Yesterday, Pokémon GO released Kyogre a few days early, the water-type Legendary from Gen 3 that will overlap with ground-type Groudon for a few days before he disappears. A month from now we’ll probably see Rayquaza show up and….
Sorry I drifted off there for a second.
To me, Legendaries are becoming a bit boring in Pokémon GO. Yes, it was incredibly exciting when they first arrived after the GO community had been waiting a year for their release, but since then, there has not been more than a couple days at a time without anywhere from 1-3 Legendaries being available to battle and catch, and now heading into Gen 3 Legendaries, they’re all starting to blur together. It’s the same kind of fights, the same kind of requirements. There’s really nothing to differentiate any one Legendary release/battle from any other, with the one exception being EX raids that are effective at gatekeeping Mewtwo away from players, but all those have really done is annoy the community for six months now.
Part of this is speed, I feel. Pokémon Red/Blue were released in 1996. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire were released in 2002. That’s 6+ years for players to play through those games and hunt down those legendaries. But with Pokémon GO? Legendaries were only introduced to the game this past summer. And since that time, we’ve had almost three generations of Legendaries released into the game in about six months with almost no breaks in between them. It’s no wonder they don’t really feel special any more.
But of course it’s more than that. Each Legendary or set of Legendaries in the handhelds had certain ways to find and catch them. In Red/Blue you were working your way through a power plant to catch Zapdos, or being mobbed by Zubats in a cave before taking on Mewtwo, and that was after taking down Gary and the Elite Four. In Gold/Silver you had to meticulously stalk the moving Legendary Beasts all around the map and battle them many times before capturing one for yourself.
GO Legendaries are different, and all too similar to one another. They appear in a five star raid, you get a group together which relies on out-of-game planning or blind luck, and you type-counter them, battle them, and hope you get lucky when trying to catch them. And you can do this over and over again, building up stacks of 2, 3, 5 a dozen of each type of Legendary in order to try to find the highest IV one with the best moves. But the fundamental process to get each of them remains the same.
The only big differences in raids are the way in which the Pokémon appear, like Beasts moving around the world on a monthly rotation or Ho-Oh showing up at the end of a surprise global event. But nothing changes about how you actually battle and catch them. It’s identical for now well over a dozen different types of Legendaries, including Mewtwo, where the only difference with him is that you have to pray you’re deemed worthy to get an EX raid pass.
The point I’m trying to make is that I want Niantic to start thinking creatively about how these Pokémon appear, are battled and are caught.
Mythics present an opportunity for this, as I would love for there to be some kind of in-game/out-of-game mystery as to how you track them down and catch them, something that’s entirely free from the raid system altogether, and represents a new, interesting way to track and catch a rare Pokémon.
For actual raids, it would help if Pokémon GO’s entire battling system was better, because then the individual fights would blend together less. But barring that, I would like to see different boss phases where you have to use different tactics to take them down. Maybe Suicine calls in Raikou and Entei for support. Maybe Mewtwo changes his moveset and tactics mid-fight. These are relatively ill-thought out, but the overall idea is that I wish these fights stood out from each other in some way, or even the path to them could, like you have to battle six electric Pokémon-using NPCs before Zapdos appears, or something like that. Again, these are relatively large-scale projects, but I think it’s what GO needs so Legendaries aren’t as dull as they currently are. Just releasing one a month until the end of time, and then cycling them all through again, is going to continue to be quite boring.
So, enjoy your Kyogre, but after this, I do hope that Niantic starts thinking outside the box with Legendary hunting.
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