Pokémon GO Event Review: GO Fest 2022 Final

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Last weekend, Niantic concluded their series of GO Fest events and the overall season of GO with Pokemon GO Party 2022: Final. This is the first time such a Finale event has taken place as GO Fest was previously only on location pre-pandemic and only remote during the pandemic. Does this structure work? Let’s take a look at the event to determine whether this new way forward should stay in place for years to come.

Pokemon GO Fest 2022 Finale event image. Credit: Niantic

What worked for this? Pokemon GO event

  • Free: This event was free for everyone who bought tickets for the stand Pokemon GO Fest 2022 external event in June. This felt generous to me as that event was already worth the price of the ticket. I expected to pay for this and was willing to do so, so the fact that it wasn’t a separate ticket from the original is a big win.
  • Ultra Beasts: I enjoyed the focus on Ultra Beasts and the conclusion to the missing Professor Willow storyline. It was fun to raid and run into Pheromosa, Buzzwole, and Xurkitree after initially experiencing only Nihiliego during the original remote event. The other Ultra Beasts came to the on-site personal events first, so the focus of this Finals event on catching up with external players worked beautifully. I also enjoyed the emotional note with which Rhi’s time as leader of Special Research ended. I hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this character, though the fact that we have even more Ultra Beasts waiting to be released makes me think we’ll be seeing Rhi again.
  • Sky Forme Shaymin: There have been releases where Niantic only gives us one Mythical if it can change Formes. Hoopa comes to mind. My concern with Shaymin was that we wouldn’t get one of every Forme and instead the Special Research would unlock the ability to change Formes. Instead, we have both. We had another Shaymin encounter with a special animation that showed the Sky Forme in the same way the original event showed the Land Forme. I appreciate this and hope it remains the standard for multi-form Pokémon. A large proportion of the players are Living Dex collectors, and this is the way to satisfy those devoted players.
  • Shinies appear on location: The GO Fest players on location also got new Shinies that weren’t available during the original remote event, and all of these were a major focus of the Finals. Again, the structure of a targeted release for the on-site events, followed by wide availability in the Finale event worked perfectly. I managed to get my hands on a Shiny Combee from the new one.
  • New Shiny Release: Not only did we catch up with the Shinies released during the on-site events, but the Finale event also debuted a brand new Shiny featuring Swirlix.
  • Beast Balls: I loved the animation for these new Beast Balls and appreciated that they caught Ultra Beasts with ease. This seemed like a solid call to prevent players from spending a lot of time on the catch screen that could otherwise be spent playing.

What didn’t work for this Pokemon GO event

  • Team GO Rocket: I would have loved to see balloons hourly, especially with the tasks that revolve around them. It seems that this great feature of the game is often forgotten during major events.

What worked for this? Pokemon GO event

Pokemon GO Fest 2022: Finale perfectly closed a summer full of fun events. The structure of a remote global event followed by on-site special events, followed by a remote global final is the perfect answer to the pandemic problem. This one is how to continue the success of the global GO Fest while creating special, in-person, on-site events that players will want to attend. Niantic should make this the new standard for summer in pokemon go, because it was a great combination of the classic “get out and play” gameplay and the “bring the fun your way” vibes from the remote events of previous years.

Posted in: Games, Mobile Games, Niantic, Pokémon GO | Tagged: Niantic, pokemon, pokemon go, Pokémon GO Fest 2022, Ultra Beasts

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