Pokémon GO Event Review: With Light Comes Shadow…

During the Festival of Lights event, Niantic introduced a slate of new Team GO Rocket content to Pokémon GO with an event-within-the-event titled With Light Comes Shadow. The event introduced new Shadow Shinies, new Shadow Legendaries, and more. Let's see if it lived up to the hype considering this was the first Team GO Rocket update in a long while.

Shadow Lugia in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Shadow Lugia in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

What worked for this Pokémon GO event

  • Giovanni returns: Giovanni has been absent from the game for a long time. Before that, we only received a single new Shadow Legendary from him this year in the form of Shadow Ho-Oh. It's great to see the boss of Team GO Rocket back, especially with a brand new Shadow Pokémon to catch. And that new Shadow is…
  • Shadow Lugia: Probably the most anticipated Shadow Pokémon besides Mewtwo before it was released, Shadow Lugia has finally arrived. Some fans consider this a bit of a bummer as Shadow Lugia does not have its iconic transformed state from Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. Now, I will add… I was a bit disappointed as well. However, here's where I land. This is currently how the game does Shadows, so I'm not surprised we got Lugia in this way. Also, it's worth noting… Niantic can now, later on, build to the release of the transformed Shadow Lugia as "Ultime Shadow Lugia" and get two releases out of it, considering that the game referred to it as the ultimate Shadow Pokémon.
  • New Shadow Shinies: We finally got new Team GO Rocket Leader encounters. Sierra has Nidoran Female, Arlo has Gligar, and Cliff has Grimer. Finally!
  • TM away Frustration: Always a huge bonus!

What didn't work for this Pokémon GO event

  • Special Research: We used to get long, intricate Team GO Rocket Special Research every month. Now? We get a Super Rocket Radar as a task reward in a one-page addition to the Hoopa Special Research. While I liked the dialogue that the page offered, it seemed quick and cheap compared to how Giovanni battles used to be treated.


This was a welcome and overdue update to Team GO Rocket in Pokémon GO.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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