Just last month on the eve of Pokemon‘s 25th anniversary, The Pokemon Company finally brought fans the new game announcements they were waiting for, as well as a few surprises. Along with the unexpected action-RPG Sinnoh prequel Pokemon Legends: Arceus, fans received news of the long-rumored 4th generation remakes, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which are slated to release later this year on the Nintendo Switch.
While fans were excited to receive an official reveal, the games were met with mixed reactions from many, with the games’ more chibi-inspired art style, which sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to the last few Pokemon games. While past remakes have incorporated new Pokemon and features from more current games, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were announced to be taking a more faithful approach, looking to be nearly one-to-one recreations of the Nintendo DS games in full 3D.
Even though past Pokemon remakes like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire included new Pokemon and heavily focused on the newly introduced Mega Evolution feature, it looks like the upcoming Sinnoh remakes will not follow suit so far. And despite these new games releasing during the 8th generation of Pokemon, it seems this faithful remake approach will exclude many features from 2019’s Pokemon Sword and Shield.
By far, one of Pokemon Sword and Shield‘s most defining characteristics was the addition of the Wild Area. For years, fans have been clamoring for the Pokemon series to break into the open-world genre, and it seemed that the Wild Area was Game Freak’s response, testing the waters by including a giant open-world area for players to traverse and explore while still keeping the rest of the game in line with the classic Pokemon formula.
Before the reveal of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, fans speculated that Sinnoh’s Mt. Coronet could act as the Wild Area of the 4th generation remakes. However, with a more condensed chibi art style, it looks like the remakes will strictly feature the same routes and areas as the original games.
Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! finally gave fans the ability to see wild Pokemon in the game’s overworld, getting rid of any and all random encounters. However, to bring an equal balance between overworld and random wild Pokemon spawns, Pokemon Sword and Shield combined the two, allowing players to see some wild Pokemon in the overworld, while random encounters were marked with “!” icons which they could interact with to start a random wild battle. Overworld Pokemon were not shown in the reveal trailer for Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, so like with the Wild Area, it seems that the upcoming remakes’ more condensed game world won’t have room for roaming monsters.
Since the 6th generation of Pokemon games with X and Y, each new generation of mainline games has introduced some sort of gimmick-mechanic intended to keep the series fresh. Players were first introduced to Mega Evolution, then Z-Moves, and now most recently Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, which makes fans’ Pokemon giant-sized.
While Mega Evolution proved to be a hit with fans, many have not expressed the same excitement over Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing. Since Pokemon Diamond and Pearl had no such gimmick mechanic to begin with, it’s safe to say that fans won’t be encountering any Dynamax Bidoof in the near future in an effort to keep the remakes faithful to the original games.
Pokemon Sword and Shield introduced a new way for fans to play together like never before with Max Raid Battles. Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokemon and Max Raid Battles essentially go hand-in-hand.
While Sword and Shield players can make their Pokemon mega-sized during some battles, they could also team up with other players to take out Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokemon in Pokemon GO-inspired raid battles. Players could partake in these co-operative battles via the Wild Area, and since the original Diamond and Pearl games didn’t include an open-world area like the that, it is also very likely that Max Raid Battles will not be making a return to the faithful remakes.
Just as Dynamax and Gigantamax go hand-in-hand with Max Raid Battles, Max Raid Battles go hand-in-hand with the Y-Comm, Pokemon Sword and Shield‘s take on a player communication system. With the Y-Comm, players could primarily reach out to others for help with Max Raid Battles, as well as PvP battles or trades. With the absence of Max Raid Battles, it is likely that the Y-Comm will not come to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl even though ever since Pokemon Black and White‘s C-Gear, online communication functionalities have been implemented via a device in every mainline Pokemon game. So, while the Y-Comm may not return, it is possible that Diamond and Pearl‘s Poketch could be reworked to include online functionalities instead.
Since Pokemon X and Y, mainline titles have included a way for players to interact with their Pokemon. Sword and Shield introduced Pokemon Camp as a way for players to take a break on their journeys to sit back and enjoy spending time feeding, playing with, and cooking with their Pokemon partners, as well as watching their Pokemon interact with each other. These camps were spread out across various routes as well as the Wild Area. Though camps weren’t present in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, fans can be sure to see some way to interact with their Pokemon in the new remakes, as it is entirely possible that an older feature like Pokemon-Amie or Pokemon Refresh could be incorporated into the Super Contests from the original Diamond and Pearl games.
The 7th generation games Pokemon Sun and Moon introduced the Pokepelago, a way for players to send off Pokemon not currently in their party to complete tasks to level up and bring back rewards. Sword and Shield reworked the concept into Poke Jobs, a job-listing feature run by the Rotomi PCs which players can access from any Pokemon Center. Like the Pokepelago, players could send off their Pokemon to complete jobs for experience points and items, with sending their Pokemon off for longer periods of time allowing them to reap more significant rewards. With no Rotomi PC’s in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, it’s very likely that the feature will not return in the remakes, but some fans think a similar feature could be implemented into Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl‘s Underground.
Character customization has been a mainstay in almost every Pokemon game since X and Y, which placed a heavy focus on fashion and style. While Sun and Moon, the Let’s Go games, and Sword and Shield all included character customization, the 3rd generation remakes Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire did not, leading many fans to rule out character customization as a possibility in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. It’s not confirmed, but it’s highly likely at this point.
Additionally, with the chibi art style approach to the Pokemon Gen 4 remakes, the size and design of the player characters don’t leave much room for noticeable details that justify adding character customization beyond something like skin-tone. However, like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the upcoming remakes could add a costume change for Super Contests.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are set for release in late 2021 on Nintendo Switch.