Why 'Pokémon Go Plus' Is A Disappointment

NOTE: This article is a contribution and do not necessarily represent the views of Player One.
Pokemon Go Plus promised so much
Pokemon Go Plus promised so much Nintendo

I stood in line with about 100 other people at a Gamestop in Brooklyn at midnight on Thursday. NBA 2K17 was having a midnight release party and the crowd outside was hungry to get their virtual basketball on. But I had my eyes set on a much bigger prize.

After waiting until about 3 a.m. I approached the counter and asked for a Pok é mon Go Plus. The kind store clerk, who had been dealing with crazy gamers for 36 hours at that point, had a puzzled look on her face asking if I “wanted to preorder it.” I explained that it should have been released today and her face lit up, realizing I was there “for the watch.”

After what felt like an eternity, the Pok é mon Go Plus finally released worldwide. For $34.99, you can own a small plastic clip that interacts with your Pok é mon Go game on your phone.

In the original Pokémon Go trailer in 2015 , players could mimic throwing a Pok é ball with their hand in order to catch a Pok é mon. That level of immersion is what I originally expected out of Pok é mon Go , a sense that I actually was a Pok é mon trainer in an Augmented Reality world.

The Pok é mon Go Plus can’t do anything remotely like that. All it can do is vibrate and light up, not exactly the experience I had hoped for. Still, I know how to curb my expectations. After buying the plastic clip-on, I was ready to use it with an open mind.

I can say, unequivocally, without a doubt, the Pok é mon Go Plus is a waste of money. Here are just some of my grievances with the Pok é mon Go Plus:

  • In order to use the Pok é mon Go Plus , your app must be on on your phone (though it can be on in the background). That means your phone’s battery gets drained just as quickly as when you have the app open normally. If I wanted a vampire to suck the energy out of my battery, I would just keep the app on normally. I managed to use the Plus for four hours, with a locked screen on my iPhone 5S, before the battery just crapped out.

  • Catching Pok é mon is nearly impossible. Statistics vary, but the consensus on the internet suggests the capture rate when using the Plus is around 50 percent. Out of 54 Pok é mon I’ve encountered over the last three days, I managed to catch 19 of them. Most of the ones I caught were Pidgeys and Spearows, while the rarer ones were almost never caught. I nearly threw my phone in a lake when I saw in my journal that a Dragonair had gotten away.

My anger knows no limits
My anger knows no limits iDigitalTimes
  • The Plus only uses Pok é balls when catching a Pok é mon. If that Pok é ball (which already has a low success rate) fails, that Pok é mon is gone forever. It’s incredibly aggravating to see your phone light up green, then one blink, then red, over and over.

  • It disconnects constantly. If my Plus stayed connected to my phone for over two hours, I considered it a miracle from Arceus. The janky hardware would constantly unpair itself without me even noticing. There’s no telling how many Pok é mon, Pok é stops and egg distance I missed because the Plus unpaired and I didn’t notice in time.

The Pok é mon Go Plus is a brand new peripheral and was obviously rushed to market. It can’t do a lot, and for the things it claims it can, it can’t do it very well. Still, I have high hopes for the Plus and expect these problems to be fixed in future game patches.

At this point, it’s best to just skip buying a Pok é mon Go Plus.

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