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What if you could have all the adorable Pokémon you know and love, without all the ethical ambiguity of catching them and forcing them to beat the everloving hell out of each other? Right now, that's what you're getting. Nintendo decided to revitalize 1999’s Pokémon Snap, a game in which you act as a nature photographer, investigator, and naturalist on all things Pokémon. It works like an on-rails shooter, but this shot is that of a camera.
As one of the world's most renowned Pokémon masters, champions, et cetera, Nintendo was nice enough to give me some time with the game before its release on April 30. While New Pokémon Snap may sound basic, it's an extremely fun, relaxing title that can't help but make you feel good, and it has been crafted with so much detail that you'll notice new things even after redoing a course 10, 20, 30 times. Have a few cocktails. Take a few snaps. Apply to some prestigious art schools with your snaps. Trust me, it's a blast—a game I didn't expect to love nearly this much, even being the massive Pokémon nerd who consistently needs to make sure his National Pokédex is full that I am.
Since I'm a self-proclaimed naturalist of the Pokémon world, I thought it would only be fitting to get the animal world's top naturalist David Attenborough to comb through some of my favorite (and as not-spoilery as possible) photos from Pokémon Snap. Considering that Sir Attenborough is brilliant, that would be a trivial and disrespectful use of his time. So finally my years of watching Planet Earth will pay off, as I'll just guess what he would say about my Pokémon photos. Notice me, Nat Geo.
I took a photo of Magikarp that is hands down the most beautiful photo of this stupid fish in existence. I think Attenborough would be really impressed with this snap but would ultimately feel conflicted. He would probably say something along the lines of: “Don’t be fooled by the majestic nature of this silly little fish. It may look like a marvel, but until it evolves into a Gyarados it’s next to worthless for trainers.”
Bidoof and His Dam
David Attenborough, to the surprise of no one, absolutely loves Bidoof, probably. He'd rant on about its importance in the ecological cycle due to its ingenious aquatic system of building that consists of dams, paths, and more. I’ll spare you the lecture; rest assured it is important to the ecosystem. I thought Bidoof was dumb, but then it kept following me and carrying sticks and doing real cute stuff. So I like Bidoof too. That's something Attenborough and I have in common.
Torterra, Pichu, and Grookey Napping
“Tor—hailing from tortoise—and terra—hailing from earth—combine as an accurate scientific name for this large, grass and ground type Pokémon. To further drive the terra of it all, these Pokémon carry full trees on their backs. While they may look frightful, and are remarkably powerful, they pose little threat to peaceful and playful Pokémon, as seen here.” –Johto Champion Sir David Attenborough
Grookey is one of my favorite Pokémon, the best eighth-gen starter (not a debate; do not DM me, I don't care). David Attenborough loves apes, as is well-documented, therefore he agrees with me and also loves Grookey. This is a picture of Grookey banging the ground with a stick, because the world is his drum and we’re all just cymbals or something. Attenborough would probably see this picture, hold it as a single tear came to his eye, grab my hand, and say, "Stunning."
“Ah Leafeon, the grass type evolution, or eeveelution, of the beloved, bushy-tailed Pokémon Eevee. Leafeon can be found in the jungle, naturally, and is playful and docile. Unlike some of its fellow eeveelutions, this green mammalian Pokémon is fairly peaceful, but watch out for its razor leaf, which is sure to leave considerable damage on unsuspecting prey.” –Sir David Attenborough, Grass Type Gym Leader of Celadon City
Tangrowth (Silly Version)
David would definitely be upset with me and my ethics on this one. I found the sticker section of the photo editor and added some of my own artistic flair. He wouldn’t say much, but he’d frustratedly cycle his hands as if to convey, “I’m too smart for this shit.” I’d be hurt, but ultimately he didn’t understand my vision.
Tangrowth (Serious Version)
Here’s a photo of me throwing an apple at this asshole. Attenborough would probably not like it and say something like: “The abundance of apples attracts many Pokémon, but the photographer's aggressive behavior—throwing said apples at their heads—only works to create a needlessly dangerous environment. But the way nature works in tandem when threatened by one idiotic oaf is outstanding.”
Wooper and Quagsire Family Portrait
Attenbourough would get a kick out of comparing the first and second form of this water and ground type fish Pokémon, as I cleanly captured in this endearing shot of the two. “It’s no surprise to see this family close to water, as Wooper and Quagsire love swimming. Male Quagsire can be identified from females by their larger back fins. What a marvel evolution is.”
Even with as brave as Sir Attenborough is, when this photo would come up, I think we’d both get scared. But he’d be the braver one and tear it up and throw it in the trash so none of us would have to confront the demon Hoothoot ever again. Following this incident, and the apple-throwing controversy, Attenborough would leave. His parting handshake would be stern—almost too stern, as if to say, “Don't quit your day job, kid.” I suppose things just work differently in the Pokémon world.
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