The first time a friend of mine told me of the existence of shiny Pokémon, I thought they were lying to me. After all, an impossibly rare off-color Pikachu is textbook playground rumor stuff, right up there with getting Sonic in Melee. But no, shiny Pokémon are quite real, and have served as both an object of desire and bane of existence for many a Pokémon player across many a Pokémon game. This is why, whenever a new Pokémon game comes out, the first question is almost always “where’s the shinies?” So, does New Pokémon Snap have shiny Pokémon?
Prior to New Pokémon Snap’s release, there were images floating around of shiny-colored Pokémon like Lapras and Alolan Raichu, which I’m sure stoked some curiosity about the potential of shiny Pokémon. Unfortunately, those images were complete bunko; there are no shiny Pokémon in New Pokémon Snap, and if you think about it, the game’s particular design wouldn’t even be able to accommodate shiny Pokémon, at least not in a reasonable fashion.
Does New Pokémon Snap have Shiny Pokémon?
Consider this: in the mainline Pokémon games, the odds of encountering a shiny Pokémon are unlikely at best, astronomical at worst. Now, multiply the frustration of pursuing those odds with the requirement of needing to roll through an entire New Pokémon Snap course over and over on the off chance of encountering a shiny. Shiny hunting is a battle of attrition as it is; if you added in the need to go through the entire course and keep a murderously-focused eye out so nothing slips by you, only the most diehard of shiny hunters would even have the patience to bother.
The closest approximation to shiny Pokémon in New Pokémon Snap would be Illumina Pokémon, Pokémon that have grown exponentially in size and give off a mysterious glow thanks to the power of the Lental region’s native Crystablooms. Obviously, it’s not the same thing, but hey, they are literally shiny Pokémon, so it’s… kind of the same thing? And you can just chuck Illumina Orbs at regular Pokémon to make them light up, so you can make your own sort-of-not-really shinies!