pokémon go

You Can Now Switch Teams in Pokémon GO, For a Price

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One of the fist steps in creating an account in popular mobile AR game Pokémon GO is choosing which color team to join. Team Instinct (yellow), Team Mystic (blue), and Team Valor (red) compete with each other for control of gyms around the world.

You may have joined team yellow because all your friends were doing it. But since then you’ve realized that team blue is way stronger and more popular in your home town. For the last three years we’ve had to live with that initial big decision. In an update hitting later today, you can finally change teams, with some notable limitations.

Starting today, Feb. 26,  at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern you’ll be able to purchase a Team Medallion. Team Medallions cost 1,000 PokéCoins from the shop. It’ll wait in your inventory until you’re ready to use it. Once activated, it will guide you through the team selection step as if you were creating a new account. Choose wisely, however. To avoid team hopping, Team Medallions can only be purchased once every 365 days.

Any Pokémon currently defending your old team’s gyms will be returned to you once they’re defeated – without earning you any PokéCoins. And no, you can’t turn around and battle your own Pokémon. If you return to a gym with your Pokémon defending your old team, they will be returned to you.

pokemon let's go

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee Free Demo on Nintendo eShop

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Nintendo has released a free demo of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! It’s available now to download from the Nintendo eShop, and can be downloaded directly to your Switch from the website.

The demo version is limited to Viridian Forest, the first Pokémon catching area in the game. The demo randomly gives you either Pikachu or Eevee to start. From there you’re free to try out trainer battles and the new motion control catching. Unfortunately should you choose to purchase the full game, any progress you make in the demo will not be carried over.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee are triumphant 3D remakes of the original Pokémon Red and Blue (read our review). Huge overhauls have been made to the classic Pokémon formula, including seeing Pokémon in the wild, catching them via Pokémon GO-style pokéball throwing, and being able to swap Pokémon on the fly.

The Switch games also support Pokémon GO. After reaching a certain point in the adventure, you can send any Pokémon caught in the mobile game over to Let’s Go. It also supports kid-friendly two player simultaneous co-op, making it the best Pokémon game for families.

We were proud to name Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee Pixelkin’s Game of the Year in 2018. It’s rated E for Everyone.

pokemon tv

Pokémon TV Update Adds Downloading Episodes

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The Pokémon Company have released a major update to their free Pokémon TV mobile and web app. The update includes a new and improved user interface and several new features, including the ability to download episodes for offline viewing.

The update should be hitting the App Store and Google Play stores today for iOS and Android mobile devices. The update is coming soon for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon, and Smart TVs. The update helps add many streaming features to the Pokémon which have become more common and standard thanks to Netflix and other streaming apps.

Now you can download a Pokémon episode or movie directly to your device. This allows you to watch it at any time, regardless of your internet connection. There’s no limit to how much you can store. However, videos will be automatically removed after a week.

The new update also adds Pokémon Trainer Club integration. By signing in with your account, you can watch episodes or movies from multiple devices, and it will remember where you left off. And optional push notifactions will alert you to when new episodes and movies have been added.

Currently the Pokémon TV app offers the following full seasons:

  • Pokémon the Series: Indigo League (this is the original 90s show)
  • Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon
  • Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon – Ultra Adventures
  • Pokémon Generations
  • Pokémon Origins

The latest full length animated film, Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us, is also available to watch for a limited time. Note that you can find certain Pokémon TV seasons on other sites, such as Sun & Moon – Ultra Adventures on Disney XD and the first season of Indigo League on Netflix.

hatchathon

Hatch More Eggs in Pokémon GO Hatchathon

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Many New Year’s Resolutions involve getting more exercise and losing weight. What better motivation to get moving than hatching eggs in Pokémon GO? From now until Jan. 15, Pokémon GO trainers will receive bonuses for using Adventure Sync to track walking distance.

Adventure Sync is a recent addition to Pokémon GO that tracks your distance using your smartphone. Once you activate Adventure Sync in the Settings, Pokémon GO will automatically track your distance without having to keep the game open. Walking distance is useful for generating candy with your Buddy Pokémon, hatching Pokémon eggs, and earning weekly rewards.

During the Hatchathon event, any egg you hatch will result in double the candy and stardust. You’ll also have a greater chance of receiving the bigger 5 km and 10 km eggs from PokéStops and Gyms. Eggs are a good way to collect rarer Pokémon, especially the 10 km eggs. Time to get moving!

The Hatchaton event ends January 15 at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern. Recently Pokémon has also begun rolling out Trainer battles, which finally feature player vs player combat. Trainer Battles are limited to local multiplayer and online with friends, and can net rewards and bonuses.

Pokémon GO is free to download on iOS and Android mobile devices.

pokemon let's go

Pixelkin’s 2018 Game of the Year

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This year had some truly remarkable games. Games like God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Celeste, and Dragon Quest 11 reflected a rich diversity of gameplay experiences. For Pixelkin’s 2018 Game of the Year, we focused on the best games that were particularly well-suited for families.

