I've seen a few dumb comments around the internet along the lines of "Nintendo is so lazy. Why are they giving doing on-rails again instead of an open-world photography game?" as if the game needs to be a totally separate genre and gameplay experience to be worth playing.
"Hey guys, Hearts sure would be a much better game if they added tackling to it."
Namco is the developer on this? Is that right? Huh. Never knew that. Anyway, looking forward to this kinda odd spin-off. Though not sure I’m gonna enjoy my social media feeds suddenly getting flooded with screenshots and videos of this game from friends and family, and little else, haha.
I've played for an hour. It's Pokemon Snap, but New!
The primary evolution past the N64 game seems to be the photo editing. After finishing the course you can "re-snap" a photo, letting you essentially revisit that moment of time to turn the camera surprisingly far away from your original subject, change the zoom, focus, angle, etc., and then of course things like contrast, colors, filters, stickers, etc. to make something fun to post online.
One difference to the "game" is that each Pokemon has four different high score rankings, instead of just one like the original. These are presented as stars (1-4 stars) but they're really more like different Pokemon states (sitting still for one star, flying/swimming for two stars, doing something special for three and four) that each get their own slot for a high score from the Professor. I like it because it encourages you to get multiple high score photos of the same Pokemon doing different things. The downside is you can still only present one photo per Pokemon per run, so if I have a run where I get three really good photos of Bidoof in different states (at rest, swimming, building a dam) it still seems like I can only present one of those three to the professor for a score at the end.
Also, each course now seems to have four different "levels" where different Pokemon appear and do different things, and these seem to be unlocked by increasing your ranking with good scores. It's nice to revisit a course and see a few new Pokemon, or the same ones in different places, but it could get a little confusing to remember which Pokemon appear in which version of each course.
Overall I like it a lot so far. It has just enough little quality of life enhancements to feel new, but has the same overall feel to the N64 game. Anyone else picking this up today?
EDIT: One thing the game could really use is an easy way to share photos online after you've uploaded them to the in-game internet community. I want to show you all my Bidoof!!!
Really enjoying it so far! Still getting used to the controls but I'm trying to see what works best for me. I have only two gripes this far:
The Pokemon don't have their voices from the anime. I guess since there are so many of them, they didn't want to bother?
The music is...I hate to say bad, but it's hyper generic. Doesn't have nearly the same charm as the original. For instance, the jungle level doesn't really have jungle music. It's just the same generic "adventuring" style music.
I have to ask about this. The stars- I understand that the stars are based on what the Pokemon is doing, or at least, how rare the "moment" is, but sometimes I'm really scratching my head as to why one picture is one star, and why another is two stars, especially when I can't tell the difference between them. Has anyone else experienced this? It would sure be nice if we could submit more than one photo of a Pokemon per round too, especially since there are now four different instances you can try to record of each Pokemon.
@PogueSquadron I don't miss the anime voices, haha. I don't mind them in the show, or even in mainline games, but I can definitely see them getting annoying when you're surrounded by so many wild Pokemon.
And yeah, the star ratings can feel arbitrary when you're looking at the photos afterward. Sometimes a photo of Pikachu just standing there smiling (one star) can look similar to a picture of Pikachu smiling because he just ate an apple (three stars). I like the idea of the stars system and I do think the game is overall better for it, but it is a bit messy.
@Secret_Tunnel It does have some cutscenes and puppet shows here and there, usually after every other run or so in the five hours I've played. Some tutorials early on for the basics, too. It doesn't really add anything to the experience, but it also doesn't get in the way much.
I would actually say it does kind of add to the experience, because I always liked in the original Snap how you'd get some inkling of a mysterious legendary thing going on in the background. NPS is a little heavy handed with its dialogue, but it's pretty quick to get through it. At the very least, it's an indicator that you're about to go to a new area, so it does trigger something in your brain that character dialogue means you're making some progress.