Up till now Pokemon Snap was a game I barely had the chance to play because I grew up in a low income household and we couldn’t afford an N64. In fact in an attempt to save up for an N64 by the time I had the money for a console the Gamecube was out. However, I did get the chance to play it every now and then thanks to a friend and was hooked from the start. So when Nintendo announced New Pokemon Snap I knew it was finally my chance to get my own copy of the game.
So going into the gameplay first it’s very quick and easy to understand. The A button controls the camera and you point and shoot. You get various items that you can throw or activate that could alter a Pokemon’s behavior, which will be used often, but the core of the gameplay is watching and taking photos hoping for that one that will just blow you away. As someone that enjoys taking pictures, it was very quick and easy for me to get a feel for the controls and it honestly made me feel like I was walking around taking pictures like I would be if I was out and about on a trip or a vacation. Going around and just waiting for a Pokemon to react to something in a way I haven’t seen yet was a lot of fun. Or seeing a new Pokemon that I didn’t know was in the game. There were a lot of moments playing this game that made me quite literally giddy as I saw stuff going on that I just wanted to record and so I started rapidly taking pictures. The game gives you 72 photos per round as you go through a level and more often than not I would use at least 60 of them. By the end of the first day playing the game, I took over 1000 pictures. So the gameplay mimics photography really well and it a lot of fun looking and waiting for that perfect shot. Now I will say this if you play a level enough you can start to memorize the patterns of all the Pokemon in the area, but one thing this game does to help with that is each area has a level. When the level changes the way the Pokemon behave or are located also change so that was a really nice way of resolving that up till the max level.
Graphics are nice. I wound up taking some pictures that I found to be amazing. As nice as the pictures are I do find that there are a few too many steps to go from the end of the level to being able to upload your pictures online. To do so you need to first save the picture to the game, then go to another section of the game to reload the picture to save to your Switch, then you go to the Switch to do the upload as normal. For me this felt like way too much and it would have been easier if the game at least gave the option to put any of the photos you took on the Switch right after you ended a level. It would save a lot of time.
To review a game like this there isn’t much to talk about. When the gameplay mimics photography and the graphics are good enough to take good quality pictures then the game really does what it’s intended to do. It also offers plenty of areas to search for Pokemon and each level has quite a bit of variation due to the level system. So overall there are tons and tons of combinations to try out to get new and unique shots of each Pokemon and for a further touch, you can edit them after you’re done with a background or stickers. This makes for enough variation to keep anyone engaged with something new for hours and hours on end. I’m 10+ hours in so far and I’m still finding a lot of new stuff and still haven’t seen every Pokemon in the game. I will say though if you have no interest in photography then this game will not interest you at all. This game appealed to my joy of photography and I feel like without that the game would be uneventful. But I loved it and highly recommend getting it if you do enjoy taking pictures.