waiting on more to get closer to the main games. Have you been back on the streets catching Pokemon in Pokemon Go again? Let us know in the comments below.

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