REVIEW: New Pokémon Snap

Pokémon Snap was the Pokémon game that no one wanted, but that “everyone” ended up liking in the end. We wanted a full-blooded Pokémon adventure in 3D, but were instead commissioned to take pictures of Pokémon. It turned out to be an ingenious starting point for a simple, relaxing and very cozy game. A game that many have wanted to see in a new suit, and now Nintendo has delivered.

Someone who is still not happy? Photo: Øyvind Steinkopf Sund 

This time we are going to the Lental region, which consists of a set of islands, which in turn consist of several areas or “courses”, each with its own unique Pokémon fauna. You are a newly arrived photographer who will help Professor Mirror and his assistants document all the monsters that live here. In other words, the starting point is the same as in the original Pokémon Snap, but there are more levels, there are more Pokémon to take pictures of, and there is simply a lot more to experience.

Close and centered!

The criteria by which your photos are judged are somewhat more nuanced this time. You will no longer get your score cut in half if Pikachu or Bulbasaur are not in the middle of the picture. However, it is still size and center position that gives the most points.  Fortunately, you can hide your personal favorites in a photo album.

What’s new is that each Pokémon gets its own folder. Here there is always room for four pictures, one for each “star”. The stars do not say anything about the quality of the image – it is the score that does – but each star corresponds to a position, pose or situation in which you should capture the Pokémon. That is, a Pikachu that eats an apple corresponds to a star other than a sleeping Pikachu. This means that you can perfect four picture styles per, Pokémon, and considering that there are over 200 monsters in the game, there will be quite a few photo options.

More and more courses are unlocked .  Photo: Øyvind Steinkopf Sund

That’s just it to be able to go back to previous levels to take better pictures that make New Pokémon Snap so addictive. As you improve your score on the various courses, you unlock new “research levels”, which means that the courses change. Then you will suddenly find new Pokémon, or the same Pokémon in new places or in new poses.

Irrigating Pokémon Life

Photo: Øyvind Steinkopf Sund
The courses are mostly very well designed. It’s full of Pokémon life, with monsters running, flying and swimming in front of your screen at breakneck speed. Otherwise, the game does a good job of representing the central theme – which seems to be light – in the visual design. Luminous plants and distant and close monster sounds make the nightly versions of the tracks extra evocative. . Or, the game struggles when Wailord makes his entrance.

It’s a small dampener that New Pokémon Snap suffers a lot of the same thing that almost all Pokémon games outside the main series do – namely a boring, unadorned packaging. In this game, the dialogue, the voice acting and the music are the worst. The dialogue can be tolerated, and the voices can fortunately be muted. But I think music is vital in a game where you have to play the same courses many times. Just think how much a lively soundtrack would have helped the experience.

At the same time, the game is not always as good at communicating what you have to do to get ahead. Some of the hidden paths that unlock new Pokémon to photograph are revealed through rather cryptic methods. Just remember to use the apples, light bulbs and music on everything that creeps and goes, then you will find the way forward in the end.

Conclusion

All in all, New Pokémon Snap is a colorful and charming adventure. It’s enjoyable to see these monsters in their natural habitat – without the usual hustle and bustle of capture and fighting. The story section takes no more than 9-10 hours to get through, but you can hold on for far more hours to fill in the “Photodex” and take ever better photos to get ever better scores.

New Pokémon Snap still delivers on the most important points, and offers some very nice hours alone or with children, friends or a partner.

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