After years of waiting, Nintendo and/or Pokémon Company finally decided to release a new Pokémon Snap title. The appropriately titled New Pokémon Snap is, naturally, an all-new adventure that allows you, humble trainer, to cruise around in a bubble and take pictures of adorable little Pokémon critters. Hooray! Our favorite pastime has come home!
But the drive for Pokémon photography is predicated on one thing: you actually want to see Pokémon. Sure, Pikachu is a looker, and nobody is going to turn down an opportunity to snap a Jigglypuff, but are all Pokémon worthy of your digital film? Would you stop by a Blockbuster kiosk to print a photo of a Grimer? Or Tyranitar? Are all Pokémon created equally photogenic?
No, of course not. That would be silly.
So let’s take a look at the top Pokémon ain’t nobody wanna photograph.
Morelull is a mushroom Pokémon that primarily appears at night. It is based on bioluminescent fungi, and it utilizes its generally cute exterior to dual-type its Grass and sneak into the dragon-slaying Fairy category.
It also forgot to grow a damn face. So it might steal yours!
You can do a lot with Pokémon designs, and it seems like there has been a mandate since Generation 3 or so to make every Pokémon as generally adorable as possible. Yes, there are big, mean brutes in the Pokémon world, but they generally all have vaguely-human-esque faces, and nary a horror among them. Want a Pokémon that is just rows and rows of teeth popping out of every joint and limb? Sorry, no, you are going to get a smiley face on that legendary cosmic horror.
And, while Morelull may not be a cosmic horror, it is a generalized horror. Morelull initially appears to be cute with its big (voidy) eyes, but it hides a terrible secret. Morelull subsists on living energy. Morelull’s whole plan is to put a creature to sleep, and then use the move Strength Sap to drain their lifeforce. So they are basically little mushroom vampires.
So is Morelull traditionally ugly? No. But are its cold, dead eyes the last thing you are going to see before you fall asleep for the final time on the cold, uncaring forest floor? Yep.
There is no beauty in being food for malevolent mushrooms.
Is Morelull in New Pokémon Snap? Yes. Please make sure your protective bubble cart is properly sealed before visiting any jungles during the night.
Some Pokémon are unsightly based on their concept.
Slurpuff is your basic “embodies some random notion or whatever” Pokémon. In this case, Slurpuff embodies the sense of taste/smell, and is a noted Pokémon for loving and judging desserts. It is all about that sweet life, and, if you are a Patissier, you are definitely going to want one on your team. That heightened sense of taste and pink body makes it the perfect bakery mascot, and it doesn’t hurt that the creature can tongue-lash a dragon to death, too.
Except… with everyone’s focus on Slurpuff’s taste, no one really considers how Slurpuff must feel. Slurpuff does nothing but lick things, and it is always seen with its large tongue hanging out. We already knew that, but then the pokédex for Pokémon Shield revealed that Slufpuff is officially covered in fur. So Slurpuff has a long tongue that is always subconsciously licking itself, and all Slurpuff ever does otherwise is eat sweets. Do the math on that? Slurpuff is always going to be a sticky, matted mess of a monster.
Imagine a cat that has just rolled in corn syrup. That’s Slurpuff. All the time.
Is Slurpuff in New Pokémon Snap? No. Your main character has a camera, not a bathtub.
Look at this sick freak of a Pokémon.
Comfey is disguising itself as a Hawaiian (Aloan) style lei. At first glance, you might think that Comfey is some manner of flower ouroboros, and little more than another friendly, inexplicably floating grass type. But Comfey is not the whole “lei”, Comfey is just a little dude that appears to have some flowers in his teeny tiny paws, and said flowers follow a ring-string that loops back to Comfey’s butt. In fact, Comfey is not a grass type at all, but another fairy type. A “naked” Comfey, technically, has nothing to do with flowers.
But you absolutely do not want a naked Comfey anywhere near flowers.
Comfey is the one monotype fairy Pokémon that can breed with the grass type egg group of Pokémon. Comfey, biologically, has nothing grass-type going on, but it is its life purpose to get it on with grass types. It is a grass f$%&er. It is a dendrophiliac. It is sneaking into grass communities, and screwing any bit of green it can find.
And, while I am not traditionally one to judge the sexual proclivities of consenting Pokémon, this is just… wrong. Bulbasaur doesn’t know where that Comfey has been! And that poor Appletun thinks it is going to get some type-based breeding, but nope! Comfey is just sneaking in there to get its freak on!
