If Animal Crossing was the game of the 2020 pandemic, New Pokémon Snap might be the game we needed in 2021.
Indeed, in this period when not only is it difficult to travel, but where it is forbidden to even leave home in the evening, a game that allows us to walk in nature, and to admire the landscapes while photographing Pokemon is more than welcome. A loophole that feels good.
But I’m not here to give you a review of New Pokémon Snap. You already know if you like it. Did you play 64? Did you have a good time? Then you will like this new opus (and the opposite also applies).
On the other hand, another question seems to be on all the lips of hesitant players: is the game long? Pokémon Snap at N64 was fun, but it was also a rental game; it was easy to complete it in a weekend.
But in 2021, the situation is different; video clubs are no longer, and you now have to spend $ 80 plus tax to buy a new game. So, does this New Pokémon Snap have enough content to offer to justify this price?
Lots of levels … and sub-levels
The most obvious solution, when you want to extend the life of a game, is to add more levels. New Pokémon Snap offers 11 levels, plus a special level, for a total of 12. An improvement over the original 7, yes, but it may not seem that much.
But beware: each level is also broken down into 2 or 3 variations. Thus, a course can be explored during the day, at night and sometimes at sunset.
Some levels also have an “Illumina” variation, the boss “fights” of this New Pokémon Snap. If you remember the famous level with Mew in the original, it’s a bit the same principle; a legendary Pokémon is walking around on a level, but you must pierce its shell (with a technique that varies depending on the Pokémon, but which usually involves throwing apples in its face) before you can take a picture of it.
In short, these level variations considerably increase the amount of content. It’s the same course, of course, but the Pokémon present are different, and the events that take place there too.
Levels of sub-variations …
As if that wasn’t enough, each of these variations has 4 levels. Depending on the number of points you accumulate with your photos on a given course, you will accumulate experience points which unlock new levels on this course.
Each level adds new Pokémon and changes the behavior of those already present. For example, at level 1, a Piplup will just walk on a distant ridge. But at level 3, he will be accompanied by friends and you can convince him to go swimming in a thermal spring, for a much more profitable photo.
On the other hand, unlocking levels 3 and 4 is not easy; you will have to complete these levels repeatedly, unraveling all the secrets to find all the Pokémon hiding there.
The brilliant star system
The other way to increase the lifespan is new to this new Pokémon Snap. And she is brilliant.
Each of the 214 Pokémon in New Pokémon Snap has four types of poses to capture, corresponding to a number of stars.
The one-star pose is the standard pose. Usually, a photo of a Pokémon that is just walking or going about its business will earn you 1 star.
The 2-star photos present a particular action, but common to all; to eat, to be angry by a blow of an apple on the head, etc.
3 and 4 star photos are more difficult to obtain. These are actions specific to individual Pokémon. So if you succeed in photographing Houndoom trying to intimidate you, or Pikachu playing with a shovel, for example, you will get these rarer photos.
The number of stars does not influence your score. But if you want to complete your Photodex, the photographic equivalent of the Pokédex, you will need to manage to get a 1, 2, 3 AND 4 star photo for each of the Pokémon, for a total of 856 photos at the very least.
… And if you are a true completionist, you will try to get a platinum score for each of these photos. No badly centered photos allowed here!
A more than honest life
In short, New Pokémon Snap has implemented systems to increase the lifespan in a clever way.
If you just want to “beat” the boss at the end, ten hours should be enough for you. But if you want to complete everything there is to do in the game, expect to double or even triple that duration.
Of course, it’s a bit repetitive. That’s the nature of this kind of game. But to relax the evening before bedtime, nothing better than a little rail ride in a field full of Pokémon!
Note: A copy of the game was given to us by the publisher.