The rumors have now been confirmed: Pokemon Go’s next Go Tour – a theme-based event about a different Pokemon region held each year – will be held in Los Angeles County. At least, the tickets may say “Los Angeles,” but technically Rose Bowl Stadium, where the event proper will be held, is up in Pasadena, while a special Spiritomb Timed Research explicitly notes Orange County will be involved too. Let’s dive in to what we know so far.
While the event proper can be on Saturday, February 17th or 18th (depending on which day you want to go to the Rose Bowl), there are “citywide” optional add-ons to tickets from the 16th to the 18th, though you can also purchase these for the day you don’t go to the event proper.
Note, we’ve asked PR for details on where the “citywide” gameplay occurs, as that could drastically change where players may want to book hotels. Those flying out would certainly appreciate knowing if they could play the event while in line at Disney Land or while on a boat around Catalina Island, or maybe they can even hit Little Tokyo and play. Niantic recently closed its LA studio, so it will surely be aware how broadly “Los Angeles” is applied to very much non-LA areas.
And what exactly are you paying for? The base experience is that the usual hourly “habitats” you’re used to from major Global events are converted into territories, so instead of waiting for the Water hour, you’ll fine a designated Water pokemon biome somewhere on-site that you can walk to at any time. Bored of water at 1:15 p.m.? Change to a city biome just by walking to it, no need to wait!
However, none of the wild spawns currently teased seems particularly interesting, with Gible and Ralts as standouts; both of them have already seen multiple Community Days, and without their special CD moves being available, are slightly less appealing unless you’re a new or very casual player.
Besides the previously mentioned Spiritomb research, we know there’ll be a Shiny Shaymin research, a quest involving Team Go Rocket, a choice of Diamond- or Pearl-themed tickets, wild Lake Trio (which aren’t meta relevant), costume pokemon (which probably won’t evolve), six special trades on your ticket day, nine raids on your ticket day, increased shiny rates (but don’t attend for that as odds are not disclosed), and regional pokemon. Those would be Pachirusu, Chatnot, and Carnivine, none of which is raid relevant; Pachi is the only one somewhat PvP relevant. They’re just collector ‘mon that can now be shiny without your needing a plane ticket or expensive special trade to get them.
Niantic accidentally leaked that the Origin forms of Dialga and Palkia will be involved somehow, but as for whether they’ll be raid options or something else, we’ll have to wait until the information fully rolls out. Since the current season revolves around Hisui – Sinnoh’s name in the universe’s past and setting of Pokemon Legends: Arceus – this isn’t a huge surprise. However, the distinct lack of Arceus itself, as well as other mythical Manaphy and legendaries like Darkrai and Cresselia, is causing consternation across the playerbase.
The event certainly seems more low-key compared to the original announcement for the Hoenn Tour, not only because it was filled with meta-relevant ‘mon and desirable regionals but because it teased more interesting gameplay that ultimately the company couldn’t pull off. In that sense, we can understand Niantic’s urge to curb expectations and keep within its actual capabilities, but I do hope that more Hisui pokemon will be added to the wild spawns.
The situation with raids is equally troublesome given the lack of announced legendaries. While Dialga and Palkia’s base forms are useful, they’re being surpassed in recent years, and even if their Origin forms are available, they won’t affect the game as much as Primals or Mega Rayquaza have. Power creep is very real, but it’s also why more interesting wild pokemon and diverse legendaries, especially with relevant new moves, are so important.
As always, we expect Niantic to slowly release more details, so check back periodically for updates. That being said, with the cloudy details and slow drip, you can always wait for the Global Sinnoh Tour from February 24th-25th.
And as a final note, some readers may recall I personally had a lot of issues during the Vegas Hoenn Tour. The company proved itself poor at fully communicating event functions and has been disturbingly aggressive about denying refunds for event failures, both in terms of cash and in-game items. In my opinion, those players interested in traveling long distances should consider the event as part of their trip and not the main reason for traveling.