All Signs Point to More Ways to Snap ‘Em All
Over twenty-two years after the release of the original Pokemon Snap, a sequel has finally been released, and the overall reception has been very positive. The aptly titled ‘New Pokemon Snap’ has several times more content than its predecessor, including some post-credit twists that breathe some fresh air into the game’s already diverse stages. But in the age of hundred-hour RPGs with free post-launch content and live-service games that never end, will it be enough to sate the appetites of fans of the most profitable franchise on the planet? And if it’s not, is Nintendo up to the task given their spotty-at-best record with post-launch support?
I should probably get one important point out of the way: New Pokemon Snap was developed by Bandai Namco, not a first-party Nintendo studio. Bandai Namco’s success with Pokken Tournament won them the opportunity to work on another Pokemon project, and they chose to revive Pokemon Snap. Pokken Tournament was originally released on the Wii U before being brought to arcades with additional fighters and was then ported to the Switch as Pokken Tournament DX. The DX version included the fighters from the arcade version and received a small DLC pack a few months after release but didn’t receive a notable amount of support beyond that.
Earlier this year, producer Katsuhiro Harada responded to a fan on Twitter asking about a sequel to the Pokemon fighting game, saying that he personally would love to make one. Still, the decision is ultimately up to Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. It’s likely safe to assume that this would be the case for any decisions regarding future Pokemon Snap content as well, of which there has been no word or mention of from Nintendo or Bandai Namco so far.
But that doesn’t mean you need to worry that there won’t be more Snap just yet. With few exceptions, Nintendo hasn’t really leaned into the trend of announcing additional content for a game before it’s released, especially when it comes to second-party titles. A perfect example would be November’s Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, the Zelda musuo game developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo with Nintendo. It reviewed well enough and sold even better, shipping over 3.5 million copies by the end of 2020. Still, additional content by way of an expansion pass wasn’t revealed until February 2021.
The first wave of content from the pass drops in June, with the second wave coming in November, essentially a whole year after the game’s release. Similarly, Luigi’s Mansion 3, developed by Next Level Games, received a DLC announcement well over a month after its Halloween 2019 release. The first set of playable content was released in March of 2020. Given this pattern with second-party releases, we can likely expect some additional content for New Pokemon Snap to be announced during Nintendo’s E3 Direct (this is just personal speculation).
Who’s That Pokemon?!
In fact, the day before the game’s release, a couple of people datamined the game’s files and found 40 open slots for additional Pokemon to be added.
Here’s your full pokemon snap roster!
Blank spaces are reserved pokemon IDs with empty data (could change in a future update, maybe).
— Michael (@SciresM) April 29, 2021
Of course, this image similarly doesn’t guarantee any additional content the same way that the aforementioned speculation doesn’t. But altogether, it seems to point towards some kind of post-launch support, whether through free updates adding or swapping out Pokemon in the pre-existing levels or through paid expansions that could include more substantial content. A balance of the two would be ideal.
Like many, I loved my time with New Pokemon Snap. The main game is an amazing initial offering, but as I mentioned at the beginning of the article, it’s been over twenty-two years since the original was released. There hasn’t been a single day where I didn’t want more, even as my general interest in Pokemon waned over the years. Now that it’s here and I’ve quickly torn through just about all the content the game has to offer, I still want more. There’s still so much that can be done with not only this game but the Snap franchise as a whole, and the new game only includes 214 out of 893 potential Pokemon.
The best rewards in Pokemon Snap have always been more gameplay, so it would be nice to see significant challenges like completing Photodex entries be rewarded with the chance to snap a photo of that Pokemon’s shiny version, or perhaps getting a score over 5000 on a photo could unlock that Pokemon’s evolution. But naturally, I’d love to see new levels, and Pokemon added to the game more than anything. Perhaps a nice level in the sky with more flying and dragon types, or an abandoned village destroyed by a fierce battle between two legendary Pokemon. Heck, I’d even welcome full remakes of the levels from the original Pokemon Snap in the new engine (although that would likely be wishful thinking at best). Regardless, if and when additional content is announced for New Pokemon Snap, fans have made it pretty clear they’d be happy to ‘Shellder-out’ whatever the asking price is for it.
What would you like to see from post-launch support for New Pokemon Snap? And have you been sharing any of your favorite photos from the game on social media? Let us know in the comment!
Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.