Pokemon Snap hasn’t changed in 20 years. That’s a great thing

New Pokemon Snap is the most relaxing Nintendo Switch game since Animal Crossing
New Pokémon Snap

Nintendo

The New Pokémon Snap N64 is the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic, and despite being 22 years old, 7 generations and about 750 new products Since the release of the original, the game’s core principles have not changed much. You are still inside a capsule vehicle that treks along a fixed path, your Photographs are still evaluated by a professor And, most importantly, it is still the rule.

Like many gamers who came to buy the New Pokémon Snap on Friday, I played the original on the N64. My heart was excited for the new Pokémon Snap, but my mind was fatigued. I was all wrong. New Pokémon Snap is a strong holiday for your brain, which works because it is very heartfelt. Do you remind me?

Despite being a sequel, New Pokémon Snap reminded me of a completely different game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Like Animal Crossing, New Pokémon Snap’s appeal cannot be explained with just words. Like Animal Crossing, the New Pokémon Snap is more satisfying than it should be. Like Animal Crossing, the New Pokémon Snap is just good.

Since its announcement last June, the New Pokémon Snap has been the subject of a barrier among Pokémon fans. The Pokémon Snap concept in 2021, viable as a full-price game in 1999, looks like it would be more appropriate as a free-to-play iOS / Android title. How has Namco Bandai made the game feel good enough for the developers to make it feel adequately without lengthening the concept?

Watching Pokémon eat, sleep and play (or fight) is one of the coherent pleasures of the New Pokémon Snap.

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Snap them all

New Pokémon Snap is not a complex game.

The speed of your vehicle is fixed, so your only job is to look around and take photos. In the beginning Professor Mirror – because there is always a Pokémon Professor – gives you a photodex, which you will fill by taking a photo of the Pokémon. The Mirror will evaluate your photos at the end of each level, scoring you points based on factors such as how big a Pokémon is and how focused it is.

Photodex classifies shots on a four star scale. Each star represents a different action: a picture of Pikachu sitting quietly can be a star, fruit-eating two stars, a thunderbolt leaving three stars, a Pokémon friend playing with four stars is. Different actions, different star rankings. To that end, you can be given a variety of tools to capture Pokémon from different functions and from different angles – throwable fruits, evaporation ornaments, a scanner, and a music box.

All this tomfoolery is just an excuse so that you can pay attention to the details. And it mostly works well: Seeing different angles of the same Pokémon at the same level or trying to differentiate different responses is an addictive quality.

The star rating divides different actions into different categories – it’s running in a one-star photo, listening in a two-star photo, and so on. To complete Photodex, you need to capture all Pokémon in four different states.

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Photocode for Grooke in New Pokémon Snap

Sometimes the difference can feel arbitrary. All four of Grooke’s photographs are identical, yet all were classified differently by the algorithm.

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This brings us to the actual MVP of the new Pokémon Snap: tier design. This is good Each stage is an intricately designed piece. It is not just that the game is often beautiful, it is also effective in directing your attention. The large, unique Pokémon moves your gaze from one area to another, but the screen is often filled with many moments worthy of capture. On your third or fourth playthrough of a level, you’ll find that the same Pokémon you’ve seen in the first few times were just a turn and that a better shot was on the side or behind you the whole time.

To keep the gameplay fresh, the level design changes frequently. Professor Mirror gives you Professor Mirror to count towards leveling each step, and each new level-up brings new elements. This may be the new Pokémon, the same Pokémon behaving differently or slightly differently. These changes seem small, but like changing the size of the piece on the same puzzle set, considerable strategy changes.

It is not innocent. Systems do not work perfectly, especially algorithms that determine digit and star ranges. Star ranking is specific to each Pokémon, so I often found what would be two-star activity for one species ranked differently for another. What’s more, I’ll take multiple photos of the same Pokémon within the space of a second or two to find that almost identical shots fall into other star categories. Meanwhile, the points system prioritizes the size of Pokémon in the shot. You get more points for boring closeups than funny shots taken from a short distance: sometimes feeling like your creativity is being affected humans – Professor Mirror, in this case. But these are technical flaws that cause minor annoyance, not great frustration.

The game’s level design is outstanding. Fantastic, impressive Pokémon steal your attention, but shooting moments are everywhere.

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Daily getaway

There are two types of Pokémon fans: those who religiously play the title of every mainline, and who only remember the original 151. The former group probably has plans to play New Pokémon Snap this weekend, but less hardcore fans should not write New Pokémon Snap Off.

Make no mistake, the game is primarily fan service. Eating, sleeping, and just generally watching your favorite Pokémon is a satisfying, daydreaming quality Vibe In the delightful world within the New Pokémon Snap. But you don’t need to be able to list all 893 Pokemon to enjoy it. You really don’t even need to have played a Pokemon game to enjoy it. New Pokémon is like Snap A safari adventure, A getaway that you can dive into for 20 minutes at a time.

But although it can be enjoyed biting, I was probably most surprised at how enough New Pokémon Snap is. Thanks to the excellent level of design and capture of a Pokémon Prayag, Namco Bandai has succeeded in engaging the New Pokémon Snap for a period of dozens of hours in the main storyline. Even better, after watching the credits I feel that I have snapped some part of everything. In the era of 50-hour long open world RPGs, it shows that more is not always more.

New Pokémon Snap Anime is a casual game about capturing creatures. It’s not epic, and it’s not trying to be an important moment in gaming, but it keeps you smiling. Last year, Animal Crossing proved that it could be more than enough.

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