Wooderon’s Favourite Video Games of 2021 – #7: New Pokémon Snap

Happy Christmas everyone!

As this goes up, I think I’m relatively on top of all these posts now. As is tradition, I continue to roll down the final days of the year by spending them talking about my ten favourite video games of 2021.

This list is one of my top ten favourite games that come out in in the year 2021. In the past I’ve been a little loose with the rules and kind of slipped DLCs and expansions into the mix. But with the real rise of service games now, I felt like I finally had to break away and create a list of my older favourite games too. Which you can check out by clicking this link here.

Let’s get into number 7:

#7: New Pokémon Snap

Played on Nintendo Switch | Released 30th April | Developed by Bandai Namco Studios

I seem to have discovered a habit this year of spending half of my reviews of games I really enjoyed complaining about them. While I enjoyed playing the New Pokémon Snap quite a bit, I couldn’t help myself but nit pick it to death and excessively compare it to the first game. A comparison that probably wasn’t incredibly fair considering the difference in approach this very belated sequel had to the original.

Like in my review from June, I’ll get the negative out of the way first: In the new Pokémon Snap, you travel through a predetermined route and snap as many pictures of Pokémon as you can for review by a professor at the end. Where I feel this game comes up short in comparison to the original is the extent to which you can interact with the world around you as you pass through it.

In the original game, you could force events to happen all around you, and interacting with the Pokémon and environment around you were the ways to discover how to capture some of the best photos in the game.

In the sequel, the world feels much more procedural giving you far less ability to alter the state of it. You’re much more of a passive observer than the agent of mischief you seemed to be in the first game. But that’s all a matter of give and take isn’t it.

In comparison to that first Pokémon Snap, which was ultimately a very small game, there is much, much more to sink your teeth into this game, seven Pokémon and three console generations later. Sure, you can’t evolve a Charmeleon by bopping it into a volcano or sent a Mankey flying into the distance to open a secret area, but those environments were so plain and barren that it was much easier to programme that stuff.

By comparison, the stages in New Pokémon Snap are lush, dense environments packed with more Pokémon that you even knew were there on your first, to fifth trek through them. While the game made some alterations for the new level of detail on the Switch, it ultimately works in the game’s favour and gives us a super pretty game with so much more potential for repeatable play.

Even after the game came out, the devs went and added a bunch new levels. Further increasing the number of Pokémon and opportunities for fun custom pictures using the game’s pretty robust photo editor.

It took 22 years (Jesus…) for a sequel to Pokémon snap to come out. And honestly, I feel like it was well worth the wait by the end. It’s a super pretty game that takes the elements of the first game and expands upon them. Sure, it might not feel like you’re able to affect the world in the same way, but the sheer amount of other content we got to compensate feels like it more than makes up for it.

I have no ide if this game is going to get a follow-up, if I had to be honest, I’d doubt it. But who knows, maybe in another few decades we’ll get an even newer Pokémon Snap that’ll end up being the best of both worlds if the game that came before it. This is one of the best games to come out on the Switch in 2021 and a bust buy for any Pokémon fan in my opinion.

2 thoughts on “Wooderon’s Favourite Video Games of 2021 – #7: New Pokémon Snap

  1. I never really played the original Pokemon Snap, but I love New Pokemon Snap. It’s so cute and there is so much to explore! It would have been cool if pokemon could evolve in this game like they apparently did in the original, though. Maybe in another 20 years when we get Pokemon Snap 3 they’ll bring that back 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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