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Return of the Retro: Pokémon Snap

The release of next-generation hardware is the perfect time to bring back old franchises and resurrect forgotten titles of the past. With the ever promising possibilities in store for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, everyone has considered what games they’d like to be released on the latest generation of Nintendo hardware, whether it be new IP or old.

With the recent announcement of a new Yoshi game for the Wii U, these thoughts were once again brought to the forefront; if a game franchise that hasn’t seen a title since 1997 can make a reappearance sixteen years later, what other games will make their comebacks?

One of the games that came to mind the other day, no doubt in light of the recent buzz surrounding Pokémon X & Y, was Pokémon Snap.

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Back in 1999, ten-year old me, thought Pokémon Snap was the greatest. It was a game that possessed a unique game mechanic with levels that offered a variety of challenges thanks to the time-limit rail system, hidden secrets, having to unlock additional Pokémon in a level by forcing them to evolve, and more. In addition, I was just really good at this game; I could snap a photo of Mew like none other.

In Nintendo’s generation of duel screens and gyroscope technology, Pokémon Snap would be a perfect choice to revitalize. We’ve already seen games like Spirit Camera use the 3DS as a movable camera within a 3D environment, so there is precedent to use a similar set-up with Pokémon Snap, though hopefully it will be better executed than the Fatal Frame spin-off. As for the Wii U, there’s no reason not to try a camera mechanic using the GamePad.

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Additionally, there was only ever one Pokémon Snap title, and it only contained the original 151 lineup of Pokémon. Today there are over 600 different Pokemon, meaning tons of unexplored territory for the game’s potential developers.

Finally, modern online gaming and social connectivity would allow players to share their photos with fellow gamers through such outlets as the Miiverse. Back in the 90s, you could go to a Blockbuster where one would find a special machine to print out stickers of your in-game photos, so the idea of sharing photos with other Pokémon fans did exist back when the game was first released; the idea of sharing over the internet today is simply a more practical one and a natural evolutionary step for the franchise if a sequel were to be made.

But perhaps I am alone in my strong feelings for Pokémon Snap. Who else would like to see this title return for the the 3DS and/or Wii U?

  • http://www.facebook.com/zach.jackson.102 Zach Jackson

    Wishful thinking, but Junichi Masuda was recently interviewed about the topic.

    “I also ask about Game Freak’s interest in Nintendo’s other new hardware, the Wii U, with a personal plea for the team to do a new version of Pokemon Snap making use of the Wii U Gamepad. Masuda doesn’t seem interested in my wish.

    ‘Photography wasn’t as widely spread in those days,” he says. “Now everyone has a camera and can take photos whenever they want. Releasing it in that same form wouldn’t be as interesting these days. Maybe there’s a new idea, though.’”

    As much as I would love it, and how well it would work, it doesn’t seem like it’ll happen.

    • BreanaMelvin

      Yeah I doubt it too, but It’s still a fun idea.

      That quote did give me a good idea for a 3DS version though: have an AR level/mode where you take pics of the pokemon in real-life environments. Perhaps you unlock more characters/animations for the AR mode based on your in-game scores.

      • http://www.facebook.com/julianna.flenniken Julianna Flenniken

        wasnt that the gimick they we’re talking about with the pokedex in the new gen with the 3DS? I seem to remember there being something along the lines of taking photos in real-life with the 3DS camera and the game “seeing” pokemon there.

        • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.lefebvre.161 Aaron Lefebvre

          Its not a “gimmick” if its fun, and enjoyed by many. People need to learn the meaning of gimmick.

        • BreanaMelvin

          oh yeah, it was like catching them in real life or something like that

          kind of gimicky, but that sort of thing is just an fun; not part of the core experience but a nice addition to round things out

  • MetroAndroid

    We should start a petition to show Nintendo we want this! (because those always work xD)

  • zdog

    Oh man, this article is sweet vindication for the longings of a pokemon fan. Pokemon Snap U was literally the first game I thought of when they made the announcement about Wii U. It is too perfect. Too bad the creators don’t seem to think so…

  • Ldsquillace

    Actually, Yoshi’s Island DS was released on 2006…

    • BreanaMelvin

      Yoshi Island games are in separate category from mainline Youshi platformers, similar to how many different types of Mario games are divided up into different franchises