The Halloween 2020 Event Review In Pokémon GO

It seems like it just started. The Halloween event, generally thought to be the most anticipated time of the year in the game, is wrapping up in Pokémon GO. Did this spooky event live up to the hype that previous years had created?

Pokémon GO promotional image. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO promotional image. Credit: Niantic

Pokémon GO Event Spawns & Shiny release

The major Shiny release of the event was Spiritomb, which was a task-only Pokémon. While it would've been great to see it in the wild, the wild spawns were, as with every Halloween, awesome. There were a few off-brand spawns that were featured in the event, such as Chimecho, but the extra Stardust that species provides was very welcome. The Seasons Change Part 2 event focused on Dark-types so Ghost-types got to shine even more than usual this month.

Eggs & Tasks

The Special Research and Timed Research this year went above and beyond, making for the best part of the event. The Special Research awarded Galarian Yamask and Spiritomb, along with other great encounters along the way. It would've been great to get two Galarian Yamask so Living Dex collectors could evolve it up, but hey… it'll happen next year, most likely. The Timed Researches focused on Mega Gengar and Drifloon, with both awarding a good amount of Mega Gengar Energy. While the Eggs were underwhelming, with tangentially spooky hatches in 5KM Eggs, the Pokéstop tasks made up for it. While it was somewhat difficult to find the Spiritomb tasks, the hunt for them was fun.

Halloween Event Features

The in-game music switched to the Lavender Town theme as with every Halloween event in Pokémon GO. There's nothing better to set the mood for the event than that creepy theme. Along with that feature came double catch candy and double transfer candy, which was a welcome bonus. It would've been even better if the boss had been something other than the return of Darkrai, which we'll get to below, but still: good feature. The Pokémon GO PVP arena, GO Battle League, switched to the Halloween Cup which was fun, but limited due to only featuring the Great League. It would have been a lot more accessible to various kinds of players if it also featured the Ultra and Master Leagues with the same type-limitations.

Raids

The one and only aspect of the Halloween Event that was underwhelming was the raids. It was great to see the Costumed Pokémon featured, but the event raid boss of Darkrai was a huge misstep for Niantic. Giratina Origin Forme had its Shiny release in the previous raid rotation, creating the expectation that Niantic was saving a somehow even bigger release for the Halloween Event due to how much trainers look forward to it. Then… it was just Darkrai. Darkrai, who had its Shiny release already this year. Darkrai, who was featured twice in Pokémon GO. Darkrai, who didn't even get its signature move added for this event. While there probably couldn't have been a worse choice for the Halloween raid boss, Mega Gengar and the Costume Pokémon somewhat made up for it.

Overall, even with the weird misstep in the choice of raid bosses, Niantic delivered another stellar Pokémon GO Halloween event. Any fans of the franchise who stopped playing this game when the first wave of hype died down in 2016 would be smart to give it a try now because it has become a much different, and much better, game.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.