After 22 years, an offshoot of Pokémon is returning, in which it is about photographing these fantasy creatures in their natural environment. What will you find in the sequel?
Pokémon have had many offshoots since the main game series during their existence. We had dungeons, fighting games and several other representations of different genres. But there was only one Pokémon Snap. It was released on the Nintendo 64 console in 1999. Although his idea is completely trivial, he gained more fans than might be expected at first. Shooting Pokémon in the wild was a bit different than fulfilling a Pokédex and trying to become a league champion.
Unlike other side series, Snap was somehow forgotten by Nintendo. Since its debut, fans have not seen any sequels, remasters or remakes. It is only now that Switch is coming to the Lental region, which has not yet appeared anywhere else, and in addition to the wilderness, we will also explore the reasons why some of the local Pokémon glow at night. Pokémon from all possible generations combine here, but definitely don’t expect to come across all kinds.
Take a picture of them all!
Upon arrival on the first of the Lental Islands, you will be greeted by Professor Mirror and his assistant. In a moment you will get acquainted with what is really going on here, you will get a camera in your hand and you are slowly getting ready for your first expedition. New Pokémon Snap is a rail affair, so you only control the camera on each route. The direction of movement and its speed are predetermined at least at the beginning.
The control is therefore completely simple. There is also support for motion control, which came in handy especially when playing in handheld mode. It really looks like you’re holding a camera in your hand. Your task on these expeditions is simple. Get the best photos of each type of Pokémon.
After returning to the laboratory, the professor will evaluate how your catches are doing. After each quest, you can select only one photo for each Pokémon to rate, even if you have more than one. But you don’t have to lose the others. There is an option to save them to an album for later use. Besides, you can “re-snap” them right after your return. This means that you can modify the scenery a bit and add some effect.
The evaluation then depends on several aspects. The most important thing is that the Pokémon is clearly visible in the photo and is ideally turned towards the camera. In addition, each Pokémon has four starred categories in the Pokédex. It depends on how unconventional the pose or activity you managed to capture the Pokémon. All you have to do is take a photo while feeding and it’s about something other than just standing classically. In any case, the final score does not affect the number of stars.
One more ride
The principle is very simple, but in practice it can sometimes be quite challenging. The routes you drive in your NEO-ONE vehicle are not dizzyingly long, but something still happens during your ride. You don’t have a chance to record everything on the first pass. The game directly encourages you to walk one route several times.
It may sound stereotypical, but Nintendo did it quite cleverly. You can level each route. After reaching a new level, Pokémon are friendlier to you and sometimes a completely new species appears. In this way, you can also unlock alternative routes for some routes. In addition, leveling is needed to make new routes available to you.
In addition, requests from professors and other researchers are another reason to return to the areas already explored. I often found out through them that I hadn’t really discovered everything yet. Some of the requirements are very specific and you have no chance to meet them just at random. Along with exploring new areas, this is the biggest plus for me.
There are several ways to encourage Pokémon to get a unique image. Very quickly you get the opportunity to lure them for fruit. You can get them in a position more suitable for the photo. However, some species do not respond to fruit, so you must choose a different tactic. These include, for example, the use of illumina orbs, which cause the aforementioned mysterious fluorescence. He simply wants to try what each species will react to.
You could say that Pokémon Snap is one big photo mode, so of course there are also options to edit the captured images. But don’t expect any megalomaniacal options that would amaze a professional photographer. Since the game is built on photography, I expected that the editing options will be a little more extensive, but it’s at the level of classic photo modes, which are popular in other years in other games. In addition to adjusting the brightness or blur, you can add stickers to the photo or put it in a frame.
You can then share your final creations with the whole world. Through the online section you can exhibit several pictures and then enjoy the photos of others. You can also rate them among yourself, and there is also a worldwide ranking of points that your Pokédex puts together. But I find it quite strange that you have to subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online to use these features. Of course, these are online features, but paid membership is usually only about playing in multiplayer. I definitely wouldn’t call sharing photos in New Pokémon Snap like that.
Technically, the new Snap is very good at it. The switch is by no means one of the most powerful consoles, but the environment on the individual routes looks very nice. In particular, the models of the Pokémon themselves have succeeded. At first, I also praised how the developers managed to deal with edge smoothing, which is a problem with many games on this platform. But that was only until I played in handheld mode. The difference in edge checkeredness between modes can be seen at a glance. Although the overall New Pokémon Snap looks very good, this imperfection quite spoils the impression.
In the same way, from the very beginning of the game, I was impressed by the fact that the game is again not fully packed. In the pre-rendered films, the characters talk, but during classic conversations they make a maximum of a few sounds and that’s the end of it. For a game of this size, I would expect not to come across something like that. In the case of Snape, at least it’s not such a problem, considering that it’s not about telling a story or long-term conversations.
The main thing is to enjoy exploration, try to capture Pokémon in all possible situations and take the best possible pictures. New Pokémon Snap is doing very well. Although I took it mainly as a break, in some situations it is quite exciting, when you have to wait for the right moment to get the desired photo. I’d say Snap has the potential to be another offshoot of Pokémon that we’ll see more often than a quarter of a century. Record sales also testify to this. But it’s up to Nintendo whether to use this chance or leave the photo set again for a while. In any case, the fans really have enough to shoot in the new work.