Are these Pokémon Remakes worth it?
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of the biggest and highest grossing franchises in world history, the people behind the Pokémon games had a few surprises in store for their fans and presented them in a Pokémon Presents, a format close to what we know from Nintendo Direct showcases.
Fans have been vocal asking for remakes of the fourth generation of Pokémon games first released in September 2006 that take place in the Sinnoh region. After Gen 1 to 3 already got their remake treatment with Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, Heartgold and Soulsilver most recently Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the next logical step to follow was to remake the games that marked the first main line Pokémon releases on the utterly successful Nintendo DS and still count as fan favorites to this day: Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
The remakes titled Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will release on Nintendo’s revolutionary handheld and home console hybrid Nintendo Switch and takes a more traditional route reimagining Pokémon’s fourth generation. The camera angle and art style are what seem to almost entirely stay untouched, while the developers port the modern classics to a new more accessible platform and update the graphics with completely new art assets.
This is where many loyal Pokémon fans were upset. Big parts of the community expected a grand scale 3D remake in the style of modern Pokémon games that are already at home in the Switch’s game library, taking a step similar to the Let’s Go and 3DS remakes. What will be getting instead is a rather bland and uninspired chibi look for the characters (big round heads and small unproportional bodies) in the game’s overworld that can not capture the spirit the art style had in its sprite based pixel version.
Twitter user millenniumloops, a digital 3D artist and game designer, made it their job to show people who share their passion to the Pokémon franchise what the Diamond and Pearl remakes could have looked like in a concept trailer they created by hand, getting a lot of traction just a few days after the official remakes were revealed.
The Pokémon Company had a little piece of comfort for the discouraged fans of Gen 4 in store itself: Pokémon Legends — Arceus, what appears to be the first installment of a reoccurring spin off series focusing on revolutionizing the core gameplay of Pokémon games outside of the battles.
In the presentation, we learned that the story will take place in Sinnoh of times past with Pokémon and humans living relatively separated. Catching and encountering Pokémon will happen dynamically in an overworld that makes Zelda — Breath of the Wild come to mind at first sight.
Is the Pokémon Company just chasing after Zelda’s latest installment’s success with its open world formula or are the developers actually trying to move a long overdue step forward in the gameplay department? Only time will tell whether Pokémon Legends will come to fulfill its whole potential. Judging from this early trailer, the game suffers from issues its Switch predecessors Pokémon Sword and Shield faced already.