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ArdillaVerde93

ArdillaVerde93's Game Reviews: #2: Pokémon Snap

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ArdillaVerde93
Game: Pokémon Snap.
Platform: Nintendo 64, Wii(Virtual Console).
Price(Virtual Console.): 1,000 points($10.).
 
  *SPOILER ALERT!!! THIS IS NOT A TEST!! AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE WILL FOLLOW!!*
 
  There's a popular screencap that shows Professor Oak with a suggestive expression on his face. The text below him reads "Press A to do it!" If you've ever wondered where that's from, wonder no more.
 
  Pokémon Snap is one of many spin-offs in the Pokémon series. Others include Pokémon Trozei, Hey You Pikachu, and Pokémon Channel(side note: I LOVE Pokémon Channel!! Even though the UK version of the game is definitely better, since it lets you download a Jirachi to a copy of Pokémon Ruby or Pokémon Sapphire, Pokémon Channel is one of my favorite GameCube games. I wish one of the GameStops near me had a copy.). Since it's a spin-off, don't expect to be thrust into the world of Pokémon, assuming the guise of a 10-year-old kid who has been tasked with capturing a myriad of creatures. That's not to say you won't be capturing them, however; you just won't be relying on Pokéballs to do so. You'll be capturing over 60 Pokemon... on film!
 
  When you turn on the game, after the N64 logo disappears, you're shown a short cinematic of the game's protagonist, Todd Snap(who actually appeared in the anime! The more you know!). He attempts to take a picture of the Legendary Pokémon, Mew. Unfortunately, he's not quick enough, and only manages to get a picture of Mew's tail.
 
  After you've seen Todd's unfortunate failure, the game presents you with the title screen, in which a Pikachu attempts to avoid being run down by something resembling a dune buggy. That vehicle is known as the Zero-One, and you'll become familiar with it VERY soon. As for the screen itself, it gives you 4 options: "New Game," "Continue," "Gallery," and "Options." Nothing out of the ordinary. Obviously, let's start with "New Game," as the rest of the options are self-explanatory.
 
  The first thing the game allows you to do is name your character. Predictably, "Todd" is the default name. Sorry, everyone; there's no rival. Unless you really hate Todd, or you have little self-esteem, nobody in the game is gonna be named "Douche," "Faggot," "Asshole," "Dickhead," etc. Anyway, moving on.
 
  Once you've named your character, you meet Professor Oak, who -surprise, surprise- has a task for you to complete. Pokémon Island(the setting of the game.) is full of Pokémon, and he wants you to photograph them! 
 
  The first level in the game is just called "Beach." That's another thing; don't expect imaginative level names. Anyway, you're quickly shown a good photo opportunity, which the game walks you through. After that, however, you're on your own.
 
  Once the first level(and all of the levels, for that matter.) ends, you'll be able to choose what pictures you want to show to Professor Oak. Keep in mind that you can only choose 1 picture per Pokémon, and that any pictures you don't pick will be gone for good, so choose wisely. Actually, that's only partially true. Early on, you'll get the ability to choose more pictures, but you can still only show one picture per Pokémon to Oak; the rest will go in a separate album.
 
  Professor Oak grades your pictures, and assigns points to them, based on a few things.
 
  1: How big the Pokémon is.
  2: How they're posing.
  3: Whether or not they're in the center of the picture.
  4: Special pictures, like Pikachu on a surfboard, or a picture of a Legendary Pokémon.
 
  Obviously, this is a bit of a casual game, but it still requires decent reflexes; you can't put the Zero-One in reverse, so, if you miss a good photo op, you're likely gonna have to replay the level. Don't worry; it's not quite as tedious as it sounds. The stages are short. Sometimes TOO short, in fact.
 
  As I said before, the different species of Pokémon available in Pokémon Snap only number a little over 60. Obviously, the fan favorites are present here. Butterfree, Charizard, Pikachu, Jigglypuff, and Eevee, to name a few. Also, all 5 Generation I Legendary Pokémon(read: Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo, and Mew.) make appearances. The Pokémon that appear are animated pretty well; they dance, interact, attack(harmlessly.), and more. The gameplay is nice, and doesn't get tedious too quickly. It can be challenging at times, though.
 
  As you progress, you'll unlock items to help you out. You can use Pokémon food to lure Pokémon, or you can smack them with it. Pester Balls are used to knock Pokémon down, or, in some cases, out. The Poké Flute can make Pokémon dance or attack, depending on the song, which changes with successive uses. The challenge is in figuring out how to best use those items. Okay; serious time now. What I'm about to say can be considered both good and bad; this game was certainly ahead of its time.
 
