Review by evilgidgit

Reviewed: 08/11/08

Pokemon Snap: The Most Unique Pokemon Game Ever

The 1990s was thought by some to be the pinnacle of the gaming history (although the 80s and recent years have also been called the same thing), and the three main big cheeses around then in the gaming world were Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Sonic the Hedgehog. But soon all three were nearly booted into the bin by the massive crashlanding of Pokemon, which sent the world into a uproar - a good one at that - mostly. The concept of most Pokemon games is too capture wild Pokemon, a large variety of unique creatures (with a grand total of 493 at the moment), using objects called Pokeballs and train them in Pokemon battles to become undisuputed Pokemon Master. While the whole series has focused on this concept, there is one game released in 1999 which altered this concept. You did capture Pokemon, but not in Pokeballs - you captured them in photographs. I game I speak of is the highly unique and enjoyable Pokemon Snap.

The basic concept of the game is to travel around several environments on a remote, uninhabited island and take photos of the wild Pokemon found on the island. The game's story is rather simple, involving Professor Oak inviting a photographer named Tod (you may remember him if you watched the anime's first season) on an expedition to Pokemon Island to take photos of all the Pokemon on the island. However, Oak describes the island's environments as too dangerous for Tod to walk around in on foot. So, he gives Tod the Zero-One vehicle, a fancy-looking all-terrain vehicle that moves on railway tracks, floats like a feather down rivers, and can even fly using rocket boosters. The only catch is, you cannot roam freely around in the courses, you must stick to a routed path (due to the game restricts).

The gameplay is fairly easy to master once you fully understand it. During courses, the Pokemon and enviroment is seen through a first-person shooter like view. A target is always displayed on the screen and the red button will brighten when the player has a Pokemon in its midst. That is when the player should take a photo. Each course visit comes with a photo reel of 60 shots and once they are all used up, the course visit is over. However, photos can't just be achieved by taking simples photos of the Pokemon, as some are hiding or looking the wrong way of the camera. Thankfully, as you progress through the game you are given several useful items to help you get the trickest Pokemon into the frame.

There is Pokemon Food, special apples which can lure Pokemon near to the camera. Pester Balls, harmless gas bombs which can lure hiding Pokemon out into the open or knock them out cold, and the Pokeflute (originally used to wake up Snorlax, although it still has this effect in Snap) which can make Pokemon dance to their heart's content. There is also a device which can increase your speed and you can whizz through the course to whatever part you wish.

The music in the game is very nice and goes well with the atmosphere of the game, particularly in each course. Although the graphics are a little iffy in some places, they are very good for a Nintendo 64 game. There are hardly any problems with the game, although only 63 Pokemon are in the game itself, there are only seven courses, and the game can be completed rather quickly.

However, I enjoy this game and it is my favourite Pokemon game. I highly recommend it to Pokemon fans and gamers, as it is a really unique game and is incredibly fun. There should be a sequel of this game, as many fans have said repeatedly.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Pokemon Snap (EU, 09/15/00)

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