Remember the time Nintendo announced an upcoming premiere for Pokémon Go? Even if you did know about the trailer the Japanese gaming company released in September 2015, you might have forgotten all about it by now.
Despite the radio silence that’s fallen in the meantime, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company’s mobile developer partner confirmed a few weeks ago that the game was still coming.
Their promise was fulfilled when Pokémon Go made it to SXSW, where a new video was released, making us acquainted with the first real gameplay footage from the game.
The game does in fact use augmented-reality technology – which was suspected ever since we saw the first glimpse of original trailer six months ago. Even though the use of AR tech wasn’t clear back then, it is now: Pokémon is basically projected into the “wild” with the help of your phone’s camera.
If the existing kinks can be worked out, this can be a really cool experience. While it doesn’t yet feature the crisp, flowing holograms of the trailer, the game has undoubtedly surpassed the stage of relying solely on geolocation.
In the demo video, a player is shown throwing Pokeballs at an Ivysaur, trying to catch it. After the Pokémon breaks free from the first ball, the user uses a Master Ball, which grants them XP as the Ivysaur is locked up tight and added to their collection.
On the downside, the demo was a little weird as the users didn’t need much tactical thinking to actually catch the Pokémon. Rather than having to battle them or put them to sleep – or use any traditional Pokémon-capturing strategies – the new game seems to mimic a Pokeball-tossing mini-game.
The strength of the ball and finger accuracy appears to trump any other factor, which is rather disappointing. Hopefully battling Pokémon is going to be a little more complicated, though we have no footage yet detailing that aspect of the game.
As Nintendo tries to get back in the public’s attention, Pokémon Go has the potential to bring a lot of revenue. It’s not by far a fully-fledged Pokémon handheld title, but it should be able to produce a somewhat smooth AR experience.
As game betas for Pokémon Go are about to start soon, more official footage is expected to be released. And hopefully, the next demo won’t be filmed on a smartphone. You can do better, Nintendo.
Image Source: YouTube