  Pokémon Snap came out at a time when Pokémon was the next big thing; the anime was still in Season 1, Pokémon Red, Blue, or Yellow was jammed into nearly every Game Boy, and Pokémon cards were causing many a fight on the playground. Pokémon didn't reach the height of its popularity until Generation III(a Generation that I dislike immensely.), but first steps are important. Nintendo knew they had struck gold with Pokemon, and they went all out to make sure everyone else knew it, too. This was also a time when Blockbuster was still very much a thing. Why is that important? Stay with me; I'm going somewhere with this.
 
  Some call them Snap Stations. Some call them Sticker Stations. They were, for lack of a better term, kiosks, set up in various Blockbuster stores, that, at the cost of $3, allowed people to print out pictures taken in Pokémon Snap, on sticker paper. These stations, obviously, no longer exist. They attempted to recreate them in the Virtual Console version by allowing players to post 1 picture a day to the Wii Message Board. Unfortunately, I have terrible news.
 
  On Tuesday, May 20th, 2014, a week before this writing, Nintendo shut down Wi-Fi for the DS, DSi, and Wii. A moment of silence, please. You, in the back, please take your hat off. We're in mourning. *The Time Has Come(Pikachu's Goodbye) plays.*
 
  Anyway, as much as it pains me, nearly all support for Pokémon Snap is gone, so I'm gonna have to take points off. So, here's what I'm gonna do. I'll rate it twice!
 
  If all of the support was still there, this game would get 4.10 out of 5. Few games, even with today's technology, give players the ability to have physical evidence of their adventures. However, that's not the way things are anymore. So, as it stands, Pokémon Snap gets 3 out of 5. It was ambitious, and that's great, but it's stale. If ever a game needed, and deserved, a remake, that game is Pokémon Snap.
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Neptune

It's kind of a shame they have stopped all support for this game, as it does sound quite fun. Maybe not something I would play that often, but still fun. Not that I can play it anyway; I have neither of those consoles and have never had the inclination to buy them. I wouldn't buy a console for a single game like that. You never know, they might be planning on remaking this particular game. They've redone other pokémon games, why not this one? Put it on the newer consoles; it's a sure sell. Good review, not a game I've heard about honestly xD It does kinda make me want to play it, but like I said; I lack the means to and I'm not gonna buy a console for something I may or may not like in reality.

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ArdillaVerde93

You could try Project 64. It's a free N64 emulator. As for the game itself, you could try romhustler, which is also free. Anyway, thanks! There are SO many fans who are begging Nintendo for a sequel to Pokémon Snap, so I'm sure something will come of it eventually.

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Neptune

Hmm, never heard of them. If I get the chance I might check them out. Providing I don't forget ^^;; I usually do. I'm so bad like that D: I hope something really good comes out of it. I would hate to see it come out as a complete flop, because I know many people will buy it simply because they're huge pokémon fans. And I would hate to see money wasted. But I guess that could be seen as assumption, but unfortunately, I've seen that happen so many times. It's so sad to see the fans so disappointed with something that they love dearly.

