New Pokemon Snap - A Dream Come True

When I was a kid, Pokemon was massive. It was something completely new that was taking the world by storm, and I too was being drawn into it. I still remember the first time I saw the anime, the first time my parents bought me a toy, the first time I got some Pokemon cards, and the very first time I started up Pokemon Red. These are all memories that will forever be burned into my brain, yet they were all such small parts of what Pokemon would eventually become for me. It was something I had never experienced before, and it was also something I could not get enough of. Heck, I used to worry about "what would happen next" once Ash finally made it to the Pokemon League. As far as I knew, that would be the end of it, but then Pokemon Gold and Silver came around to give me hope. But again, what would happen once those games were over? Would Pokemon continue? How long would it last?

Back then, despite it being so popular, I really didn't expect it to continue to evolve into the franchise it is now. I was living completely in the moment, and during that time it was my everything. I hoped those times would last forever, but I wasn't sure if they would. For the time being however, I planned to enjoy it as much as I could, and I was always waiting for the "next big thing" to come to the Pokemon world. That's when I heard about Pokemon Snap.

During those days, Pokemon games were still quite limited. We had the Game Boy games, Pokemon Stadium on the N64, and Hey You Pikachu (which I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who liked that game). They were all fun games, and offered different looks at the Pokemon world, but there had yet to be a 3D game where you could actually "explore" this world. The first time I saw Pokemon Snap was actually at a Toys R Us, and I completely mistook what it was right off the bat. The demo was setup for you to play, but I didn't actually have much time to stand there to play it. I just remember the screen slowly moving towards a meowth, and me using the buttons to zoom in closer and throw apples at it. I didn't know what was going on, but the fact that it was a 3D Pokemon game meant I HAD to have it. So I began asking for it.

I'm really not sure how or why it happened, but one Sunday night I was over at my grandparent's house, and my uncle and his wife came over with a sack in their hands. I can still recall my uncle handing that sack over to me, and me looking inside to see not just Pokemon Snap, but it's guide book as well. Needless to say, in that moment, I was pretty excited! Even though it had only been a few months since I had first asked for the game, as a kid that seemed like an eternity's worth of waiting. And now, that wait was finally over.

Sadly I couldn't play the game until after school the next day, but once I got home, that game would became my "go to" for many, MANY, months to come. Although it wasn't quite the exploration game I was expecting, I still loved every minute of it. Seeing Pokemon in their "natural environment," and trying to line up the camera for the perfect shots was a lot of fun. Eventually you started unlocking tools to help you, and by using them you could lead Pokemon into unique situations for even better pictures. It was a really cool concept, and I was always striving to take better pictures.

Even when I wasn't playing Pokemon Snap, I was still thinking about Pokemon Snap. Thanks to that guide book, I was able to "study" the maps, and learn as much about the game as I could. I still remember talking to my cousins about that game, as we walked with our parents to the town's fall festival, and I remember bringing the guide book with me so that we could look at it on our way up there. They too became pretty interested in the game, and whenever they came over they instantly wanted to play it. Sadly that day wasn't really the best for me however, as I got stung up by bees, and was then forced to walk all the way back home in pain. My cousins were planning on coming over to play Pokemon Snap after, but I'm pretty sure that didn't happen that day... And later on, their love for the game would actually start to annoy me.

I guess it was because the game was mine, and I had already played it so much, but eventually Pokemon Snap did start to annoy me. My cousins ALWAYS wanted to play it, and I was tired of that being the only thing we did. So one day I actually "hid" it behind my TV so they wouldn't find it, and... That was actually the last time I ever saw it myself. That day a large group of neighborhood kids came over to play, and one of them must've found it... When they left I went to retrieve the game from my "hiding place" (behind the TV), and it was no longer there.

Losing Pokemon Snap crushed me as a kid, and sadly the next time I got to play it wouldn't be until I was 18 years old. The game eventually came out on the Nintendo Wii, and since I started working at my uncle's bakery I was easily able to get the extra money to buy it. Funny enough, my one cousin (who loved the game) came over as well to play it. It was the first time either of us had seen the game in roughly 9-10 years, and it was just as good as we remembered. Sorta.

Overall, Pokemon Snap really wasn't that big of a game. You only had a handful of areas, only a fraction of the original 151 Pokemon were included, and the "secret paths" weren't so secret once you figured them out. It was still a fun game, and the scale was understandable for the time, but overall it really wasn't as "amazing" as I had once thought it was. That's not to say I still didn't love it, it's just the magic of it had at that point worn off for me. But I still had hopes that one day we'd get to return to it... And now here we are.

11 years after I returned to the original Pokemon Snap, we are now finally getting that sequel I had wished for. It's hard to believe so much time has passed. I never once thought it would take this long for a follow up, nor did I really ever think that it would actually happen at this point! The announcement of New Pokemon Snap was a dream come true for me, and once again I find myself returning to how I felt during my childhood. Like back then, a world filled with the unknown is awaiting me, and I can't wait to dive back into it.

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