If there’s anything that Nintendo has been capitalizing on lately, it’s keeping details to a minimum and leaving fans hungry for more information. But while hopeful new game releases and the release of an upcoming system (the Nintendo NX in May) remain somewhat under wraps, Nintendo’s mobile gaming initiative has skyrocketed into the minds of the mainstream thanks to the success of Miitomo, a mobile app that brings Nintendo Mii characters to the mobile platform for mini games, social events, and achievements.
Buried under all of this hype (or, for some fans, frustration) is Pokemon GO, the interactive mobile app developed by Niantic that brings the excitement of Pokemon to the real-world stage. While the game is still in its beta testing stages, one player decided to show the world his adventures as a Pokemon trainer by cutting together a nearly 10-minute preview of Pokemon GO‘s gameplay.
Whether players are out in the city or in their back yard, Pokemon GO (and its developers, Niantic) promises instant immersion via augmented reality and new Pokemon to catch around every corner. In the footage, YouTuber Darkathion creates his trainer, wanders his area, and catches a few Pokemon – along with acquiring eggs and gym gameplay along the way. The battle system sticks to its roots; a major perk for players who simply want the Pokemon experience on a somewhat “real-world” platform. While the description states that the footage is only intended for viewing by people already in the beta, the video’s accessibility says otherwise. The game includes all of the basic staples that harken back through the generations of Pokemon RPG games: along with the similar battle system, trainers are expected to compete in gym battles to raise their levels, with an upgraded Pokedex to show you just how many of the little critters you’ve managed to catch.
While Pokemon GO is currently undergoing a “field test” in Australia and New Zealand, little more has been released about the game, and any sign of a release date remains in limbo. While Pokemon GO was originally planned to debut at GDC, the developers at Niantic withdrew the demo just before the show with the claim that they were focusing on getting the product ready for its beta launch. Fans are eager and hopeful for this summer’s E3, where Nintendo is expected to focus on upcoming games like the next installment to their Legend of Zelda franchise, and its new mobile vertical.
With the massive success of Nintendo’s Miitomo experience and high hopes for a future in mobile gaming, Pokemon is not only a property that makes sense, but one that can make or break Nintendo’s further endeavors on the mobile platform. Luckily, this isn’t Niantic’s first rodeo in augmented reality – the studio scored this particular gig after their first mobile game, Ingress, became a smash-hit thanks to its unique game play style. What the future holds for Pokemon GO is still a mystery, but at least eager players have a unique chance to familiarize themselves with the game ahead of time.
Stay tuned for more Pokemon GO news over the course of the summer.