Pokemon GO

Pokémon Go! recently received its biggest content update since it’s launch, July 2016, adding 80 new Pokémon to the game, along with a whole host of other changes. But just what is different?

Well the introduction of 80 new Pokémon from the Johto region brings a lot of fan favourites to the game but also changes the egg hatching selection. The full lists currently are as follows, however they may be subject to change given the update is still young. 2 km eggs are now able to hatch into Cyndaquil, Chikorita, Totodile, Cleffa, Igglybuff, Togepi, Slugma, Remoraid, Pichu, Misdreavus, Aipom and Ledyba. The most interesting of these is Misdreavus, being incredibly rare in the main game series, it’s quite odd to see them being ranked with the common Pokémon.

5 km eggs can also now hatch into an expanded range of creatures: Yanma, Wobbuffet, Tyrogue, Sneasel, Smoochum, Shuckle (the powerhouse he is), Elekid, Girafarig, Magby, Natu, Phanpy, Wooper, Stantler, Qwilfish and Dunsparce. Nothing unusual amongst, Phanpy being relatively rare would fit naturally as a 5 km or 10 km hatch. Fan favourite Shuckle being part of the 5 km collection also fits quite nicely.

Now for the 10 km eggs. Surprisingly containing one of the most common Pokémon available in the Generation 2 games, Mareep, they will also contain a number of the rarer species. Pineco, Skaramory, Miltank, Mantine, Larvitar, Sudowoodo and Gligar. It’s no surprise Larvitar is among the rarer egg hatches, being the baby form of Tyranitar and it’s pseudo-legendary status, it joins the same pool as Dratini for a reason.

Generation 2 also introduced new unique evolution items; Metal Coat, Upgrade, Kings Rock, and Dragon Scale. It also brought with it Sun Stones, used for evolving certain Pokémon into new forms, e.g. Gloom into Bellossom rather than into Vileplume. These items are necessary to release the full potential of a lot of Pokémon and are available to trainers by interacting with PokéStops. This being said the drop rates for the new items are anyone’s guess. Most commonly they can be received as part of the weekly streak rewards, but they can also be obtained normally, but with far less success.

Of course with the addition of new Pokémon, there have been some balancing tweaks made. The most notable of which is nerfing Lapras, the dragon slayer, with a CP reduction of approximately 400. Blissey is currently one of the most powerful Pokémon, building upon Chansey’s incredible health stats, it is steamrolling gyms and then tanking all kinds of damage. Trainers are reportedly struggling to defeat Blissey, with it’s exceptionally high CP and stats, within the full time limit of battle while throwing everything they have at it.

Undoubtedly it will be the target for some changes to its CP and stats, the extent of which is purely speculation, they may remain overpowered to reflect their stats in competitive play from the main games.

Amongst the new Pokémon there appears to be only one regionally exclusive, everyone’s favourite fighting bug type, Heracross. The infamous horn beetle is a favourite of most fans of the series and seeing it being unavailable outside of North and South America so far is disappointing for most players. It’s a shame, especially given Blissey’s domination of gyms, Heracross could provide a powerful counter. If the rumours and sightings are confirmed to be true, it will be a huge blow, but this could be easily fixed with international trading becoming a thing.

The alphabet Pokémon, Unown, appears to be present in all 28 available forms, but again this remains unconfirmed. Whether or not this will have any purpose within the games or purely just bragging rights remains to be seen. However it may be simply to collect them all.

A small number of trainers have also noticed changes to their Pokémon’s IV stats and percentages, whether this was intended or a minor side effect of some other change remains to be seen, but hopefully it will be resolved shortly.

Pokémon information pages have been updated to display their genders, reflecting the main games as well. This may be an indication that a possible breeding mechanic may be about to introduced to the game, or it may simply be an aesthetic addition. One thing is for sure, at the moment it’s completely useless. Hopefully if they’re adding a breeding mechanic (big if) then they may be closer to overhauling the battle system and introducing trainer battles and trading.

Pokémon Go! has received its largest addition of content since it’s launch and it’s made some large impacts in gameplay. Whether or not it’s enough to give the game a new lease of life remains to be seen, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

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