The Pokémon Company announced the release of two new games in a Pokémon Presents livestream on Friday: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, remakes of the generation four games originally released for the Nintendo DS. Pokémon Legends: Arceus was also announced; it will be an open world-style game, similar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The livestream came just in time for Pokémon Day on Feb. 27, which included a series of special events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of the franchise’s first two games, Pokémon Red and Green. Originally released in Japan, Pokémon has sparked a worldwide phenomenon and fandom that includes eight generations of main series games, numerous spinoff games and merchandise such as plush figures, trading cards, apparel and this Metapod cocoon you can sit inside of.
Pokémon fans have been eagerly anticipating the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl remakes since Nintendo’s 2014 release of Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby for the 3DS, which were remakes of the third-generation games Ruby and Sapphire. Under the official tweet announcing the livestream, users fired off a storm of tweets begging for new Diamond and Pearl games.
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be released in late 2021, according to the Pokémon Company. The games will be largely the same as the originals: set in the Sinnoh region with the same starters (Piplup, Turtwig and Chimchar) and legendaries (Dialga and Palkia). As far as I can tell, the main upgrades will be enhanced graphics and the ability to play the games on a larger screen, as opposed to a DS.
The most exciting announcement might be Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which the company says will come out in early 2022. The game also takes place in the Sinnoh region, but in an era long before the modern, industrial landscapes fans are used to. Players will explore the vast, open region, researching Pokémon to learn their behavior before sneaking up and catching them with antique wooden Poké Balls. The goal of the game is to catch all the Pokémon and create the region’s first Pokédex.
Hopefully, players will have the chance to catch Arceus, the god-Pokémon who created the entire universe. This is big news, considering fans basically had no way to catch Arceus prior to this game, unless they used cheat codes or traded with someone who caught the Pokemon through one of a few special events.
The Pokémon Company also released a trailer for the new Pokémon Snap game, which will be available April 30. In this game, inspired by the original Pokémon Snap released in 1999, players will traverse different islands, photographing wild Pokémon to create a Photodex of creatures.
While I’m not excited to have to shell out upwards of $60 for each of the three games, I’m happy with all the new options — especially the generation four remakes, since those were the first Pokémon games I ever played. The last Pokémon games Nintendo released were Sword and Shield in November 2019, so it’s about time fans have some new material to play.