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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Faithful Sinnoh Remakes Were Always My Ask

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm content for now.

Last week, the Pokémon fanbase actually got news that many of us have been hoping for for many years now: A return to Sinnoh. There's both a lore-filled prequel, and the highly anticipated Sinnoh remakes, which for now look more like Sinnoh remasters.

I wrote an article almost four years ago with the title, “It's Time For Adventure, Diamond and Pearl!” I claimed that we are “supposed to” get Sinnoh remakes “soon.” Obviously, “soon” didn't happen, and you need to have read “supposed to” as, “well it turns out that stars repeatedly aligning really means absolutely nothing.” Anyway, in that article, I pointed out several things: I wanted Super Contests to remain in the game and preferably be untouched, keep the Battle Frontier, give Arceus a big role and allow Him to catch up to the generations of power creep, and do not completely redesign all of the Sinnoh trainers (for the worse) like they did to Hoenn's humans for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

You can summarise that whole article as, “Keep the game the same, and add additional Arceus content.” And it seems like that's exactly what we're getting, except the Arceus content is apparently its own entire separate videogame. (Pokémon Legends Arceus, which, if it was going to do anything else besides explore Sinnoh lore, I wouldn't care about. It just happens to have exactly the one premise I'm interested in playing through despite me being pretty sure I won't like the gameplay.)

And is that what we're getting according to the limited information we have? Well, so far Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl have been marketed as...

“[F]aithfully reproduced,” “carefully preserved” and “relive familiar scenes once more.” While there are “easy-to-understand, player-friendly conveniences of the modern Pokémon series,” those don't seem to (yet) fundamentally alter the Sinnoh experience. Maybe the overall game speed will be faster. They might end up forcing an Experience Share. Perhaps they'll change how Hidden Machines (HMs) work. They probably should integrate Dual-slot mode Pokémon into the routes with no special requirements. Junichi Masuda is directing this while the mysterious ILCA Inc. are doing the grunt work. Masuda's directorship is potentially very problematic given his development philosophies being quite a bit different now than they were when the Sinnoh games originally released.

Due to Masuda's existence and GAME FREAK's less-than-stellar recent reputation for game development incompetence (besides Pocket Card Jockey), I've been under the assumption that Sinnoh remakes would be dangerous for GAME FREAK to pursue because they'd ruin Sinnoh with bad changes and content removal. That means that a faithful replica of Sinnoh has always been the preferred option, since Sinnoh is already the best region and doesn't really need extra stuff put into it (or taken out). That SEEMS to be what we're getting, but remember: You shouldn't trust trailers and the claims they make.

Which leads to people discussing Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl's art style. In battles, it's what you expect from modern 3D Pokémon. In the overworld, it's what you'd expect from Generations 1 through 4 on the Game Boy/Nintendo DS, which includes the original Sinnoh games. Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, also on DS, had noticeably more realistically proportioned characters. (Which means your head might be 2/5s your sprite as opposed to 1/2 to 3/5s your sprite.) And by the time the series got to the 3DS, everything was represented by realistic-looking models.

Several content creators have put together graphics comparisons:

Basically, even the overworld character proportions are faithful to the original game, and at least it's stylised. I much prefer this stylised art style than what you get in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, and I expect that the art style will grow on you if it hasn't already.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl Lake Verity graphics comparison to Nintendo DS
The biggest difference, besides models vs. sprites, is the camera angle, which should allow you to get a broader view of scenes.
Comparison credits go to YouTuber Mixeli.

A lot of folks are comparing this to the remaster of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on the Switch. I believe it's more comparable to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, also on Nintendo Switch. (The problem is that everyone forgot Rescue Team DX even exists.) I endorsed the latter because the original game has enough content to justify the $60 price. I don't think Link's Awakening does.

In the case of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, assuming it's as faithful as it claims, it's absolutely worth its asking price, especially if you haven't played the originals. That's still a dangerous assumption, so stay tuned to KoopaTV as we refine that assessment as the games get closer to release.

Ludwig is a blatant and huge fanboy of the Sinnoh region, so he's extremely biased. Like, more than usual for a KoopaTV article. You should consider that as you think about your own thoughts on these remasters/remakes, and also keep it in mind when (not if) you read future KoopaTV articles about these games. But if you have any immediate thoughts, go ahead and share them!

There are lots of people who want the Sinnoh remakes to be fundamentally different than what Sinnoh originally was, like the fans of this reimagined trailer.
As time went on, it was revealed that the Sinnoh remakes weren't as faithful as originally marketed.
Ludwig bought them anyway!

Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond actually addressed basically every release-era problem that people had with the original Pearl and Diamond.


  1. I'm quite interested in them, but... I want the story content from Platinum, too.

    1. And Platinum story content isn't confirmed or deconfirmed from appearing!

    2. I'm hoping to hear confirmation on that.

    3. Yeah...

      There's also no actual confirmation that this will even use Gen 8 mechanics/movesets/whatever.

      Just pointing that out.

    4. All I want is the Distortion World plot.

    5. If it was DLC, I'd be cautiously interested but skeptical, since that would probably mean it *wasn't* the same story as in Platinum but some sort of add-on at the end.

    6. I could totally see anything involving Giratina be some post-game add-on event, but maybe the likes of Charon would be around the main story anyway?

  2. I might actually get this since I haven't played the original. However, I'm wondering if the focus on Sinnoh with Pokémon Arceus means hat they are finally running of space in the Pokémon world. Anyway, I wouldn't compare this to link awakening either as chibi style isn't the same as toy style, which is what awakening reminds me of. Side note, I wish there was another game like links awaking, not even with link but with all the obscure Nintendo characters from other IPs. That's a really underutilized idea and whenever games do this it always makes me smile. Like in Kirby's dreamland 3 when you freeze Metroid's for Samus. That was dope.

    1. ...Yeah, Gen 4 is the best generation.

      I'm sure Pokémon Legends Arceus will have PLENTY of space... plenty of empty open-world-y space. >.>

  3. Honestly the artstyle IS growing on me. Saying that, it's definitely jarring when put up against other recent games. But that's not really its intention, is it.

    If this is the way moving forward, I'm not altogether unhappy about it. In fact, I'd be happier with something like this for Heart Gold and Soul Silver than a Let's Go. (A remake of a remake!)

    We'll see how it goes, but I know for sure I'll be getting Shining Pearl on release!

    1. If your frame of Pokémon reference are those older games and maybe you're like me and have been relatively disillusioned with the newer games, the art style isn't really jarring or even weird.

    2. I loved the new games. They're not without their own individual problems, but I'd say the series is steadily improving still.

    3. ...Yeah, if you think each is better than the last, then, yeah, you're not the target audience for this.
      (But still good you'll get it?)

    4. I just like Pokemon, man. Seasons are changing and it's not for everyone but that's fine. I'm in it for the long haul. Both old-style and new-style are great in their own regards.

    5. crap I just realised I sound like some old nostalgic-imprisoned fogey. >.>

    6. You sound exactly like an old nostalgic-imprisoned fogey.

    7. ...NGGGGGGH.


      But is holding Sinnoh on a pedestal as bad as being a Genwunner? ...I'd say no, because RBY are buggy broken messes that actively impair gameplay, while you have to try to exploit DPPt's bugs. <.<


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