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Pokemon Snap (Nintendo 64)

Posted: December 14th, 2017, 8:19 pm
by Retrology
Who could've guessed one of the more beloved games on the N64 would be a game about photography? But it's true, lots of gamers grew up with Pokemon Snap, myself included, and what sounds like a lame idea is actually one of the most unique games you'll ever play.

Pokemon Snap combines the movement of a rail shooter with drive by photography on a cart, where you must move the camera all around to take pictures of Pokemon. To do this, you'll travel to 7 levels, each lasting about 4-5 minutes. While it sounds boring, there's more to it, as you'll collect new items and backtrack along the way. You must get as many photos as you can (you can take up to 60) before your ride on the cart is up.

This game does the impossible by making photography in video games fun. You'll use items like apples, pester balls, a speed booster, and a flute to get all sorts of unique poses from Pokemon, and there's a lot of surprises hidden in each level (except the Rainbow one which is pretty lame). A few levels require you to unlock branching paths before the end of the level to unlock new areas.

After hunting for photos, you must select one photo to represent each Pokemon you captured. You then must wait as Professor Oak grades your work. The grading is especially fun because unlike other games where your high score is based on a level, this calculates your high score on the individual Pokemon shot.

Ultimately, Pokemon Snap plays like an Arcade style game, and it's so much fun to profess and attempt to beat your high score. The top scores are saved, and I love the bonus points you get when you capture certain poses. The levels are all short yet loaded with secrets, and you can always restart if you need to.

There are a few complaints. The final level (Rainbow) is boring as hell, there's only 63 of the original 151 Pokemon, the game could've used one more level like a snow or desert area, and of course, Oak's grading can be really picky. But those are relatively minor criticisms.

The game's graphics aren't spectacular, but I enjoyed looking at the scenery and the game runs smooth enough. The catchy, relaxing music is fantastic and really adds to the atmosphere of each level.

All in all, Pokemon Snap is an excellent, one of a kind game. You don't need to be a Pokemon fan to play it, and casual gamers will love it. It takes what sounds like a boring concept and makes it a lot of fun, a typical trademark of Nintendo.

Well programmed, addicting, and crazy fun, you owe it to pick up this masterpiece and play one of the most innovative games on the N64.

Final Grade: A-

Re: Pokemon Snap (Nintendo 64)

Posted: December 18th, 2017, 11:16 pm
by Retro STrife
Thanks for this review, and count me in 100% agreement. I've lobbied Dave to review this game in the past, but to no avail so far. But IMO, it's among the 10 best games on the N64. Like you point out, it's also one-of-a-kind.. somehow, there has never been another game remotely like it, before or after. (I'm actually surprised that Nintendo has never done a sequel. The Wii would have been perfect for it.) On top of that, I agree that you don't need to be a Pokemon fan to enjoy this game -- I've never played any other Pokemon game (except a few hours of Pokemon Blue back in the day), and yet I still loved this game. It's so unique and fun that everyone should give it a shot. I'd give it an A- as well.

Let's hope that your review prompts the VGC to pick this one up and review it, as I think it's the best game missing from his N64 list.

Re: Pokemon Snap (Nintendo 64)

Posted: December 19th, 2017, 8:45 am
by pacman000

Pokemon Snap Speedrun. If you need to know what the game looks like here it is.

I've assumed Dave never reviewed Pokemon Snap because he didn't like the franchise. It looks like he's only reviewed 3 Pokemon games. ... sort=title ... sort=title

Re: Pokemon Snap (Nintendo 64)

Posted: December 19th, 2017, 9:27 am
by Retro STrife
pacman000 wrote:I've assumed Dave never reviewed Pokemon Snap because he didn't like the franchise. It looks like he's only reviewed 3 Pokemon games.

Possibly. I figured that it just flew under his radar. Either way, Pokemon Snap is like the Pokemon game for people who don't like Pokemon games. It's more of a wildlife photography game, but the Pokemon characters just happen to work perfect for the concept. I'm not a Pokemon fan either, but really like this game.

Re: Pokemon Snap (Nintendo 64)

Posted: December 30th, 2017, 2:26 pm
by Alucard1191
Not really a pokemon fan, but I also own this and find it enjoyable still even today. It's honestly a really mellow game that is nice to have a beer while playing. I have fond memories of playing this in my late teens/early 20's with my friends. The VGC should definitely give it a shot, even if he doesn't like the franchise, you don't really need much information from the series. It's in essence an on rails shooter. A super unique on rails shooter, but still an on rail shooter.