This year’s Go Fest, the annual summer weekend smash Pokémon Go, has shaken up the game with the introduction of a new mythical creature, the arrival of the franchise’s extra-dimensional Ultra Beasts, and the apparent (albeit likely temporary) loss of everyone’s favorite thing. Professor Willow.
Willow’s disappearance, a surprising twist to the second day of the game, means the game is left without its usual friendly face guiding players through the game’s story. A mysterious stranger named Rhi, who appears to be a new ally, has taken Willow’s place as players investigate the appearance of the first Ultra Beasts.
These creatures will likely be the reason for Willow’s absence, and hopefully the continued focus on the game’s new season of Go. For now at least, Willow’s absence appears to be a story development that will continue for some time, with the standard in-game text changed throughout the app to remove references to the professor. (For those seriously concerned, current ticket holders’ final Go Fest event, coming in August, seems likely to revolve around its revival.)
As with previous years, the first day of Go Fest was packed with cute new Legendary Pokémon to catch. This year it was Shaymin, a cheerful type of hedgehog who blooms with flowers wherever she goes. I particularly enjoyed its entrance – which winds through a beautiful flower-filled landscape – to allow itself to be privileged.
Along the way was the usual set of search steps, raid battles, and rare pokemon to catch. New this year is the ability to tailor your Go Fest’s story journey to your own taste, with different options for those who like to walk and explore, those who like to catch every creature in sight, and those who focus on combat. In a smart move, each of these tracks also offered three difficulty levels so you can finish things quickly if you prefer, with equal rewards so players of all abilities get the same items for the price of the ticket.
With tickets around £14 (annoyingly, prices vary quite a bit across different phone app stores), Go Fest 2022 didn’t offer the same huge discount as last year (when Google sponsorship saw it cut to an eye-catching £5). This left many in my community deciding to miss the opportunity, even as the third day of August to collect shows, and the busy second day for more rare species and raids.
For your money, players also earned at least 18 character raid passes and three far passes over the two days to use in their first Ultra Beast, Nihilego, a very rare Axew, which is now available in its glossy version, and other legendary creatures. Other Pokémon available include Tropius and Torkoal, usually a regional exclusive to Africa and Southeast Asia, and the event exclusive Unown.
As always, the big draw for many players was the event’s boosted luminosity rate. And as always, a lot has been said online about Chinese players’ numbers is expected For what they already got. It’s a thorny topic, not helped by Pokémon Go’s frustrating ambiguity about shiny opportunities, as well as the vague language used to describe Shinies as something seen as “if you’re lucky!”
By anecdotally, I haven’t seen any noticeable drop in glossy prices from any other event of this kind. However, there is one discussion about Pokémon Go’s top fan favorites TheSilphRoad worth reporting comparing the event spawn pool to that of Go Fest 2021, with fan analysis suggesting that while the stellar rates may be similar, fewer species The illustrious possible appeared this year.
Pokémon Go’s next set of events is the popular Adventure Week, which focuses on fossil Pokemon, as well as celebrations of the impending trading card game expansion and the upcoming sixth anniversary. It will be interesting to see how the story develops with Rhi over the next few months – and whether the third August bonus Go Fest day offers additional value for ticket holders.