This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise, and boy do they know how to celebrate. Along with a few other titles, products, and nostalgic throwbacks, the Pokémon Company revealed the long-awaited remakes of the 2007 games Diamond and Pearl. Not only that, but a prequel for said games is also in development. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be the first wholly open-world game in the franchise, and looks to be the first in a long-line of mythology driven titles.
While it’s still early days for both games, which are scheduled for release later this year and early 2022, there’s still a lot of new information to cover. So here’s everything you need to know about the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes, as well as Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
How are Pokémon Diamond and Pearl being remade?
Retitled Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the remakes have been “faithfully reproduced” according to Game Freak, and will maintain “the sense of scale in the originals’ towns and routes [that] have been carefully preserved.”
In this sense, the games will be marginally different from the remakes of Ruby and Sapphire, as well as the recent Let’s Go games. It seems that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have been designed more in the vein of Fire Red and Leaf Green, as well as HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are also the first games to not be produced by Game Freak. Instead, Game Freak will be focusing on Pokémon Legends: Arceus while the studio behind Pokémon Home, ICLA Inc., is making the remakes per Polygon. However, Junichi Masuda, the director of the original Diamond and Pearl games, is working on the remakes.
Potential new mechanics
As of writing, it doesn’t seem like the games will introduce new mechanics due to them being a straight remake of the original titles. However, there’s always the possibility that gameplay from other titles could return. Mechanics like Mega Evolution and Z-Moves from newer games have been re-introduced in remakes for Ruby and Sapphire as well as Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee.
There’s also potential that gameplay from Pokémon Platinum could be included, which was an extension for the original Diamond and Pearl games. Twitter user @voltimer_ pointed out that an NPC (non-playable character) only featured in Platnium was spotted in the trailer, as well as the Pokémon Porygon Z.
How does Pokémon Legends: Arceus differ from the remakes?
Described as a “bold new direction” for the Pokémon franchise, Pokémon Legends: Arceus serves as a prequel to Diamond and Pearl. The game is based in the Sinnoh region long before the time of trainers and leagues, and centres around the mystery surrounding the mythical creature Arecus which every Pokémon and human stems from in the Pokémon universe.
Expanding upon the open-world mechanics introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield, the player is tasked with compiling the region’s Pokédex from the ground up, as well as observing, capturing, and researching the Pokémon you find through exploration.
While Pokémon Legends is a new direction for the series, familiar mechanics remain. This includes a choice between three starters, however, instead of using those from Diamond and Pearl or three new ones, the player has the choice of starters from different regions outside Sinnoh. Here, you start with Rowlett, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott.
Per GamesRadar, some Reddit users have theorised the choice of these starters is linked to 12th century Japan, suggesting the game is based sometime around that era.
Where can you buy the games?
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are slated for release in late 2021, and are available to pre-order from GAME for £59.99. Pokemon Legends: Arceus is also available to pre-order from GAME at the same price, which will come out in early 2022.