Every kid who grew up on Pokémon had the same wish-to be able to go out in to the world on their very own adventure, and of course, to catch 'em all. When the games first hit the shelves in 1995, that wasn't exactly possible with the available technology. But now, in an era where people carry computers more powerful than those that got us to the moon in their pockets, Nintendo is finally granting fans their lifelong wish to become a traveling Pokemon Master.
Pokemon GO started its Australia/New Zealand beta two days ago, and you can bet fans worldwide are jealous. Fortunately, one of our friends down under has us covered, and gave us these nine awesome minutes to see just what being a trainer on the go is all about.
Some pretty interesting features were showcased in the video. Character customization, which was received very well when it was introduced in Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, makes an appearance early on. The GO version of gyms work a bit like capture points, allowing trainers to place Pokémon in them to hold them, and defeat other trainers' defending Pokémon to claim them for themselves. One of the more surprising inclusions is that these gyms aren't just for you. Each trainer picks a team: Blue, Red, or Yellow. Gyms will presumably earn points for the teams at large, and likely rewards as well at certain intervals. Various items can be found at minor landmarks, as well.
In the end, though, we're all there for the battles. Players can flick a Pokéball at the various monsters they come across in their real world travels. When encountering Pokémon or engaging in battles, trainers also have the option to switch the background to real-time video through their device's camera, which adds a surreal augmented reality element.
It's worth noting the game is definitely unfinished-sound effects, for instance, are completely absent. It's hard to say how much, or how little, is left to add.
The game itself is based off the hiking and exploration sport of Geocaching, which encourages people to get outside and explore the wonderful world around them. If you really want to catch 'em all, you'll have to do more than laps around your front yard. And maybe, just maybe, you'll meet some fellow trainers.