Pokémon GO Event Review: TCG Crossover Celebration

Niantic celebrated the upcoming Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO trading card set release with a TCG-themed event. Did this event do justice to the iconic hobby?

Pokémon GO TCG Crossover event graphic. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO TCG Crossover event graphic. Credit: Niantic

What worked in this Pokémon GO event

  • Meltan: Shiny Meltan was available during this event and Meltan Boxes could be opened every 48 hours. And thank everything that is good for that. Without the Meltan feature, this would've been the most baffling event all year. Read on to see why.
  • New releases: While the extended length of this event did suck out the excitement of the new releases, it was nice to have a new species in the game with Wimpod as well as a new costume with TCG Hat Pikachu. Pikachu bearing this hat appears on one of the cutest cards in the upcoming expansion, so that is a big plus. The one thing I'd change about this aspect is that I'd make Pikachu more common.
  • Recent Shiny drops featured in the wild: Shroomish, Cottonee, and Bidoof are all (relatively) recent Shiny drops, so I appreciated their presence during the event.

What didn't work in this Pokémon GO event

  • Length: To say that this event was too long is an understatement. After the exciting but short Adventure Week, this two-week-long event offered far less to Trainers, essentially grinding the pace of June's gameplay to a halt. I went from getting out there and playing for hours every day during Adventure Week to barely opening the app until my Meltan Box was ready this week. The spawn rate of Pikachu wearing his hat was way too low to make that a hunt that could define the event, and the evolved spawns in the wild like Slaking and Dragonite no longer bring the excitement that they did in the past now that we've been grinding Candy for years. Having Shiny Meltan available for so long was great but the rest of the event did not need to be this stretched out.
  • Kanto: Unfortunately, this ended up being damn near another Kanto event. I love Kanto. Grew up on it. I'd love to not see a single Kanto species in Pokémon GO until 2025. The overuse of this region is stunning.
  • Uneventful Collection Challenges: The choice of multiple Collection Challenges featuring the same tired encounters rather than engaging Special Research added to the boredom of this event.

Overall

I have loved Pokémon GO since it came out and I've loved collecting Pokémon cards since I was a kid. Niantic unfortunately turned an event based on the most exciting aspect of the franchise into their most boring offering all year. This would've been an amazing four-day event. That this event lasted so long and offered so little was a giant letdown after the excitement Adventure Week.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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