New Pokémon Snap may not actually feature the original game’s Pester Balls, but the mechanic is very much alive in this latest entry in the series.
Following up on the original game’s premise of photographing Pokémon in their natural habitats, New Pokémon Snap has a lot in common with its predecessor. However, there are a few notable changes, including the fact that the original game’s Pester Balls aren’t included as an item this time around. However, this rather annoying item isn’t really missing from the game at all – it’s just been rebranded.
In the first Pokémon Snap, Professor Oak gave protagonist Todd Snap a somewhat unique kind of Pokéball. Called Pester Balls, these items could be thrown at wild Pokémon in an attempt to knock them out of the way, stun them, or just annoy them. Pester Balls also released noxious fumes, driving hidden Pokémon out of nearby bushes or caves. For a series about befriending and appreciating wildlife, it was an oddly inhumane way to get better photos.
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Because Pester Balls were a somewhat mean way to get a Pokémon’s attention, it’s not surprising that developers didn’t include them in New Pokémon Snap. Presumably, this was to treat wildlife in a more humane way and avoid any gray areas about gassing Pokémon in their homes. It’s a nice sentiment – except that Pester Balls really aren’t missing from New Pokémon Snap at all. They’ve just been turned into what’s essentially apples and rebranded as Fluffruit.
Why Fluffruit Replaced Pester Balls In New Pokémon Snap
In New Pokémon Snap, Fluffruit are apple-like pieces of fruit that players can toss at nearby Pokémon. This can sometimes cause those Pokémon to come over and eat Fluffruit. However, if Pokémon get struck with a piece, they may end up wailing sadly or even charging at the NEO-ONE vehicle in an angry manner. Essentially, this means Fluffruit functions in the same way as Pester Balls: It’s a way to annoy Pokémon and try to get better photos of them.
For anyone who feels guilty about hitting Pokémon with fruit, the game explains this away by informing players that Fluffruit is too soft and fluffy to really hurt these creatures. Instead, it’s more of an annoyance than anything. This is likely the way for developers to still allow players to bother Pokémon in the wild while making it seem more humane than Pester Balls, which were harder objects and also released noxious fumes.
It’s a slightly better way to be obnoxious toward Pokémon, but the addition of Fluffruit isn’t really all that different from Pester Balls. The two items function in nearly the same way, and it’s more of a rebranding in New Pokémon Snap than an actual new feature.
Next: New Pokémon Snap: What Happens When You Run Out Of Photos
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