The new Pokmon Snap is the glass-bottom boat among diving games. It’s cool and gives you nice insights into another world, but at the same time it shows you every second that you are just an observer and not a part of this really exciting thing. I think it’s a shame that the game’s attractive concept of “pokemon shooting” didn’t evolve more than 20 years after the first episode so you can explore the wild world of Pokemon independently and in a way that you define on your own. Instead, you drive through landscapes on the same railroad tracks at an automatic speed and have nothing to do other than lure, scan, and pick up. It was actually better in Endless Ocean Diving Adventure (Wii, 2007): Free exploration plus photography plus animal catalog filling. Thankfully, the New Pokmon Snap also does things right: 200 pocket monsters make a nice cross-section of the Pokmon world and their number is just enough – even more different animals would have just resulted in more abuse. Activating new islands is stimulating and the capture itself is great – and the photo evaluation phase that the professor makes after each trip is also a welcome change, despite the sometimes very static assessment guidelines. Since all of the dialogues take place on a brutally shallow level and the story fits into the back of the Pokmon’s trading card, in the end it suffers no more than a very short “satisfying” level.
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