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Pokemon Snap (Nintendo 64) artwork

Pokemon Snap (Nintendo 64) review

"They lurk on moonless lunar cycles, being restricted by nothing but their mindless wanderings. Their hair has all fallen out, their skin has rotted with no trace but an odor that can knock a person out, their eyes smashed like jelly and decomposed by wriggling worms. One cannot help but writhe in the horrific sight of them; they are the zombies. "

They lurk on moonless lunar cycles, being restricted by nothing but their mindless wanderings. Their hair has all fallen out, their skin has rotted with no trace but an odor that can knock a person out, their eyes smashed like jelly and decomposed by wriggling worms. One cannot help but writhe in the horrific sight of them; they are the zombies.

Sound like a scene right out of a horror-movie, huh? Or maybe a survival-horror game? Well, Pokemon Snap is the complete contrast of the setting depicted above. Instead of the moaning and groaning zombies that scarify one out of any iota of wits they had and their lucidity, into a frenzy and panicking state of insanity, you get to take pictures of cute and cuddly creatures!

Thatís right. Pokemon Snap takes a minor character out of the anime, a brunette-haired renowned photographer-in-training named Todd, and sets him on Pokemon Island, an island that is barred off to trainers. Professor Oak, who has relocated his studies of Pokemon to a more photography-based lucubration, has hired Todd to snap photographs for him. This means that you must get a picture of each creature in the large diverse mix of creatures, but the game doesnít end just at that. No, thereís much more to this game.

You have a choice of seven stages to choose from, not all available at the start. On a stage, youíre in a vehicle called the ZERO-ONE that slowly travels along the tracks that outline the course. As you progress throughout the stages, youíll see the beauty and pride of Pokemon Snap.

The colorfulness of the game that repels some gamers away as if it were a hive of angry bees set out to sting whatever gets in its path still is an advantage. The graphics are exaltedly exuberant, and the Pokemon do various actions on a high frame rate, such as dancing, leaping for joy, dueling in a bare fist match, and even transforming into another creature. No scary surprises from Resident Evil or Silent Hill beat the pleasant shock of a Charizard suddenly popping out of a hole of boiling lava, with adrenaline running through its body and making it look a ferocious and noble creature. The textured and detailed environments provide sixty-three different of the Pocket Monsters for you to take a picture of, whether they may be acting like a poser or not.

This brings out the gameplay, overall. Although such an idea that is implemented by Pokemon Snap, the idea of taking pictures of cutie creatures, may shy away the masses at first, the execution of it is quite a fresh and original take on how fun in a video game can be had. During your traveling around the varying stages, you have 60 shots on your roll of film that you manage with. To take a picture, one zooms in with the Z button, and takes a shot. However, a photograph of a Pokemon is not all that is desired. Many things must be met; factors such as whether the Pokemon has itís back to you, the distance from which the Pokemon is shot, if you got the creature in the center, whether there are accompanying monsters of the same species, whether you only catch one side of a Pokemon or a truly 3-dimensional picture of it, if it looks cheerful and happy, and if it is doing an action such as eating an apple or surfing on a board.

To the end of taking pictures, you have three available accessories; the apple, the pester ball, and the Poke Flute. The apple can be thrown at some creatures to annoy them into doing something, thrown into the open to attract shy creatures, or otherwise lure them in for a perfect shop. The pester ball is usually utilized to anger a Pokemon. The Poke Flute will wake up some creatures, and can make others dance to the right tune!

However, I do believe that Pokemon Snap had one flaw to it, one fatal flaw; the fact that this game was built around a popular series, and was such obviously intended to milk the series. Had Pokemon Snap been based on a whole new story, and not revolving around the world of Pokemon, Iím sure many more would have bought this innovation of gameplay well. Nevertheless, if you see this in your local neighborhood game store or pawn shop, and youíre a person who just canít stomach another game with lots of blood, violence, and large breasts, or otherwise games that take a gameplay formula and use it to a painstakingly long death, then I suggest you buy this game. It's a game that differentiates, and in my book, a game that does it successfully.

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Community review by yamishuryou (November 26, 2004)

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