Pokemania is truly forever. If you didn’t believe that before the Nintendo Switch dropped, you need to believe it now. Case in point: the fourth (!) entry in the long-running Pokemon remake series is coming to Switch this November, the long-awaited remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Diamond and Pearl hold a special place in the hearts of many Gen Z-aged players, many of whom first encountered Pokemon in its fourth generation.
The original Diamond and Pearl released way back in 2006 for the Nintendo DS, and they were the first titles in the series to use touchscreen controls. The Pokemon Company announced recently that the remakes of these classic titles, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, will be released on November 19, 2021.
Meanwhile, the long-awaited open-world title, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, is slated for a January 28, 2022 release.
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
The Switch remakes of Diamond and Pearl follow in the footsteps of Fire Red and Leaf Green, Heart Gold and Soul Silver, and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Collectively, these games are known as the “remake series,” as they’re reimaginings of previous generations. However, the speed with which The Pokemon Company has released new generations in recent years has the remake series lagging somewhat behind.
When Fire Red and Leaf Green released in 2004, it remade the first generation while Pokemon was in its third generation. Now, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will remake the fourth generation while Pokemon is in its eighth.
The 4th Gen remakes have been hotly anticipated by fans, but many are wary about the art style. Rather than take advantage of the Switch’s processing power upgrade over the Nintendo DS, Game Freak (the game’s developer) has opted to use an old-school graphical style that emulates the DS’s stylized characters.
Pokemon Legends Arceus
On the other hand, fans are united in their love for the art direction for Pokemon Legends: Arceus. The first open-world, 3D Pokemon title looks much more like what fans envisioned when they heard that mainline Pokemon titles would be coming to the Switch. While the series’ tried and true roots are as fun as ever in titles like Pokemon Sword and Shield, fans nonetheless were hoping for a more dramatic departure from the series’ prior entries.
That’s why fans are so excited about the prospect of playing in an open-world Pokemon title that brings a completely new twist on the franchise. Described by some as “Breath of the Wild meets Pokemon,” the new entry sees players taking on the wilderness of the Sinnoh region thousands of years before the events of Diamond and Pearl.
In the gameplay trailer released back in February, the player character stalks Pokemon through the tall grass in real-time, hurling Pokeballs to catch them before they’re spotted. It’s unclear whether the combat will be the usual turn-based strategy game we’re used to, or if it will be a new twist on the classic Pokemon battle system.
Either way, fans of the long-running RPG series have plenty of great games to look forward to in the coming year.