I cannot bear to look at you anymore, Comfey.
Is Comfey in New Pokémon Snap? Yes. It is not participating in any egg-creation on camera, though.
Silicobra was introduced in the latest (as of this writing) Pokémon generation. Complete with a pair of expansions, there are now 898 distinct Pokémon, and even more forms and regional variants that could arguably be described as unique designs. This means that, inevitably, there are going to be more than a few “repeat” animals. There are an absolute pile of ersatz cats, dogs, and raccoons in the Pokédex now, and, while there is some significant variation there, it is vaguely improbable that we have somehow reached a point where you can have a team of all turtle Pokémon. And snakes! There were arguably three snake families in the original ‘dex (Ekans, Onix, and Dratini), some additional snake-y legendries later (Famous Ray’s, Zygarde), and more than a few obvious “we were tired that day” barely disguised slitherers (hey, Seviper). Does Dunsparce qualify, too? Even if we leave that one up to the philosophers, we can all agree that we have got snake Pokémon creeping out of every available Pokémon burrow.
And joining the loyal ranks of Pokémon snakes is Silicobra. Silicobra… has issues.
Look, if you are going to go back to a well that has been plumbed since the beginning, you need to bring an interesting gimmick to the table. We cannot suffer yet another poison-type creepy crawly. And, in Silicobra’s defense, it is at least a ground type, and it has very little to do with the traditional “snake features”. But beyond that? Silicobra’s main response to danger is… puking. The silicon cobra is filled with sand, and, if it is attacked, there are good odds it will retaliate with a barf-based sandstorm. This is… unsanitary. In a world where more than one ‘mon can swallow it competition and actively regurgitate as an attack, Silicobra goes the extra mile by covering the whole of the battlefield with its spew. And sand gets everywhere! We’ve got to bike across half the country later, Silicobra, but now we need a shower! Oh my God it’s in my hair get it out get it out!
The Pokédex did not need another snake, and it doubly did not need another snake that makes such a mess.
Is Silicobra in New Pokémon Snap? Yes, stalking around the desert like it owns the place. … Or… hiding in the sand. Guess it is grabbing lunch.
And here is the other side of the spectrum. Silicobra could have been a contender if it did not have years of not-puke-based snakes already in the Pokémon stable. But Voltorb was right there from the beginning, and the official start of Oak’s numbering system hitting triple digits. And Voltorb is… a circle. It is red on one half, and white on the other. There. That’s it. Thanks for playing.
You want to say they don’t make ‘em like they used to? Well, back in the late 90’s, we somehow left Pikachu’s third evolution on the cutting room floor, but kept a monster that is little more than a rudimentary shape. Sure, Voltorb might be the easiest to draw Pokémon, but it also lacks the legs of a properly memorable ball-based creature. And its “signature move” is exploding. Its ability is “does not have ears”. It is a circle that evolves into a bigger circle.
Voltorb is the most generic Pokémon that ever rolled onto the scene, and its inclusion from the start makes the whole franchise look bad.
Is Voltorb in New Pokémon Snap? No, thankfully. And that is just fine, as we do not require any pictures of generic circles at this time.
The Sinnoh generation of Pokémon was meant to evoke the myths of legend. The starters referenced continent-turtles, sea gods, and Goku. The highest mythical Pokémon of the generation is the creator of the universe (should that be capitalized?), and its attendant legendaries are shining jewels that rule over time and space. Oh, and there is another point in that trinity: Giratina, who rules over… anti-matter? Okay… so, uh… it is the ruler of the “other” in the Pokémon universe? Fine. So what does an “anti”- Pokémon look like?
Oh. It is a gray dragon wearing a silly mask. Fine. Okay. This is Pokémon, I suppose, it is not like we can have a straight-up “bizzarro Pokémon” with all sorts of weird appendages and a more threatening aura. Oh, wait, practically every mundane ghost type Pokémon fits that description? Okay! Well maybe Giratina looks better in its home dimension. Can we see what crazy changes happen in the anti-matter world of Giratina’s origin?
… It lost some legs, and its wings got separated? Same stupid face? Same wannabe Freddy Krueger sweater-tummy?
Get your ugly-ass mask out of my face, Giratina. So much potential, and we had to wait for friggin’ Ultra Beasts to see something really funky. Give me that Christmas Tree Pokémon any day.
Is Giratina in New Pokémon Snap? It appears that legendaries are in short supply in the Lental region, so no ghost-dragon for you. Good.
