Pokémon GO Event Review: Astral Eclipse Event 2022

Astral Eclipse was the final major event of Pokémon GO's Season of Light. The event introduced Solgaleo and Lunala in an unconventional way. Let's get into the details of this event to see if it closed a fun but uneven Season out with a climax worthy of these Alolan Legendary Pokémon.

Pokémon GO Astral Eclipse graphic. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO Astral Eclipse graphic. Credit: Niantic

What worked in this Pokémon GO event

  • Wild spawns: The wild spawns included a great deal of Shiny-capable Pokémon including Munna, Cottonee, Alolan Rattata, Alolan Sandshrew, Alolan Vulpix, Staryu, Hoothoot, Sunkern, Lunatone, Solrock, and Yungoos. This event is a candidate for the strongest selection of wild spawns outside of the Halloween event. Unfortunately, that is just about the only thing Astral Eclipse had going for it.

What didn't work in this Pokémon GO event

  • Stingy!: Niantic used this Season to build toward Solgaleo and Lunala the same way that they built toward Hoopa during the Season of Mischief. This was a major mistake. Evolving Legendaries is such a cool addition to Pokémon GO so I completely understand that they want to make the rollout of such a thing last for a long time, but not getting multiple Cosmog to evolve and even to keep is ridiculous. Comparing it to Hoopa doesn't work anymore because Hoopa is one Pokémon that we were able to change back and forth, essentially giving us both Forms even though we just got one. (And still… two would've been better.) With Solgaleo and Lunala, though, what have we to compare them to except other Legendary releases? This was supposed to be more exciting because it's a new feature, but at the end of the day, I don't know of a player who wouldn't have given up all that Research in exchange for more Solgaleo and Lunala through a simple Tier Five raid release. Niantic has to realize that if they are going to be creative with a release, they have to make what players actually get exciting too, not just the format in which it arrives.
  • Too much Staryu: Man, they sure stuck to the theme here.
  • Collection Challenges: These felt like they were added to make it seem like there was something to do during the event, but the Stardust they offered was measly. I would have rathered a single encounter than such a small amount of Stardust that could've easily been earned by hunting wild spawns.

Overall

Astral Eclipse Event 2022 brings the conceptually strong but practically weak Season of Light to a stumbling close. Strong wild spawns made it enjoyable from day-to-day, but it failed to enrich the game in the longterm due to stingy Special Research and poorly planned Legendary releases.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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