Rumors were swirling that The Pokemon Company would unveil remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl as part of its Pokemon 25th anniversary celebration–and sure enough, we got our first look at Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl during the February 2021 Pokemon Presents stream. That the remakes are indeed coming is not in itself surprising; The Pokemon Company has been steadily remaking older entries in the series, and Diamond and Pearl were the next in line to be modernized. What was surprising, however, is the approach being taken with the Diamond and Pearl remakes.
The Pokemon Company stressed that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are “faithful” remakes, and they certainly look as much. The games deliberately invoke the aesthetic of the original DS titles. Not only do they retain the classic top-down perspective, but characters and other overworld elements also have the same squat proportions as they do in the originals, which makes Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl look more like touched-up versions of the DS games rather than full-fledged updates.
This is in stark contrast to the approach Pokemon developer Game Freak has taken to previous remakes. Each time the studio has remade an older pair of Pokemon games, it has updated them to modern standards. Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen modernized the original Gen 1 games in the style of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire; HeartGold and SoulSilver updated the Gen 2 games in the vein of Diamond and Pearl; and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire made over the Gen 3 games to match Pokemon X and Y.
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