Nintendo announces remakes for the fan-favorite “Pokémon Diamond” and “Pokémon Pearl” games

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Fans are given a sneak peak at what the new “Pokémon Brilliant Diamond” and “Pokémon Shining Pearl” games will look like in a screenshot shown during the announcement live stream. One of the characters the player can control, Dawn, is shown in her bedroom, one of the first areas players see in the game.

Sophie Decker, Web Editor, A/V Editor

Pokémon is the world’s highest grossing media franchise with their total revenue clocking in at $100 billion, with $22.716 billion coming from the video game series of the same name. Since 1996, the Pokémon games have been released in generations, the latest being generation eight’s “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield.”

Fans of the franchise have long been clamoring for a remake of the generation four games, “Pokémon Diamond” and “Pokémon Pearl,” and as of February 26, 2021, their wishes have been granted. In a livestream celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise, “Pokémon Brilliant Diamond” and “Pokémon Shining Pearl” were announced, with an expected release date of late 2021.

Released in 2006, “Pokémon Diamond” and “Pearl” were praised as one of the “the most well-rounded Pokémon game[s] to date,” with critics such as Ryan Davis of Gamespot surprised at how well the formulaic nature of the games holds up and continues to engage players.

Many Pokémon games in the past have received remakes, with generation one’s “Pokémon Red” and “Green” being remade in 2004 as “Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen,” generation two’s “Pokémon Gold” and “Silver” being remade in 2009 as “Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver” and finally generation three’s “Pokémon Ruby” and “Sapphire” being remade in 2014 as “Pokémon Omega Ruby” and “Alpha Sapphire.”

All of the past main series Pokémon games have been developed by Game Freak, a Tokyo-based company that has worked with Nintendo since the 1980’s, but “Pokémon Brilliant Diamond” and “Shining Pearl” will be the first main series games to be developed by a different studio, ILCA, with oversight by Game Freak.

ILCA is a Tokyo-based studio that has previously worked on the spin-off Pokémon project “Pokémon Home,” an app for transferring a player’s Pokémon between games and friends. They have also worked on “Code Vein,” “Dragon Quest XI,” the critically acclaimed role-playing game (RPG) “NieR: Automata” and more that can be viewed on their website.

The remakes were announced alongside “Pokémon Origins: Arceus,” an open world RPG that serves as a prequel to “Pokémon Diamond” and “Pearl” and will be developed by Game Freak. From what was shown in the trailer, the gameplay seems to follow the standard formula of main series Pokémon games with changes to the traditional battling system. It’s scheduled to be released early 2022 following “Brilliant Diamond” and “Shining Pearl.”

Fan’s desire for generation four remakes is represented in no better way than a 24/7 YouTube livestream titled “Furret on an Escalator until Diamond & Pearl remakes are released,” featuring Furret, a ferret-like Pokémon, endlessly climbing an escalator. The original “Furret on an Escalator” livestream was started on May 15, 2019, by YouTube user Anoyth. This stream has since ended, but many others, such as the one linked above, have popped up in its place.

There tend to be around 100-170 users in the chat of these livestreams at any given time with the topic of discussion, expectedly, surrounding Pokémon. While these streams represent the continued desire for generation 4 remakes, they have also served as a place for communities to form and people to find friends.

There have been doubts among fans regarding the quality of the remakes due to the change in studios and difference in art style, but many still have faith that they will live up to their predecessors.

Freshman Brayden Fries is one such person who still has faith. “I mainly want them to be like the original, but with a bit more challenge, diamond and pearl was a bit too easy,” Fries said.

Regardless of where one may stand on the issue, it will be exciting to see how the beloved titles are brought into this new era of video games.