This yr’s Go Fest, Pokémon Go’s annual summer time weekend extravangaza, has shaken up the sport with the introduction of a brand new Legendary creature, the arrival of the franchise’s extra-dimensional Extremely Beasts, and the obvious (albeit possible momentary) lack of everybody’s favorite hunky professor, Willow.
The disappearance of Willow, a shock twist for the sport’s second day, means the sport has been left with out its common pleasant face guiding gamers via the sport’s story. A mysterious stranger named Rhi, who seems to be to be a brand new ally, has as a substitute taken Willow’s place whereas gamers examine the emergence of the primary Extremely Beasts.
These creatures are possible the reason for Willow’s absence, and can hopefully be a continued focus over the sport’s new Season of Go. For now at the very least, Willow’s absence seems to be a narrative growth that may stick for a while, with commonplace in-game textual content modified all through the app to take away references to the professor. (For these overly involved, a Go Fest finale occasion for current ticket holders, coming in August, appears prone to revolve round his revival.)
As with earlier years, Go Fest’s first day was stuffed with a cute new Legendary Pokémon to catch. This yr it was Shaymin, a cheerful kind of hedgehog which blooms flowers wherever it goes. I notably loved its entrance – ambling via a lovely flower-filled panorama – to dutifully enable itself to be caught.
Alongside the way in which was the same old array of quest steps, raid battles and uncommon Pokémon to catch. New this yr was the flexibility to tailor your Go Fest story quest to your individual style, with totally different choices for individuals who prefer to stroll and discover, those that need to catch each creature in sight, and people who concentrate on battling. In a wise transfer, every of those paths additionally supplied three issue ranges so you might wrap issues up rapidly in the event you most well-liked, with equal rewards so gamers of all talents acquired the identical objects for his or her ticket worth.
With tickets roughly round £14 (annoyingly, costs range barely throughout totally different cellphone app shops), Go Fest 2022 didn’t function the identical deep low cost of final yr (when Google sponsorship noticed it lowered to an attention grabbing £5). This left a number of in my group deciding to offer it a miss, even with that third day in August to bulk out the choices, and a busy second day of additional uncommon species and raids.
To your cash, gamers additionally acquired at the very least 18 in-person raid passes and three distant passes over the 2 days to make use of on the primary Extremely Beast, Nihilego, the often ultra-rare Axew, which was now out there in its Shiny model, and different Legendary creatures. Different Pokémon out there included Tropius and Torkoal, often regional-exclusives for Afraica and South-East Asia, and the event-exclusve Unown.
As ever, a giant draw for a lot of gamers was the occasion’s boosted Shiny charge. And, as ever, there was loads mentioned on-line on the numbers of Shinies some gamers anticipated to get, versus what they really acquired. It is a thorny subject, and one not helped by Pokémon Go’s irritating opaqueness round Shiny probabilities, in addition to the obscure language used to explain Shinies as one thing seen “in the event you’re fortunate!”.
Anecdotally, I didn’t see any noticeable discount in Shiny charges from every other ticketed occasion of this kind. Nonetheless, one dialogue on high Pokémon Go fan reddit TheSilphRoad value flagging compares the occasion’s spawn pool to that of Go Fest 2021, with fan evaluation suggesting that whereas Shiny charges could have been related, fewer Shiny-possible species have been featured this yr.
Pokémon Go’s subsequent set of occasions are its ever-popular Journey Week, which focuses on fossil Pokémon, plus celebrations of its impending Buying and selling Card recreation enlargement and upcoming sixth anniversary. It’s going to be fascinating to see how the storyline with Rhi develops over the subsequent few months – and whether or not August’s bonus third Go Fest day affords additional worth for ticket holders.