Entertainment

Video Game Preview: Pokémon “Brilliant Diamond” and “Shining Pearl”

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The popular Pokémon series has recently been announced to have an incoming installment: a remaster of “Pokémon Diamond” and “Pokémon Pearl.” 

“Pokémon Diamond” and “Pokémon Pearl” initially released on the Nintendo DS in 2006 and received praise across the board. This was most likely because it was a time when diehard Pokémon players were too young to feel nostalgia, let alone allow it to cloud their vision gravely enough to cause them to insult any new game for not being exactly like the ones they played as kids. Making fun of the adult fans of a kid’s game aside, “Diamond” and “Pearl” have been patiently awaiting their turn on Nintendo’s remake list for a long while now, and the attentive Pokémon fans—which is to say all of them, unfortunately – noticed that, based on the pattern of remasters, they were next in line.  

As a late disclaimer, when I am making fun of Pokémon fans, I am specifically referring to the people whose personalities do not exist outside of this series, not people who enjoy the franchise. I’m putting this in here because I am going to take enough shots at them that I’d run any military base dry of munitions. 

As is the case for most remasters, the core gameplay mechanics do not appear to have been altered too much. Though it is too early to tell exactly to what extent the game has been changed, I feel comfortable in asserting that much. Otherwise, there would not be much reason to label these games as “remasters.” While on the subject, the new titles are “Brilliant Diamond” and “Shining Pearl,” and I’ll be using those names for the remasters and “Diamond” and “Pearl” for the classics. 

Pokémon “Diamond” and “Pearl” are the games based in the Sinnoh region of Pokémon. For anyone that does not have all the Pokémon’s Pokédex numbers and affiliated regions committed to memory, the Sinnoh region is the one with the silly green grass turtle, the orange fire monkey and the cute blue penguin. Alternatively, for anyone watching, it was the season of the show that lasted from the middle of 2007 to the beginning of 2011. The battling, catching and training of Pokémon in this installment are all very standard, as this was one of the last Pokémon games to release without a generation-defining gimmick, like “Mega-evolutions,” “Z-moves” and “Dynamaxing.” 

You all know the drill for remasters: new graphics, maybe a few songs, quality-of-life changes, the works. “Brilliant Diamond” and “Shining Pearl,” so far, seem to be aiming for nostalgia grabs and putting a beloved Pokémon game on the Switch. Thus far, we have only had “Pokémon: Let’s Go” and “Pokémon Sword and Shield,” neither of which would be described as, well, much of anything except “games that feature Pokémon.” I realize it is tasteless, jaded and premature to be making quality assessments this early in the game, considering “the game” has not even released yet, but all those words belong on my tombstone, so it does not really bother me. I want the game to do well, but Nintendo has recently had a hard time making Pokémon worth the triple-A price they slap on the game upon release. 

“Diamond” and “Pearl” were at that sweet spot in the Pokémon series when making the same thing but giving it a new paintjob was still a-okay, a sweet spot that Apple copied a year later and has managed to make last for over a decade. Fans of the series did not bother complaining because they were too busy using their colorful fantasy animal to beat seven shades of sunshine out of their friends’ colorful fantasy animals.  

The reason I mention complaints so often is because, surprise-surprise, Nintendo fans are children after all: grown adults spending years demanding something from their very busy benefactors only to kick, scream and be ungrateful upon receiving what they asked for, due to their impossibly high and nonsensical standards. Most of the people I have seen through my browsing are making fun of the art style (which, to be fair, is not Nintendo’s best) and “Dexit” extremists. For those not in the know because they reasonably do not want to involve themselves with the toxic Pokémon fanbase, “Dexit” is a portmanteau of “Pokédex Exit” in the style of Brexit. This is a crude but marketable term to describe how GameFreak, the company behind Pokémon, has, over time, cut swathes of Pokémon out of later games for reasons that are so inadequate that it would be more reasonable to say there are not any than to list them. These seem like nitpicks, right? Welcome to the diehard Pokémon fandom. 

I feel that, as funny as it is to make fun of the Nintendrones that are only interested in trashing everything that they have not played and loved, there are droves and droves of fans who are unbelievably excited to see these remakes. Fanart, reminiscing about the old games, positive comments and tweets on Nintendo pages and, of course, a plethora of memes abound in preparation of “Shining Pearl” and “Brilliant Diamond,” releasing sometime later this year. Even without an exact date, people are certainly galvanizing themselves and those around them in anticipation for this remaster of a stone-cold classic entry in the Pokémon series. 

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