New Pokémon Snap

new pokemon snap box art review
7.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 7/10
Controls: 7/10

Different type of Pokémon game

Could be more expansive, questionable photography judging

Game Info

Game Name: New Pokémon Snap

Developer(s): Bandai Namco Studio

Publisher(s):  Nintendo/The Pokémon Company

Platform(s): Switch

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/First Person Shooter/Simulation/Strategy

Release Date(s): April 30, 2021

ESRB Rating: E

new pokemon snap meganium illumina florio nature park screenshots

What could the Illumina mean? Instead of Professor Mirror finding out, let’s send this kid into danger to do his work for him

The islands of the Lental region are beautiful and loaded with Pokémon.  Recruited by Professor Mirror and his assistant Rita, a young photographer has been asked to explore the region in the NEO-ONE and photograph Pokémon for Mirror’s Photodex to help them understand how Pokémon’s live and communicate with each other.  When a surprising discovery of an Illumina Pokémon occurs, Professor Mirror realizes that the Lental region might be hiding more secrets that he ever expected!

New Pokémon Snap is a Nintendo Switch first-person shooter photography-collection adventure game.  A follow-up to the 1999 Nintendo 64 game Pokémon Snap, the game was released on April 30, 2021 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.  It received average to positive reviews.

new pokemon snap elsewhere forest espeon sawbuck gameplay screenshots

Explore dark forests

I remember a friend and I rented the original Pokémon Snap for the 64 and found it rather bland.  The track-based game had you trying to lure out Pokémon for photographs and then judged you on them.  This entry of Pokémon Snap follows the same principles, but improved graphics and some interesting tracks makes it a good time waster if nothing else.

Even though there are some “boss” Pokémon, the gameplay is rather relaxed to a fault.  You travel down the assigned path (with some diversions discovered throughout the game) and take pictures.  The camera has high number of picture limits, but there were occasions where I did push that limit throughout the game.  Your pictures are aided by trying to figure out combinations of fruit, charged energy, and music to make the Pokémon perform and interact for the best pictures in a rather extensive index of challenges.  Each level has a ton of replay as a result and the events throughout the level can trigger events later in the level leading to puzzles to figure out.

new pokemon snap wailord maricopia reef screenshots gameplay

Go to the beach…get crushed by a Wailord

The problem with the game is that despite a lot of level replay, it feels like there aren’t enough levels.  As you progress through the game and open up the map, you realize that you are getting closer and closer to finishing.  Most levels have a day/night version but there isn’t enough variety to them even in that sense…and to unlock the day/night it sometimes requires an over amount of play and repetition that might grind on the nerves of some.

The next problem is that Professor Mirror wouldn’t know a good photograph if it bit him.  There are times when you take a photo and you know when you take it that it will be a perfect photo, and it is.  Other times, you barely have an animal in frame (but maybe it is doing something “fun”) and it is a four star photo when a perfectly framed photo is a one star…also “rule of thirds” is not a thing in New Pokémon Snap.  Don’t necessarily expect credit for actually setting up good photos.

new pokemon snap xerneas illumina ruins of rememberance

The end is here…already

It also feels that despite having a decent amount of Pokémon that there could be even more.  With more hidden areas and more strategy, New Pokémon Snap could have really loaded down the Pokémon or established that game add-on and extras (especially a la Animal Crossing where updates often add more content) could have improved the game content and size.

New Pokémon Snap is a fun entry in the Pokémon game series though it is by no means perfect.  The game and its gameplay feels unique and it is nice practice for kids who show a knack for photography.  At the same time it is frustrating and sometimes anger inducing in that you are trapped on a track and not always clear what the Professor wants from you…but just keep clicking away and hopefully, you’ll have a good time.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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