Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Pokémon Snap is world building

 The New Pokémon Snap recently took over our Switch.

The game, in a single sentence, is a Pokémon photo safari. You ride what is, for all intents and purposes, a rail car, taking pictures of Pokémon in the wild. There are rails through a variety of different biomes so you get to see all kinds of environments.

My wife was a big fan of the original Pokémon Snap from 1999 and really likes the new one as well. My Pokémon experiences consist of Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sun. So I’m not completely ignorant of the franchise but it took me a bit to realize what made Pokémon Snap neat.

As near as I can tell, Pokémon Snap was the first time you actually saw Pokémon in the wild, as actual animals. Rather than, you know, fodder for pit fights. It actually showed let you interact with the world of Pokémon as an environment as opposed to to an RPG with a lot of grinding and bookkeeping. Pokémon as wild animals instead of your pet gladiators.

Yes, it also lets you play a Pokémon game where you aren’t trapping Pokémon in tiny balls and enslaving them to fight for your profit. That might add some appeal for some.

And, yes, it is a game where you basically shooting Pokémon. You just happen to be shooting them with a camera. Retheming it as Pokémon big game hunting probably would be an easier job coding.

But for me, Pokémon Snap is making the world of  Pokémon into a world.

(Yes, I am very curious to what Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be like)

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