The Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes are due to release in late 2021 under the new titles of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl. The upcoming games are the fourth set in Pokémon’s long-running remake line, following Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (2004), Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (2010) and most recently Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (2014).
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be recreations of the original Diamond and Pearl’s Sinnoh region, which debuted the fourth generation of Pokémon. The usual format of catching and training Pokémon to work your way through the region’s gyms applies as it always has up to that point and beyond.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were first announced during the February 2021 Pokémon Presents showcase video, part of the wider Pokémon 25th anniversary celebrations. It was joined by the announcement of Pokémon Legends Arceus, a prequel set in the Sinnoh region that will release worldwide in early 2022.
Excited about Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and want to know more? Read on to find out everything we know about the upcoming Pokémon remakes.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake: what you need to know
- What is it? Remakes of Nintendo DS titles Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
- When can I play it? Late 2021
- What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake release date
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will release in late 2021 on the Nintendo Switch exclusively. This will be the second mainline entry featured on the console following 2019’s Pokémon Sword and Shield.
While a full release date is yet to be announced, we can look at other recent Pokémon games for some clues as to when we’ll be able to get our hands on the remakes. Pokémon Sword and Shield, the Let’s Go spin-offs as well as Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire all launched worldwide in November of their respective years.
As such, November 2021 could be a likely release window for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes aren’t being developed by Game Freak. Instead, development is being handled by ILCA, which could influence the release date of the remakes.
One other important thing to note is that we'll likely start seeing the effects of Covid-19 delays in full force this year. This is something that could apply to Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (which could also have a knock-on effect with Pokémon Legends Arceus in early 2022). Naturally, we'll keep you in the loop should a delay become a reality.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake trailer
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were first shown off during the February 2021 Pokémon Presents showcase, announced alongside a trailer demonstrating the game’s art style and gameplay primarily.
The game’s aesthetic in the overworld very much mimics that of the original Nintendo DS release, with deformed “chibi” style characters navigating basic 3D environments. Things change in battle, though, as characters take on more realistic proportions alongside the full-sized Pokémon models.
As such, the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes look to be quite faithful to the originals, albeit with a high-definition 3D overhaul to the graphics while throwing in some fairly impressive lighting effects. Some cinematic battle animations were also shown off in the trailer, and look to be at least somewhat of an improvement over Pokémon Sword and Shield’s efforts, where the animations were criticized for being reused and underwhelming for the first HD mainline Pokémon title.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake gameplay
If you played the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games on Nintendo DS, then you should know what to expect in terms of gameplay. The core Pokémon series gameplay appears to be largely unchanged, maintaining exploration of the overworld, turn-based combat and a focus on catching as many Pokémon as you can to fill out your Pokédex as an extra completionist objective.
Amidst the National Dex controversy surrounding Pokémon Sword and Shield (which involved large swathes of the entire Pokémon roster being cut from the final game), we expect Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl to pick up the slack, hopefully featuring all Pokémon from the first four generations.
That’s just shy of 500 pocket monsters. In addition to that, we’d love to see a selection of Pokémon from generations beyond that to also make an appearance as they did in previous remakes.
We also expect the popular Battle Zone to make a comeback. This unique area allowed trainers to seriously test their endgame Pokémon parties with locales like the addictive Battle Frontier and Ribbon Syndicate. Some new features unique to the remake would also work wonders, potentially addressing complaints of lower difficulty in more recent Pokémon titles.
As well as the Battle Zone, another of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl’s most popular features was the Underground. The Underground eschewed Pokémon battling and catching entirely for a more casual resource gathering affair. It also let players create Secret Bases, a customizable home away from home, of sorts, that we can really picture flourishing on the Switch especially with added online play.
If the aim of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes is a faithful recreation, then, what we’d most like to see from the games is quality of life improvements. A smooth 60fps experience looks manageable for such a simple art style, even on Switch. Features like fast load times and more seamless battle transitions would also provide a welcome upgrade over Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake news and rumors
Mega Evolutions could return
The biggest rumor doing the rounds currently for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is the potential inclusion of Mega Evolutions. These were first introduced in Pokémon X and Y on the Nintendo 3DS, and allows certain Pokémon to temporarily transform into super-powered versions of themselves.
Mega Evolutions have often been criticized for trivializing the already low difficulty of recent Pokémon games, as the stats of Mega-evolved forms can typically weather the toughest of attacks, even when the move used against them is super effective. If Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl do feature Mega Evolutions, we hope the feature is handled with care and a greater focus on balancing them properly.
Pokémon Platinum content included?
Speculation from fans also seems to indicate that content from Pokémon Platinum - the more feature-complete follow-up to Diamond and Pearl - will be present in the remakes. This is largely evidenced by a character that appears in the Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl trailer that was added in the Platinum follow-up, as pointed out on Twitter.
Platinum added an extra NPC to Floaroma Town to talk to you about the Gracidea and give it to you if you came with Shaymin.Guess who's there in the trailer. pic.twitter.com/1iOazHLfQqFebruary 26, 2021
If Pokémon Platinum content is indeed present, then, that would mean a number of extra features will make it into Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, including the minigame-centric Wi-Fi Plaza (which we imagine will be renamed in the remake) and the aforementioned Battle Frontier.