Yeah, it’s a bummer that you can’t see your Pokémon Trainer’s cool clothes, but there’s an upside to keeping your avatar out of the on-screen action.
One of the very first things Pokémon GO asks you to do is design an avatar, but while your brightly clothed Pokémon Trainer shows up on the game’s map, you won’t see him or her when you’re trying to catch a Pocket Monster. This is actually a pretty smart design choice, and for two reasons.
First, switching to a first-person perspective helps create a deeper feeling of immersion, especially if you’re using the game’s augmented reality function, and really helps sell the illusion that the real world all around you is filled with Pokémon. But just as important is the fact that not showing your avatar at this time helps hide how incredibly undramatic those Pokémon encounters could look from another person’s eyes.
As proof, here’s a GIF from Japanese Twitter user @moa151 showing an attempt to catch Pidgey from a third-person perspective.
ポケモア (@moa151) September 26, 2016
Most Pokémon you’ll come across in the game are pretty short in height, which means that to see them right ahead, as they often appear on the screen, you’d have to kneel or squat down to their level. And unlike anime series protagonist Ash and his dramatically accurate throws, Pokémon GO players often have to huck multiple Poké Balls at their targets, some of which the critters promptly break out of. Add in that most players are stationary during the whole affair, and an accurate depiction probably would look as awkward and sedate as @moa151’s GIF.
So yeah, we’re thinking developer Niantic really made the right call on making the capture sessions first-person, even if we’ve got a few other quibbles about Pokémon GO.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s proud to be one of two RocketNews24 staff members who share a name with a Pokémon.