New Pokémon Snap DLC – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation
Developer: BANDAI NAMCO Studios
Publisher: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

New Pokémon Snap DLC – Review

Site Score
Good: A decent amount of new content
Bad: Shrinking feature is underutilised
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

It has been slightly over three months since New Pokémon Snap debuted and although we loved what the game had to offer, we’ve moved onto greener pastures since we snapped some pictures of Xerneas and completed the main story. A couple of weeks ago though, Bandai Namco announced that the game would be receiving a significant update. This update would not just apply the standard QoL improvements, but a fairly big chunk of free DLC as well, in the form of three new courses and over 20 new Pokémon. We can’t argue with the price, but is this DLC worth digging up your New Pokémon Snap cartridge for?


The New Pokémon Snap update continues where we left off, with professor Mirror announcing that he has discovered new areas. Naturally, he is eager to find out in what ways the environment differs and what Pokémon it holds, even within the same ecosystem. Meanwhile, Phil, one of the professor’s assistants, tries to coax the player into testing experimental new technology that Mirror has invented, which enables the Neo One to shrink down to minuscule size, allowing for photography from a new viewpoint.


In our original review, we said New Pokémon Snap was the best looking Pokémon game ever, and our opinion hasn’t changed. The biggest new visual change comes alongside the shrinking feature, of course, which unfortunately is limited to an unlockable sidepath on a single course. It’s a neat little trick, but ultimately a gimmick that doesn’t add a whole lot. Hopefully, this feature will be expanded upon in future updates, with more sidepaths added or the option to shrink down the Neo One in existing routes, so that you can experience new viewing angles.


Just like in the base game, the sound quality for New Pokémon Snap is excellent, though nothing new is brought to the table. Admittedly, things do hit differently in the Secret Side Path, where the cries of the giant Dodrio really make an impact. We’re not quite sure whether the music featured in the new courses is the same as that of its ‘sister’ tracks or if these are new variants of the existing tunes, but they do fit the atmosphere of the environments so we can’t complain about them.


As you’d expect, not a whole lot has changed about New Pokémon Snap’s core gameplay. The game was fairly polished when it was originally released, so any implemented changes are fairly minor and most players won’t even notice them unless someone points them out. Quality of life updates include things like not having to completely back out of a stage after upgrading it if you want to retry it at a higher level, for example. The main reason to return to New Pokémon Snap is in the new courses. Officially, there are three of these, although one is the “secret side path” that is part of the first course of the main game, so we’re hesitant to consider this a “full” course. While this becomes a separate course after your first visit, it cannot be upgraded in the same way as the full-fledged courses, and it offers a significantly lower amount of new monsters to take photos of.

That leaves Mightywide River and Barren Badlands, which comprise a relaxing trip on a jungle river and a leisurely drive around a poison-filled canyon. The first of the new courses is deliberately reminiscent of one of the stages of the original Pokémon Snap -something that is hinted at by Todd himself. It’s not a carbon copy of the original stage, however, and although it sees the return of fan favorites like Psyduck and Gyarados, newer critters such as Sobble and Tropius also inhabit this course. Both stages are filled with secrets as well, seemingly more so than the courses that already were in the game.

Neither stage feels like a retread of something that was already in the game, although we already had a jungle-themed course and a desert-themed course. Many of the Pokémon that feature in those earlier courses make an appearance in the new ones as well, but they do so under different circumstances, allowing you to add even more variety to your existing Photodex. One small change we would’ve liked to have seen would’ve been the inclusion of the meerkat-like pokemon Watchog in the canyon stage. At a certain point in the stage, Shinx, Tepig and Torchic walk across in a scene reminiscent of The Lion King, although having Torchic replaced with Watchog (or another suitable Pokémon) would’ve been more effective.

Although this DLC was an unexpected surprise when it was announced, it left us wanting more, even if it means shelling out for a season pass. We would love to see Bandai Namco fully explore the potential of the shrinking feature. Other things that would be fantastic would be to add new Pokémon to existing stages, outright remakes of the stages of the original Pokémon Snap, and the inclusion of shiny Pokémon that have a very low chance of appearing in place of “standard” monsters. Naturally, we’d welcome more courses as well. Given the massive menagerie of Pokémon currently available -898 to be precise, not counting different forms of the same creature- Bandai Namco has barely scratched the surface with the 200-and-something that can currently be photographed in the game.

We can’t imagine that New Pokémon Snap will ever get enough content updates to include every species of Pokémon. We don’t even know whether there will be any additional content for the game in the future, as nothing has been announced yet. Even so, if an Expansion Pass is announced, in the same vein as the additional content for Sword & Shield, we’ll be among the first in line to add it to our collection.


Even if you’ve finished New Pokémon Snap’s main story, this update is worth returning to the game for, if only for a few hours. The new routes add plenty of content and seeing the familiar faces of fan-favorite monsters never fails to put a smile on our faces. Hopefully, this free update bodes well for the future of New Pokémon Snap, as revisiting the Lental region months after ‘finishing’ the game left us wanting more.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
New Pokémon Snap DLC - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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