Looking Back At: Pokemon Snap!

Pokemon Snap was released in 1999 (Japan and USA) and 2000 (PAL) for the Nintendo 64. Professor Oak, the famous Pokemon researcher, has enlisted the player to take photographs of Pokemon in their natural habitats to help with his work.

Pokemon Snap was the whole reason I bought my first Nintendo 64, way back in 2013.I’d heard nothing but good things about this game for years, but never really felt motivated to buy the console. Until one fateful day I was overtaken by a fit of madness: I caved in and purchased myself a used, unboxed N64 off eBay along with a couple of games. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, because that would probably be an interesting topic for a future post. Suffice to say that I’ve never had cause to regret what I did.

I first came across Pokemon Snap way back in the foggy mists of time where I read about it in, of all places, a player’s guide for the Fossil expansion of the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Nestled in the back pages of that book was a complete strategy guide for Pokemon Snap. No, I’m not exactly sure what it was doing there either. But still, I was entranced. Pokemon! In 3D! Living free and wild.

Since I’d never owned an N64 as a kid, I didn’t give the matter too much thought. When I considered buying my own, though, Snap was right at the top of my ‘must have’ list.

And, I have to say it hasn’t disappointed. Graphically the N64 is showing it’s age now but, even so, this is one remarkably pretty game. The Pokemon are charming/adorable/terrifying, their animations are smooth and they move pretty much as you’d imagined. All in all the game’s still very easy on the eyes. Sure, the textures are simple and more detail in landscapes would have been nice but when you’re having this much fun you just don’t care.

Speaking of fun, the actual gameplay is where this . Progression unlocks new tools such as apples, pester balls and the PokeFlute, all of which can be used to manipulate the ‘mons into giving you higher quality pics. And better pics mean more points, which makes for a happier Professor.

All in all I found myself enjoying this game immensely. The mechanics are still solid, gameplay itself is fresh and innovative and the whole experience is just joyful. Whether you’re a fan of Pikachu, Snorlax and the other 149 (or however many there is now since X and Y came out) or if you’re looking for something unlike anything you’ve ever played, Pokemon Snap is a very easy recommendation.

Like this game? Hate it? Indifferent? All of the above? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Also feel free to ask questions or leave suggestions for games you’d like me to cover in the future. .

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