Remember the times when you could print out Pokemon Snap photos at BlockBuster? Ahhhh, brings back the memories…
Then again, maybe half the audience reading this article don’t even know what BlockBuster is! Or the fact that it took Ash more than 20 years to win a tournament.
“I want to be the very best?” Yeah, right!…
But in all seriousness, let’s find out if this sequel to the original Pokemon photo game is worth your time, in today’s review of New Pokemon Snap.
All About New Pokemon Snap’s Presentation
Would you believe it’s been more than two decades since picking up the camera back in 1999? Even though there have been huge shifts in modern gameplay design, New Pokemon Snap remains a simple, yet super-effective way of experiencing around 200 different types of Pokemon from each past generation.
The story is definitely not what you’re here for, and thankfully the tutorials and general dialogue are on the shorter side of things. Though it doesn’t help that the characters stare directly into your soul when they’re talking with you, but I digress.
It can be difficult to know which photos to present, as Professor Mirror’s grading can be a little inconsistent at times.
Snapping Pokemon in the wild with those perfect angles that David Attenborough would freak out over is exactly where it’s at. Though admittedly, it can be difficult to know which photos to present, as Professor Mirror’s grading can be a little inconsistent at times. The good thing is you can automate the photo selection, which was a tedious process from the original, simply by pressing the minus button.
New Pokemon Snap’s Quality of Life Improvements
And speaking of new things that have been added to the formula; one of the most intriguing aspects of New Pokemon Snap is the Levelling feature. As the player treks through a stage’s 4-5 minute safari and gains experience by snapping a multitude of shots, a Pokemon’s behaviour in the following run of that same area could be completely different. A sleeping Quagsire on one day, might go for a quick dip on the next. Or a shy Pichu and Grookey will suddenly be very happy to see you on your next visit. Don’t ask why though, I have no idea.
Not only do the environments look amazing at night but they really sell that sense of a living, breathing, natural habitat.
Nevertheless, these distinct behavioural patterns allow for a variety of unique shots and really help change up the pace. A similar inclusion comes in the choice of capturing photos during the night or day. Once a stage has been completed for the first time, it can be repeated again in the evening for more mellowed patterns from the local Pokemon. And there’ll even be bonus, nocturnal creatures moving around to add to your collection. Not only do the environments look amazing at night but they really sell that sense of a living, breathing, natural habitat.
Another cool feature in New Pokemon Snap is the ability to re-snap photos from different angles and brand them with your own personal flair. Throw in some captions, filters, stickers and backgrounds and make all kinds of wacky photos that you can also share online as well. Like this abomination.
Not Quite Dead-Centre
And finally, Bandai Namco Studios have introduced a request system, which basically acts as side-content for more photography. Characters will often ask you to look for certain Pokemon or objects of interest to discover within certain maps. Granting you points to unlock stages faster and tick off that completionist box for all those die-hard trophy-hunters out there.
The request system is a welcomed concept, but it falls a little flat in execution.
That being said, the request system is a welcomed concept, but it falls a little flat in execution. Because typically all you’ve got to go on is a picture and an extremely vague outline on what you’re actually supposed to do. Let alone the fact that sometimes you’ll finish off exactly what was asked of you and then the game won’t even acknowledge it as accomplished…
Yeah, probably could’ve used some more time in the oven there, not gonna sugar-coat it.
Now, with all those features out of the way, is New Pokemon Snap worth the price of admission? It’s hard to say.
There can be a fair amount of repetition involved in unlocking new stages, so if you’re not fully sold on snapping photos for days, it can quickly become a bit of a slog. However, if you’re a massive Pokemon fan or animal lover, it honestly is super interesting to witness these creatures move and interact away from the battlefield.
Fans of the original will have a blast capturing all of the new Pokemon and will definitely appreciate the amount of quality of life features on hand. Though for newcomers, it might be hard to grasp what makes the Snap formula so compelling for series veterans. So, at the end of the day, I’d recommend giving it a try if you’re looking for a slower, relaxed game that’s especially fun in short bursts.
New Pokemon Snap is a good return to form for a series more than 20 years dormant. The controls are super smooth, the modernisations to the formula work quite well and the Pokemon are just undeniably cute. The overall gameplay and level repetition can become tedious after a while, though there’s still a fun time to be had here.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Nintendo. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.