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ArdillaVerde93's Game Reviews: #2: Pokémon Snap

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Game: Pokémon Snap.
Platform: Nintendo 64, Wii(Virtual Console).
Price(Virtual Console.): 1,000 points($10.).
  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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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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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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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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      I mentioned in a status update that I've been a fan of Pokémon since I was 4. As such, I have been a fan for 20 years of its currently 21-year existance in the US. People say it's just a cartoon for little kids. You know what else is? My Little Pony. And look where that franchise is today. Tom And Jerry, Scooby Doo, and SpongeBob SquarePants are "just" cartoons. That doesn't mean they aren't popular. Pokémon has had a massive impact on my life. It taught me to read. My war veteran grandfather and I played together, and even traded Pokémon! I cried at Bye Bye Butterfree, and I still do. I cried for a half hour straight after Pokémon Ranger And The Temple Of The Sea. When my cousin moved back from Michigan, the first thing we talked about was Pokémon. When my dad caught me smuggling something, it wasn't drugs. It was a copy of Pokémon Silver from his house. So, obviously, I wasn't about to miss the 20th anniversary movie.
      Only 2 theatres in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida, were showing it. Hollywood 20 and AMC. I chose the AMC, as a ticket was cheaper there. 2 of my 3 younger brothers accompanied me. One 17, the other 7. There was not at all any question that we would enjoy it. The 17-year-old ordered a large slushie, and the 7-year-old had a kid's meal. I ordered a cheeseburger slider combo meal. That, unfortunately, was a bad decision. It had to be cooked, and I missed the first 2 minutes. The 17-year-old assured me that all I missed was essentially Nidorino vs. Gengar, a la the Red and Blue intro. What I did see was nothing short of phenomenal, and those 2 minutes are no longer too big of a deal. About 10 minutes in, the opening credits start, accompanied by a heart-pounding rendition of the original Pokémon theme, which I lip-synced as fervently as if I was singing it at a rock concert.
      I had assumed that the movie would be a retelling of the Indigo League arc of the Pokémon anime. It was, but only partially. You all know the story by now. A 10-year-old begins a journey through the Kanto region with a Pikachu. But SO much more happens! Brock and Misty are nowhere to be seen until the end credits. But Ash has 2 friends from Sinnoh who follow him. One of them happens to be the daughter of Cynthia, the Sinnoh League champion. All 3 have aspirations. Ash, of course, wants to be a Pokémon master. The girl wants her mother's acceptance. And the boy wants to become a Pokémon professor. The girl has a Piplup, and the boy has a Lucario.
      So, the 3 go on a journey, as would be expected. But Ash is in possession of a Rainbow Wing. Basically, a feather from Ho-Oh. In the first episode, Ash saw Ho-Oh. The movie is basically about him chasing Ho-Oh, as well as friends and experience. He meets an abandoned Charmander, soon seen to belong to an absolute dick who kicks it when it tries to hug him. This is based on an episode, and becomes a big plot point. Ash wants to show him there are no worthless Pokémon. Along the way, Ash is followed by Marshadow, who eventually becomes the main antagonist. Ash breaks free from Marshadow's corruption, leaving Marshadow to look elsewhere for a host. Unfortunately, in the climax, Marshadow gets ahold of the Rainbow Wing, and gains massive power from it. I won't spoil the climax beyond that. It has to be seen to be believed. I spent the last half of the movie not just crying, but sobbing. Pretty much from their re-creation of Bye Bye Butterfree to the end. My 7-year-old brother repeatedly told me "it's okay."
      Do I recommend this movie? Fuck. Yes. Do you love Pokémon? You'll be on the edge of your seat throughout the thrilling, theatre-shaking battles. Do you hate Pokémon? Then watch it, to see what you're missing. It's not just a cartoon. It's a heart-wrenching masterpiece that it should be criminal to miss.