All bloody hype.
Feebas was the Generation 3 answer to Generation 1’s iconic Magikarp. Magikarp, the wholly useless koi Pokémon, can eventually soak up enough experience to become the destructive Gyarados. In much the same manner, Feebas initially was little more than a dex-filler with a particularly brutal birth-lake. But cultivate your Feebas, and it will grow into a Milotic, a monster of a pocket monster with the stats to rival a Gyarados (or literally equal it). But how do you evolve your Feebas? Well, in its initial appearance, you raise its beauty stat. And, in games lacking an emphasis on the aesthetic, Feebas can evolve by trade-merging with a beautiful Marvel Scale. So, to answer the question succinctly, a Feebas becomes a Milotic by vastly improving its attractiveness.
And what is this “most beautiful Pokémon of all time?” It’s another dang snake! It has 20-foot-long eyelashes, a blue-red scaly tail, and a complete lack of sexy, sexy elbows. And the nadir of this “beauty” is the fact that half the creature just, I don’t know, gave up on those scales, so it is vaguely fleshy in its top areas. There is nothing attractive about snake nudity, Game Freak! Naked snakes are so ugly, we invented an entire genre of clothing to hide them!
Milotic is, in every appearance, supposed to be the most beautiful of Pokémon. And the best we can get is a half-dressed sea serpent.
Is Milotic in New Pokémon Snap? Yes! And it is a “boss”, one of the mythical (but not Mythical) Pokémon of the area. And, while this is not another case where it is supposed to be the absolute most beautiful creature on the island chain (that is clearly Drifblim), it is still treated as some kind of majestic cryptid. So New Pokémon Snap has terrible taste in “beautiful” Pokémon, too.
We already had a Pokémon that ate dreams. It was Drowzee, and it was a tapir-looking guy that evolved into a hypnotist. Everybody loved it. Then, because someone wanted to promote some kind of new “dream world” metagame, we had to have a new mascot for all the sleeping Pokémon. So we got sleepy-time Munna, and its evolution, Musharna. And, just to drive home this whole “sleeping” thing, Musharna is eternally depicted as curled up in the fetal position. And then, because Atsuko Nishida must have been having a particularly off day, she made the creature pink and purple.
So, basically, the new “dream mascot” ultimately became a giant, floating fetus.
And when it opens its eyes, it looks like an elephant someone forgot to finish! Babar is crying thanks to you, Musharna.
Oh, and the Pokémon Sword Pokédex claims that Musharna can make nightmares into reality. That’s not great, either.
There is nothing about this I ever want to see again.
Is Musharna in Pokémon Snap? No! That nightmare is reserved for other games.
Speaking of nightmares, here is a handy fellow that is a little over four feet of nothing but hands.
The sixth Pokémon generation featured a number of creatures that seemed to be themed after the senses. Noibat has supersonic hearing. Slurpuff has an unrivaled sense of taste. Espurr has some keen eyes. Aromatisse may as well be named “smell queen”. And Barbaracle is the touchiest ‘mon of the bunch. Binacle is a goose barnacle Pokémon that looks like a pair of hands stuck in a rock, and its evolution into Barbaracle adds more and more hands. It has two hand-legs, a pair of hand-hands, additional shoulder hands, and a hand for a face. With its two beady little eyes eternally glaring, it resembles Dr. Wily’s plans for the Robot Master Hand Man. But Dr. Wily never built that bot, because “oops all hands” is goddamned terrifying.
This thing is wall-to-wall claws. It is the least friendly looking Pokémon ever created. This could have been the horror of “anti-matter”’s Giratina, but, no, this is just some thing that hangs out at the beach. And could you imagine encountering such a monster? In a world filled with bees that are bigger than dogs, something this claw-y is… I shudder just thinking about it. And its shiny version apparently has neon-green claws, so there is the added ancestral fear of a nuclear claw behemoth. And there are allusions to each hand having its own, independent brain. Thus, there is the implication that this creature could somehow “split” into seven independent, scurrying claw chunks? I need to go lay down…
Is Barbaracle in Pokémon Snap? Fold your own hands in a prayer of thanks, as this is another firm no. How would you even be able to tell if you were taking a picture of its face? And could you do that while actively fleeing?
