Review of Pokémon Snap — For those with the benefit of Pokémon photography

For those of you who don’t know me very well, something I really wanted when I was a child was my very own camera.  Not because I was jealous of those in my family who owned one, but because I developed a fascination with walking around and taking pictures of the beautiful pieces of nature that surrounded my home.  I know it sounds like I watched too much Discovery Kids when I was a lot younger, but this wish of mine was actually influenced by a very interesting spin-off in the heavily-revered Pokémon franchise.  Replace the turn-based strategy with on-rails photography, and you get Pokémon Snap for the Nintendo 64.

Gotta photograph ’em all

Released in the summer of 1999, Pokémon Snap tasks you with taking pictures of 63 Pokémon in their natural habitats.  You and your trusty ZERO-ONE vehicle travel through seven courses that make up Pokémon Island, and you must use your photography prowess and a handful of gadgets to make sure your pictures look as nice as possible.  Every time you complete a trip, you must choose which of your shots will be shown to Professor Oak, who gives your pictures ratings based on size, pose, and technique.  Even though the amount of courses seems small, the goals of timing your shots correctly and searching for all the included Pokémon will have you hooked.

This was the first game to have 3D Pokémon character models, and the team at HAL Laboratory did a fantastic job designing both those and the courses’ graphics.  There can be a little slowdown when things like smoke and fire cover a big portion of the screen, but it’s only temporary.  In terms of sound, the voice-acting for each character (Both human and Pokémon) is above average, and each course comes with very appropriate music.

Snap, crackle, Pika

This Pokémon game doesn’t have nearly as much replay value as the main series we know and love, but it’s a unique game within its franchise.  If for some reason you enjoy photography simulators, or if you simply enjoy on-rails games of any kind, Pokémon Snap will no doubt be a very charming addition to your N64 library.  It could definitely use a sequel on the Nintendo Switch, especially if it’d allow you to share your in-game photos directly to Facebook and Twitter.  If we can’t bring our cartridges to Blockbuster anymore to print out our photos, we may as well go the social media route.

Review of Mischief Makers — Shake-shaking things up

If there was anything the Nintendo 64 was knee-deep in, it was platforming games. Not only was Super Mario 64 an absolute masterpiece in the genre, but there were a handful of second and third-party platform gems in the 64-bit console’s library. And no matter how obscure a game may be, you know it has a strong cult-following when lots of gamers request it to be re-released on a digital marketplace…Which brings us to a 1997 2.5D platformer called Mischief Makers, developed by the fine folks at Treasure.

Stop and shake it

To set the scene, the Planet Clancer is faced with the growing possibility of war, not to mention the Emperor is tricking the inhabitants, known simply as Clancers, into doing indisputably evil things. The brainwashed Clancers kidnap one of the planet’s visitors, that being the robotic mastermind Professor Theo. Luckily for him, the professor’s robotic assistant Marina Liteyears witnesses the capturing, and she sets off on a journey to not only bring her creator to safety, but also protect Planet Clancer from all of the threats that are about to unfold.

Every level puts your 2D platforming skills to the test. And thankfully, Marina has plenty up her…Robots have sleeves, right? Marina can perform both normal and long jumps, and the C buttons grant her special moves like rolling, sliding, and even boosting herself in any direction. However, these moves are afterthoughts compared to the game’s emphasis on grabbing and shaking the many objects and NPC’s you’ll come across. Grabbing things in mid-air and launching yourself towards platforms far away from you will become very vital as your journey progresses. Along with a truckload of platforming playgrounds, you’ll be faced with a handful of boss fights against rogue Clancers and other cold-hearted villains.

Shaking, not stirring

For a 1997 N64 game, Mischief Makers is full of good-looking level backgrounds, well-animated characters, and above-average cutscenes that some gamers may have thought the N64 just couldn’t pull off. In terms of sounds, you’re not gonna hear a lot of voice-acting (Although it was performed well) due to the console’s limitations, but you’ll still be treated with plenty of well-composed songs that are very fitting for each level and boss fight you go through.

In terms of replay value, Mischief Makers‘ length depends on how long you are willing to explore each level and whether or not you can succeed at the bonus tasks in the special events. If you’re good enough, you’ll be able to find all the gold crystals, one of which is found in each level. The amount of gold crystals you have at the end of the adventure determines how long the ending will be, so you’re gonna need a lot of patience and platforming prowess if you want the full experience.

No tomfoolery, no hijinx, just mischief

Just because a game falls under the radar due to its console’s heavyweight-filled catalog doesn’t mean it’s a meaningless game, and Mischief Makers strongly proves that. It doesn’t fit into the same league as heavily-revered platformers like Super Mario 64, but if you’re looking for an obscure platformer with an entertaining (And sometimes funny) plot and a deep pool of replay value, Mischief Makers will not disappoint you. Also, I don’t recommend taking a shot for every time Marina says “Shake, shake!” Alcohol and robotics don’t mix!

Data-mine Reveals 22 SNES Games In NES Online App For Nintendo Switch!

Last night, Twitter user @KappuccinoHeck was looking through the Nintendo Switch’s NES Online App’s data and discovered twenty-two SNES games that Nintendolife.com argues Nintendo might release for the Nintendo Switch’s online service at a later date.

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Photo courtesy of Nintendo.com.

The list of the twenty-two SNES games that @KappuccinoHeck found are as follows:

  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Soccer
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Demon’s Crest
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
  • Stunt Race FX
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • Pop’n Twinbee
  • Star Fox
  • Contra 3
  • Kirby SuperStar
  • Super Ghouls’n Ghosts
  • Kirby’s Dream Land 3
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Mario World
  • Pilotwings
  • F-ZERO
  • Star Fox 2
  • Super Punch-Out!!
  • The Legend of the Mystical Ninja
  • Super Mario All-Stars
  • Breath of Fire 2

The dataminer also posted a link to prove that his discoveries are accurate and truthful. To check out Kapu’s evidence, click here. However, these SNES games aren’t the only discoveries that were made when digging through the NES Online App.

According to Nintendolife.com, “another dataminer who goes by the Twitter handle @OatmealDome – claims to have discovered the following information (…), suggesting there will be two to three more emulators added to the Switch Online service at a later date.”

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Snapshot of the Tweet made by Twitter user @OatmealDome

Though we don’t know what these classic consoles could be, many assume that the code-names could be pointing toward the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo Gameboy devices. This is based on various rumors that spread sometime last year about Nintendo working on an Nintendo 64 classic system.

Yet, Kotaku’s interview with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, declared that Nintendo hasn’t started and isn’t interested in making an Nintendo 64 Classic system. To view the full-interview, click here.

Since Nintendo’s been providing new NES titles to the online service once-a-month, some don’t expect Nintendo to drop news about the subscription service receiving SNES titles. Are these pre-planned SNES titles being saved for a huge reveal in a possible Nintendo Direct? Maybe, maybe not.

Regardless, we’ll keep you updated when Nintendo decides to reveal/release these titles for their current Nintendo Switch online service.

What do you think about this news? When do you expect Nintendo to release these hidden twenty-two SNES games for the Nintendo Switch Online Service? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter, and follow us for more Nintendo news, and everything gaming too.