10 Practical Disadvantages That Completely Ruin Pokémon Go

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Released this month, Pokémon Go has quickly taken the world by storm, and that might actually be an understatement, a huge one. In reality, Pokémon Go is a sensation, a global phenomenon that just about everyone seems to have embraced with open arms, and open wallets. If reports are to be believed, the game has made over $11 billion worldwide, and is currently boasting over ten million active users.

To put those ridiculous numbers into some kind of perspective: Overwatch has seven million players, and has made less than a million in worldwide revenue, and it was released back in May. Pokémon Go was released this very month, and has already eclipsed the competition. It has singlehandedly doubled Nintendo’s stock price, and has shown absolutely no sign of slowing down, even to take a breath.

With that said, Pokémon Go has hardly been a critical success. In fact, the game has received some surprisingly low scores, and has actually failed to impress a great many people. Why? Well, Pokémon Go is hardly a perfect game, despite what certain individuals might tell you, fervently and at great length. It’s an incredible amount of fun, but it’s also plagued with practical drawbacks that actively tarnish the overall experience.

So, from not being able to get the game to work, to the public embarrassment that comes from chasing a Charmander round your local supermarket, here are 10 reasons why playing Pokémon Go is probably a bad idea…

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  1. Making the Game Actually Work

    Pokémon Go is a lot of fun, when it can actually be persuaded to work, and continue to work without randomly shutting down, or freezing uncontrollably.

    At times, it’s an absolute nightmare, and as a direct result, I’m convinced most of us have grown quite accustomed to seeing that same loading screen, the one that made you laugh the first few times, but now makes you want to throw your phone from a third story window.

    Worse still: the game has an infuriating habit of suddenly freezing, usually at inopportune moments, making the whole thing an incredible frustrating experience. Honestly, I can’t tell you the amount of Pokémon that have slipped through my fingers, through absolutely no fault of my own, but because the game clearly hates me and wants me to be unhappy.

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  2. The Emptiness of Living in the Middle of Nowhere

    If you happen to live amongst the hustle and bustle of a thriving metropolis, then this probably isn’t much of an issue for you. So, congratulations. You probably can’t walk without tripping over Pokémon, and you’ve likely managed to accumulate dozens of Pokéballs from the hundreds of PokéStops littered casually around your neighborhood. There are probably Gyms around every corner for you, and enough rare and exotic Pokémon to last a lifetime.

    Unfortunately, for those of us forced to occupy rural, or otherwise remote areas of the country, actually finding anything on the map is a stunning achievement, an accomplishment truly worthy of celebration. For us, the map looks about as barren as an actual wasteland, and about as desolate, hopeless and unforgiving as the city of Portsmouth.

  3. Random Encounters With Strangers

    Have you ever been on a long commute, and had a complete stranger come over, comment on your choice of reading material, and attempt to engage you in conversation. You just wanted to read your book, and you made absolutely no sign that you were looking for a casual chat, but now there’s some guy looming over you, asking you what you thought of the last chapter, and recommending you a whole list of things to check out.

    Well, Pokémon Go is the misery of that scenario dialed up to eleven. It’s basically impossible to play the game without having random encounters with complete strangers, most of which can be boiled down to the following: “Hey, is that Pokémon you’re playing? Caught anything good? Nah, me neither”. It’s maddening. Honestly, I’ve had some people just shout “Pokémon Go!” at me across the street, and on many of those occasions, I wasn’t even playing the game. I was just responding to text messages from my mum.

  4. Public Embarrassment

    Pokémon Go has no demographic, and it has no core audience. It appeals to everyone, and just about everyone seems to be playing it, regardless of gender, age or nationality. It’s a worldwide sensation that seems to be taking the entire world by storm, which means that everyone who plays the game shares something in common: if there’s a Charizard nearby, there will be running, and there will be screaming, and it will be painful to witness.

    It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from. At some point, you’re going to embarrass yourself playing Pokémon Go. It’s unavoidable. The circumstances of the embarrassment will vary, but the results will always be the same. It could happen at either a supermarket or your local library, and it could involve any number of witnesses, but it will have you regretting certain decisions, and it will leave you irreparably scared for life.

    In years to come, you’ll wonder if it was really worth it, and you’ll probably come to the realization that it wasn’t.

  5. Having to Leave the House

    Growing up, games were a form of escapism, a means to cope with the pressures of adolescence, and something to pass the hours in a day. They contained infinite possibilities, and were fully capable of transporting you anywhere, providing you were willing to meet them halfway. Nowadays, games don’t look like they're made out of Lego, and as such require no suspension of disbelief whatsoever. They can transport a person anywhere, from feudal times to the distant future, and all within the comfort of our own homes.

