Pokemon Go Fest Chicago

July 22, 2017. That’s the date of which many Pokemon Go fans gathered at Grant Park in a little town called Chicago, Illinois for the first ever official event at Pokemon Go Fest. That is also the date that many were let down by Niantic because of Pokemon Go Fest. As many of you who may read this have heard, Pokemon Go Fest was a bummer for many. Grab your Pokedex and get ready for one bumpy ride as I go over both the bad news and the good news. Which would you like first?

Let’s get the bad news over with first. When I arrived at Grant Park around 8 AM Saturday morning I was able to enter the fest almost immediately after picking up my media pass. As the gates did not open until 9 am for those who had early entry badges and 10 am for general admission, I find myself extremely lucky to have been granted early access. This is especially because while the official start time was at 10 AM, there were many attendees who didn’t even get into the park until around 11:30 because of the long line. This was the first strike for many. They waited all morning just to get in the park. The single entrance only had about 6 people checking bags and about 10 scanners to scan your wristband upon entry. With better planning, Niantic could have easily had more than the single entrance to get attendees into the festival more efficiently.

One other downside of the festival, which is the biggest one, is that Pokemon Go was almost completely unplayable the entire day. While people that were not near the park could play, the amount of people at Grant Park prevented anyone from being able to connect to the game. Those that were able to play on and off throughout the day, myself included. This is a major problem for a festival revolving around a mobile game, because nobody was able to play the game as expected.

Towards the end of the day a spokesperson had this to say to the small group of press that was present,“Obviously they can’t completely make it up to all the people who have come out to Chicago today, but they want to extend the fact that they’re extremely apologetic and unhappy with the process and the results,” a spokesperson told a small group of press on behalf of the development team toward the end of the event. “So hopefully this is something that we will never see replicated again, learn from this and move on.” He went on to say,“I’m super sorry guys — I’m really sorry especially for everyone who traveled international, East Coast, from all over. So this clearly was not what we were hoping for today. Thanks for your patience.”

Amidst all the chaos of the fans nearly booing the CEO, John Hanke, off the stage and chanting things like, “WE CAN’T PLAY” or “FIX THE GAME” I wouldn’t say that all was terrible coming out of the event. For one, it was a gathering of like-minded people who not only like gaming, but are crazy for both Pokemon and Pokemon Go alike. This was one of the coolest aspects of the event. The number of people I talked to at Pokemon Go Fest just because we all had something in common was pretty remarkable. Many of those that I spoke with said that while the day wasn’t ideal, they were making the best of it enjoying the company of their colleagues.

While the event was supposed to to come to an end with a mystery event around 7 PM, the festival was cut short at about 5. I think this is mainly because what Niantic had planned (legendary raid?) simply was not possible because of the “Network Error” or “Failed to Login” notifications upon logging in to the game. Niantic cut it short by announcing that we at Grant Park, and those playing around the world, had managed to unlock the bonuses associated with the gold tier. They also went on to let everyone at the park know that $100 worth of Poke Coins (in-game currency) would be deposited to the accounts of everyone in attendance along with refunds of their tickets. The refunds are a great touch, but there were people who paid hundreds of dollars for their tickets who are only going to get $20 back, let alone those who traveled across the country, or the world.

In the end there were many people left with a bad taste in their mouth because of how the entire event unfolded. However, not all was bad. The interaction between everyone there was a great thing to witness. The team at Niantic that worked on both Pokemon Go and the arrangement of the Festival itself are onto something great. Had the game actually worked as planned throughout the day, there is no doubt in my mind that Pokemon Go Fest would’ve gone down as one of the greatest gatherings of like-minded gamers to date. Let’s hope that the first attempt at Pokemon Go Fest helps Niantic learn from their mistakes and make the next Fest something very special for all in attendance.

First Few- Destiny 2 Beta Story Mission

Watch the video below as I make my way through the story mission that is included in the Destiny 2 Beta. I’ve been trying to build my channel so please feel free to head over to my YouTube channel and like and subscribe there. Thanks!

Also stay tuned both here, and on my YouTube channel for more on the Destiny 2 Beta and the full release of the game in the near future.

E3 2017 Conferences Ranked

As all the press conferences from E3 2017 have come to an end I thought it would be fun to rank each conference we saw from worst to best. With all the hype leading into this E3 I will start by saying I found this year’s showing to be very weak compared to those of recent years. That being said let’s go ahead and rank the press conferences from the worst to the best.

