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Why Pokemon Fans Are Worried About The Diamond And Pearl Remakes

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of "Pokemon," Nintendo announced the upcoming remakes of its beloved fourth-generation titles, preparing fans around the world for the arrival of "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl." The games look to be faithful remakes of the original versions, bringing the Sinnoh regions and all of its people and Pokémon to an all-new platform.


While the announcement received a generally positive (and excited) reception, some fans weren't as enthusiastic about the upcoming remakes. Some were much more excited about "Pokémon Legends: Arceus," an open world adventure game that was announced at the same event. Others felt that the "Pokémon" formula is well-established enough that further remakes are unnecessary, while many were simply unimpressed by the teasers offered in the trailer.

As it turns out, players have found plenty of reasons to be underwhelmed by the hype leasing up to the release of "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl." Here are a few reasons why "Pokémon" fans are worried about the upcoming remakes.

Game Freak isn't developing the remakes

Game Freak has developed all the mainline "Pokémon" games and their remakes in house, but that actually won't be the case for "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl." Since Game Freak wants to devote more attention to its upcoming title, "Pokémon Legends: Arceus," the company is instead outsourcing development to ILCA.


As explained by CBR, ILCA is a smaller developer that has worked primarily as a support studio in the past, but it still has some pretty impressive games to its credit. ILCA's work has appeared in major titles like "Yakuza 0," "NieR: Automata," "Dragon Quest 11," and more. Having worked on the "Pokémon HOME" app, ILCA has a good bit of experience in developing the "Pokémon" franchise.

Despite ILCA's impressive resume, bringing a new developer to an existing franchise introduces a host of potential issues. Fans are left wondering what "Pokémon" will look like without Game Freak at the helm, and worry that ILCA will attempt to leave its mark on the series in a way that makes it feel too different from what came before.


Platinum was a better game than Diamond and Pearl

A lot of "Pokémon" fans had issues with the original versions of "Diamond" and "Pearl" that they worry won't be addressed in the upcoming remakes. According to many players, the fourth generation games suffered from a boring overworld with unimpressive biomes, as well as a badly paced story filled with lots of backtracking and irritating difficulty spikes, both of which brought down the games' overall quality.


Some of these problems were addressed in the third game of the generation, "Pokémon Platinum," which fans consider to be the best title in that era of Pokémon. While the overworld is still an issue, the wicked Cyrus and Team Galactic become a more pressing threat in ways that raise the stakes and speed the game along urgently and efficiently. Fans worry that if "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl" are exact 1:1 remakes, the additions from "Platinum" won't be included and the games will be left floundering in the slow plod of their original pacing.

Luckily, evidence from the games' trailer suggests that the remakes will carry at least a few elements over from "Platinum," which leaves some players hopeful at the prospect of remakes that surpass the originals. It remains to be seen how many of these changes will actually be implemented, though.


Fans will be missing some favorite Pokémon

Each "Pokémon" generation is marked by the introduction of new Pokémon to the existing roster. The fourth generation is no exception, adding 107 new Pokémon to the total count, including a handful of new evolutions and pre-evolution forms for classic Pokémon.


While some of the brand-new Pokémon were received with less-than-stellar reviews, it was these evolutions and pre-evolutions that really raised fans' hackles. Rather than introducing a wider range of new Pokémon to further develop the Sinnoh region and make it stand out from games of the past, Game Freak gave Pokémon like Togepi needless evolutions that clogged up the Pokédex and didn't offer anything revolutionary or interesting.

While the remastered versions likely won't introduce new Pokémon that didn't already appear in the original "Diamond" and "Pearl," some fans are still apprehensive about supporting remakes of the games that introduced such a disappointing roster.

It's a little unrealistic to expect every "Pokémon" game to include all of the pocket monsters in the franchise (after all, there are 898 different Pokémon at this point). Still, each generation has its share of fan favorites, including the latest installments.


