Exercise in a Safely Pokemon-Themed Environment (Pokemon GO)

“I’m gonna take your gym,” says a cocky Youngster who would otherwise never approach me to speak.

“Try me,” I sneer back, before remembering that I’m still level 5 and my Pokemon have disastrous CP. And so I get schooled by somebody 6 years younger than me who swaggers off to join his mates.

My friend returns, and I get them to help me take the gym back before we continue walking for miles in search of Pokestops and wild Pokemon who aren’t Pidgey.

Thus is the phenomenon of Pokemon GO. This many young people haven’t taken to the streets and openly socialised since before the dark and wonderful ages of the internet. This is the kind of tech that you take back in time with you to astound the 90’s version of yourself, and in all honesty, you’d probably have a better chance of connecting to the servers there.

Pokemon has shunted its way back into the public spotlight through Nintendo’s ongoing Slowbro realisation that smartphones are actually a rather popular thing that most people use nowadays. There’s plenty of genwunner fogeys on the internet who are grumbling about ‘closet Pokemon players’ and people who have ‘no idea what Pokemon is’ simply playing it because it’s popular. Screw that. Nintendo and Niantic are getting new people to engage with a 20 year old franchise, and that’s wonderful. I just read that sales of old Pokemon games are spiking rapidly as new players flock to their handhelds, and as a late-term WoW player I feel the need to stress that you should never discourage more people discovering your favourite game series late into that series’ life.

Onto the actual game, though. After picking a Squirtle as my starter by accident (I swear I’d read that you could pick all 3, so just went with a random order) it has become my mission to find a Bulbasaur and catch it harder than the common cold. In my travels the other day, I did come across a very collectible looking Charmander, sitting at 132 CP and waiting for me on my bed after I’d just come home from a hard day’s Pokemon hunting. Reinvigorated by the little guy’s appearance, I sent wave after wave of Pokeballs at him until I finally caught the little bastard. I couldn’t be happier.

pokego 3
Here’s the little guy. Isn’t he adorable? *pinches cheek*

One of my favourite parts about the game is playing it on a bus. Unfortunately, as most buses go over 20mph, you won’t be hatching many eggs as your little avatar sprints like hell down the road, but you will be pinging Pokestops and desperately swiping them before they go out of range. You’ll also be desperately trying to catch any cool Pokemon which pop up for much the same reason. I managed to snag a much-coveted Abra as my bus idled at a red light, but unfortunately the Fearow that popped up as we chugged along managed to get away from me.

pokego 1
This might have been my happiest moment in the game so far. I’m talking punching the air levels of happiness here.

I’m personally a huge fan of the way evolution works in this game. One title I’ve always wanted (but never picked up because of typical 3DS pricing) is a game from the Pokemon Rumble series. Unless my memory escapes me, this is a game in which you evolve your Pokemon by collecting many of that same type, and Pokemon GO is almost no different, bar the candy system. And sure, it’s going to be a pain in the ass evolving rare Pokemon like good ol’ Charmander, but there’s just part of the… charm.

That pun was not intended but I’m going to pretend that it was.

pokego 2
Hatched this guy from my first ever egg. But hey, no sweat, only…. 395 Magikarp candy to go…

So no matter how CharizHARD it is to evolve your collection (somebody please stop me), it’ll be great fun to try and collect all 151 again. And I’m excited for the day when they add further generations of Pokemon in there, too… though I’d prefer that they focused on implementing trading and battling anywhere, first. Much as I love Pokemon GO, it does feel like a somewhat unfinished game due to the lack of these features. And I don’t pass by enough gyms that I can actually compete into make use of my plethora of potions and revives and free up some bag space for even more Pokeballs.

So, update on the whole WoW prepatch situation. The good news is that it’s out! The bad news is that my laptop reaches 85 degrees centigrade after 15 minutes of running the game. I’m aware that cleaning my laptop is the answer to this (and the can of compressed air which I ordered a MONTH ago is still lost in the post), but even when idling and running nothing but Chrome, my laptop reaches 60 degrees easily. HP state that anything over 35 will damage the interior components of the laptop and cause further overheating issues. So my laptop is pretty much boned.

The good news? This time next week I should (hopefully) have the beast of a PC that I’ve always wanted. No more low settings or bad framerates, no more compromises. It’s gonna be pretty freakin’ great, and I can’t wait to take you all along with me as I experience it.

Bad news is I’m

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