Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Pokebank Letdown

Game Freak, I will always be a fan of the Pokemon games, until the day I die. But seriously, all the hype and delay of the bank was for naught. The app is lacking in so many ways, the lack of stereoscopic effect was barely noticeable in light of the control scheme ... well .... sucking.

What I expected when I heard about the app was some nice, easy, and clean method of organizing and storing my pokemon, as well as transporting them between cartridges for later generations. A nice touch screen control scheme, like Pokemon X and Y have, where you can do a lot with just a few taps of the screen. I expected a nice display of the boxes, and clean icons for the pokemon themselves.

What we got, far less than we deserved. You made us wait, delayed the release, to update your servers. That was understandable, however, the application we finally get is clunky, and dirty looking. Let's start with the interface, since that is the biggest letdown of the entire thing.

Rather than having the boxes accessible by touch, like in the current games, you have to use the control buttons on the system, each move taking more button presses than a drag and drop method would require. You have to navigate across the screens as well, going through each place for a pokemon to get to the bank or game box.

What it should have been is the two boxes, bank and game, next to each other on the touch screen, then use a drag and drop method with the stylus. This would make transferring them much easier, as it is transferring even one pokemon is too much of a chore. So please, work on that, improve the app so we can see a reason to pay for the service, other than when a new generation comes out.

The transporter is even worse, having to place them in the first box on the target game to send them to the bank is rather annoying, considering the control scheme of the last generation was severely lacking. Of course the transporter and bank have the same control scheme as the previous generation anyway, so at least you were consistent, just not in a good way.

The graphics I expected to not be great, but to be clean enough to tell which pokemon is which in the icon view. This was not the case however, as many of the miniature icons used looked the same for different species. This means having to navigate to each individual pokemon to see which it was, so you didn't move the wrong one. We already have the games, and should therefore have all the icons in the games, why not use those?

Okay, so this is the beginning of things, let's hope things will improve. If the service was completely free, I would have no reason to complain, but that is not the case. Though 5 dollars per year is a great price for the service, you could have had your dev team working on improving the app during the delay for the server upgrades. It doesn't need to be perfect, just .... useful.

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