Nintendo has announced Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes, returning players to the Sinnoh region after 14 years.
As the names suggests, the games are remakes of 2007’s Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, which came out on the Nintendo DS. The new games will launch in late 2021 for the Nintendo Switch.
“The original games have been faithfully reproduced and colorfully revitalized for Nintendo Switch,” per a press release from the Pokémon Company. “The sense of scale of the towns and routes has been carefully preserved, and fans who played the original games will recognize many familiar places. These games are updated with the easy-to-understand, player-friendly conveniences introduced in recent Pokémon core series video games, in addition to up-close-and-personal Pokémon battle scenes.”
This remake is not being made by usual Pokémon developer Game Freak, but instead ILCA, a studio that’s assisted in developing titles such as Code Vein, NieR: Automata, Yakuza 0 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Junichi Masuda of the Pokémon Company will still direct the remakes, however. He previously directed 2018’s Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, and was a producer on 2019’s Sword and Shield.
The trailer for Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl suggests two games that won’t veer far from the originals. Apart from the added graphical horsepower of the Nintendo Switch over the Nintendo DS, the games look to be running on the same engine as Sword and Shield.
The Pokémon games have also arguably started to grow stale for longtime players. While the series continues to sell tremendously well, with Sword and Shield pushing over 20 million units, longtime fans find little challenge now. Granted, the Pokémon games are geared toward a younger audience, which may be experiencing turn-based RPGs for the first time. Masuda could opt to add a “challenge mode,” a feature which has not been implemented since 2012’s Black and White 2, to give veteran players a meatier experience.
Pokémon Legends Arceus, a new open-world Pokémon game
Along with Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, The Pokémon Company also announced Pokémon Legends Arceus: a new open-world game that looks to remix the standard Pokémon formula. The game will also take place in the Sinnoh region, but “long before the setting for Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl was established.” According to a leaker on Reddit, the game will take place in feudal Sinnoh, which some of the feudal Japanese structures in the trailer also seem to suggest.
(Somehow, Pokéball technology existed at that time. Whether smallpox and measles will also be present remains to be seen.)
From the game’s trailer, it looks as if Arceus is very early in development. A lot of graphical polish is missing at the moment, and there were frame rate stutters. But that’s to be expected from a game that’s more than a year away. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is aiming for an early 2022 release.
New Pokémon Snap
We’ve also been given an update on New Pokémon Snap, set to launch on April 30.
From the trailer below, the new game seems to be a natural evolution of the Nintendo 64 original. It’s still very much on-rails, meaning that players can’t run around, looking to capture that perfect shot. Players will, as in the original game, walk along a predetermined path, and must take photos before Pokémon go out of focus. At least users can edit photos this time around.