Pokémon trainers will be heading back to the Sinnoh region in the upcoming generation-four remakes Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl. Nearly 15 years after their original release, the massively popular Diamond and Pearl titles are getting long-awaited reboots, and fans are eagerly waiting for the series’ release later this year.
The remakes were first announced with a quick one-minute trailer back in February, and there have been few new details released since then, such as in the latest Nintendo direct. But seeing that these are remakes, there have been 15 years of new Pokémon content since the original releases, and fan theories have run wild online, we’ve been able to put together a pretty clear picture of what these renewed Pokémon adventures will look like.
Here’s everything we know about Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl right now.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl are set to launch on November 19, just in time for the holiday season.
Like every Pokémon game to date, Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl will be released exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. Hopefully, by the time these games hit the shelves, the much-anticipated Nintendo Switch upgrade will be in our hands as well.
The announcement trailer for the latest pair of Pokémon games relies heavily on nostalgia to get players excited. The trailer opens up with a shot of one of the original titles launching on Nintendo DS, the handheld console these games were originally designed for. A montage of memorable scenes from the originals plays — the game’s introduction, choosing your starter Pokémon, cruising across the sea on the S.S. Spiral — before we get our first look at the remake.
The game will, obviously, return us to the Sinnoh region where we will collect Pokémon and battle gym leaders while competing with our rival and attempting to thwart Team Galactic. There are also new mysteries waiting to be discovered and solved. Cynthia, a mysterious character, will show up at various points to help unravel these mysteries.
It looks like these remakes will stay closer to the top-down perspective and chibi art style, like the originals, instead of borrowing any of the new styles used in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! or the newest entries in the series, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
While there will surely be a couple of new elements added to the games, we expect the gameplay to be very similar to the original titles and what we’ve come to expect out of a standard Pokémon game.
Players will start the game as a new Pokémon trainer setting out from Twinleaf Town after picking from the region’s selection of starter Pokémon — the grass-type Turtwig, the fire-type Chimchar, or the water-type Piplup. You’ll start building a team of captured Pokémon, battling gym leaders, and eventually taking on the region’s Elite Four, all while thwarting the chaotic plans of Team Galactic, a villainous organization that’s trying to summon the legendary Pokémon Dialga (in Brilliant Diamond) or Palkia (in Shining Pearl).
The August Nintendo direct gave us a glimpse at some new features these games will bring. While they were only shown briefly, we saw that we will be able to decorate our Poké Balls with stickers, trade and do battle locally or online in a Union Room, customize our characters’ outfits in a Style Shop, participate in Super Contest Shows that appear to play like rhythm games, and enter maze-like dungeons with Explorer Kits.
The deep underground is packed with fossils to discover, and you can even decorate your own hideout of sorts with statues and sculptures of your favorite Pokémon. New to these areas are Pokémon hideaways, which will spawn different Pokémon depending on the decorations you’ve set up in your base. Some Pokémon will only show up here, encouraging experimentation.
The stickers you place on your Poké Balls not only make the balls themselves more interesting but also add unique effects when used, such as confetti springing out or fireworks shooting off.
Finally, you can choose any Pokémon you’ve caught to be your partner Pokémon and see them follow along behind your trainer as you explore the world.
We expect multiplayer to look very similar to how it has in past Pokémon — you’ll definitely be able to battle against and trade Pokémon with your friends without too much hassle. It’s unclear if multiplayer elements from Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will be available, like the ability to randomly trade Pokémon globally or the existence of competitive leagues.
We don’t imagine the game would include anything like Sword and Shield’s Wild Area, which allowed players to roam around hunting for new Pokémon alongside other trainers in real time.
You can pre-order Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, including a double-pack with both games, right now at a handful of select retailers.
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