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Pokémon GO Event Review: Welcome To Alola – Gen 7 Rollout

The Welcome to Alola event is wrapping up in Pokémon GO. Let's take a look at this event which launched the Season of Alola and kicked off the Generation Seven rollout.

Alolan Starters in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Alolan Starters in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

What worked in this Pokémon GO event

  • Generation Seven rollout: One of the most exciting times to play this game is when a new region begins to enter into the game. In the past, we got full generation reveals at once, but Pokémon GO now introduces new species in waves. This works for me and even though we're not fully done seeing Unova and Kalos, I'm thrilled to see the new Gen Seven spawns… especially the greatest Starter of all time, Litten.
  • Starting with a Legendary: Not all Generation reveals began with Legendaries, so I thought it was very cool to have Tapu Koko available at launch.
  • Shiny drop: Same as above! It would've been a perfectly fine event had we not gotten new shinies, but Niantic made the right choice to enrich the event by having Shiny Yongoos in the wild and Shiny Rockruff in raids. Speaking of which…
  • Rockruff in raids: Shiny-boosted Tier One Pokémon boost overall excitement for and enjoyment in raids. Starting with one of these is a solid move that will enrich raid rotations moving forward.

What didn't work in this Pokémon GO event

  • Special Research: To put it bluntly, this is the perfect example of the currently flaws with Special Resarch. The dialogue from Professor Willow was solid but the encounters were all over the place. During a Starter-themed section of the Research? No Starter encounters. Not to mention, the entire thing was Tapu Koko related and the ultimate encounter was an Alolan Meowth? In the past, the final encounter used to be seen as the reason for the Research. Now, Pokémon GO seems to offer random encounters that no longer go along with the narrative. Do they think Tapu Koko is going to be such a huge draw that they can't swing giving a freebie encounter so it goes with the Research theme? Raid Passes are already free daily and Legendaries are frequent GBL encounters, so I'm not sure what the deal is there.
  • Collection Challenge: This may be a pet peeve, but I personally don't like quests like this that force you to evolve early. I tend to like my evolution Dex entries to either be hundos or Lucky. I would have liked to waited to evolve a Yungoos of my choice into Gumshoos rather than being forced to do it for the Challenge.


Alola rolls out with a strong start and an event that felt generous. Despite the current state of Incense in the game causing quite an uproar, and an understandable one at that, Pokémon GO remains fresh and fun to play.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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