Playing New Pokémon Snap with a Pet Photographer

The best way to play New Pokémon Snap is with an eye for cute pet pictures.

I’ve been playing and enjoying New Pokémon Snap lately (as usual, mentioned on Channel F last week). Even though I never really played the original, I adore photography games, as a concept (see, my favorite game of 2020, Umurangi Generation). There’s something very satisfying, to me, to using the 3D FPS setup without guns, making use of a first person camera system to… actually be a camera, in-game.

It’s cute, and chill, and very colorful. But, as much as I’m enjoying playing it myself, I’m having even more fun watching my partner Viki basically eat this game up. The first time I watched them play, they told me “this is just like my job!” and proceeded to use up basically all the film in the virtual roll getting shots that put my scores to shame.

Viki is a pet care specialist, and part of their job involves taking adorable action shots of the pups and kitties (and bunnies, rodents, or occasional scaly/feathered friends) in their care. They are an expert of getting a bunch of wily doggies to look at the camera, look cute, and look happy for their pet-parent’s approval after the walk or visit.

Wildly, a lot of the same factors apply in New Pokémon Snap. “You need to utilize the 72 shots that they let you take, to the fullest extent. Don’t be cheap, you can always re-do it!” they said, when I asked for their “official” advice. Obviously, the pokémon are a little easier to predict and control, once you know their patterns. But the same lessons apply.

“I take five pictures — at least — of each pose, of each dog that I walk. It’s more like five to ten pictures, depending on the dog.” They said. Then, I submit the best one — or best ones,” to the client after the visit.

Bixbi tongue out

They were happy to supply a few “modeling photos” of our newly-groomed Shih Tzu mix, to prove the point. Not every shot works out, but, if you take enough, and keep the animal’s attention, you’ll inevitably get some great results.

Bixbi looking up

Now, I will admit, taking pictures of real-life animals is more satisfying than taking pictures of virtual Pokemon. And the new game is far from perfect — you can listen to our more in-depth review for more details on that, naturally. But watching someone apply real-life skills to a game like this is pretty fascinating to me, from a number of angles.

Also, this was an excuse to post more pictures of Bixbi.