New Pokemon Snap is out today and the consensus is that the game successfully captures the charm and quality of its ‘90s predecessor (check out our full review here). The game expands on the original Pokemon Snap in a number of ways, like a longer campaign, day/night variations, and more than double the number of Pokemon from the original. There is one element from the N64 version that has been lost, unfortunately. As far as we know, there are no methods by which you can make a Pokemon evolve in New Pokemon Snap.
That’s not to say that there aren’t any evolutions, of course. You’ll encounter plenty of evolved forms throughout the six courses of New Pokemon Snap. Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu can be found, as well as Squirtle and Blastoise, all the Eeveelutions, and many more. Unfortunately, you won’t be causing the Pokemon to evolve yourself.
The evolutions in Pokemon Snap is one of the most fondly remembered aspects of the game. If you’ve played the original, you likely remember the moment you discovered that you could throw an apple at Charmeleon to knock him into a pit of lava, causing him to evolve into Charizard and leap out of the pit for a perfect photo opportunity. There weren’t many of these evolution opportunities in the game (Charizard is the only one you can take through all three stages of evolution), but each one is memorable because of how exciting it was to discover. Many players will also remember luring Slowpoke to the river with apples so that it’ll dip its tail in the water and evolve into Slowbro, and of course, knocking Magikarp into the waterfall to make a Gyrados. These are some of Pokemon Snap’s best moments, but New Pokemon Snap has eliminated them completely.
While this may disappoint old-school fans, there’s some logic to the decision. Pokemon Snap was made in the earliest days of the franchise when the rules and lore of Pokemon weren’t nearly as established. We now know that a Charmeleon doesn’t evolve into a Charizard when it falls into lava, so while these interactions were exciting in the original, they may have been excluded in New Pokemon Snap for the sake of continuity.
The Pokemon anime and the games have established that most Pokemon won’t evolve until they acquire enough battle experience and a strong bond with their trainer. Obviously, Pokemon evolve in the wild too, but it would be strange to see a Pokemon spontaneously evolve in the way that Magikarp does in the original game.
One big exception to this rule is Pokemon that evolve when they hold a certain stone. In most cases, it doesn’t matter how much experience the Pokemon has. If a Jigglypuff gets a hold of a Moon Stone, it will automatically evolve into a Wigglytuff. Evolutionary Stones seem like they could have been the perfect opportunity to bring evolutions back in New Pokemon Snap, but unfortunately, Bandai Namco opted to go without.
New Pokemon Snap is relatively open-ended and gives a strong impression that DLC courses might come eventually. Maybe evolutions will be brought back in due time. Until then, unfortunately, you’ll just have to keep throwing apples at Pokemon for the love of the game, because none of them are going to evolve.
Next: New Pokemon Snap: Complete Guide And Walkthrough
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Eric Switzer is the Livestream News Editor for TheGamer as well as the lead for VR and Tech. He has written about comics and film for Bloody Disgusting and VFXwire. He is a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia and Vancouver Film School. Eric loves board games, fan conventions, new technology, and his sweet sweet kitties Bruce and Babs. Favorite games include Destiny 2, Kingdom Hearts, Super Metroid, and Prey…but mostly Prey. His favorite Pokémon is Umbreon.
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