The late nineties saw Pokémania sweep across the world. The Japanese pocket monster characters had their own trading cards, anime, books, films and, most beloved by many, several exceptional games. The most popular of Nintendo’s Pokémon games were reserved for its handheld platforms, but Pokémon also reached our bulky nineties television sets through several N64 titles. Pokémon Stadium and Colosseum were 3D tie-ins to the top down Game Boy adventures, but Pokémon Snap was a completely unique spin off.
The game begins, predictably, with the infamous researcher Professor Oak enlisting your help. As a photographer, you are tasked with traveling around Pokémon Island collecting photos of Pokémon to help gather data and fill the Professor’s Pokémon. The game is set on wheels and its mechanics are simple; capture photos of the creatures to earn points, level up and unlock new content. It’s very undemanding yet addictive gameplay, and it’s well worth a play for Nintendo and Pokémon fans.
If you already own a WiiU, there’s no reason not download this retro classic now that it’s available on virtual console – and here are our six reasons why;
- It’s easy gaming.
Not only does Pokémon Snap have easy and intuitive controls, it is also surprisingly relaxing and takes very little effort. The on-rails gameplay means all you have to worry about is getting the perfect shot and the simplistic nature of the game is perfect for those days when all you crave is a dose of nostalgia. If you’re just coming out of one of this year’s big mind blowing adventures such as No Man’s Sky, Dark Souls 3 or Uncharted, this is the perfect dose of simplicity before you jump into anything else.
- We’re Pokémon mad right now.
When Pokémon Snap was first released in ‘99, the pocket monster craze had just taken root for the very first time, so it seems fitting that we should be reminded of this game 17 years on, just as the world is once again obsessed. Since PokémonGo first began to roll out in early summer, the world has gone Pokémon crazy all over again, but the addictive mobile app only goes so far to scratch that itch. Snap is perfect if you’re looking for something just a bit more substantial to tide you over until we get the much anticipated Sun and Moon titles. Plus with virtual console you don’t even have to leave the house. Bonus.
- It’s addictive.
Much like PokemonGo, the simplistic and almost mindless gameplay of the N64 classic will hook you in. Snap isn’t in the usual strategy RPG style of early Pokémon games, but it still requires that familiar xp grind in order to level up. If you want to get past that lazy Snorlax, you need to get the Pokeflute, so you better go get some more beautiful Pidgey shots if you want to proceed. It’s the same reason we’re happy to catch hundreds of Magikarps on our smartphones – because as boring as it is we really want that Gyarados.
- It’s hilarious.
Aside from the base hilarity of outdated graphics and ugly polygons, Pokemon Snap is filled with ridiculous moments; both intentionally and otherwise. The novelty of this goofy classic probably means you’ll forgive the outdated mechanics and nineties graphics.
- The music.
If you DID play Pokémon snap back in the day, you’ll appreciate the music as much as anything else. It might not be as memorable as the classic tune of the original Game Boy adventures, but if you put as many hours into this as I did you’ll appreciate the nostalgia.
- It’s just too damn cute.
Pokemon has always had a talent for stealing the hearts of gamers with its cute pocket monsters, and Snap is no exception. I have no words to do this justice, and if you haven’t played I don’t want to spoil too much so I’ll just leave you with some choice moments of pure: awh.
Games enthusiast with a passion for all things geek culture.