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Pokémon Snap

The Game


The ZERO-ONE's "land" form.

Originally released for the N64 in 1999, Pokémon Snap has earnt a new lease of life with its relatively-recent Virtual Consle release. Many of the Pokémon spin-offs fail to catch the interest of gamers dedicated simply to the main series, and often as not with good reason. However, I would say that Pokémon Snap is without a doubt the best Pokémon spin-off that I have played - it was, and still is, an addictive breath of fresh air amongst Pokémon games. It's good for a photography game as well, but somehow that seemed less significant!

The basic gameplay is remerkably similar to an on-rails shooter in that your character, who is incidentally named Todd Snap, is restricted to travelling along a set path in his buggy, the ZERO-ONE (shown right), and the view of your automatically moving player is controlled from a first person perspective. While I say fixed path, there are a few possible route alterations that can be manipuated using the items that you gradually unlock, such as Apples, Pester Balls and the Pokéflute. You can also use the Dash Engine to speed up your ZERO-ONE, when you get it unlocked.

Essentially, the objective of the game is to fill your albums with the best pictures you possibly can - past simply finding all of the sixty-odd Pokémon, you'll want Proffessor Oak to give your pictures a high points rating. The photos are judged on the placement of the subject Pokémon (central is best), its size, whether or not all of it is visible, and its pose. On top of these you will get get more points for finding "Special" Pokémon such as Surfing Pikachu. You will rapidly become absorbed by the humoungous variety of potential shots, making this game a lot of fun while it lasts. If you are playing the virtual console version, you can post images from Pokémon Snap to your Wii Message Board.

Despite this, you may find that it fails to keep you occupied for that long because, after unlocking all of the game's six locations and getting a decent picture of all the Pokémon, there will be little to pull you back. Regardless, the hours before that easily justify downloading this on your Wii for a mere Ł7 - or, of course, Ł7's American equivalent.

Rare Pokémon

A guide to finding some of the rarest Pokémon in the game

Simply throw about three pester balls into the whirlpool near the end of the Valley Stage, and Dragonite will fly up out.
At the beginning of the beach course, look at the ocean to the right until a Lapras appears in the far distance. Snap it about 5 or 6 times. Then, after the Meowth, focus on the ocean to the right until another Lapras appears, a little closer this time. Again, snap it about 5 or 6 times. Then, at the bridge, look at the ocean to the right. If no Lapras appears, you have done perfectly so far. A little while farther at the Kangaskhan, look for one last time at the ocean to the right. Two Lapras will appear, relatively far away. Snap the one on the right a couple of times and another Lapras will appear really close-up for an excellent photo!
In the tunnel level, throw apples to lure three Magnemites together. When you see them form a triangle together, smply take a picture! They have now become a different Pokémon: Magneton.
For me, this was the hardest to snap. To make a Grimer evolve, you have to hit it several times with a pester ball - to make Grimers appear later on in the Cave, take pictures of the earlier, further away, ones.
Another relatively hard one. Knock a Magikarp into the Mankey near the start of the level using apples, then knock the same Magikarp into the waterfall later on in the stage.
There is a Diglett in the Tunnel Stage. Take a picture of it, wait for it to bury down into and then pop back up out of the ground, and then take a picture again. Keep taking pictures until it evolves!
In the tunnel, lure the pikachu to the Zapds egg before playing your Pokeéflute to hatch the egg and break Zapdos free!
This time you are looking in the Beach stage. Near the start, throw pester balls into the grass (the same patch that Meowth ran out of). If you manage to hit Scyther he will emerge, and you can get a great shot of him in the air.