Listen, I’m a PlayStation diehard, since day one of the original PS1. And yes, PlayStation LifeStyle is a PlayStation dedicated website. But let’s take a moment to focus on the “lifestyle” side of the name, a lifestyle which includes gaming on other platforms and owning a Nintendo Switch. A lifestyle that will soon include gaming’s original photo mode—a brand new Pokemon Snap game in 2020.
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) June 17, 2020
I’m beyond excited and happier than I have ever been to say I have a Switch in my home.
Pokemon Snap is an N64 game that first released more than 21 years ago in 1999. It sat players in an on-rails experience and tasked them with collecting pictures of Pokemon in various environments. Players can throw out items to entice Pokemon to come out of hiding or get more creative pictures. Scoring is based on a variety of factors, and players can discover hidden Pokemon, new secret routes through the levels, and other Easter eggs upon replaying. It’s a nostalgic memory even for those of us who never owned an N64 and had to play games like Pokemon Snap at friends’ houses. Wired sums Pokemon Snap up best, saying “It’s like birding, but for fantasy pocket monsters.”
Fans have been requesting a sequel or follow up to the original Pokemon Snap for years. The trailer for the new Switch game—just called New Pokemon Snap—appears to recreate the same classic style as the N64 original. Pokemon move in herds, swimming, flying, running, and hiding in various environments. You can grab shots of Pokemon eating apples you toss, playing together, and even a Squirtle riding a Lapras. There will undoubtedly be additional secrets to discover in the full game, like evolving Charmeleon into Charizard by knocking into lava in the original.
The original Pokemon Snap featured 63 of the then 151 Pokemon. Now, however, there are at least 896 to choose from (perhaps more with the new expansions to Sword and Shield), and we’ve seen from the trailer that New Pokemon Snap will be pulling from multiple generations of Pokemon games.
It’s hard to explain just what makes Pokemon Snap so endearing. There’s something special about its tranquility, myriad secrets to discover, and fresh take as an on-rails “shooter,” shooting pictures. Perhaps we should call it an on-rails “snapper?” It’s the kind of game that only a series like Pokemon could pull off with the classic appeal of its collection of highly recognizable creatures. Who knew that shortly after the release and success of the original GameBoy games, players would be so keen to just… take pictures of them? Maybe it was the appeal of being the first console Pokemon game, seeing them in 3D for the first time ever? And there was nothing quite like managing to glimpse a legendary Pokemon for just a few fleeting moments. Whatever it was, we loved it in 1999, and we’re just as hyped for the new one today.
And in a time when photo modes are all the rage in games, what better opportunity to bring back a game that’s literally just one big photo mode? 2020 could certainly use a little more tranquility, and quiet moments reliving a nostalgia-inducing classic doing “birding, but for fantasy pocket monsters” sounds like just the tonic.
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