New Pokémon Snap shows these beloved creatures in their natural habitats, but this means depicting dark moments that are typically only implied.
Longtime Pokémon fans have been waiting decades for New Pokémon Snap, a game that explores this beloved world in a unique way. Just like in the original, players trade Poké Balls for a camera and battles for capturing the best photographs of Pokémon in their natural habitats. It puts a fresh spin on the first-person shooter genre, having players literally shoot Pokémon, though on film rather than with bullets.
New Pokémon Snap‘s lack of combat technically makes this one of the most peaceful Pokémon experiences. However, seeing these creatures in the wild means depicting certain behaviors that are not seen in other Pokémon games — and this devotion to “authentic” natural behavior results in some pretty dark and morbid moments within the game’s colorful world.
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Though primarily aimed towards children and generally appropriate for all ages, the Pokémon series is no stranger to the macabre. Plenty of Pokédex entires detail dark and horrific occurrences, both natural and supernatural. Fans who dwell too long on this universe’s implications will easily find themselves disturbed by what these creatures are capable of. However, reading a dark Pokédex entry or knowing logically that most Pokémon are essentially animals and, therefore, some of them eat one another is one thing; it’s another to actually see a Pidgeot swoop down and grab a Magikarp from a lake.
Maricopia Reef alone is home to plenty of morbid moments. These include a Pelipper carrying a Pyukumuku in its mouth, though players can free the Sea Cucumber Pokémon with a well-timed fluffruit throw. Also in this section is a spot where several Mareanie are running around with a Corsola. This may seem innocent to those who haven’t read Marenie’s Pokédex entry in Moon, which say that it finds Corsola’s branches “as good as a five-star banquet.” Making this moment even darker is that the game will automatically caption a photo taken here as “Tag, you’re it!” adding insult to Corsola’s impending injury.
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Plus, while there are no trainer battles in New Pokémon Snap, that does not mean there are no fights. Just as in the wild, players will sometimes see two large Pokémon facing off to establish dominance. Again, such behavior is realistic, but seeing it so clearly serves as a reminder of how dangerous Pokémon would actually be in the real world. Fights between wild animals are brutal enough,…