This game should be no stranger to gamers who owned a Nintendo 64 like me when they were young. If you had a Nintendo 64 and didn’t have this game, there was something wrong with you. The game in question is Pokémon Snap. It was one of the most hyped games for the console, since it combined Pokemon and um, photography. While today it might not be special, it was a big deal then. It was a best seller for the console, and people to this day want a sequel to it. I mean, why hasn’t there been a sequel to a rather unique game? Photography in games has been a rather underutilized mechanic, and only a few games have implemented it into their gameplay. We have games like Dead Rising, the Fatal Frame franchise, and Beyond Good and Evil (one of my favorite games of all time, by the way) that use photography, but it was never the main focus of the game. The one game I could think of that used photography as a major mechanic besides the Fatal Frame franchise was a PlayStation 3 game called Afrika. Recently in an interview with Polygon, the director of the soon-to-be-released Pokémon X & Y games, Junichi Masuda, who is best known for working on the Pokémon franchise and games like Drill Dozer and HarmoKnight, was asked about a sequel to this fan favorite Pokémon game. Of course, he didn’t give a straight answer as to whether they have an idea about doing for a sequel or not. Seeing that article then got me thinking, what if Nintendo were to make a sequel to Pokémon Snap, what would it be like? I know someone has probably written an article about this, but I am just going to go through the ideas of what they could do with a sequel to a rather interesting game. Let’s get started!
My idea for a sequel would be that you are an aspiring Pokémon photographer, and you are sent out by a company that publishes a popular Pokémon magazine to take the best pictures of Pokémon ever! Yeah, the story shouldn’t be the main focus of this game, but this is just the setup. This will be a case where gameplay and world development should be priority number one.
The gameplay is where the most change should be. Take the players off the rails, and let them explore a massive world. Give the players the ability to create their own character with a huge amount of customization options. Game Freak, or whoever they get to make this game, should also give the reasonable option of either the player piloting a transforming vehicle, or for the more popular option, have the player choose from a variety of Pokémon to help the player take photos. I mean, what Pokémon fan doesn’t want to have the ability to ride on top of a Braviary to get aerial views of herds of Pokémon, get great underwater shots while swimming on the back of a Mantine, or capture footage or shots of Pokémon running across the grasslands on top of a Dodrio? The main item that any good photographer should have is a camera, and maybe through leveling up, you can customize your camera to do to different things. Sub-items should be available like food or the Poké-Flute, but I don’t think the Pester Balls would be needed. Instead of having something to aggravate the Pokémon, the Pokémon themselves should act like they do in their descriptions in the Pokédex. As for the multi-player side of things, have players team up on challenging photography challenges, or compete against one another as to who can take the better photo. The difficulty could be in how good the photo is, like is the Pokémon looking natural or did you pester it, is the Pokémon too close to the camera, too far away, is its back turned, knocked out, and you get the idea. As for levels, instead of having generic levels like the last game, they should have the levels be the entire regions that you can travel across. I guess this idea for levels is too ambitious for its own good, but at least have iconic areas from each of the regions where you can take photos of multiple types of Pokémon. Maybe throw in city or town environments to see how Pokemon would react around them. It would be cool to see if they could fit all the regions into one game, but if they can’t, at least give us huge open areas of land, sky, water, mountains, and canyons to give the player more areas to take pictures from.
I usually like to talk about the graphics around this time in all of my articles, but I don’t think I will, since, well, the game hasn’t been confirmed yet. It should look like a fully developed 3D world. Keep the art style the same. Keep it colorful and detailed. Make sure the world around the player feels immersive.
Now, who would be the right developer to tackle such a project? Nintendo does have many small developers who have worked on spin-off Pokémon games before, but this project would have to have the right team. I know HAL Laboratory worked on the original with another company, but I think the ideal developer would be Monolith Soft. They would be a good fit for the project, due to their experience in making a huge world for the players to explore.
In the end, this is all just an idea of what Nintendo could do with a sequel to a game that has so much more potential now. Sure, some people might want the game to be the same, like the last one, but I don’t think that would go over very well with everyone else. That is just my opinion though, and hopefully, they put as much effort into this possibility as their main franchises. Who says spin-offs can’t be just as good? Anyway, if you have any ideas on what you think should be in the possible sequel, comment below!