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      So, skip back to home, where the grand Tiny vs. Mom's Meowth meetup takes place.  They're both cats...in a sense, so they should get along well.  I don't know.  I'm a dog person.  Dogs aside, we get our third free heal in the past hour of gameplay, and Kukui is walking inside without permission.  Dude, I know that the main character is allowed to do that, but just because you're not wearing a shirt under that lab coat doesn't give you permission to screw the rules too.  And now, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for everyone's favorite segment: learning how to catch a Pokemon for the 50,000th time even though you've been playing these games since Gold and Silver.  Well, at least I have.  Mom isn't going to unpack those boxes.
      Tutorial, tutorial, and tutorial later, and now...the time has come.  Kukui has given us Poke Balls, so now the nuzlocke has officially begun.  At any earlier point, if Tiny died somehow in some incident, we'd be fine.  Now, though, if Tiny faints, that's it for him.  Same goes for whatever my Route 1 proper encounter will be, and let's pray it's something amazing.
      Grubbin.  This is both a meh and a very bad encounter.  Early game Bug type with no real redeeming qualities until it gets close to evolution.  Luckily, it's an early game Bug type, so it evolves fairly early.  The very bad news is that it's final evolution is absolutely unavailable...until the fourth island.  I'll be running around with a semi average Bug/Electric type until lategame, and by then, he'll fall behind.  Gotta take what you can get in earlygame, though.
      So, nicknames.  It's a Bug type that eventually becomes something that looks fast, but in reality got screwed in terms of base speed.  I'm gonna name him...Spark Plug.  Neutral nature with a currently useless ability because Swarm only affects Bug type moves when you're at low HP.  Welp.  Better than nothing, I guess.  I'm gonna do a little bit of grinding for Spark Plug real quick and I'll be just a moment.
      So I just learned that your mom gives you a Poke Ball when you go to heal the first time.  On another note, I'm glad that Spark Plug started at Lv. 4.  I got him up to Lv. 7 so now he has a semi reliable move in the form of Mud-Slap.  It's something, right?  Let's just rush through this route and get to the "festival" in Iki Town.  On the way there, though, there are a couple of weirdos, one with quite the mustache.  They mentioned a Blinding One, but otherwise, a couple of weird people dressed weird.
      I just noticed there was a dude walking with an Alolan Exeggutor when you walk into Iki Town.  That's a bit weird.  On another note, there's a real lack of people for a festival, but whatever.  We're going to have another chance to completely blow up Hau's team because a part of this festival is to have people battle to please Tapu Koko.  Whatever floats their boats, I guess.  Unrelated, but Lillie loves to be a contradictory little stizh.  "I don't like to see Pokemon get hurt, but I'll watch a battle where Pokemon are going to get hurt because it's Hau and Ruby."  Nice logic she has there.
      For some reason, mom is here too.  It doesn't change how badly I'm going to blow up Hau's team again.  He has a Pichu now...which would be intimidating if I had Popplio, but I don't.  Rowlet is the same song and dance as last time.  Spam Ember and you win.  No turn 1 burn, though, so eh.  After making Hau look like a joke in front of everyone, Hala hands over the Z-Power Ring.  However, I already stated I can't use it, so it's just going to be a nice accessory.  I honestly prefer the Ultra Sun and Moon version over the original game's version...even though it's just a color difference, but whatever.
      Now with our island challenge amulet that only me and Hau ever have.  So let's go home and listen to weirdos talk some more about aura and light and the Blinding One.  At least now we know they're the Ultra Recon Squad.  Once again, though, mom hasn't done a thing with those boxes.  Instead, she's going to sleep and we get our fifth free heal in the span of an hour or so of gameplay.
      On the next in game day, though, we get someone at the door who knows proper respect.  Then again, all she came to say was that the professor wants to see us.  Mom slides us over some money because destroying people's Pokemon and taking their money just isn't enough.  Lillie says a very foreshadowy line and we're on our way.
      So Route 1 is one of Alola's rare examples of being split into segments.  We're going into Hau'oli Outskirts, another place with encounters for the catching.  Although, my encounter is something I used in my Sun Nuzlocke and it lasted me to the very end.  A Slowpoke.  Naturally, I'm going to name him Master Derp.
      On a very unrelated note, I have not saved my game once yet and my 3DS fell off my desk while I was typing.  Lucky for me, it didn't freeze because I'm using a digital copy of Ultra Moon.  Master Derp on the other hand is actually pretty good.  He doesn't really need Speed, so Sassy nature doesn't hurt much.  In fact, it's pretty helpful.  His moves do leave a little to be desired, though.  That will change with time, but for now, let's pay a visit to my least favorite shirtless professor.  I promise this will be the last time I mention that for a while.
      The lab is a little...beaten up.  Speaking of beating up, it sounds like Kukui is getting beaten up by his Rockruff inside.  His body is ready.  Lillie proves once again that she's a terrible assistant who's just living in the loft in Kukui's lab and we take a look inside.  To be fair, he's got a nice place.  Now, here comes the part where our Pokedex gets the ability to talk.  No, I'm serious.  A Rotom lives in it (even though you can't catch a Rotom in Alola) and now it can talk because Kukui fixed the dex up.  If memory serves, the first thing it says is something along the lines of "hands off the goods."  A shame they replaced that and another line that comes up not very far from here.  Oh, we get a map too, so that's cool.
      Now we have no choice but to go to the Trainer's School for tutorials nobody cares about.  All I care about over there is my encounter...and who turned out the lights for a sec?  That was a bit weird.  Whatever.  To the Trainer's School for an encounter!
      However, on the way, we have to get our resident Pokemon Center tutorial.  I honestly did need a heal, though, so I had to go in either way.  Now, with that out of the way, we interrupt your short stroll to the Trainer's School for a Tauros roadblock.  Gotta love how they need to find ways to make the path as linear as possible.
      So, let's cut to the chase here.  Trainer's School is a place for forced tutorials, but we also get one of the most overpowered items in the entire game.  This item is the Exp. Share, and this thing will make my life a little easier with level grinding.  Speaking of levels, let's go score ourselves an encounter.
      Meowth.  The Alolan variety.  I used an Alolan Persian in my casual Moon run, but it kinda fell behind due to being frail.  Still, gotta take what we can get.  I'm gonna be unoriginal and give him the same nickname as my old Persian, Class Act.  He's another shining example of "Quiet nature strikes again."  At least Meowth and Persian already have boatloads of Speed to spare.  His Attack is kinda trash and he has no special attacks to take advantage of.  Raising him up is going to be a pain.
      Anyway, we're gonna call it there.  I gotta do some grinding to raise up the party's levels so we'll be ready for the challenges ahead.  Suggest nicknames if that's what your heart desires and I'll see you all next time for Trainer's School and the road to our first trial.
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