New Pokemon Snap is still a couple of days away from release, but today, some of the reviews have started landing. New Pokemon Snap is in an interesting place, because it’s a sequel to a game that came out more than 20 years ago, when the gaming landscape looked vastly different and Pokemon was still coming into its own as a franchise. Can New Pokemon Snap tap into the nostalgia people have for the first game while at the same time giving those gamers something new?
It turns out that maybe it can. A quick look at Metacritic right now shows the game sitting at an 80 rating based on 42 reviews, which is probably higher than some might have expected for a title that, by most accounts, is a fairly simple spin-off. Still, the original Pokemon Snap was a simple and straightforward game that is beloved by many, so perhaps simplicity isn’t a bad thing.
Looking through a number of the reviews contributing to Metacritic’s score, it seems that many critics believe that New Pokemon Snap successfully keeps what made the original such a winner among Pokemon fans while building upon it to offer more. While the original game was a fairly short affair, even if you made a point of looking for secret paths and hidden Pokemon, it seems that New Pokemon Snap has the potential to be quite a bit longer, particularly for the completionists among us who might want to see everything the game has to offer.
Of course, one man’s replayability is another man’s repetition, and if there’s one major complaint these reviews have, its that New Pokemon Snap can be a repetitive experience in its later stages. Snap veterans are already primed for that as there are certainly people who ran the original’s levels over and over again just to get the perfect shot.
Still, it is important to keep in mind that a number of these reviews mention that the game does get grindy at points, and without that grind, it feels a little on the short side. That much is true of the original as well, but one thing to consider is that New Pokemon Snap costs a full $60 up front, and if you’re not willing to go through the grind to see everything there is to see, you may not feel like you got your money’s worth by the time you put it down.
For those who have been waiting for a Pokemon Snap follow-up for more than two decades at this point (like me), it sounds like New Pokemon Snap won’t really disappoint. It also sounds like it’s a good jumping off point for anyone who may be new to Pokemon Snap. and we’re assuming there are quite a few people in that boat since it’s been 22 years since the last game.
Pokemon fans have proven in the past that they can be a tough crowd to please, so it’ll be interesting to see how they react to the game when it releases later this week. New Pokemon Snap is out for Nintendo Switch on April 30th.