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Individual Values: A Pokémon Feature - Week 67: Snap Judgements

Jonathan Higgins

Welcome to the sixty-seventh week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday.


Now is your chance to grab Darkrai at participating GameStop stores. The last day to do so is May 24th. Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all!


And hey, if you're reading this on the day it's published, you can grab a Shiny Yveltal from the Nintendo Network with your copy of XY/ORAS. Last but not least, you can register for a chance to participate in the Pokémon GO field test if you live in North America.






Snap Judgements


I can“t remember how I first heard about Pokémon Snap. Was it in Nintendo Power, or via teeny, tiny rumblings on the much-smaller-at-the-time IGN dot com? Either way -- the only screens I saw were of Todd... or Snap, depending on who you ask... on foot, barely missing shots of a wild Mew in action. As we know now --

, and not indicative of what the gameplay would actually be like. But man, was my head full of ideas. I pictured an open, albeit gated world -- like Kanto itself, but with the objective being to capture Pokémon on film instead of in PokéBalls.


So. If I“m being completely honest: once I found out that the game was on rails, I was kind of disappointed. I kept looking for ways to stop the Zero One buggy that Todd traveled in, so I could get my perfect shot. Alas, part of the challenge was getting your highest scores while on the move. While I was disappointed at first, and perhaps let my own wild imagination leave me with a lesser impression of the game than if I“d just gotten to play it outright -- the charm Pokémon Snap had stuck with me. Where else can you get Pikachu on balloons, or riding on Articuno? It didn“t have all 151 Pokémon, but it had enough to keep me reasonably entertained. And hey! You could take your pictures off to a Blockbuster kiosk to get them printed out, too.


The first game was such a huge success, that I was almost sure they“d try to capture lightning twice...and make a bigger, better “Pokémon Snap 2” on the Nintendo 64 or Gamecube. But, I guess the closest that we“re going to get is when Miyamoto said “Pokémon GO kind of reminds me of Snap!”


Mhm. Whatever you say, Mr. Miyamoto.



There have been 570 new Pokémon added to the total since Pokémon Snap was released. There“s infinite possibility here! The Internet“s certainly been clamoring for it, for about as long as we“ve been clamoring for a fully 3D Pokémon game. I only vaguely alluded to it a long time ago. But I“d like to go into a little more detail now, regarding what my ideal Pokémon Snap sequel could be like.


If they insisted on keeping it on rails like the Nintendo 64 game, I think both the Wii U and 3DS are ideal platforms to suit the experience, thanks to gyroscopic controls. Moving around the Wii U Gamepad a full 360 degrees to look at Pokémon both in front and behind you as you moved along from level to level just sounds super fun. They could totally make the points of view work like Star Fox Zero, where the TV would feature Todd and what was directly in front of him, while the Gamepad would be your camera itself, allowing for Zoom and all kinds of other functions. I don“t think the 3DS would be able to mirror this experience exactly, but I suppose it could come pretty close.


More than anything, though -- I“d like a Pokémon Snap sequel to take you out of a moving buggy in favor of putting you on foot, where you could freely explore areas and move at your own pace. They could do so much to mirror what actual nature photographers experience -- have you wait for a bunch of Hoothoots that only come out at night -- slowly sneaking up on your shot so you don“t disturb it and make it run away. Like, the possibilities are pretty limitless. I“m really surprised The Pokémon Company haven“t tapped into this market, especially considering how much fans want it. It“s not as though the original wasn“t wildly successful--I think releasing a sequel to the game during the 20th anniversary would practically print money.




But, I suppose I“m just a dreamer. The game is available on the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan (allowing for Restore Points, Miiverse posts, and all kinds of fun that are way different from the Wii Virtual Console“s release. No word on when it“s coming to North America or Europe. But maybe when it does make its way here -- eventually -- I“ll follow up this largely speculative piece with a sort of “Does It Hold Up?” retrospective on the Nintendo 64 Classic.


There“s lots more to talk about RE: Pokémon Sun & Moon, especially prior to E3. But I figured it was finally time for a bit of a break this week, taking a moment to discuss one of my favorite spin-off games. What were your favorite parts about Pokémon Snap? Do you have any fun memories to share? What would your ideal sequel to the game be like?

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