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The mobile gaming world rejoices as Pokémon GO releases yet another update in its four year history as one of the most popular mobile games. So popular in fact that it totalled $207 million dollars upon its release month, setting a Guinness World record and currently it holds the number one spot for Google Play’s Adventure Games category. So what’s the big deal?
Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game that allows Pokémon fans across the globe to catch, train, evolve and collect the adorable Pokémon avatars. Catching them all has become a goal for some while for more casual players it is a way to spend time on the bus home.
In the latest update released by Niantic on July 15th, we see the introduction of Team Rocket, Shadow Pokémon, Shadow Pokéstops and more! With new challenges to complete, a whole new way to appraise Pokémon and new mini-games within the game itself; it seems that the game is far from declining in popularity like most people think.
So what exactly does this update bring to the game? Firstly, it introduces GO Team Rocket. Little is known about this mysterious team besides the fact that it seems to be a PVE team designed to give trainers more of a PVE battling experience. With Rocket grunts spotted near Shadow Pokéstops, they appear to present new PVE challenges to the players. In battling a Shadow Pokéstop, trainers have the chance to catch the newly introduced Shadow variants of Pokémon. At the moment these Shadow Pokemon are nothing more than a variant, however rumours are circulating in Pokémon GO fan circles about the new set of Research Tasks teased by Niantic that involve these special Pokémon types.
Also contained in this update is the long awaited Appraisal system for evaluating Pokémon that a person can catch. With a three star rating based on Defence Strength, Attack Strength and Health Points, the system allows users to identify their strongest and weakest Pokémon as well as identify rare Red Stamp Pokémon with one-hundred percent on all stats. This tool, while useful, has divided community groups that play the game. Some people criticize the system for its lack of detailed statistics provided in favour of a variety of third party calculator apps that have sprung up in the last few years. However, for more casual players, this update has been praised for its ease of use.
The last major change in this update comes in the form of charged attack mini-games. In previous updates when battling with Pokémon, charged attacks were charged by players in the same way. This is no longer the case with different types of Pokémon having different ways for the player to charge their Pokémon’s attacks.
Overall, the update has been well received by many and seems to be the precursor to a larger PVE focussed update to come within the next few months. Until then, we gotta’ catch em’ all!