Pokemon Snap was – hands down – one of the best games of the Nintendo 64 era, so why hasn’t it been remade, remastered or reworked in some way?
For those too young to have experienced the joy that was/is Pokemon Snap, I highly recommend you find a way to play it.
The classic 1999 title was a typical on-rail shooter, except you were shooting pics of your favourite Pokemon, using various tricks and tips to get the best shots which were then graded with points as prizes.
The game was so insanely popular that it actually ended up on the Virtual Consoles for both the Wii and the Wii U, showing that Nintendo clearly knows there’s a market for the game.
When the Nintendo Switch was first revealed to be playable as a handheld console, gamers were crying out that this was the perfect opportunity to revive Pokemon Snap in one way or another.
Pokemon Snap would also be the perfect game for a smartphone port. With the success of Pokemon mobile games like Pokemon GO! and Nintendo mobile games like Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, maybe a mobile Snap with a little bit of AR goodness thrown in would be the way to go.
Still there’s been nothing announced or even teased from the House of Mario, and it looks like this might be a dream we need to let go of…
But why? What’s the issue?
Well, the Pokemon franchise gets seriously sticky when it comes to creating a new game. With big companies like Game Freak, Nintendo, Creatures, Niantic and now Warner Bros. all having affiliations with the cutesy pocket monsters, it’s become a very complex IP that no single company technically owns. Even The Pokemon Company itself is co-owned, and although it has management and licensing rights, it doesn’t own the IP. Yeah…it’s very complicated.
Although there might be a lot of paperwork to get through in the revival process of Pokemon Snap, it seems that there’s a lot of people on board for the potential project.
Game Freak director Junichi Masuda has said multiple times in the past that he would love to see a Pokemon Snap sequel, going so far as to say that Game Freak wouldn’t stand in Nintendo’s way if it decided to bring the game back from the dead.
So if it’s not strictly an issue with the ownership of Pokemon, what else could it be?
You might have to blame the critics (and players) of the rerelease of Pokemon Snap back on the Wii Virtual Console in 2007.
NintendoLife criticised the game for being too short, saying that it could be played and completed in just an hour.
Reviewing the Wii U version of the game in 2017, NintendoWorldReport agreed with the length of the title being a problem, and also cited a lack of content and replayability as a serious issue for modern gamers.
Thanks to these reviews (and many more), Pokemon Snap‘s Virtual Console reviews ended up being very mixed, which could raise a red flag for Nintendo.
Maybe the gamers of 2017 and onwards have outgrown the simple mechanics of Pokemon Snap, at least on console?
With the Switch proving to be one of Nintendo’s best consoles in years, and with Nintendo’s mobile games going from strength to strength, we can’t imagine we’ve seen the last of Pokemon Snap…
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo