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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Telling You Now: New Pokémon Snap Shouldn't be $60

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Nostalgia trap.

After yesterday's decidedly non-game-related Pokémon news item, The Pokémon Company International followed it up today with a trailer and information for New Pokémon Snap, which we first heard about mid-2020. They also opened up pre-orders for the $60 game, releasing April 30.

There's a lot of generic chatter out there about how the game looks much more vivid and detailed in the Pokémon animation and personality (look how Torchic roasts the fluffruit!) than the likes of fellow Nintendo Switch title Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, and that was always going to be the case for a game that is entirely based around photographing Pokémon doing detailed animations.

You can check out Pokémon Snap (originally released on the Nintendo 64) on the Wii U Virtual Console right now for $10. I personally experienced it for $10 on the Wii's Virtual Console. Still, I couldn't imagine paying $60 for a game that's, say, three times bigger than that. (Over 200 Pokémon in this one versus slightly over 60 in 1999. You won't just be taking one picture of each Pokémon, though. You'll be taking several, because they'll have multiple poses and multiple gradings.)

New Pokémon Snap Aipom Photodex registered photos page
If you're an Aipom fan (or a completionist), you'll want to document all of Aipom's poses in the Photodex.
And you'll probably have to trigger them by doing different things, some unlockable as you progress.

A lot of Millennials (myself not included) have fond memories of playing Pokémon Snap on the Nintendo 64. Even Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went to her cousin's house to play Pokémon Snap, since she didn't have her own Nintendo 64. (Just like how she doesn't have her own money, but she wants to spend yours.) Thanks to a marketing collaboration Nintendo did with Blockbuster, players could print out their in-game photographs to be real life stickers. Despite many people claiming to have those memories, I've yet to actually ever meet anyone showing off their Pokémon Snap stickers, be it in 1999 or 2019. I guess they gotta exist somewhere, though.

If not for that marketing push, Pokémon Snap (and its sequel) wouldn't be as successful/anticipated as it was. I'm sure New Pokémon Snap will sell more than the Nintendo 64 version. I'm also sure that you won't get $60 out of it, just by the nature of what kind of game it is. It also had the advantage of being the first (with Pokémon Pinball) Pokémon spin-off videogame, back in the Pokémon late 1990s craze. That helped.

Ludwig doesn't want to downplay the appeal of observing and interacting with Pokémon in their natural environment, but if you found the Glimwood Tangle live camera to be boring... well. Pokémon Snap isn't wholly uninteractive like that, but it's not that far off. There's apparently some kind of plot thread called the Illumina Phenomenon, but who cares?

The game is out now, and Ludwig still isn't for it.


  1. While I'm very pleased Pokemon Snap has gotten a sequel of sorts, i don't think ill buy it either. I didn't play the first one, and I'm not really into photography. I care more about the idea that such an old (and frankly niche) game IP has been revived, even if it is Pokemon. I'm glad you mentioned Pokemon Pinball because i would love to see that come back. They could even make it a mobile game, i would buy it. Anyway back to Snap. I feel like if they make a thirds one they should ditch the safari ride thing, but i can see why they wouldn't want to do it here. I was a little disappointed to find there's only 200 pokemon, (i know i know, I'm spoiled rotten) i can already see people tweeting about how they wish a certain pokemon was in the game. I can understand it though, 700+ pokemon to photograph right off the bat could be overwhelming or worse, monotonous. Not to mention the effort of all the gameplay animations. I think adding more pokemon in the future would be a good idea for DLC, so long as they come in bundles of 50 or so.

    1. "They could even make it a mobile game, i would buy it."

      Let's face it, it'd be a free-to-play pinball game with "energy" mechanics that you could pay to get extra spins. Erm, balls. Totally not a slot machine.

      You raise a good point about monotony if there'd be 700+ Pokémon in the game, which is why I didn't say in the article that the game doesn't have enough content... but that the price doesn't match the content. I think ~200 may or may not be fine for the ecosystem they're going for (and I also think it'd be bad in terms of lore to have every Pokémon on this island... because then there'd be a lot of trainers and stuff going here), but I think the price should be lower.

  2. I didn't play the original, although I watched a playthrough of it to see what it was like. I'm tempted to get this, though. It might be short, but it seems fun.

    1. I mean, depending on how creative you wanna get and how much of a Kanto fan you are, $10 is sorta worth it on the Wii U Virtual Console.

  3. I don't know Pokemon Snap cost about $100 here when it came out in my childhood. I'm happy to pay this for a new game.


    1. You should've commented on that AOC article when it was made!

      (Though I guess you still can.)


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