Pokemon Snap Turns 18 | Retro Gaming | Infinite Grenade Launcher Podcast | Level 310
Travel to Pokémon Island, meet Professor Oak, and embark on a safari to take photographs of (and celebrate) the 18th birthday of Pokemon Snap for N64. Join hosts Justin, AJ, Kyle, and the rarest Pokemon in a NEW IGL Retro Gaming.
About the Game:
Pokemon Snap is a first-person shooter type of game published by Nintendo for their much beloved system, the Nintendo 64 in 1999. It is a spin-off game in the Pokémon collection of video games across platforms.
It was one of the first console-based games for it and featured many Pokémon rendered for the first time in real-time 3D (!). The game was re-released for the Wii’s Virtual Console in December 2007 and the Wii Virtual Console in 2016.
The objective of the game is to take pictures of Pokémon, using items such as apples and “pester balls” to achieve better shots. After each round, players are judged based on the quality of their photos.
The Virtual Console version features the ability to send pictures taken in the game to the Wii Message Board and to friends, whereas the OG Nintendo 64 cartridge could be taken to Blockbuster (extinct video stores) to get pictures from the game printed on stickers.
By the end of 1999, Pokémon Snap sold 1.5 million copies, and was a strong rental title in 1999 after its release. It was met with a mostly positive reception by critics, described as “addictive” by video game sites like IGN and similar. It has also been compared to other notable video games involving photography, such as Afrika, Dead Rising, and Beyond Good & Evil.
Todd Snap is a Pokémon photographer who gets summoned by Professor Oak to Pokémon Island, a place with a variety of climatic and geographic regions where Pokémon live undisturbed by humans. Oak needs pictures to accompany his scientific findings and knows from past experience that Todd is the right person for the job.
Equipped with a motorized, amphibious buggy named the Zero-One, Todd explores the island and photographs the Pokémon that inhabit its environments.
From Professor Oak’s research hub, the player can select between levels and features via a menu system. After completing a course, the player selects the best picture of each Pokémon to show Professor Oak. Oak’s scoring takes into account aspects of the pictures such as the Pokémon’s size, pose, and framing.
Extra points are awarded for capturing a “special” pose or Pokémon, like a surfing Pikachu, and snapping multiples of the same Pokémon within the frame. Scoring well in the Pokémon Report and photographing a wide variety of Pokémon progress the player in the game.
Players start out with only a camera, but later in the game Professor Oak provide a number of special items used to obtain better photographs. The game has seven levels: Beach, Tunnel, Volcano, River, Cave, Valley, and the special course “Rainbow Cloud.”
However, the staggered acquisition of items ensures that the player must re-explore the courses to discover new material. Levels must be replayed after acquiring new items in order to locate hidden Pokémon, alternate routes, or photographic opportunities that yield the best scores.
Kyle Duncan Graham
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