A long time ago, when Pokemon Go was just a secret wish in the hearts of Pokemon fans, I longed for a co-op game based in my favorite monster hunting universe. A game in which I and my friends could go out and capture lightning mouses and annoying pigeons together. Then, as if out of nowhere, Niantic swooped down and graced us with an AR game like no other (if you refuse to count Ingress).

Enter Pokemon Go in the summer of 2016. PKGO was a buggy mess that was mostly used for capturing rats and birds, yet there was something about it that made the game a hit. If I had to give it my best guess, it would have to be the player interaction. Even though we weren’t really playing together it sure did feel like we were. Now, with the launch of Raids and Gym upgrades, I am starting to see some of that magic that I did the first night I went out to play.

Let me start by saying that Raids are a ton of fun. Even though my first one ended up being a Magikarp, (something that made me laugh harder than it should have) I had a great time planning out my team in order to take down the super-powered fish of doom.

The game is set up to where you can only get one free Raid Ticket per day, however, you can buy extra Raid Tickets from the store for only 100 coins. That means that for $0.99, plus tax, you have the potential to score a super powerful Pokemon and some pretty sweet items. I got two rare candies, a golden razzberry, and 3000 experience from beating that fish into the dirt. Then, after ti was all over, I got to throw balls at it until it decided to do my bidding. Great times were had by all.

I can already tell from my short experience with the Raids that they are going to be better with friends. The feeling of taking on a big challenge with fellow players is something that Pokemon Go was missing. Now, I can finally do something with those heavy hitters I have been working on. (Bellossom has now been renamed DeathPlant).

With that being said, the Raid system isn’t perfect. Far from it if you ask me. Battles are way too glitchy and the bosses tend to flop from easy to overwhelmingly difficult without any real middle ground. It would be awesome to see Raids adjust to the level of the player but this seems to be wishful thinking. For now, Raids are a great excuse to get out and play again.

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