Category Archives: Augmented Reality

Last night the Game Awards for 2016 took place in Los Angeles, and distributed a whole host of accolades across various platforms and mediums, even including fan created games and an eSports award. Despite a heavy emphasis on console gaming, there were a few mobile games nominated for numerous categories across the night, and against opposition from critically acclaimed releases such as Fire Emblem Fates, Ratchet and Clank, and even the stunning slashing iOS RPG Severed [$6.99], Pokemon GO [Free] managed to pick up the awards for 'Best Mobile/Handheld Game' and 'Best Family Game', the latter of which trumped a whole host of console releases to take the trophy. Similarly, Pokemon GO also triumphed in the same 'Handheld/Mobile Game of the Year' section of the Golden Joystick Awards, which is the UK equivalent to the Game Awards ceremony, as well as also winning the 'Innovation of the Year' accolade. Such universal recognition of Pokemon GO's impact on gaming is a fantastic thing for mobile gaming, and emphasises how the augmented reality craze managed to permeate the mainstream like nothing else over the summer months...

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the whole Pokemon GO [Free] phenomenon has been the presence of Ditto within the game. Whether you know Ditto as the jolly, amorphous, transformative blob that is a favorite of many trainers, or if you prefer to use the Pokemon as an egg-creating machine, it has served as a frustrating obstacle for anyone looking to complete their Pokedex within the ultra-popular critter catching simulator. While we found reports that the elusive creature was appearing in the near future, all of a sudden players all around the globe are reporting catching relatively rudimentary Pokemon such as Rattatas and Pidgeys, just to see them transform into Ditto after catching. There's no explanation to why Ditto has suddenly appeared within Pokemon GO, but it sure is exciting news for anyone looking to get one step closer to completing their Pokedex, and an extra reason to catch some more common Pokemon that you would normally ignore...




2016 has been a massive year for Pokemon as a franchise. This week Pokemon Sun and Moon, the latest entries in the main series, have launched to critical and commercial acclaim (unless you're in Europe, in which case you'll still have an agonising two day wait to try them out), and the brand's general prevalence has skyrocketed as a result of the 20th anniversary promotional push that Nintendo have championed over the past year. However, it's Pokemon GO [Free] which will likely be seen as the high point of this major year for Nintendo, as the high point of 45 million players during the summer was phenomenal, and brought both hardcore fans, and people who may have never played a video game before, together in an unprecedented scale. To celebrate the incredible past few months for Pokemon GO, Niantic are holding a special celebration within the game, whereby for a week from November 23rd, all experience and stardust earned will be doubled...

While the last update for Pokemon GO [Free] added a whole variety of new features, such as buddy Pokemon and Pokemon GO Plus support, this still wasn't enough for many fans who were still praying for an imminent addition of online trading and battling. Such inclusions still seem to be on the horizon, however the newest 1.9.0 update appears to address some smaller issues with the augmented reality app that may not be as explicitly obvious to the majority of users. In the most recent update, which is in the process of rolling out to all Pokemon GO players, Niantic have added details on the specific location a Pokemon can be caught, which will be visible on the individual critter's stat page. Furthermore, Pokemon GO Plus support for Incense has been added, so any wild creatures encountered with the item will also be available for capture. And, as ever, minor bug fixes have been included to make Pokemon GO a slightly more stable experience...

Pokemon GO Plus, the wrist-worn device that connects to your mobile phone via Bluetooth and allows you to play Pokemon GO [Free], finally has a release date: Next Friday, September 16th. You may recall that the Plus was originally announced to launch before the end of July, but was delayed until sometime in September. Well, now we know when that sometime is! The device will set you back about $35 and will be compatible with iPhone 5 devices and above running at least iOS 8. It'll also be compatibile with Android devices equipped with 2GB of RAM and running Android version 4.4-6.0, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 which allows for low-power consumption. ..

Even though some may argue that its popularity is dwindling somewhat, Pokemon GO [Free] is still going strong, and there are numerous new features on the horizon that Niantic plan to add in the coming months. Some of them we know - the new tracking system, which has seemingly released exclusively in San Francisco at the moment, is set to be rolled out worldwide soon, and promises such as being able to trade and battle friends were outlined before the game was released. However, there are some other surprising additions that are allegedly set to launch in the next Pokemon GO update. Data miners on both Reddit and Github have delved into the game's code, and have revealed the potential presence of many of the aforementioned known features, but also brand new mechanics, such as a Pokemon 'buddy' system, and brand new incenses and items that could become available very soon...

