New Pokémon Snap is finally here. After more than a week since its release, many fans have had ample time to bask in the nostalgia and take lots of photos of their favorite Pokémon.
The original Pokémon Snap game released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64 console. The game was met with critical acclaim and labeled as “innovative” and “addictive” by IGN. When Nintendo announced that a sequel was in the works, fans were immediately excited. The sequel has received good reviews, with outlets mostly saying it has successfully captured the magic of the original while updating it for modern times. IGN gave it an 8/10.
Pokémon Snap is a family-friendly game where players board a hovering vehicle and are tasked with taking beautiful photographs of Pokémon in the wild. The more interesting the photo, the better the rating.
In the new Pokémon Snap, players assist professor Mirror in his research by photographing Pokémon in several different environments. Players visit different places such as a beach, a jungle, a desert, underwater caverns and more in the course of their travels. Players try to outdo themselves each time they repeat a course in order to gain better ratings and increase research levels.
The game looks wonderfully designed, the Pokémon feel alive and players are having a blast sharing all of their captured moments online and with friends, but is the $60 price tag worth the seemingly limited gameplay?
Nerd Street Gamers talked to Pokémon fans, some who have played the original and some who haven’t to get their thoughts on whether it’s worth $60.
Image credit: The Pokémon Company
Pokémon fans are loving it
Daniel “DanimalKrakr” Neal has played almost all of the Pokémon main series games and played the original Pokémon Snap on the Nintendo 64.
“At first I was a little wary about [the price]. But I have played quite a bit offline, and I will say it is very good and in my opinion, worth the price,” he said. “The graphics are cute and there are a lot more Pokémon than there were back in the day, as well as routes to take.”
Remakes of all different kinds of media such as movies, TV shows and video games have been a trend in the last few years. Nintendo is consistently pumping out remakes and sequels of some of their most iconic franchises, including The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart and Smash Bros. Fans are loving all of the fresh takes on old Nintendo classics.
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A feeling of nostalgia is something Nintendo likely relied on in the sales of its new Pokémon Snap game, but there are a lot of fans who haven’t played the game before and jumped at a chance to photograph Pokémon.
Although Ethan “Brunestor” Seftor didn’t play the original, he didn’t think twice about picking up the game.
“I did buy it,” he said. “I used a bit of a gift card, so I only paid $24 out of pocket so that definitely impacted my purchase of it! And one thing I definitely will say is it gives off massive 'Animal Crossing in 2020' vibes. … I definitely saw it and thought 'I love Pokémon and I could use a low-stress game that makes me feel good right now.' In that sense I recommend it, but the $60 price tag is definitely a lot.”
Some folks who have picked up the game for the first time seem to be loving it just as much as those who are experiencing a burst of nostalgia.
However, there are plenty of fans who didn’t purchase the game at all, and have no interest in doing so.
Pokémon fans who are skipping Pokémon Snap
A surprising amount of the Pokémon fans whom Nerd Street talked to said the $60 price tag is just too much to fork over for a game that isn’t as long as other main series games like Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Melanie "Nakashimafied" Maguire is one of those Pokémon fans. Nakashimafied has been a fan of the Pokémon series since she was a child and has built an impressive collection of games.
Photo credit: Melanie “Nakashimafied'' Maguire
“To me, Pokémon Snap is pretty much a glorified screenshot taker. I can see the fun in it, sure -- it's a Pokémon game and I'll give most any Pokémon game a try. But at $60, the price of a main series game in the franchise? It's too much for what it is,” Nakashimafied said of the price.
Ryan “clrbl1nd” Young agrees, and lamented that he might have considered buying the game if the price tag was lowered just a little bit.
“Pokémon Go is literally the same game now. Plus it’s free, and I can make it look like there’s a Gengar in my living room. Win/win. If it was $40? Maybe. It would be like Animal Crossing. Play it for a month and forget about it,” he said.
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Nakashimafied also would consider buying the game if it sat in the $15-$30 price range, but also said that if the game offered more of an open world experience, then it would make it far more valuable.
“If Snap wasn't on rails and instead was an open world game to explore and take pictures in, it'd be a different story. That would open up hours upon hours of exploring the world and finding the best shot. It's too predictable as is. Everyone is going to have that same picture of Scorbunny asleep on top of Torterra. Fun side game? Sure. But not at $60,” Nakashimafied said.
Others on Twitter chimed in about the $60 price tag, and most said that it was too high for them to consider trying it out.
Image credit: The Pokémon Company
Is Pokémon Snap worth the $60 price tag?
This answer is going to be different for every individual. For fans who played the original, this is an easy sell. There are a large number of Pokémon that weren’t available in the original 1999 Nintendo 64 game, and graphics have obviously improved in the past two decades.
For those who haven’t played the game before, it’s a little bit harder to swallow a $60 price tag. A lot of fans aren’t sure they’re going to get the same play time out of it as they would in a main series game, and for that reason they’ve opted to wait for a sale, or abstain completely from purchasing the game.
Historically, Pokémon games don’t often get discounted in the Nintendo eshop, but there’s a chance people can catch a sale at a physical retailer such as Target or Best Buy, especially around the holiday season.
Lead image credit: The Pokémon Company