Fossils continue to move forward in time. In Generation 1, we had “fossil Pokémon” that were based on the earliest forms of life ever discovered on Earth (through, ya know, fossils). But, as the generations moved forward, so too did the fossils, and, by Generation 6, we had well and truly hit dinosaur island. And who is the biggest, baddest dinosaur of them all? Tyrannosaurus Rex! And does that easily translate into a “tyrant” or “tantrum” pun? Yep! So let’s take a look at Tyrantrum.
Or… let’s not, because this thing is way too spikey.
No one was expecting a terrible thunder lizard to be friend-shaped, but did they have to go this hard on the whole “do not touch” thing? Scales and neck spikes? Rows of teeth that back up to a jagged crown? The whole package winds up pretty damn ugly. And, what’s more, this came a generation after Mega Tyranitar, which already satisfied any and all needs for an excessively pointy kaiju. We were good, Tyrantrum! Your presence is not needed here!
Is Tyrantrum in New Pokémon Snap? Yes, hanging around the volcano. But at least you can enact some retribution on this ugly beast by having a flaming monkey jump on its tail. It’s the little things that can make you happy…
This is just trash. Gogglebob.com refuses to even discuss what is happening here.
Is Bruxish in New Pokémon Snap? No. However, if it were accidentally included, it would justify the twenty years between releases. Scrubbing Bruxish out of your game is a perfectly reasonable reason for delays.
FGC #595 New Pokémon Snap
- System: Nintendo Switch. I would not hold out hope for an Xbox S port.
- Number of players: You are stuck in a little Popemobile alone.
- Ugly disclaimer: This is a bit. I love all Pokémon equally. I love that weird grass sex fairy. They’re all good. Please do not hate me if your favorite Pokémon is on my ugliest Pokémon of all time list.
- Maybe actually talk about the game for a second: Pokémon Snap is extremely relaxing except when it asks way too much of me in having to bank some kind of glowy Pokéball into a flower I can’t see but appears in my general range for three seconds. It’s weird! Like, I feel like this would be the ultimate chillout game if there weren’t frequently esoteric requirements for “requests”, and said requests just keep coming with every area. The general setup is very appropriately Pokémon: it is very “gotta catch ’em all” with the requests and four different poses for every Pokémon (and some ‘mons won’t appear without instigating very specific circumstances). Weird verdict? I would have loved for this game to come out when I was seven, and just played through and was like “cute Eevee“, and then could revisit it five years later, and discover to my amazement that there was so much more “game” there than I ever imagined. As an adult that has been playing videogames for decades, though, it feels like a really fun game that is marred by my own OCD and checklists and knowing “I’m going to have to do this level again” because I forgot to whistle at a Hoothoot. … But I do really like taking pictures of Bidoof.
- Favorite Pokémon (this game): Bidoof is such a photogenic boy! And with so many cute poses! Good ‘doof.
- Cheerleaders: I like the general design of the various “humans” in this game, but, man, what a bunch of sycophants. I take a picture of one Liepard’s ass, and they all just cannot wait to jump on the comms and shout things like, “That is the greatest butthole I have ever seen! 20,000 points for the cat butt!” Guys, I know I am great at this. Give it a rest.
- Moving Forward: No Pokémon evolve in this game. They did in OG Pokémon Snap, but one must suppose that this was nixed to make the game more “canon” with the battling games, where evolution generally has a greater prerequisite than “bean ‘em with an apple”. Of course, shortly after the release of New Pokémon Snap, we saw Pokémon Unite, where we are suddenly playing with “sliding” evolution like we’re playing a damn Digimon game. Nobody likes Digimon rules! Especially not Digimon!
- Just be nice: Speaking of apples, I am downright surprised they maintained the “hit Pokémon with fruit, be rewarded” gameplay of OG Snap. Hitting a Charmander so he would pose properly seemed mean on the N64, and it seems downright malicious now that the graphics and behaviors have had twenty years to improve. But, on the other hand, I can punish a Morelull for the crime of existing, so it is not all bad.
- Did you know? According to the Gen 7 Pokédex, Bruxish creates a “grating sound of grinding teeth” throughout the seas of Alola. Terrible.
- Would I play again: I am still playing this! And likely will for a while! Thanks, free DLC! This is an ideal game to play for five minute periods at a time, and, considering it is on a portable system, it is a fun way to kill some time waiting for something else to start. Or for a game to download…
What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Mega Man X7! Technically this got chosen for our Tuesday Night Streams, but it happened, and now I’m writing about it! And “it happened” is a great way to think about Mega Man X7! Please look forward to it!
Gotta have one heck of a flash on this thing