Nintendo once again houses some of the best family-friendly gaming we can find. One game lovingly remade a childhood classic from two decades ago, updating it for modern audiences while adding in several noteworthy new features to introduce a whole new audience to one of the best family-friendly franchises in gaming.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Let’s Go, Pikachu! is Pixelkin’s 2018 Game of the Year.

The brilliance of the original Pokémon Red and Blue, released in the US in 1998, is on full display. The Kanto region is recreated in the more modern 3D style of Pokémon X/Y and Sun and Moon. The light-hearted hero’s journey is fast and easy to jump into, beginning with choosing a new starter Pokémon. The partner Pokémon is a powerful combatant and a cute tagalong friend who, like Pikachu in the series, rides with me rather than in a Pokéball.

Pikachu (or Eevee) can also learn Secret Techniques, which replace the previous Hidden Machines. These moves help explore previously unreachable places, like Sea Skim to traverse water. No longer do I have to worry about including a water Pokémon or a flying Pokémon to get around the latter half of the game.

Pokémon Let’s Go is full of these little improvements and changes that modernize the two-decade old Pokémon gameplay. Other very welcome improvements include the ability to finally swap Pokémon in and out of my active party without having to go through the endless boxes of the Pokémon Center, actually seeing Pokémon out in the world so I can pick and choose my wild encounters, and renaming my Pokémon anytime I wish. I also loved taking out an additional Pokémon to walk around with me, or in the case of larger Pokémon like Rapidash, riding on them! Few moments are as charmingly nostalgic as charging across grassy fields while riding on Arcanine.

pokemon let's go

Catching wild Pokémon is the biggest change in gameplay, but it’s one I found satisfying and rewarding – not to mention kid-friendly. It works almost exactly like mobile AR game Pokémon GO. The Joy-Con motion controls work so well that I often used the kickstand when playing in handheld mode. Flicking the ball at a squirming Pokémon offers just enough interest to never get stale, while ‘battles’ never last more than 30 seconds.

For the first time in the series I actually want to run through dozens of wild Pokémon encounters, increasing my Catch Combo in the hopes for better stats and rare shiny Pokémon. And with Pokémon spawning directly on the world map, catching them has never been more fun or engaging. It makes the world come to life like never before and I hope all Pokémon games in the future utilize it.

The Pokémon series has always been kid-focused series (now enjoyed by countless 30-somethings) but what truly makes Pokémon: Let’s Go an excellent family game is the new co-op mode. Co-op is seamlessly integrated, allowing another local player to simply shake the other Joy-Con half and drop right in. The players have to stay within the same screen and the partner can’t interact with anything, but they do get to participate in combat and in catching wild Pokémon.

let's go

Few gameplay moments have been as rich as playing alongside my young daughter as we synchronized our Pokéball throwing and tag-teamed against the villainous Team Rocket. The intuitive co-op is definitely a feature I want to see in all future Pokémon games for the Nintendo Switch.

As a longtime fan of the series, Pokémon: Let’s Go lacks some of the more deep and complex gameplay features that Pokémon has cultivated in the last two decades, such as breeding and abilities. But it is an excellent modern remake of the original games, and the Pokémon GO-style catching is surprisingly engaging. The many modern improvements make journeying through Kanto more enjoyable than ever. With the new co-op mode, it’s easily the most kid-friendly game of the entire series, and a wonderful way to introduce the magic of Pokémon to a younger generation.

pokemon go

Pokémon GO Reveals Details on PvP Trainer Battles

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After teasing the upcoming PvP update earlier this week, Niantic has revealed a few more important details on how Trainer Battles will work in Pokémon GO.

Trainers will be able to battle each other via one trainer scanning a QR Code of another. Trainers can be complete strangers, but if you’ve reached a certain level of friendship via gifting (Ultra and Best), you can challenge each other from any distance.

Both trainers must compete within the same Battle League, which was previously announced as three separate leagues divided by max CP per Pokémon. Great League is 1,500, Ultra is 2,500, and Master has no upper limit.

Trainers will battle each other using a team of three Pokémon. Like the Gym and Raid battles, combat is in real time and plays out quickly. Trainers will be able to execute regular attacks and charged attacks. Trainers can also use a Protect Shield to avoid critical damage if they use it at the right time, though you’ll only have a limited number of shields to use. Stardust and Candy can be used before a fight to unlock another charged attack.

Although Trainer Battles are designed for PvP, you will be able to battle your respective team leader, Spark, Candela, or Blanche, once per day as a training exercise. You can earn rewards such as Stardust. Regular Trainer Battles will net rewards for both the winner and loser, including a chance at highly-coveted evolution stones.

Trainer Battles are coming later this month for Pokémon GO.