Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Retro Gaming: Pokemon Snap

Pokemon Snap was one of the first Pokemon games ever released.  It arrived on shelves in 1999 for the Nintendo 64.  You play as yourself, a Pokemon photographer.  You are called to the Island of Pokemon by Professor Oak because he needs quality pictures to add to his research on the Pokemon.

Upon arrival Oak gives you the Zero-One vehicle to use as you travel through each course and capture the Pokemon on FILM!  Each time through the course, you are allotted sixty frames.  I found this difficult since becoming all digital.  During my replay, I just want to shoot away and I found myself running out of film.  It is quite good photography training though.  You begin to shoot wisely, waiting for the exact moment you need.  When you complete of course, you are called back to Professor Oak's lab, where you submit photos for his review.  You are graded on:

  • Size of the Pokemon in the picture.
  • Their pose.
  • Technique, meaning is the Pokemon in the center of the shot.  That is what Oak likes.

I find the last one the hardest because it goes against all I have learned in photography!  Professor Oak does not want any "creative" shots.  He wants almost staged portraits.  After playing the game as many times as I have {I have lost count since it was released for the Wii} you figure out how to get those shots.  But even after playing so many times, that is what still makes it fun.  You know what the Pokemon are going to do, and you have to wait for the exact moment to snap that high scoring shot!  Gotta catch um all!

As you rack up points, more courses open up to you:

  • Beach
  • Tunnel
  • Volcano {my favorite!}
  • River {least favorite}
  • Cave 
  • Valley...and the SECRET course...
  • Rainbow Cloud

Once you have proven your skills to Professor Oak, he starts laying down the prizes.  

  • Pokemon Food, apples to help get the Pokemon closer to you.
  • Pester Balls, to draw out hidden Pokemon.
  • Poke Flute, to make the Pokemon do special poses and dances.
  • Dash Engine, to get you to where you want to shoot faster.

I started a new game this afternoon and beat the entire thing in two hours.  That was with my OCD trying to get the best pictures I could.  I didn't do that for all pictures, but most.  In the end I just wanted to see how fast I could beat the game.  I ended up missing six of the sixty Pokemon there is to find throughout the game.

To get to the secret level Rainbow Cloud, Professor Oak asks you to go back through each course to find a special "Pokemon Sign."  You take a picture of that and bring it back to Oak, there is one on each level.  When you have them all, a new course, Rainbow Cloud will open up and your complete and total frustration will be unleashed!

Mew is the master of this level and it is soooo tough to get a good picture of him/her.  My heart beats out of my chest that entire level!  But when you do get that amazing shot it is all worth it! 
My favorite Pokemon to shoot on each level:

  • Beach - Meowth
  • Tunnel - Diglett/Dugtrio
  • Volcano - Charmander
  • River - Bulbasaur 
  • Cave - Jiggly Puff
  • Valley - Goldeen.  Almost as hard as Mew, but so pretty!

This game has the best re-play.  After all these years, I still find this game HIGHLY addictive and fun to come back to once a year as a good time killer!  Maybe twice to make sure you CATCH that perfect shot!
What is your favorite video game to go back and play time and time again?!  Share them in the comments below and maybe we can all find a NEW favorite!!


Unknown said...

God I love this game, I wish they'd make a new version for the 3DS!


Ash that would be amazing!! Thank you for the comment!

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