Pokemon remakes have become solidly part of the franchise’s formula for new entries. Beginning with Pokemon LeafGreen and FireRed back on the GameBoy Advance, this gave the original Pokemon Red and Blue a new coat of paint and brought them to the same standard as Ruby and Sapphire. This was later followed up a few years later with the release of HeartGold and SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS. These were remakes of Pokemon Gold and Silver but now held to the same lofty standards born by Pokemon Platinum.
However, moving into the 3DS era is what gave us Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. This remake was somewhat contentious, at least to me, due to being built off the same systems as Pokemon X and Y, which felt rather unfinished. The remake also lacked important additions like the Battle Frontier from Pokemon Emerald and trainer customization from Pokemon X and Y. But at least it did provide some interesting additions such as improving the rival, retooling entire towns, small quests to be more interesting, and least of all, the Delta Episode, to try and make up for the lack of Pokemon Emerald story-specific content.
This leads us to just before now. With the Nintendo switch, people waited for what felt like the inevitable remakes of the 4th generation of Pokemon games, Diamond and Pearl, with bated breath. With the last iteration of Pokemon, Sword and Shield, having a grand 3D scale, we already had preconceived notions of what Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl would look like.
And then a trailer presented us with this:
Tiny chibi models and what appears at first glance to be a 1:1 recreation of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl but in 3D.
I’m not generally the biggest complainer about low detail visual presentation. Either I have low standards, or you don’t need detail to have an attractive presentation. This is why I didn’t care much about resolution when playing 3DS games, which has a resolution of 240p.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl quite literally look like a Nintendo 3DS game. The chibi models are undetailed, with very flat colors and the routes’ textures appear to be the same. This is all well and good on a 240p screen. However, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl aren’t Nintendo 3DS games. They’re Nintendo Switch games. Running 720p in handheld and up to 1080p when connected in TV mode. The models replace the sprites, now fondly looked back on, and provide little in return.
And that’s not going into the fact it appears to be a 1:1 recreation of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. The original’s route designs were practically all, apart from a select few, identical, leading to repetitive and ultimately boring visuals, a flaw in the original game. This is baffling because this was fixed in Pokemon Platinum, which added new tilesets made and used to make the previously garish and bland routes visually unique and interesting.
If Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl aren’t going to use the fixes that Pokemon Platinum added, then what reason is there to believe there will be anything of real note added within these remakes?
That’s not to say it’s all bad. The actual in-battle environments shown look fantastic. And playing Pokemon with friends is half the fun, so at least it should have online playability.
We’re still nearly an entire year out from release, so there’s time for ILCA to surprise us with something that will make the game more enticing. Otherwise, I may as well pick up my Nintendo DS to finish that Platinum run. And then start another.
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