The hype train had to start slowing down eventually. Regardless of what happens in the coming few months, Pokemon GO [Free] was the unequivocal mobile event of the year, and a rare example of when gaming managed to permeate into everyday life on a worldwide scale. It has been extremely enjoyable writing stories about some of the interesting, creative and outright strange things that people have done in relation to the pop culture craze, whether that's through attempts to cheat the hatching mechanic through drones, or even special iPhone cases that help you throw Pokeballs in a straight line. However, this initial hype was always going to slow down, and while it is extremely difficult to analyse such patterns, some recent stats that were published on the Pokemon GO subreddit suggest that amongst a certain group of fans, popularity of the augmented reality creature catching title is starting to wane...

After the bafflingly slow rollout of the newest 1.5 update for Pokemon GO [Free], trainers now have access to a brand new Appraisal system, which allows you to hear from your team leader about whether your prized Rattata is in the top percentage of Rattatas, or if it's yet another rodent to be transferred away to be turned into candy. However, in typical Pokemon fashion, what Blanche, Candela or Spark tell you is not a particularly accurate or explicit guide to your creature's potential, and such wooly phrases like "Your Farfetch'd is pretty strong!" doesn't help anyone wanting cold, hard stats on whether their companion is battle worthy. Thankfully, the internet is a beautiful place, and Gamepress has managed to decode all the individual phrases into numbers that quantify your Pokemon's abilities, which I have painstakingly compiled into a cool color-coded chart below...

Despite having received two updates in only two days, Pokemon GO [Free] has attracted an almost unprecedented amount of ire amongst internet communities around the world, from the dedicated subreddit to comments and posts on our forums. Through removing some key features, shutting down unofficial ways of circumventing issues within Pokemon GO, and changing the mechanics to alter the freemium balance that existed in prior versions of the game, many fans who fervently supported the app before have been requesting refunds or deleting the game altogether as a protest towards what they deem unacceptable behaviour from Niantic. A further 1.1.1 update today which merely contains a 'performance improvement' and the 'correct link for app upgrade' has only helped stoke the fire of disillusionment amongst the fanbase of Pokemon GO. However, is this an overreaction by Pokemon GO players and merely symptomatic of 21st century entitlement, or do they have a legitimate reason to be so disenchanted at the developers?..

As has been predicted a couple of days ago, the world-consuming phenomenon known as Pokemon GO [Free] has finally launched in Japan. Seems like kind of a bum deal that they had to wait this long, seeing as The Pokemon Co is based in Japan, but better late than never I always say. Also this lag time has (hopefully) given developer Niantic some time to beef up their servers, which have been notoriously spotty ever since the game launched in the US and several more regions a couple of weeks ago. ..

Despite an extremely erratic global launch rollout, Pokemon GO [Free] is still not out in Japan. While the perpetual server issues suggest that Niantic are being cautious with what is possibly the most hardcore and fanatical Pokemon loving nation in the world, it is still bizarre that the home of the series still has not received a game that has taken the rest of the world by storm. Thankfully, that wait appears to be over, as according to TechCrunch sources, Pokemon GO is set to launch in Japan tomorrow, ending the long and arduous wait for any Japanese players to go out into the world and catch virtual critters on their smartphones; further launches in Asian regions are also stated to take place later this week...

It's still baffling to see the extent that Pokemon GO [Free] has blown up since its release two weeks ago. Even in relatively quiet suburban towns, everyone is glued to their phones to ensure any elusive Pokemon don't slip under the radar, and in big cities there have been thousands of people gathering for critter hunting en masse. As a result, it was extremely disappointing to see the massive server crashes this weekend, as walks and gatherings were spoilt and effectively rendered pointless, as there were no virtual creatures to throw balls at on the way. These major periods of server downtime are unavoidable - however, some of the smaller bugs and freezes that occur during normal gameplay of Pokemon GO can be avoided or compensated for. Don't let a glitch stop you from catching your ten-thousandth Pidgey; here are the steps you should follow for the most seamless Pokemon catching experience currently possible...