The original "Diamond" and "Pearl" games will be roughly fifteen years old when the remakes are released. If "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl" are exact remakes, a lot of fans who started the series after the fourth generation are going to be disappointed to miss out on their favorite Pokémon that have come out in the following generations.

In some ways, the remakes look almost TOO similar

After the changes to the overworld mechanics in "Sword" and "Shield" and the teasers of adventurous, open-world gameplay in "Pokémon Legends: Arceus," fans have been hoping for something a little more cinematic and exciting from future remakes, even going so far as to make their own trailers based on their visions for the games.


Instead of adopting the style of the latest "Pokémon" games, it seems that "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl" will be near-exact replicas of the original games, from the top-down overworld to the pocket-sized character sprites. While this fact creates its own set of problems (more on that later), the real worry here is that ILCA will incorporate some of the not-so-exciting mechanics from more modern "Pokémon" titles.

Players have had their share of complaints about the quality-of-life mechanics Game Freak has added to the newer games in the series, with some critics and fans noting that the newer games in the series are almost way too easy. With the remakes promising some "player-friendly" changes to "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl," fans worry they'll be left at the frustrating whims of simplistic enemy AI and EXP-share that takes the challenge out of leveling up your monsters.


The game is just too cutesy

Back to those pesky little character designs. As far as fans are concerned, "Sword" and "Shield" were steps in the right direction when it came to player avatar designs. Game Freak first introduced customizable trainers back in "X" and "Y," but the eighth generation brought them to life with proportionate overworld avatars that better resembled the players' chosen character design than the chibi-fied sprites of earlier games.


"Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl" promise to bring the chibi art style back, and while feedback hasn't been entirely negative — some fans are looking forward to a graphical update of the classic "Pokémon" style — a lot of players feel that it's an unnecessary return to form. Some have argued that simply making a higher definition version of the cutesy graphics won't introduce anything new or exciting to the games, nor will it accurately represent what the Switch is truly capable of. YouTuber ChiGuy has mentioned that it looks like it was chasing the popularity of the cute "Link's Awakening" remake aesthetic, only without taking advantage of the power the Switch offers.

They just don't look like Switch games

On that note, nothing about the game seems to live up to the Switch's capabilities, at least as far as the trailers have revealed. While the Switch is notorious for not running third-party titles and larger ports as well as other eighth-generation consoles (for instance, the Switch version of "Apex Legends" definitely missed the mark), it's still a powerful piece of hardware. 


Previous "Pokémon" titles were restricted by the power of their respective systems, relying on simpler art styles and more basic mechanics in order to run properly. The Switch, by contrast, has already proven itself capable of running a "Pokémon" game on the scale of "Sword" and "Shield," and it seems poised to pull that off again with "Pokémon Legends: Arceus." There's no need to bring back smaller overworld avatars and a top-down perspective, as the system can support a more detailed game. 

ChiGuy has also pointed out that "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl" look like HD remakes that could easily run on the 3DS, which makes the remake as a whole seem like a lazy effort.

There are no character redesigns for the trainers

In addition to the underwhelming overworked design, there have been no apparent changes to the character designs moving into "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl." Even fans of the chibi art style and basic 3D makeover have admitted that the character designs feel a bit lacking when compared to the stylish trainers seen in "Sword" and "Shield." If these remakes are truly a celebration of the fourth-generation titles, fans believe ILCA should do a bit more to revamp their remasters.


Instead, Dawn, Lucas, and Barry (the canonical names of the playable trainers and their rival, respectively) retain their original outfits from "Diamond" and "Pearl," with no apparent inclusion of their alternate designs from "Platinum." Remakes of earlier-generation titles like "Fire Red," "Leaf Green," "Heart Gold," and "Soul Silver" all included well-received redesigns for their iconic trainers, so fans are understandably disappointed by the lack of change. After all, what's the point of a next-gen remake, if all you're going to do is slap a fresh coat of paint on it?