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Five best video game spin-offs of all time

[Continued] Page 6

Pokemon Snap

I remember being rather disappointed when Pokemon Snap was first announced. I was a huge Pokemon fan, and it seemed rather stupid for Nintendo to be wasting time on some photography simulator, when they could've been making a full 3D Pokemon adventure. Then one day, I came across a demo station in Toys R Us and finally gave the game a shot.

I spent the rest of the week forcing my parents to drive me back to Toys R Us, just so I could keep playing the most addictive video game I'd ever encountered.

Pokemon Snap is hands down, the best Pokemon game ever created, and the fact that there hasn't yet been a sequel seems almost criminal. The game is essentially a rail shooter, though instead of shooting down dragoons (or whatever), players are tasked with snapping pictures of Pokemon. Back at the lab, Professor Oak goes through your snaps and rates them by how well you filled the frame, how many Pokemon are in the shot, and what actions the Pokemon are performing. Pikachu riding a surfboard? Mad points. The back of a Geodude's head after you've hit him in the head with an apple? Not so much.

Even though the actual game was rather short, there was something undeniably addictive about replaying the same levels over and over, trying every trick in the book to get a rare shot. Some Pokemon had to be enticed with food, others scared from hiding by shock balls, while real photo geniuses knew what environmental set-pieces could be struck, unlocking hidden paths and even forcing some Pokemon to evolve.

Really, it sounds crazy to someone who's never played it, but this game cannot be put down. Once I spent hours practicing the timing needed to arrive at the bridge just in time for a trio of Butterfree to fly into frame. That shot was a work of art my friends, and my only regret is not printing off a sheet of stickers from one of those Pokemon Snap kiosks they had at Blockbuster Video.

Best of all, there's no wrong way to play Pokemon Snap. My buddy once made it his goal to fill his photo album only with pictures of Pokemon who just had an apple chucked at their face. Professor Oak was a bit confused to see an album filled only with pictures of Pokemon abuse, but those photos were a work of Warhol-level genius.

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