The most frequently asked question and only major decision you'll have to make whilst playing Pokemon GO [Free] is 'what team should I join?'. Your decision, whether that is Blue for Mystic, Red for Valor or Yellow for Instinct, will come to define and mould your experience of playing Pokemon GO, and also cannot be changed after the fateful choice has been made at level five. Owing to the importance of such a decision, make sure before you finally have to make that life-changing selection you are fully prepared, and will not pick a Pokemon team that you will later come to regret. Here are the pivotal steps to ensure you choose the team that truly suits you...

The whole Pokemon GO [Free] craze is unlike anything I've ever seen before. I totally get that people who aren't partaking in all the craziness are sick of hearing about all things Pokemon, and to be perfectly honest I'm pretty sick of it myself. But that hasn't diminished my sheer amazement at how this strange, barely-working game has brought people together all over the world and become such a household name it's being discussed by presidential candidates and South Korean cities. Love or hate the game, this sort of thing doesn't happen everyday, and I can't think of any video game, mobile or otherwise, that's had this sort of effect on the entire planet. And it's not even out in all parts of the world yet! Anyway, Gamasutra has a nice roundup of the "quotable pop culture impact" of Pokemon GO, and has collected some quotes about the game from some pretty unlikely sources. Two of my favorites:..

Update #2: Now Italy, Spain, and Portugal can try to catch 'em all!..

Despite Pokemon GO [Free] only having been out for about eight hours here in the UK, I've been to a multitude of bizarre locations to try and catch 'em all. Whether the PokeStops have been in churches, train stations or random stones in the ground with absolutely no significance at all, it isn't only the Pokemon that are being lured to specific locations, but masses of people with their phones - and most importantly, their wallets. This has led to businesses actually buying lures to try and attract paying customers, and while on a smaller scale this is a novel idea, there is immense potential for a bigger brand to capitalise on the unprecedented popularity of Pokemon GO. It was therefore an inevitability that Niantic, according to a Gizmodo source, have struck a deal with McDonald's to turn every single restaurant into either a PokeStop or a Gym...

We have been inundated with weird, wacky and wonderful stories related to Pokemon GO [Free] ever since it became a national phenomenon in every single country it has been released in. Whether that is people using drones to catch Pokemon from afar, or the Westboro Baptist Church using the app in an attempt to further their hate-filled agenda, it seems there is always something or someone trying to push the boundary for crazy stories related to the ridiculously popular iPhone game. I believe the internet was at its zenith today, as following on from the format of 2014's Twitch Plays Pokemon, there is now Twitch Plays Pokemon GO. I can't believe it either. Check out the Twitch stream in all its glory here...

Pokemon GO [Free] has only been out for a few days, but we've already seen numerous highly creative attempts at cheating the system and becoming a Pokemon master, through the traditional technique of living a sedentary lifestyle from the comfort of your sofa. We've seen record players and ceiling fans being utilised to hatch eggs, and even drones equipped with smartphones to be able to catch Pokemon regardless of where the critters are contained. While some may call it lazy, and others will attest to the ingenuity of such methods, one thing that is certain is that cheating is a time-honored tradition in all Pokemon games and definitely not unique to Pokemon GO. Thanks to the detective work/legendary laziness of Reddit user Neo-Ninja, here is a short yet inspired timeline of cheating in Pokemon games (not including glitches or hacking devices such as GameShark or Action Replay because I've faced enough shiny level 100 Arceuses online and it's all your fault)...

Now that Pokemon Go [Free] has been out in the wild for a little bit and the servers seem to have settled down, one of the more interesting facets that newcomers are starting to realize is the distinct lack of any in-game guides or tutorials. This is especially true for the game’s gym and combat guide, which is decidedly different from other ‘normal’ Pokemon games. Well, we’ve certainly been out and about catching them all in the wild and we’ve got some tips and info for folks looking to figure out how to get started with gyms...

Battles in Pokemon Go [Free] are relatively simple in nature, but are still significantly different than that of its console counterparts. In addition, Pokemon Go has a much different way of improving your pokemon team than previous titles. So, check out the following tips and guidance for improving your team and making it more likely that you’ll win those gym battles in the future...

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