The Sinnoh region is back and better than ever -- and in some unexpected ways, too! On February 26th, the Pokémon Company announced the long awaited remakes of their fan favorite 2006 games: 'Pokémon Diamond' and 'Pokémon Pearl.' Named 'Pokémon Brilliant Diamond' and 'Pokemon Shining Pearl,' the games were showcased in a reveal trailer that showed off their modern looks compared to the originals. Both games are set to drop in late 2021; while an official date is still forthcoming at this time, the current speculation points to a November release. But this wasn't the only announcement made last week, however, as fans were gifted with a brand new open world Pokémon game (also based in the Sinnoh region, home of both Diamond and Pearl) named 'Pokémon Legends Arceus.' Set in feudal Japan before the events of any other games, 'Pokémon Legends Arceus' is different than anything Pokémon has made before, which will be a refreshing change of pace for many players.
Let's first touch upon the remakes: 'Pokémon Brilliant Diamond' and 'Pokémon Shining Pearl,' which fans of the series have been clamoring for a long time now. The original games are some of the most popular in the entire series and were the first to be developed for the Nintendo DS system. These remakes, meanwhile, are surprisingly similar in style, but with upscaled graphics compared to the originals. This isn't what many expected to see, as Nintendo has departed from this style recently while developing games for the Switch console in favor of increased processing power (especially compared to games made for the DS and Gameboy systems). This game's art is based upon the "chibi" cartoonish style and, as someone who grew up playing the originals (and them being my favorites), I love the decision.
The art style of these games is quite the topic amongst the online Pokémon community, as many expected it to be similar to the more "realistic" style of the most recent releases, 'Pokémon Sword' and 'Pokémon Shield' (if you could classify Pokémon games as realistic, that is). I'm sure everyone will calm down as they grow more accustomed to seeing this style in action, though. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the direction Pokémon went in, as this feels like an homage to the original games while still introducing modern enhancements to look like something made in 2021, rather than 2006. Parts of the game that were shown in the minute and a half reveal trailer showcased some very familiar locations. I'll be preordering the 'Diamond' version, as that was what I played as a kid and I couldn't be more excited to try it!
'Pokémon Legends Arceus,' meanwhile, is the reveal that absolutely no one saw coming. Announced right after the 'Diamond' and 'Pearl' remakes, fans were shocked to see a Pokémon game set in an open world format with some striking similarities to one of the most popular games released in recent years: 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.' The game is set in feudal Japan -- specifically in the Sinnoh region -- and serves as a "premake" to the 'Diamond' and 'Pearl' games. 'Pokémon Legends Arceus' tasks you with catching Pokémon (shocker, right?) and gathering information on them to create the region's first Pokédex, as the time period is set way before Pokémon trainers and gym leaders were a thing. As with any normal Pokémon game, battles are still featured; however, things work a bit differently.
With the game taking place in an open world setting and Pokémon being around for you to see all over, you have the ability to completely sneak up on and try and capture them. Or, if you already have a Pokémon, you can approach a wild one and start a battle with seamless transition that begins right away; this style is completely different from any Pokémon game ever made before. With the setting being open world, it also appears that the player will have control over the camera view throughout the entire game, something that has never been done before. It is worth noting that this was a feature in specific areas in the 2019 Pokémon games, Sword and Shield, so players have seen it to a degree. This is shaping up to be the most ambitious and different Pokémon game ever made and will be released in early 2022.
I'm super excited to play each of these newly announced games, as they take place in my favorite Pokémon region and pack in a ton of nostalgia. With one game being a remake of one of my favorites of all time and the other being a newly styled Pokémon iteration that we've never played before, it's certainly a great time to be a fan of the franchise. I seriously cannot wait to receive more updates about these games as they become available over the course of the year. With even more information set to be revealed as we grow closer to the anticipated release, all that I can say is this: we're only just getting started!
What were your thoughts on the news we received last week? Which game are you most looking forward to? Feel free to sound off in the comments or tweet at me (handle below).
- Cameron (@Cameron_FTF)