6.) Ubisoft

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At number 6, we have Ubisoft. Now I know they showed a lot of great things including Far Cry 5, and XCOM Mario Edi- I mean Mario x Rabbids, but there just wasn’t enough at this conference to wow them into a top spot on my list. Yea, Far Cry 5 looks like a lot of fun, but we saw it weeks before E3. Had it debuted at the show then it would’ve made a bigger impact. They also showed the Crew 2 which I’m convinced appeals to no one and Starlink was their answer to the question, “What do we do when all these Skylanders kids grow up?” As for Beyond Good and Evil 2 I have no idea what to think. What they showed almost looks to good to be true for this generation of consoles and as someone who never played the first one, why should I be excited?

5.) Bethesda

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Aside from the fact that they are releasing a form a Skyrim for the god knows how manyith time, they are releasing something called Doom VFR. Doom VFR is a little unknown at the moment as it seems like it isn’t the entire campaign in VR. They also showed the Evil Within 2 which looks very spooky and mysterious. I never played the first one, but the trailer they showed for the second one really makes me want to play the first. The game they showed that has me the most hyped is Wolfenstein 2. Now I know I’ve already showed that I’m terrible at playing the first installment of games, but I NEED to play Wolfenstein The New Order after watching this trailer. This game has my name written all over it.

4.) Sony

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At first, I thought the Sony showing was pretty terrible. Looking back they’ve safely made their way into my number 4 spot. They didn’t show as many exclusives as many people had hoped for, but what they did show was impressive to say the least. They showcased a lot of PSVR games which is reassuring to me as a owner of the headset. They also showed some much anticipated DLC in The Frozen Wilds for Horizon and The Lost Legacy for Uncharted 4. They also put a lot of emphasis on Days Gone, Shadow of the Colossus and the new God of War game. God of War has never appealed to me and honestly I don’t know how this new style of the game sits with me either. The main game everyone is excited for, myself included, is Spider-Man. Spider-Man looks amazing. As a huge fan of Sunset Overdrive I have been extremely excited for Insomniac’s next game for a while and the gameplay from Spider-Man looks amazing.

3.) EA

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Aside from the main game everyone was waiting to see, Star Wars Battlefront II not to be confused with Star Wars Battlefront II, EA had an amazing showing at this years E3. Yes they showed Need for Speed and yes you can pause the game this time as stated a few months back, but they showed a fully developed story mode for Madden this year. When I first saw the story mode for Fifa I really wanted them to do the same for Madden as I play a lot of it. The announcement of the story mode has me excited to buy Madden 18 day one while I normally just wait for the game to be added to EA Access on my Xbox. Aside from all the games we knew were coming, they showed us A Way Out. If you have not seen gameplay from A Way Out I highly suggest checking it out. This was one of my favorite games revealed at E3 2017 and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

2.) Xbox

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Xbox had one of the best showing at the event this year, and that’s not just me being a huge fan of the Xbox brand. They were the only conference to reveal new hardware in the Xbox One X. While I have my problems with the name, I cannot wait to get my hands on it. This is one of the main reasons I upgraded to a 65 inch 4k HDR 10 TV earlier this year. Aside from the Xbox One X full reveal, we saw some much anticipated games in Crackdown 3, Forza 7, PUBG console release, Cuphead and Sea of Thieves. Starting from the beginning of the list, Crackdown 3 worries me. It was announced years ago then went into the dark to not be heard from until this year. This scares me thinking that maybe the game won’t live up to the hype. Another major announcement was Playerunknown’s Battle Grounds coming to the Xbox One family this fall. While it is not a full exclusive, this is huge for the Xbox brand as PUBG is one of, if not the, hottest games right now. Aside from releases, Microsoft announced backwards compatibility with the Original Xbox and updates for some existing Xbox One games to be updated and enhanced for the Xbox One X.

1.) Nintendo

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Nintendo was all about the games at E3 this year. The amount of games is not what placed them into my number 1 spot, but rather the quality of the games. They announced Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Kirby (Switch), Yoshi (Switch), and a Rocket League port that I can’t wait to play on the go. Aside from these major franchises, Nintendo announced a new Pokemon RPG for the Switch. Now this I’m both excited for and skeptical about. It sounds like a dream come true and may end up not being exactly what Pokemon fans are expecting. We also saw a lot more footage from Mario: Odyssey, which if we’re being honest all Switch owners already plan to buy. Another major announcement is that Metroid Prime 4 is in development for the Switch. This is a huge title that many Nintendo fans everywhere have been waiting a long time for.

While we did see a lot of great games and some surprises (Metroid 4 and Beyond Good and Evil 2 to name a few) it seems like the major companies (first party) don’t entirely know where they stand. Both Microsoft and Sony have different tiers of consoles and it seems to me like a lot of developers don’t really know how to treat them. For more to come out of E3 in the future, we need to see the next iteration of each console or developers need to start creating games only for the Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro.