At this point in Pokemon’s 25-year history, there have been almost as many remakes as mainline games, but the latest pairings, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for the Nintendo Switch, are a bit different. Rather than re-imagining the original Pokemon Diamond and Pearl versions, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are faithful entertainments, right down to their chibi-like visuals and overhead perspectives. Despite this conservative approach, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have also introduced a variety of refinements that will help make 15-year-old games more palatable to modern audiences.
Nintendo recently gave us a new hands-on look at Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl ahead of their launch next month. While the original feel stays true to the original, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl include several quality-of-life improvements from the series’ most recent installments, which shave off many of the rough edges inherent in older titles.
This includes organizing Pokémon. Like with Pokemon Sword and Shield, you can now access your Pokemon storage box from the menu, so you don’t have to return it to the Pokemon Center every time you want to swap out your team. Similarly, Expexp. Share is enabled here from the start, meaning that every Pokémon in your party will gain experience points from a battle, even if they didn’t actively participate (though a large portion will be given to the Pokémon that did participate). Purists may balk at this particular change, but it helps reduce the need for grinding and improves the game’s pacing overall.
Perhaps the most notable quality-of-life improvement pertains to Hidden Moves. In previous Pokemon games, players had to teach these techniques to their Pokemon and use them to overcome certain environmental obstacles, which required them to advance through the adventure. Since these techniques were generally not very useful in combat, however, most players typically load all hidden moves onto one or two Pokemon, which they retrieve from storage only when needed, allowing them to be used. There is trouble.
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl offer a clever solution. In the remake, Hidden Moves are linked to an app for PokéCatch—a handy smartwatch-like device you get early in the adventure. This app allows you to summon a wild Pokemon to perform a hidden move, so you no longer have to sacrifice your own Pokemon’s move slot to use these techniques – a welcome change that’s about the Overworld. Will make traveling a lot easier.
The Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl also add some embellishments of their own to the experience, particularly in the Grand Underground – a vast network of tunnels located beneath the surface of the Sinnoh area. Like in the original Diamond and Pearl games, you can dig out secret hideouts here and dig out walls for treasure. However, this time around there are also new areas in the Grand Underground called Pokémon Hideaway. Unlike the Overworld, where wild Pokémon are found strictly through random encounters, Pokémon apparently roam these hideouts, so you can choose which ones you want to battle. In addition, the Pokémon figurines you create from Grand Underground have special effects when placed in your secret hideouts, which will affect the types of Pokémon that appear in Hideaway – if you hunt a specific type of monster. If so helpful.
Thanks to these quality-of-life changes, Nintendo and the Pokemon Company have struck a delicate balance with Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pearl: appealing to fans of the original game while making them accessible to new and young players. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl launch for Nintendo Switch on November 19th. As an early purchase bonus, everyone who picks up a copy of any title before February 21, 2022 is entitled to a free Manafy Egg.