Dear Niantic..

I distinctly remember when Pokemon Go first came out. The small human and I were on the bus on the way back from a shopping trip, and I was reading about the fact that the game had been released in Australia and I was a bit annoyed about possibly having to wait another week. Some further reading lead me to an APK that allowed me to install the game earlier than the release in the UK, and I just couldn’t turn down such an opportunity. So there we were, me and my 3-year-old, among the first people in the UK to be playing Pokemon Go. The hype was real. My starter was a Squirtle, because, well Squirtle is awesome. From that point on I caught every single pokemon the small human told me to catch, I evolved everything because he thought evolutions were exciting, and I started walking to and from work every day. I went from spending £40 a week on bus fare to walking 50km a week. I even started leaving the house in the evening. If I had a babysitter I would go for a walk and *shock horror* interact with other humans. It was a fun period of time. We took a weekend trip to London, and then I spent £18 on entrance tickets to the Tower of London because there was a Pikachu in there. One thing the game did well was it really made me feel like Ash Ketchum. Y’know, that scene in Episode 1 where Ash is throwing the ball at Pikachu and the little bugger is just batting it back.

Yeah this is the Ash that I felt like. Still feel like actually.

But then come October, I’d stopped walking to work, I’d got fed up with catching Pidgey’s and Rattata’s and I was feeling a bit disillusioned with the game.It made me a little bit sad actually, because I had enjoyed it so much, but with a heavy heart I uninstalled the game from my phone and carried on with life. Now 4 months really isn’t a lot of time, I’ll admit that, but I just wasn’t dedicating as much time to the game as I could have been. So maybe my lack of dedication was more of an issue than Niantic’s lack of updates. Alas, because I wasn’t playing I missed the initial roll out of the Gen 2 Pokemon in February 2017. I also missed out on the early raid battles.

We did a brief amount of playing again in May and June last year, but we were just so busy with life and work and all that boring adult stuff that it fell by the way side again.

Then, for a reason that I can’t actually remember, we started really playing the game again in September last year. We played through the Halloween event, and then the Christmas event, the Gen 3 releases, the Community Day’s. We’ve enjoyed every event over the last 7 or 8 months. The two of us were taking part in the lower level raid battles, but kept missing out on the Legendary battles because we just didn’t know enough people.

Then we joined a group in our town so we could join up with other people doing the Legendary battles, and the first one we took part in was Lugia (yeah that’s how far behind we are). So far we’ve only managed to defeat and catch Lugia and Latias, but we’ll definitely be participating in more of the legendary raids as they cycle round!

One of the most exciting things from Pokemon Go, however, has been the introduction of the field research and the special research. It’s nice to have something to aim for within the game, levels and evolutions are great, but they’ve got nothing on the opportunity to encounter legendary and mythical Pokemon!

So far I’ve completed the Moltres research breakthrough, and today I’ve caught my Mew, and it’s great because I’ve had to work for them, I haven’t been able to open the game and stumble across them, I’ve had to actually play the game and know your Pokémon types and that’s been just brilliant.

And as that hasn’t been just brilliant enough yesterday marked the start of the Kanto celebration, so now I might finally manage to finish Gen 1! I’m down to needing 11 more Pokemons. MewTwo I’ll obviously have to wait until I get my EX-Pass, and Tauros, well we’ll have to wait and see when he’s in the UK, but the rest of the ‘mons might actually be attainable for me! That’s the sort of thing that makes me very, very happy. My shadows will no longer be shadows! The random appearance of the Gen 1 ‘mons came as a bit of a surprise to us yesterday, Mr Boss Man was in the living room watching football, and I was putting dinner in the oven and suddenly I hear “there’s a Blastoise nearby”, so out we go, in our pyjamas, to find a Blastoise, doduos, Sandshrews, it was an excitement that in many ways I haven’t felt in Pokemon Go for a while.

Thanks to the research and Gen 1 event I feel immersed in Pokemon Go again, I open it up first thing in the morning and throughout the day, it’s open on the way to and from work, dropping the small human off in the morning and picking it up in the evening. The small human loves it even more.

So, thank you Niantic for pulling me back into the Pokemon world, it has been a fun and exciting 8 months, and I’m fully prepared for Gen 4. I’ve been saving up all the candies I need for all the future evolutions. Actually I’m hoarding some candies. Seriously, I have enough Eeevee candies to evolve an entire army of Eeveelutions, Leafeon and Glaceon come at me.

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