There’s a reason why New Pokémon Snap is receiving so much buzz, and it’s not just because it’s a new Pokémon game. It’s because the original Pokémon Snap, released way back in 1999 on the N64, was such a phenomenal hit, and even today gamers regard it as a cult classic.
New Pokémon Snap was made bearing this in mind, which means it took all the best things about the original and only made them better. It’s been more than 20 years since the original’s release, after all – it was in severe need of a few touch ups and improvements.
10 Gorgeous Graphics
A bit of a no-brainer, New Snap vastly outperforms its predecessor with its beautiful scenery. It truly put the Switch’s performance capabilities to the test with diverse, mutable landscapes that are colorful, detailed, and brimming with life and activity.
The original Snap was, unfortunately, limited by the N64’s capabilities. Players often find themselves blinded by nostalgia, and upon returning to the original, they’re stunned by how dull and simple it looks. New Snap brings to life what they remember of the original, and in a way that will forever mark it as timelessly beautiful.
9 Even More ‘Mons!
The original Snap only had about 63 Pokémon in it, out of the 151 that existed at the time. Players always wished they could have seen more of a variety running about, since the worlds felt sparsely populated at times.
But in New Snap, there’s a whopping 214 Pokémon for players to discover and photograph, each with a wide variety of behaviors and interactions with other ‘mons. From fan favorites like Grookey and Pichu, to sleeper hits like Archeops, players are sure to be delighted each time they round a corner and discover something new.
8 Variety In Behavior
Part of the fun of the original was going back and experimenting with how Pokémon would react to various stimuli, but there were typically only a couple of different ways for each Pokémon to react before the player would run out of things to see.
New Snap fixes this with its new Research Level system, in which each Pokémon’s routine will evolve with the player’s progress. As the player levels up, the Pokémon will change their routines and even start following the player around, giving boundless opportunities for replayability in each and every zone.
7 More To Do
While the original game’s campaign was fun and satisfying to play through, it got stale after a few runs back to back. New Snap fixes this not just by adding a level system, but also through the request system, which refreshes often and plentifully.
Various characters in the game will often request the player to take specific shots, some of which are fairly simple, but many which take time and patience to achieve. This will make the player go back often and replay various zones with a higher attention to detail, which is a fun way of revisiting the game and getting even more out of it.
6 A Modern Touch On Photography
In the age of social media and sharing, a photography game would be wise to mimic what people do online in real life, and Snap has achieved this with flying colors. Players are now able to edit their photos to their liking, from changes as simple as cropping, to altering the color scheme and adding cute stickers to their photos.
The game even goes a step further and allows players to share their creations online. This provides a wonderful way for players to connect with their friends (and share funny, meme-worthy pics while they’re at it).
Something that was a bit off-putting about the original game was the fact that players could throw smoke bombs at Pokémon. Called “Pester Balls,” they could be launched at a Pokémon to bother them into doing something, but more often than not this resulted in the Pokémon either (reasonably) getting peeved, or just passing out.
New Snap is much gentler in this sense. Pester Balls have been replaced by Illumina Orbs, which make Pokémon glow and get excitable – and in turn, players feel less bad about bugging Pokémon into doing something!
4 New Paths
Whereas the original game always had players ride a fixed path, New Snap has introduced zones with multiple paths to take, which gives players different ways of experiencing and interacting with the worlds they are presented.
Some of these paths require a bit of puzzle solving to unlock, but that only makes them more satisfying to ride on. These paths then unveil an entirely new group of Pokémon to see, and can even stir some shy, lazy ‘mons into action as the player rides by.
3 Scan Away
One of the most annoying things about the original Snap was the fact that, at times, there was too much happening in a particular area, and the player would have go to back over and over again to see what they’d missed.
But New Snap introduces a mechanic where the players can scan their surroundings, which will clue them in to which Pokémon are in a specific area, where they are, and what is worth noting about them. Sometimes scans will even include a clue about secret behaviors a Pokémon can exhibit, which gives the player a fun puzzle to solve.
2 Oak Vs. Mirror
There is no denying how great of a professor Oak is. After all, he’s the first professor the series ever saw, and he holds a special place in players’ hearts because of this. However, he was kind of a harsh, unrelenting critic in the original Snap, totally unafraid to lay into a photo he deemed poor.
Prof. Mirror is, comparably, much nicer to the player. His critiques are nuanced and well-explained, so the player is fully aware of what they can do better next time. He’s never too heavy-handed in his dislikes, yet sings the player’s praises when they do something right. After all the hard work they do for him, it’s only fair to be complimented in return!
1 A More Interesting Story
In the original game, photographer Todd was sent to an island simply titled Pokémon Island in order to get rare shots of the wildlife there. While the new Snap isn’t too different on a conceptual level, it adds a whole lot more creativity to the world and story.
There are multiple islands to explore, each with a different name and backstory. More than that, the player is assigned to these islands not just in the name of basic research, but in the effort to further the field of Poké-Ecology. It all just feels more involved than the original game, which will provide players both young and old with the feeling that they really are contributing to something big.
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