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Bulbagraphic:A Globally Intriguing Experience

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A Globally Intriguing Experience
What's the big deal with GPX+?
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  • Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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This article is brought to you by the National Bulbagraphic. Any opinions expressed are those of the author.
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  • [url=//bulbanews.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Bulbagraphic:A_Globally_Intriguing_Experience]Bulbagraphic:A Globally Intriguing Experience[/url]
  • <a href="//bulbanews.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Bulbagraphic:A_Globally_Intriguing_Experience">Bulbagraphic:A Globally Intriguing Experience</a>

Global Pokédex Plus, also known as GPX+, is a Pokémon-centric adoptables site launched as a side project of the Global Trade Station Plus (an online Pokémon trading community) in February 2009. It became very popular following its release, to the degree that the site had to be closed for three weeks until more robust processing resources were available. The general principle behind the game is the same as in other adoptable games: players obtain and hatch Pokémon and show them off in signatures on other sites.

The players’ ultimate goal is to “hatch ‘em all”: every Pokémon on the site, including Legendary Pokémon, starts as an egg. All species have different egg designs, not unlike the ones in the Pokémon anime, and the in-game Pokédex records both obtained eggs and actual hatched Pokémon species. In addition to the official 649 Pokémon and their variation forms, GPX+ has a set of special Pokémon dubbed as Novelty Pokémon; some, like Crystal Onix and clones of the Generation I starter Pokémon, are based by special species from the Pokémon anime episodes and movies, some are original special variations, like Remorage (an angry variation of Remoraid), while a few are completely new, like Dracowymsy and Pokii. Some of them are actually designed after the site staff.

Very complex but still so simple

Now, I haven’t personally played any other adoptable games but I’ve got the feeling that no other site revolves so tightly around interactions between players themselves. Generally, to advance in the game quickly, you need to be active yourself. Many players spend hours each day clicking others’ eggs and Pokémon, and it shows in their stats. You can play at your own pace though, and there’s no penalty for taking a break of any length either.

Managing your Pokémon is easy. Besides sitting in your party, your Pokémon can be stored in PC boxes, like in the games, or they can be sent to the Day-Care, put into PokéWalker or Mobile Walker, or even sent underground. Other elements from the original games are incorporated as well: Pokémon can be shiny, they can be dressed up, they have natures and they can also catch the Pokérus virus.

You won’t be completing this game soon

The fact that not a single user has fully completed their Pokédex speaks for the immerse depth of GPX+. And as if that wouldn’t be enough of a challenge, GPX+ is updated regularly with new content and features, some of the more recent major updates being the addition of Generation V Pokémon, the new mobile site targeted for iPhone and Android users, and the introduction of the exploration system (allowing players to take on a specific set of tasks with the reward usually being an otherwise extremely rare Pokémon egg like Celebi or Regigigas). Special events are also held every now and then: for example, at the time of writing, the third site-wide shiny hunt (an event in which participants try to find a specific shiny Pokémon, in this case Relicanth) has just been completed.

Verdict

I’m usually not very keen on games that reside entirely online. GPX+ has however managed to keep me clicking for four months already, without an end to be seen. As said, just visiting daily is enough for playing, while you won’t run out of things to do even after months of consecutive active play. Most players are friendly and there is very little drama in air. The only downside I could think of is the general negative atmosphere on their Suggestions forum, where many ideas are torpedoed by others because they don’t see them as useful (and many others are left without a single comment from the administration). But that doesn’t make the game itself any worse – actually, the staff is probably preparing you far more interesting new features you couldn’t even think of. So, if you got at least a bit interested, go on and try it out!