While I really enjoyed Pokemon as a kid (I’m a proper Gen One-er) I stopped paying attention to the newer games once they hit the Nintendo DS.
There were way too many to keep tabs of and I had very little time to invest in wondering around Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos and Alola trying to catch the new things.
When Pokemon Go dropped in 2016 it rekindled my love of Pokemon but as the mechanic was completely different than that of the mainline games I still didn’t invest time in those DS/3DS titles.
With the release of Sword and Shield I got back into the more typical RPG battle style of Pokemon and started collecting the different variants as I’ve done so in Pokemon Go. The fact I don’t need to walk around in the cold to do so in the Switch titles made it a lot more enjoyable.
Now Pokemon HOME has dropped I’ve got a place to store all my variants, tag them up and a means of trading all the duplicate Pokemon I’ve gathered in my travels.
Unfortunately Pokemon Go integration hasn’t been completed yet but it will be a massive relief when I can use Pokemon HOME as a dumping ground for all the random bullshit Pokemon I catch as part of the different events Niantic hold that otherwise eat into the very limited Pokemon Storage available in that game.
How does Pokemon HOME change the way I play Pokemon?
With a lot more storage and access to a lot more games to collect Pokemon from Pokemon HOME allows me to work towards filling the gaps I have in my Pokemon collection.
In Pokemon Go I had pretty much every Pokemon from the first four generations and a large quantity of those in the fifth generation too so my focus is mainly on the Kalos and Alola region Pokemon at the moment.
I’ve also worked my way through my Go Park in Let’s Go as I was using this as a dumping ground to store Pokemon from the first generation when I needed space in Pokemon Go, it’s been a laborious task with many an ultra ball thrown.
I’ve also been using the 10 wonder trade spaces to fill my dex out too as a lot of people will share generation six and seven Pokemon through that with me returning the favour with some of the many breedjects I have from Shield.
I’ve also been revisiting Let’s Go as Pokemon HOME has a set of research achievements for Let’s Go and Sword and Shield which has triggered my achievement hunting OCD.
What are the good bits?
Pokemon HOME is a great place to store your Pokemon collection from across the various games and access them on your Switch and phone.
Both the Switch and phone apps have different functionality, with the Switch app being the means of bringing Pokemon into Pokemon HOME & Pokedex completion while the mobile app is more about organising and trading Pokemon.
The balance they struck with this works well as it’s much faster to add labels, markings and the like on the mobile app than to do so on the Switch.
Another great thing about Pokemon Home over say, Pokemon Shield is that you can actually see the shiny Pokemon sprites in the box as well as the different variants of Pokemon like Alcremie which is great for showing off your collection to others.
The trading interface is good too although a search for the mythical Pokemon I need never returns results which is a little annoying as where I hadn’t played the games during various events I’m missing a lot of them.
What are the bad bits?
When the app first launched there were a number of hacked Pokemon floating about.
These hacked Pokemon would crash your app if they were received in a trade which meant in the first week I was unable to use it at least 3 times.
Additionally on the first day I encountered a massive issue linking the phone app to my Nintendo Online account as for some reason the login redirect would only function correctly if I used the Safari app and not the in-app Safari browser, this took me 2 hours of trying to finally get it to work!
Lastly, while wonder trade works well it does take some time to get the 10 Pokemon traded (usually about half a day) which limits the amount of trading you can do as usually you’ll want to release or resend a bunch of the ones you receive.
How I hope it get’s built upon
Whenever a new online Nintendo tool comes out my first instinct is to want an API but I know it’ll never happen, however being able to access your Pokemon collection as a read-only format would most likely build a great little ecosystem of apps.
More realistically though I’d like to see Pokemon Go integrated and for there to be no limitations on what can be imported from that game (i.e. mythical Pokemon can be transferred in) as there is currently limitations on trading mythical Pokemon in Pokemon Go.
Additionally as user’s bring more and more Pokemon into the service it’d be interesting to see metrics on the Pokemon people are storing, such as the average number of shinies or perfect IV Pokemon.