How one word can raise many questions.
Let's dive in.
Before I get started with the list proper, here’s some background information and a small disclaimer. These remakes are not the type of remakes that we’ve gotten in the past. They don’t use the basis set by but instead go for a ‘faithful’ approach. It’s this one word, this approach, that is at the centre of this article. Before, the inclusion of things like the most recent gimmick was natural. Now, it’s not.
Well then, on to the list!
1. Platinum Improvements.
Let’s start with the big one: will Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl include the improvements Platinum brought to the Sinnoh region? While Diamond and Pearl are one of the best-selling games in the franchise moving a whopping 17.67 million units, they are also some of the most flawed games in the series. In my opinion at least. The engine these games ran on is very sluggish. From the walking speed to the decrease of HP to the loading times.
Aside from these obvious flaws, there were others. The pacing of the game was uneven at best. The start was paced well but there were large stretches in which either nothing happened and vice-versa. Moments with lots of backtracking and weird level curves.
Many of these aspects were later fixed when the upper version, Platinum, released a few years later. As many aspects game were sped up as possible, the Pokédex saw a welcome extension with all of the new evolutions now included and some more fire-types. Story elements were expanded upon, new characters added and the order of gym leaders were changed to improve the overall flow of the story and decrease the amount of backtracking.
Keen-eyed viewers have spotted the women who give the player the flowers necessary to switch Shaymin forms in Platinum is present in Floaroma town. We thus know that some Platinum features have found their way to Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl but we don’t know the extent of it. I’m not expecting that, for example, the gym leader line-up will be redone.
2. an expanded Pokédex
The Pokémon distribution in Diamond & Pearl left much to be desired. The Sinnoh region only has 151 Pokémon in its regional Pokédex, just like the original Kanto region, but it doesn’t work here at all. Infamously, Sinnoh only had two fire-type evolutionary families. If you didn’t pick Chimchar as your starter, the sub-par (Stats wise) Ponyta line was your only option for a fire-type. Many of the newly introduced evolutions from older Pokémon like Electivire and Gallade weren’t even present and could only be obtained post-game.
Once again, Platinum came to the rescue here. The Pokédex saw a welcome extension with all of the new evolutions now included and some more fire-types. The game also altered the Pokémon distribution in the Sinnoh region as well as updated the teams of many NPC´s. All of this helped the game greatly in giving the player more options and making the battles more varied. Less monotonous.
There is, again, no clear indication that these games will make use of the Platinum Pokédex. Porygon-Z, first introduced in Diamond & Pearl but not actually in the Sinnoh Pokédex, was shown in the reveal trailer but that’s doesn’t guarantee the expanded Pokédex. With how the Pokédex was such a clear problem with the games originally it would be, quite frankly, tone-deaf if Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl don’t have an expanded regional Pokédex.
With a little bit of luck, they might even add in some brand-new Pokémon as well. If Eevee makes it in it would be pretty stupid if Sylveon isn’t in the game as well. As Regigigas was introduced in these games bringing in the brand-new golems, Regidrago and Regieleki would be a nice tie-in to Sword & Shield and The Crown Tundra.
|With how much I've mentioned this game already, I figured I'd throw in a nice image as well.|
3. New post-game content
When it comes to the post-game content, Diamond & Pearl actually has a good amount for the player to do. There are multiple areas in Sinnoh that can only be explored after clearing the story, the battle zone and the Pal-park. The amount of legendary Pokémon in the games means that there’s a lot of them for you to catch and there’s even some very light story content. Still, it’s not perfect and these remakes won’t even be able to simply copy & paste it.
For starters, the Pal Park has no use in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. It was included for the specific purpose to migrate your Pokémon from Ruby, Sapphire, Fire Red, Leaf Green and Emerald to Diamond & Pearl. That’s not really needed anymore, now is it? We’ve got Pokémon Home for such shenanigans now.
Adding in some brand-new post-game content to make up for such losses would be smart and could convince people unwilling the purchase these games for their (perceived) lack of new content to make the purchase. I think doing something like the Delta episode that was in Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire would suffice. They could add in the Distortion World like this.
To have HM’s, or to not have HM’s. That is the question here. The HM system was, for a very long time, one of the biggest criticisms people had with Pokémon games. To make sure players don’t go anywhere there not supposed to be yet and get their teeth kicked in by the Pokémon and trainers that are 20+ levels above you the HM system was introduced in Red & Green. It required you to either: sacrifice move slots of your favourite and most powerful Pokémon or sacrifice an entire Pokémon slot to a Pokémon with as many HM moves ass possible just to be able to proceed.
Since Sun & Moon, HM’s have been removed to the delight of fans. With Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl marketed as ‘faithful remakes’ HM’s are very likely to be included. However, I think this doesn’t have to be a problem if these remakes also included some quality-of-life improvements the franchise has made since Diamond & Pearl. If they include the Pokémon Box feature, allow you to access the PC on the go, then the problem would be (nearly) solved. You can just switch out to your HM Pokémon whenever you want. It would still be tedious, but it would be bearable.
5. Mega evolutions
My last question is a very short one. Will these games have Mega evolutions and/or regional forms? There’s something to say for and against each. Mega Evolutions is something fans have wanted back for a while now and it was included in the Let’s Go games against all expectations. People have also pointed towards some ‘leaks’ of mega evolutions merchandise. However, I’m 99% sure that this merchandise has nothing to do with Brilliant Diamond & Shing Pearl. Mega evolutions or not, it doesn’t really matter to me, but I would like to know if they’re included or not.
And that, my dear readers, is everything I want to know about Briliant Diamond & Shining Pearl before it releazses. I feel the need to stretch that this list isn’t an ‘if they don’t to these things, it means the remakes will suck’. These are just 5 questions that I have at the moment and would like to have answered. There are some points in here that I do think the remakes should do, but even if they don’t, they can still be a pair of enjoyable, quality games.