Pokémon: Diamond and Pokémon: Pearl (and their younger but significantly edgier brother, Pokémon: Platinum) released on the Nintendo DS back in 2006. They were the first games in the series on the Nintendo DS and were many people’s first starry-eyed glances into the wonderful world of Pokémon.
Finally, after 15 years of waiting, it appears that we’ll soon be able to return to the Sinnoh region in not just one but two upcoming games/sets of games: Pokémon Legends: Arceus and the Diamond and Pearl remakes, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (we’re counting them as one game since they’re basically the same, give or take a few monsters).
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Set in Sinnoh years before Diamond and Pearl, Legends: Arceus serves as a prequel of sorts, “…before ideas such as being a Pokémon Trainer or having a Pokémon League even existed.”
The game promises to “[honour]past Pokémon games’ core gameplay while infusing new action and RPG elements.” Which is big news, because anyone who’s played more than one mainline game knows that the Pokémon company don’t really like to shake things up mechanics-wise.
The most notable addition to the tried-and-true ‘mon formula is what, in the trailer, appears to be an open-world, something Pokémon fans have been clamouring for for ages. Sword and Shield have touched this, but failed to really scratch that itch. Players will be able to track, stalk, and capture creatures in the wild, in a world that looks a lot like Breath of the Wild.
It appears that your choice of starters will be Piplup, Oshawatt, and Cyndaiquil, an interesting pool from various regions and generations. The story, as the title would imply, seems to be centered around Arceus, the creator-god of the Pokémon world. Not much else has been revealed story-wise.
The game is set to release early next year.
Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl
In contrast to the Arceus themed pre-make, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl look to be “faithful remakes” of their ’06 DS counterparts.
The 32-bit sprites have been traded in for smooth, if slightly doughy-looking 3D graphics, both in battle and out of it. Strangely, the character models outside of battle are very different from the ones seen in previous 3D titles, like Sword and Shield, Sun and Moon, and even X and Y. Characters look like their old sprites literally pulled into the 3rd dimension, and it looks kind of weird for now. Perhaps they’ll grow on us.
Otherwise, unlike Legends: Arceus, the pair of remakes look to be standard series fun, just the way the originals were, plus the quality-of-life updates we’ve seen since. If you played the originals, you’re in for a nostalgia romp.
Diamond and Pearl started off the 4th generation of Pokémon, introducing a variety of new and exciting monsters, and a great story. If, as The Pokémon Company says, the remakes recapture and reinvigorate what made the originals so good, then Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are sure to be welcome additions to the franchise.
The remakes are set to release later this year.