    Pokémon Go makes you leave the house, and wander around in the streets. It makes you interact with people in your neighborhood, and trek great distances. It can be enjoyed indoors, but only moderately. It was designed to be played outside, and only by going outside can you really make the most out of it. You have to walk 10km to hatch certain eggs, and most points of interest are miles away in the distance.

    Games are about sitting at a desk, or lying in a fetal position surrounded by crisps. I didn’t sign up for this.

  6. Having to Leave the House, in any Weather

    If leaving the house wasn’t bad enough, Pokémon Go will make you leave the house in any weather, rain or shine. If you want the full experience, you have to leave the house, because Pokémon are very unlikely to simply wander into your living room. If you happen to live in a country renowned for its terrible weather, where most days are rainy days, and sunny days are just rainy days in disguise, you still have to leave the house.

    But, it’s summer! I hear you say. Yes, for now. Summer won’t last, and when the weather eventually resorts back to its usual cheerfulness, Pokémon Go will be virtually unplayable. After all, the game is about exploration; it’s about wandering around endlessly in the streets in search of collectables monsters from our childhoods, and the prospect of wandering around endless becomes less tantalizing in poor weather conditions.

    Doubt my commitment to the cause if you must, but I’m not getting soaked over Pokémon, not when there are other games that can be played indoors, in the warm, with crisps.

  7. Struggling to Stay Connected

    Again, if you happen to inhabit one of the many populated corners of the world, this particular drawback probably isn’t much of an issue for you. If you’re reading this from Tokyo, you probably think of me as some peasant from medieval times, who may as well be complaining about the bubonic plague, or the dullness of pitchforks. Unfortunately, connecting to the internet is a genuine struggle in certain parts of the world, especially if you happen to live in a rural countryside, or in the middle of bloody nowhere.

    That insignificant, minuscule 3G symbol at the top of your phone, that you probably take for granted, is actually an elusive treasure in my world, a marvel rarely seen, and never captured. It appears only fleetingly, and there are those who claim never to have seen it at all, but it definitely exists, somewhere. It’s just a matter of finding it.

  8. Arriving Late to Work

    Pokémon Go requires commitment, a great deal of commitment. You have to physically walk around in the real world in order to discover Pokémon, and to hatch eggs. You also have to physically walk to PokéStops and Gyms, many of which are located away from the beaten path, often in inconvenient, or hard to reach places. Sometimes, there’s just nothing interesting in your general vicinity, or on your regular route to work.

    In order to get the most out of your commute, you might be inclined to take a few select detours, especially if an alternate route promises to be more rewarding. Ultimately, a consequence of this mentality will be many late arrivals, which could eventually result in more serious, irreversible consequences further down the line.

    Now, I’m not saying that Pokémon Go will cost you your job, or that the loss of your job will drastically affect your relationship with your spouse, and eventually cause you a divorce. I’m certainly not suggesting that Pokémon Go will eventually effect your health, and your sanity, and drive you towards an early grave. I’m just saying that it might make you late to a few prior engagements, which may result in a few unforeseen consequences.

  9. Your Internet Bill

    For many, the idea of paying for unlimited data is absurd, and pretty much nothing could convince them otherwise. With that said, Pokémon Go might be the exception to the rule, seeing as how the game is reliant almost entirely on location services, which require an immense amount of data in order to operate effectively.

    As a result, Pokémon Go is a fairly limiting experience, for some. Next month, when those internet bills come calling, those who failed to limit themselves, or were generally unaware of their data limitations, will suffer the consequences. For others, Pokémon Go can only be enjoyed in small doses, or in specific locations where Wi-Fi is available, which is fairly heinous when you consider the fact the game makes you walk literal miles, and dedicate countless hours of your time in order to get the most out of the experience. 

  10. Finding a way to stop playing

    Despite everything, despite every practical drawback, and despite the countless problems that would otherwise tarnish the experience, Pokémon Go is immensely addictive, and a genuine pleasure when it can be persuaded to actually function. It’s simplistic and lacks serious depth, and there are a million other legitimate reasons to complain about the game, but somehow, it manages to remain an utterly enthralling experience, regardless of its shortcomings.

    As such, the biggest practical drawback to Pokémon Go is finding a reason to stop playing it. It’s portable, so it can be taken anywhere, and while it does feature micro-transactions, they aren’t mandatory and they don’t impede upon the experience. Gyms are constantly changing hands, so there are always new challengers to face, and unless you catch everything, there’ll always be a reason to keep playing, to keep exploring.

    It’s a frightening prospect, but there aren’t many reasons to stop playing Pokémon Go. The gameplay amounts to nothing more than wandering around a virtual map, occasionally flicking Pokéballs at passing Zubats, but even that fails to get old. Honestly, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, which is pretty terrifying for those of us with friends to see, or lives to live.

    Thankfully, I have neither.