At today’s Pokémon Presents showcase, trainers got another look at the upcoming Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes. We already knew they’d be newer-looking than the originals (obviously). But these aren’t just pixel-for-pixel remakes.
First—and most crucially—you’ll be able to customize your outfits, as you can in the more recent series entries. Similarly, but slightly less crucially, you can tweak the effects that happen when a Pokémon pops out of its Poké Ball.
There’s also a new “Grand Underground” area, a sprawling maze where you can catch rare Sinnoh-specific Pokémon, like Houndoom. At first glance, it looks a bit like the wild area from Sword and Shield. Your secret base—a personal hideout where could switch up the décor, at least in the originals—lives here. In the remakes, you can place various Pokémon statues in your secret base. The Pokémon that show up in the Grand Underground will change depending on what you put.
Finally, online battles! You can battle “with trainers all over the world in real time,” The Pokémon Company says. It’s an enormous improvement over the original game’s Battle Tower.
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, first announced in February, are the latest cash cows to come out of Nintendo and the Pokémon Company’s reliable nostalgia factory. This time around: A redux of the fourth generation of Pokémon games, Diamond and Pearl, which were released for the Nintendo DS back in 2007 for North America and Europe. Like FireRed and LeafGreen (remakes of the original Red and Blue versions), HeartGold and SoulSilver (likewise for Gold and Silver), or Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (Ruby and Sapphire), Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are faithful recreations. They even feature the same camera angle as the originals, albeit with a modernized art style. Whether or not that means “better” is a matter of taste.
These touched-up versions were already given a November 19 release date for the Switch in a stream this past spring. Of note: Game Freak, the longtime Pokémon dev, is not making these games. A studio called ILCA is behind the project, though it’s worth noting that Junichi Masuda—who directed the original games—is overseeing.
This pair of redos heralds a mysterious open-world game, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, also based on the fourth-gen games. Set in Sinnoh, your goal is to compile the very first Sinnoh Pokédex. Arceus is there, too, but it’s unclear why. (You’ll likely have to figure that out in-game. Per Pokémon lore, Arceus is basically god, so ten bucks says that comes into play somehow.) From these early glimpses, the game looks a whole lot like Breath of the Wild: Pokémon Edition. That’s out for the Switch on January 28, 2022. I, for one, am at the edge of my seat in anticipation over the new flying-grass-type Pokémon, Winglidermon.