New Pokémon Snap: a different game that nostalgia can play tricks on

The protagonist of a certain series about advertisers said that nostalgia is a powerful catalyst to get a sale: it makes us long for a better time, perhaps simpler and more joyful, hand in hand with a product. But this is something treacherous as well, because the ‘now’ always has a losing track when compared to the ‘before’. The toy of our childhood may not be fun in our maturity and make us feel that we have wasted money.

It is something that happens with many remakes and remasters and resurrections of video game sagas (or cinema or literature or with Nestlé Jungly): they can be so disappointing for being faithful to that memory, that it turns out not to be as idyllic as in our memory; like trying to do something different and confront those feelings from our past. Quite possibly from our childhood.

We all fondly remember the Nintendo 64’s Pokémon Snap, can the new Switch game live up to a complicated legacy?

Fortunately, there are exceptions, but I still don’t know if New Pokémon Snap will be. We are facing a new game for Nintendo Switch from the Pokémon franchise, one that starts from a single antecedent, the Pokémon Snap of the Nintendo 64. In these games we do not fight against trainers nor do we aim to ‘get hold of everyone’, rather we are photographer who ‘captures’ the best moments of the creatures in their natural habitat, in the wild.

It is too early to know, because although PIXEL attended a virtual event in which he was able to see the game in motion for about 25 minutes and speak with several representatives of Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, we have not been able to play it and we do not know which foot it is limping on. nor in what aspects it shines.

The approach is undoubtedly great: you are in the Lental region with different ecosystems, in which there are a varied number of creatures that fly, play, bathe in the water and react to the few interactions that you are allowed to have with them: play some music, bait them to get their attention, and so on.

There is a new way to interact with Pokémon and vegetation by launching ‘magic balls’ that make creatures and plants glow and enter what in English is called ‘Illumina Phenomenon’. If you photograph someone in this state, you will receive more marks for the photo.

As in the original, it is not possible to move freely: you follow a path marked by the game that includes slight variations depending on how much you have played, depending on whether it is day or night or if you unlock certain abilities to take a different curve in the game. screen course.

Wherever in the morning there is a Pichu playing on the beach with a Grookey, at night you may see a multitude of Bellossom dancing under the starry sky. Your obligation, in any case, is to take the best possible photo and submit it to Professor Mirror’s judgment to earn points and progress in the game, which allows you to unlock new tools or routes or scenarios.

To dazzle such a tough judge, the game offers us basic editing tools to zoom, crop the image or even rotate it. Come on, like any modern mobile, and so much so that it is possible to include filters and stickers to give them a more creative point. Nothing like a Machamp with a beach hat as a demonstration of your photographic and creative skills.

Like the original, New Pokémon Snap runs the risk of being repetitive or having a very slow progression, to which should be added changes that the most staunch fans may not like: you cannot throw an apple at the head of a Charmeleon. to fall into a lava pit and evolve into a Charizard under the watchful eye of your camera. Surely it is a change that the groups in defense of the rights of the Pokémon see with very good eyes, but that perhaps the players receive disappointed.

Forget also about photographing all the creatures in the series, something that I suppose no one thought was possible anyway. A representative of The Pokémon Company confirmed that there will be “more than 200 creatures in New Pokémon Snap”.

And you will not be able to easily upload the photos of your best moments in the game to Instagram, the social network most given to photography. It is possible to upload them to Twitter and Facebook, social networks implemented in the Nintendo Switch, and from there if you want to anywhere else.

New Pokémon Snap understands well that it is in social networks where photographs proliferate the most and that is why there is a kind of closed social network of the game in which to share images for other players to see, evaluate and, if you are very lucky and talented, be highlighted by the creators of the game.

I think that the doubts I have with New Pokémon Snap are reasonable both from what I have seen and from what I mention at the beginning of the text: the Nintendo 64 Pokémon Snap has been exalted after 22 years and that will play against this new delivers unless you surprise with a greater variety and truly captivating environments.

There is more than a month before the game reaches Nintendo Switch, but given the shortage of games in this first half of 2021 for the console and the strong pull that Pokémon has as a franchise, all these doubts do not prevent the game from being a success nor that the players enjoy it immensely.

At the end of the day, 22 years is a long time and many people who were not even born when the first game was launched may be delighted by its original approach and because it seems that spring we are going to receive it again half cloistered at home. What better way to get past the fourth wave and the umpteenth lockdown than taking pictures of cute Pokémon on the beach?

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