Pokémon GO Mega Battle Event Review: Megas Redeemed?

The Mega Battle Event in Pokémon GO is Niantic's second of three events spotlighting Mega Evolution during September. The mechanics of Mega Energy, specifically how it is earned and how much it costs to Mega Evolve Pokémon, has created controversy in the community ever since its rollout. Did this Beedrill-themed event, which made Mega Energy widely available through tasks, do what needed to be done to get players on board with this new mechanic?

Beedrill artwork for the Pokémon GO Mega Battle Event. Credit: Niantic
Beedrill artwork for the Pokémon GO Mega Battle Event. Credit: Niantic

Event Spawns

The Mega Battle Event spawns were Bug-types, a theme that tied into the Beedrill-centric Timed Research. It isn't too long ago that the Bug Out event happened in Pokémon GO, making this summer feel quite… infested to some trainers. However, the spawns were improved from previous Bug-type events, with the normally rare Skorupi spawning at a fair rate. While the variety of the spawns wasn't incredibly high, the spawns that popped frequently were quality.

Mega Battle Challenge

The challenge, complete 275 million Mega Battles to unlock Mega Houndoom, was a bit of an issue due to the limits of where Mega Pokémon can be used. With GO Battle League bouts not counting toward the total, this left only non-GBL PVP battles, Gym battles, and Team GO Rocket encounters. This would have been dramatically improved by a Rocket Takeover, or even new Shadow Pokémon. The event's announcement even alluded to new Shadows, but it was later revealed that Niantic simply meant that Grunts with Pokémon weak to Bug-types would be popping more frequently. Again, tying into that Mega Beedrill theme. This aspect of the event was Niantic's biggest miss in a while. They may be saving new Team Rocket content for the next Giovanni research, but even one or two new Shadow species would have dramatically improved this event's challenge. That said, Mega Houndoom will undoubtedly be unlocked.

Mega Battle Research

This was by far the best aspect of the Mega Battle Event. The Beedrill research, along with frequent Mega Energy tasks from Pokéstops, went a long way to improve the implementation of Mega Energy in the game. If this kind of widespread availability of Mega Energy continues outside of raids, then there is very little left to critique Niantic on as far as Megas are concerned. This may not be a popular opinion, as some of the fans are still incensed, but it appears from this event that Niantic is listening.

Shiny Release

Ledyba was the Shiny release for this Beedrill and Bug-themed event, and it was featured in the wild as a common spawn. While not necessarily a stunning Shiny, it has a nice autumn-themed palette with a pale orange shell and brown legs. This kind of Shiny release of a common Pokémon enriches the game it perpetuity, as those who missed Shiny Ledyba will now have ample time to hunt it in the wild.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.