Two weeks ahead of New Pokémon Snap‘s release, Game Freak has provided an in-depth exploration of the photography simulator’s updated gameplay, and announced a Pokémon Go collaboration.
On April 30, aspiring Pokémon photographers can head to the Lental Region and research is abundant supply of wildlife. Players will ride through stages in the Neo-1 on rails, as in the Nintendo 64 original, but this time the camera is aimed by tilting either the console in handheld mode, or the controller in docked mode.
To manipulate Pokémon and the environment for the perfect shot, players can deploy Fluffruit to draw their subjects in. Illumina Orbs are a new item which infuse critters with the “Illumina Phenomenon,” a visible overflow of life energy which inspires unique reactions. A melody can also be played to make Pokémon dance. The scanner can find hidden elements, make Pokémon react, or find branching routes through each course. Scanning also increases your Research Level in each course, which can enable new monsters or scenes to appear.
At the end of the course, Professor Mirror will rate photos on a scale of one to four stars, based on pose, size, direction, placement, and background—so an ideal photo will be properly framed with the subject performing an action, and an interesting backdrop. Before saving a photo to an album, they can be doctored and edited to adjust things like cropping or lighting, or adding stickers and frames. New Pokémon Snap players can create a profile page to share online, highlighting their best shots for their friends’ perusal and approval.
Once photographed, the subject will be added to the PhotoDex, including a list of the various unique situations in which they can be encountered. With hundreds of Pokémon with multiple poses each, truly completing the PhotoDex will be no small feat.
To celebrate the game’s release, Pokémon GO will hold an collaboration event from 10AM local time on Thursday, April 29 until 8PM Sunday, May 2. Featuring Pokémon found in the Lental region, the “New Pokémon Snap Celebration” will present a new type of research and a new Snapshot theme, plus camera-themed avatar items for the Style Shop. The Painter Pokémon, Smeargle, can be encountered by completing certain research tasks, and can appear as a shiny.