Nintendo were kind enough to invite to an extensive viewing of the long anticipated sequel to Pokémon Snap. We got to see multiple playthroughs of the Beach level during different times of day and even caught a glimpse of the games tutorial which revealed even more details, many of which have yet to be publicly shared by Nintendo - so let's all board the NEO-ONE and take a ride in the Lental Region!
During the tutorial one of Professor Mirror's Assistants explained the control scheme such as how to move the camera and how to throw a Fluffruit - that's not the interesting part. What makes it interesting is every single line of dialogue in this conversation was fully voiced! Only a small amount of games in the series have dipped their toe in proper voice acting like Pokkén or Pokémon Puzzle League but this comes across as far more extensive than past efforts. TPCi elaborated a little further on how voices will be handled:
New Pokémon Snap features voice acting in its cutscenes. Outside of these cutscenes characters will have limited voice acting. Players can select to have characters voices in Japanese or English. They can also turn off voice acting all together. Players can toggle between these voice options at any point in the game.
One other thing the Assistant conveyed during the tutorial was that you're able to enable motion controls at any point during the game. All footage shared with us was captured with traditional button controls so it's by no means a mandatory feature but we're sure it will enhance the fluidity of moment - especially in handheld mode where the Switch will essentially mirror a camera.
More Pokémon Appear the more you Play
As you continue to delve further into the Lental region you'll gradually aquire a higher Research Level. If you return to a previous level having gained further experience you'll encounter Pokémon that didn't appear in earlier visits. The Beach level at night features two Pikachu that run around together at the introduction but a Pokémon Company representative informed us these Pikachu weren't present during a prior run.
We're sure you've noticed by now that most stages in New Pokémon Snap contain multiple altered variants. The Beach for example can be played during the day, during sunset and at night. We were informed not every level will have parity in variants but they can differ further than just time of day - though further examples weren't provided.
During the Beach stage the player is given a choice on whether they would like to continue on a straight path or turn to the left and encounter different Pokémon entirely. The replay value certainly sounds vast. Not only do you see more Pokémon the longer you play, not only are there iterations of the same levels but you can also take different paths. We're excited to see just how extensive these alternate routes can get.
Many of the standard functions from the original Pokémon Snap make their but a brand new one is the scan feature. This is far more flexible than it may initially seem, by tapping the X button you're able to send out a wave that highlights nearby Pokémon and alternate routes - however it can also be used to get the attention of Pokémon. During the gameplay provided to us we saw a Corsola and Pyukumuku minding their own business and ignoring the player but when they were scanned they both turned and performed an expressive animation.
Interact with the Environment
You've surely seen the Illumina Orbs by now which cause Pokémon to light up but these orbs serve another purpose. On multiple occasions the player is able to throw an orb onto a nearby plant causing it to shine brightly, this had the effect of luring a hidden Pokémon out of a bush bringing it in sight of our camera lens.
It Doesn't Start with the Beach
You probably assumed New Pokémon Snap would mirror the original Nintendo 64 game (we certainly did) but surprisingly the Beach won't be the first stage! We weren't informed what the actual starting stage would be but if we had to guess we'd imagine you jump straight into the Forest outside Professor Mirror's Lab.
You Can Choose from a Character Pre-Set
Once you've chosen your player avatar New Pokémon Snap won't allow you to customise your character any further but you will get default options somewhat inline with Pokémon Sword & Shield. Here's what TPCi had to say:
When players start Pokémon snap they can pick their avatar from a selection of designs which feature various skin tones and eye colours. Once selected, players cannot change their appearance during their adventure. There is no clothing customisation options available within the game.
No Bonuses for Owning Other Pokémon Games
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise but New Pokémon Snap comes as a standalone game and you won't receive any rewards for having save data in games such as Pokémon Sword & Shield or Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee.
You Can Take Pictures Without Zooming In
The original Nintendo 64 game was rather limited on buttons and so throwing fruit and taking a pictures would both occupy the A button, the function simply changed depending on whether you zoom the camera in. However in New Pokémon Snap the functions have been seperated and you can now take a picture while in the full zoomed out view, this might also mean you throw a Fluffruit while zoomed in although we didn't see that feature in action. This mean if there's a Pokémon on screen for only a few moments you'll have a much better chance of nabbing a shot of them!
Re-Snap & Photo Editing
These two functions have been showcased in recent trailers but there's been a bit of confusion to what exactly they are or if they can be used to exploit your score. Re-Snap and Photo Editing can only be used on photos after the ranking Process for Professor Mirror, so you won't be able to gain extra points.
Re-Snap seems to be quite an in-depth tool, you can go back to any picture you've taken and essentially return to it as if it were a frozen point in time. You can crop in, adjust the focus, add filters and more. It may sound similar to editing but the two have distinct differences and depth.
Photo Editing on the otherhand is more about adding elements on top such as stickers and borders.
Switch Online Subscription Required for Online
You'll be able to share your captures to social media just fine but if you wish to participate in New Pokémon Snap's online community where you can share and ranke eachother's picture you're going to need to sign up to Nintendo's service. Not exactly unexpected but it's something to consider for those who aren't subscribed.
We're a mere month away from the release of this new Pokémon adventure, what feature are you most excited for and what more do you want to see?