Tobold's Blog
Monday, June 04, 2018

Many, many years ago I owned a Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP, and played a Pokemon RPG on it, I don't remember exactly which color. However I didn't buy any of the Nintendo DS or 3DS handhelds, so I haven't been able to play Pokemon RPGs for a while. There aren't many Pokemon games outside the Nintendo handheld consoles, and I didn't like Pokemon Go. But now there appears to be a change in strategy at Nintendo. The first Pokemon game for the Switch, Pokemon Quest, was just released, and several more Pokemon games, some more similar to the classics, have been announced.

I tried Pokemon Quest, and the first thing I saw was the start screen that said "Tap to start". Tap? It turned out that was an omen: Pokemon Quest plays horribly with a JoyCon controller, it is designed for touch screens. However the Switch isn't a great mobile handheld console, due to very limited battery life. So my first thought was "why don't they bring this out for my iPad instead". It turns out that this is exactly what they are going to do end of this month. I wonder if I can link my progress from the Switch to the iOS.

Pokemon Quest is very much designed like a mobile game: It is Free2Play and has the usual Gacha collection mechanic, as well as energy running out after a number of expeditions. However the game isn't overly pushy with its monetization, and can be played reasonably well without paying anything. The real time combat requires some getting used to, I prefer the classic turn-based combat. But I'll play this until the "Pokemon Let's Go" games come out, which are supposed to bring back the gameplay of Pokemon Yellow.

Pokémon Go hasn’t fundamentally changed, but they have added a lot of new Pokémon and research tasks that make it more interesting. It might be worth revisiting if you’re out for a walk.
I think the Switch has been improving batteries in newer models...I picked one up a few months back, and on a recent trip observed it ran for five hours of intense gameplay without issue while on a trip before needing a recharge.
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