Three Little Ways New Pokémon Snap Captured My Heart

I didn’t know I could be so excited for New Pokémon Snap to come out until Becca posted about replaying the original Pokémon Snap from 22 years ago. Her post immediately transported me to my childhood TV room, trying to capture all 63 featured Pokémon on film. Would the New Pokémon Snap scratch the nostalgia itch and be worth the full price? Would I still get excited about taking pictures of Pokémon I didn’t know? I found out soon after I started playing—the answer is YES!

Here are three little ways New Pokémon Snap captured my heart, and one way it did not:

Even my bad pictures get a star

This is my one star photo of Bunnelby in the Pokédex [Image Description: a grey, hare-like Pokémon called Bunnelby is looking away from the camera towards blades of grass in a woodland area. The Pokémon is sitting on its hind legs.]

I don’t play video games because I excel at gaming; I play simply because I enjoy gaming. The same goes for New Pokémon Snap. I have no trending photos in-game, nor do I think I ever will. That’s okay with me, because with every picture I take, I expand Professor Mirror’s Pokémon research. 

New Pokémon Snap encourages you to take multiple types of photos of each Pokémon. A full Pokédex would have four photos of each Pokémon, ranging from the mundane to fantastical. It makes sense from a scientific standpoint; to better understand Pokémon behavior, wouldn’t you want to observe them in all sorts of situations? It also makes sense on a personal level, as even my pictures of a poorly lit Bunnelby looking at grass can make it into the Pokédex.

The Pokédex provides extra cuteness

[Image description: This is part of a screen capture of the Pokédex entry for Emolga, a Pokémon that looks like a flying squirrel with a ruffled tail. It’s jumping for joy with front paws outstretched. Their body colors are white and black, with bright yellow accents underneath its wings, inside its ears, and on its cute cheeks. Text in the photo identifies Emolga as Pokémon #008 in the game, and as a category sky-squirrel Pokémon.]

I didn’t think I would ever open the in-game Pokédex. There’s too much to do in the game already—why would I randomly flip through the Pokédex? How would this improve my gameplay? I was getting tired of the red exclamation mark next to the Pokédex button, so I decided to check it out. I immediately had to look through the whole Pokédex.

The Pokédex is a love letter to each Pokémon. Every entry has the basic stats (type, category, height, weight) and a little description that could give clues to where to take their picture. It also displays up to four photos of that Pokémon. My favorite feature is when you click the image of the Pokémon. The developers graced us with the cutest squeaks, squawks, and poses for each of the 214 featured Pokémon! How can I not click on every single entry?

Illumina orbs enrich the plot (yes, there’s a plot)

There’s some magic in the air! [Image description: Meganium, a light green Pokémon that vaguely looks like a long necked four legged dinosaur, is sniffing a glowing flower. Meganium’s eyes are closed, as if enjoying the scent, and is glowing the same color as the flower. Meganium has thin yellow antennae, as well as a pink petals encircling its neck.]

The original Pokémon Snap had your character looking for Pokémon Signs, or locations where the environment looks like a Pokémon. This eventually unlocked Rainbow Cloud, where you could take a picture of Mew. In New Pokémon Snap, Professor Mirror wants you to investigate crystal blooms, which allow him to manufacture Illumina orbs. These orbs can then be thrown at Pokémon to reveal a unique behavior or just make them glow prettily. Once you learn more about the Pokémon on a particular island, you’ll be able to look for the mythical guardians of the Lental region: Illumina Pokémon. 

The Illumina plot feels much more ingrained in the game than the Pokémon Signs. Every Pokémon has the potential to have some Illumina effect or at least give you a higher scoring photo. It’s also stunning; I sometimes run the Illumina Pokémon courses just to enjoy the scenery. 

The one way it did not capture my heart?

The name! New Pokémon Snap sounds like they couldn’t think of anything better to name it. Then again, it is quite a snappy name… (I’ll see myself out.)

Audino was so happy after eating a Fluffruit, it struck a pose! [Image description: A pink and cream Pokémon called Audino poses with its hands stretched to the side. It’s ears are floppy, with curly extensions underneath. Audino is standing in a bed of flowers and its blue eyes are looking away from the camera.]

New Pokémon Snap took everything that I loved about the original Pokémon Snap and made it better. It definitely feeds my nostalgia, but makes me curious enough about the new Pokémon that I want to reinvest in the franchise. If you’ve been on the fence about this game, snap it up! (Sorry, had to.)

Are you playing New Pokémon Snap? Do you also feel guilty when you accidentally hit a Pokémon with a Fluffruit and get a great picture? Share your New Pokémon Snap thoughts and pictures with us on Twitter!

If you want more video game content from GeekGirlCon, make sure to check out our Twitch channel! Just yesterday we featured Rakuen, and next Thursday we’ll be playing Valheim Shenanigans. Our Twitch channel is also the home of our book club, and GeekGirlTalks. Check out tonight’s GeekGirlTalk about AAPI History Month tonight at 7 p.m. PT.

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Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Kalyna Durbak

Kalyna is a copywriter at GeekGirlCon, and a professional Jill-of-all-trades.

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