Pokemon Snap is a portion of Nintendo's Pokemon series. It currently consists of two games: the original Pokemon Snap released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999, and Pokemon Snap 2, which was a 2012 launch title for the Stream.
The Pokemon Snap games are on-rails photographic shooters. Players traverse a number of courses in fully three dimensional environments, taking as high-quality shots of as many types of Pokemon as possible along the way. A major focus is put on achieving high scores, both for individual courses and for types of Pokemon.
Players in the Pokemon Snap games can also use a number of items to provoke reactions from Pokemon and achieve better shots. These include treats for luring Pokemon to an area, Pester Balls to drive them away from an area, and a Pokeflute for provoking special actions.
Development of the original Pokemon Snapwas handled by HAL Laboratory with some aid from Pax Softnica. It was at first conceived as a new series, not featuring any Pokemon at all. However, Pokemon were soon added as a way to motivate players to take quality photos. It was also believed that the expressive nature of Pokemon character designs led to more interesting and worthwhile photographic experiences.
The original Pokemon Snap was released in March 1999 for the Nintendo 64 in Japan, with an American release coming later in the summer. The game only featured 63 of the original 151 Pokemon, as well as only seven courses to traverse. This made the game fairly lean, especially compared to the main series Pokemon games. Despite this, Pokemon Snap was a hit upon release, receiving generally positive reviews and impressive sales. The game would go on to sell over 4 million units total, making it one of the twenty best-selling games on the Nintendo 64.
The Pokemon Snap series, despite its initial success, would go on hiatus for over a decade. This was due in part to developer HAL Laboratory being busy with other projects, including the Kirby series, the Super Smash Bros. series, and even other Pokemon spinoffs such as Stadium 2 and Ranger.
The series was revived during the planning stages of Nintendo's eighth generation console, the Stream. One of the Stream's most notable new features would be the ability to share screenshots on a social network. This sharing of photos online would be the next evolution of the series.
Pokemon Snap 2 Edit
Pokemon Snap 2 was released in late 2012 alongside the Stream. It was developed in cooperation between Genius Sonority and Hudson Soft. The game was a dramatic step above its predecessor in virtually every respect. For instance, rather than having just six regular courses populated by 63 types of Pokemon, Pokemon Snap 2 had a dozen somewhat longer courses populated by 106 types, all of which were from the recent fifth generation of games. The starting level, named "Beach," was the only one initially unlocked, with each of the other levels requiring specific feats to open for play.
Other new features included a photo sharing and voting system, in which photos shared on Miiverse would be voted on daily to determine the best photo of the day; competitive multiplayer, in which two players would go down parallel courses at the same time and be judged by their final scores; and online leaderboards, for courses, individual pictures, Pokemon types, and game completion times.
Pokemon Snap 2 was generally praised by the gaming press. Its greater amount of content, especially including online and multiplayer modes, was seen as a welcome addition to the series. However, the relatively simple graphics, not to mention lower resolution than some other Stream games, was the source of widespread criticism. Nevertheless, the game performed well, and was the second million-seller on the Stream, after New Super Mario World.