Review by Seesaw

Reviewed: 07/05/02 | Updated: 07/05/02

A fun game that ends too soon.

Loyal Pokemon fans patiently waited for Nintendo to bring their favorite RPG to the Nintendo 64. Just imagine playing a game as mindlessly fun as Pokemon, only with dazzling graphics and three dimensional environments. It'd be a unique experience to say the least, so it's no wonder that Pokemon fans waited and waited and finally waited some more. Rather than satisfy their fans with an enticing treat, Nintendo teased us with a Pokemon game where you photograph Pokemon, entitled Pokemon Snap.

Not that there's anything wrong with that as side games usually do nothing but benefit a game series (look at Super Mario Kart or MegaMan Soccer). In this case though, several people had their hopes up, but Nintendo was never able to come through with what they wanted. They teased with games like Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Puzzle League, and they cashed in on loyalists who smacked their money on the counter for more grueling battles with Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Stadium 2. Now, there's rumor that an actual Pokemon roleplaying game will see a release on the Gamecube, although I'd be skeptical (considering Nintendo's track record) at this point.

It's not that Pokemon Snap is a bad game, it's just not what I wanted. I wanted an adventure where I talk to people, capture Pokemon and become the best trainer ever. I really don't want to take pictures of them as I sit in a vehicle. Sure, the idea is an original one, but it honestly wasn't executed as well as it could have been.

Story: Not much to read about here. You need to help Professor Oak with his research by taking pictures of Pokemon. The better the picture the more points he gives you. If you take a picture of a Pokemon while it is evolving or while it is eating you'll get bonus points from the old geezer.

Game Play: Hop in as you take a ride across colorful settings, camera in hand, snapping pictures of Pokemon as you go. In order to draw the Pokemon closer and get a better picture you can throw annoyance items at them or feed them. While in the vehicle you can look around to all sides relatively easily. The Pokemon go about their daily routines as you just go on a ride similar to the one in Jurassic Park (minus it breaking down and the dinosaurs attacking) taking picture of them.

Controls: You can't really control the vehicle at all as it follow a set path. Handling your camera is a simple task though and you should have no problem taking award winning pictures.

Graphics: Stunning. You'll travels through caves, down rivers, inside volcanos and along beaches as you snap your pictures. The Pokemon all look great. It's amazing the way the artists could manipulate a crude Gameboy sprite into a jaw-dropping, 3-D, living creature that seems almost too real.

Sound: Nothing too upbeat that I can remember. Most of the tracks were nothing out of the ordinary, although they managed to set a layed-back atmosphere.

Overall: Snap is a fun game but I can't help but feel that it was over too quickly. Just as you really start to get into the game and get the hang of it you've explored all the levels it offers. There's plenty of different Pokemon to find and some that you have to trigger events just to get a picture of, but that can get old and if you don't capture it on film your first try or two you'll probably just give up. Pokemon Snap is a fun game, and if they ever made a sequel I'd give it a shot, but I really can't suggest getting this game if it has a high price attached.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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