Preview: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

John Heycock previews Pokémon's upcoming adventure in the Sinnoh Region.

John Heycock
11th October 2021
Image: The Pokemon Company
It's now less than two months away from the 19th November release of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl - remakes of the fourth generation games: Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. We take a look at some key aspects of these upcoming releases.

The games are set in the Sinnoh region, based on Hokkaido, Japan. It's a region described on the official website as "rich in nature, with Mount Coronet towering at its heart, Sinnoh is a land of many myths passed down through the ages". The region is home to many fan favourite Pokémon, such as Bidoof and Luxray, and characters such as Barry, Cyrus and Cynthia - as well as a stellar music soundtrack which fans will hope is reproduced in all its glory.

Image: Amazon

The initial reception to the games when the first footage was released in February was, to be kind, mixed. Some fans didn't approve of the chibi-style characters in the overworld and many parts of the game looked unfinished. Since then though new trailers have been released, showing a game that has been clearly much improved graphically. But the trailers didn't just show new graphics, they revealed the return of some much requested features. For one, your Pokémon will once again be able to follow you as you run through the region - and up to 6 can now follow you at any one time in the revamped Amity Square, where you can also make poffins with your team by your side. These poffins, as before, help boost stats for Super Contest Shows, which also make their return.

But some mechanics have been changed to add new features and quality of life improvements. One such example is the transformation of the Underground into the Grand Underground, featuring all new Pokémon Hideaways. These dens, which vary in terrain and size, have wild Pokémon roaming through them - and the species you see are influenced by the statues you have in your Secret Base.

Also changed from the original is the Hidden Machine mechanic. Eight different terrains in all needed to be passed using the special moves in the originals, which took up a move slot each on your team - five were needed in Mount Coronet alone! Thankfully in these remakes they've been installed onto an app on the Poketch - Pokémon's Apple watch made a decade prior. This means your move slots can all be used for moves you actually want to use in battle - and that the Bibarel unemployment rate is likely to skyrocket.

I'm sure controversy isn't far away as fans discover the lack of content from Pokémon Platinum

All sounds good so far (unless you don't like the chibis!) but I'm sure controversy isn't far away as fans discover the lack of content from Pokémon Platinum, the enhanced version of the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Screenshots on the official website reveal that Battle Frontier - a facility that wasn't in the original Diamond and Pearl but appeared in Platinum - won't return. The layout of Spear Pillar is also Diamond and Pearl's - suggesting that Platinum's flagship Distortion World may not be present either. While neither are integral to the main plot, both are memorable and popular additions from the third version of the trio which are sure to be fondly missed.

Image: Newgrounds

That being said, the remakes are clearly faithfully reproducing the games to the original scale - so for anyone wanting to recreate that nostalgic feeling of starting a new Sinnoh adventure, these may well be the games to convince us Pokémon fans to buy into the Sinnoh story… again!

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