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Everything we know about Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Slated for release in November 2021, Pokemon:BDSP's development will be helmed by a new company. (Image via Nintendo)
Slated for release in November 2021, Pokemon:BDSP's development will be helmed by a new company. (Image via Nintendo)
ANALYST

Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, remakes of two of the original Generation IV Pokemon Games (Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl), will be arriving for Nintendo Switch on November 19, 2021.

For the first time in a main Pokemon title, Game Freak will not be overseeing any development. Instead, the reins have been handed to ILCA (I Love Computer Art). The development company only recently broke into the gaming industry, previously founded in 2010 as a CG-centered animation studio for animated movies and TV.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl follow a line of Pokemon remakes, including Pokemon: Heartgold and Soulsilver as well as Pokemon: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.


Pokemon: More information on BDSP and ILCA

The overworld art of Pokemon: BDSP appears to hearken back to the original Game Boy and Nintendo DS titles. (Image via Nintendo)
The overworld art of Pokemon: BDSP appears to hearken back to the original Game Boy and Nintendo DS titles. (Image via Nintendo)

Some Pokemon community members have expressed hesitation towards this particular batch of remakes, owing in part to ILCA being a relatively unknown name in the gaming industry and with Game Freak only providing oversight on the project.

For most Pokemon players, ILCA may only be recognizable for developing the cloud-based service Pokemon HOME. As primarily a support studio, ILCA has worked alongside major developers on quite a few game development projects, including:

  • Dragon Quest XI: Echos of an Elusive Age (with Square Enix, Armor Project, Toylogic, and ORCA)
  • Yakuza 0 (with Sega, Ryu Ga Gatoku Studios, and Amusement Vision)
  • NieR: Automata (with PlatinumGames)
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (with CyberConnect2)
  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (with BANDAI NAMCO and Project Aces)

Even with this resume, the studio's role as a supporter of other developers has drawn some scrutiny, as some Pokemon fans doubt its capability to live up to expectations.

Announced alongside Pokemon Legends: Arceus during Pokemon's 25th anniversary event, Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl promise to be faithful remakes of the original Diamond and Pearl titles for Nintendo DS.

However, Nintendo has pledged several additional features and a low barrier of entry so that players of all demographics might enjoy it. For example:

  • The game will return to the top-down perspective of the original handheld Pokemon games, bucking the precedent set by Pokemon: Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in using fully-scaled 3D models and a more dynamic camera operation. In addition, player models will be shrunk in size on the overworld map, similar to how they were outside of Pokemon battles in the original titles.
  • Like the previous versions of the game, Dialga and Palkia will remain mascots of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl respectively.
  • Although overworld character models will be small in the overworld, Nintendo has displayed in trailers that Pokemon battles will possess full-scale character models and a more cinematic approach to battle.
  • The Underground area from Diamond and Pearl has been remade into the Grand Underground, a massive underground network sprawling out underneath the entirety of the Sinnoh region. Players can dig up fossils, create hidden bases, and visit Pokemon Hideaways to find certain Pokemon not commonly seen otherwise. The Grand Underground also allows players to interact with each other in multiplayer via their Nintendo Switch's local or online connectivity.
  • Super Contests make a return in Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. allowing players to dress in their best outfits and have their Pokemon perform for the masses in a non-battle setting. Sticker Capsule items can be used on a Pokeball to create different effects when a Pokemon emerges from its ball.
  • Follower Pokemon also make a return, allowing players to select a Pokemon on their team to follow them in the overworld. If this mechanic works similarly to previous iterations, the Pokemon should have some degree of interaction as well.
  • Players will be able to change their outfits at the Metronome Style Shop in Veilstone city, continuing the outfit customization introduced in Pokemon: X and Y.
  • In 2022, players will be able to connect Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl to Pokemon HOME, with ILCA coming full circle by bringing together its new gaming title with its landmark cloud-based service.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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