After the long, long, loooong, wait the shiny new Pokémon Snap was released last week! I wanted to talk about what I like about my first impressions of the upgraded Switch version. To be truly accurate, I played the old Nintendo 64 game right before the new one. I meant to write and post this last week… But I got too wrapped up playing Pokémon Snap to notice that I wasted all my writing time with video games. Sorry about that! Sometimes I’m a responsible adult, other times, not so much. Guess that itself speaks to how much fun it was if I completely lost track of time.
There’s something fun in the simple goal of taking pictures of wild pokémon. Unlike most video games I play, it’s a very chill experience. Seeing the environments and how the pokémon act is cool. It makes you feel like a kid at the zoo, but with the fun of pokémon. This is true with both the N64 and the Switch versions of Pokémon Snap. Yet the new game has many drastic improvements.
The most obvious upgrade is the graphics. Everything looks smoother with much more detail in the environment. The pokémon are surprisingly just as recognizable in both versions of Pokémon Snap. They are designed to be that way I suppose. However, they look much better and show more emotion on the Switch Pokémon Snap. As the original Pokémon Snap was for the N64, naturally the graphics are better than those from the age of 3D polygons.
There are less obvious improvements to the gameplay that aren’t apparent to those who haven’t had the chance to play the first game. In the Switch version, you can change the speed of the camera and the reticle. This doesn’t sound like an important change but believe me, it is. In the N64 game, you moved so slow! It was easy to miss something and hard to aim the camera where you wanted in time. Lucky for us, the developers added the ability to choose the speed that feels the most comfortable.
The levels themselves don’t remain static. By repeating the stages of each location you can increase the level of that area. When this happens more pokémon show up and the pokémon that are already there behave differently. It keeps things interesting and creates a reason to keep playing. This isn’t the case for the N64 Pokémon Snap. The levels remained the same. Eventually, as you learn the levels and get the needed tools you can trigger events. Despite this, the levels and the pokémon never changed.
There are things that the new Pokémon Snap could have done better. Most of my issues with the Switch Pokémon Snap are nitpicky annoyances (I’ll save those for a review). Except for the lack of voice acting. That was honestly a big disappointment. I’m not asking for an Emmy-level performance, however, both Game Freak and Nintendo have the money to add voice acting for the entire game. The fact that they didn’t was just lazy.
All in all, Pokémon Snap was a really fun and relaxing game. It was fun to see the pokémon run around and made me feel like a kid for a few hours. Throwing fruit at pokémon and snapping pictures of their shocked and angry faces was a blast! It’s the best way to play the game trust me.
*Image does not belong to me, it belongs to Pokémon Snap.