Pokemon Diamond and Pearl fans will finally get their long-awaited remakes of the beloved Pokemon games. The Pokemon Company has confirmed the release of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, a pair of new Pokemon games coming out in late 2021. These new games will be the first "main series" Pokemon games developed by a third-party publisher and feature a brand new style of art for the franchise. For those wondering about what these new games will entail and how we got to this point, we've collected everything we know about the new Pokemon games in one place.
Here's what we know about prospective Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes:
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl - Are They Main Series Games?
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are described as "faithful reproductions" of the original Pokemon games. While these games were developed by ILCA, a third-party company, they should still be considered "main series" games, just like past remakes of the Pokemon series.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl - New Art Style and Features
The biggest reveal of the new Pokemon games is that they feature a distinctively different type of graphics than Pokemon Sword and Shield. The overworld map uses chibi-style characters and a grid-style map, both of which are big departures from the free-flowing world and more realistic graphics of the first Pokemon game. However, a press release by The Pokemon Company confirmed that many "player-friendly conveniences" of the modern Pokemon games will appear in the series, along with the crisper 3D battles seen in Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Website Leak
Back when Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes were just a rumor, most insiders pointed to a "leak" coming from the official Pokemon website as evidence the games were coming. Earlier this year, Pokemon enabled the URL diamondpearl.pokemon.com. While visiting that site led to a 403 error page, that suggested that the Pokemon webmaster was blocking users from accessing whatever was meant for that page. Indeed, visiting that URL now takes you to a fresh summary of the new Pokemon games.
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Anniversary
This year marks the 15th year since the original release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Game Freak doesn't often celebrate anniversary years for games - in fact, only Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold was released on a major anniversary year. But with the franchise celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and Nintendo's wider embrace of Nintendo Switch remakes, it seems that The Pokemon Company is leaning into the Sinnoh region. In addition to the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes, we're also getting Pokemon Legends: Arceus, a new kind of Pokemon game set in Sinnoh's distant past.
One of the big controversies surrounding Pokemon Sword and Shield was that it blocked a number of Pokemon from being transferred into the game. Over 230 Pokemon don't appear in Pokemon Sword and Shield, with a disproportionate amount coming from the Sinnoh region. While "Gen 2" Pokemon technically have the highest percentage of Pokemon missing from Pokemon Sword and Shield with 44%, about 40% of all "Gen 4" Pokemon don't appear in the games either. That certainly seems to suggest that Game Freak has plans for those Pokemon, especially as its never released a "generation" of games without making it so that players can capture or otherwise obtain every Pokemon. Assumably, a lot of these missing Pokemon will appear in the new remakes.
Since the games were just announced, there's still a LOT we don't know about the new Pokemon games. We'll note that a lot of the rumors ended up being wrong, including a relatively persistent rumor claims that the games will include an "Arceus episode" that serves as post-game content. We're guessing that the rumor started got Pokemon Legends: Arceus mixed up with potential post game content for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. For now, expect that these games will have very little content that didn't appear in the original games.
Potential Release Dates
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were announced for late 2021. Given the release dates of past Pokemon games, we can probably expect a November release date, making it a prime gift for the holiday season.