Angry Pokémon twitter had been on Nintendo and Game Freak’s case for months to announce the 4th generation Pokémon remakes. Which they finally did last month with Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. However, as per usual the fanbase was left red in the faces when the Diamond and Pearl remakes ended up not being what any of were expecting.
As you may be able to tell, I have a lot of distain for the fanbase that I am 100% a part of. Seems to be happening to everything I like these days.
I talked about it when the games got announced, but even I’ve been left a little flat by the look and content revealed for the remakes thus far. In my post about them, I said that that if the developers weren’t going to add any new features to the remakes akin to the exponentially more elaborate additions to each remake as they came out, then I might as well just go back to Platinum seeing as I still own it.
So I put my money where my mouth is and started a new game on Pokemon Platinum, returning to the 4th Pokemon generation for the first time in several years.
I always thought of Diamond and Pearl as the final Pokémon games of my childhood, despite the fact that I was 18 when they came out. They were the last games I really obsessed over, but even back then I felt like were weren’t as great as the games that preceded them in Ruby and Sapphire.
When i really think about it, most of my warm feelings about those games came from the generation of Pokémon they introduced more than the games themselves. Pokémon that would endure and continue exist in every games that would follow. Unless you’re talking to an angry national dexxer of course.
It’s a forgotten game in many ways
The people who grew up with this game in particular might hate me for saying this, but I kind of feel like Diamond and Pearl might be the most unadventurous of the Pokémon sequels ever attempted by Game Freak. Every game before it and after it had some huge new set of ideas brought to the table. Whether they succeeded or not notwithstanding.
Considering the game was the one that joined the jump from Gameboy Advance to Nintendo DS, it doesn’t feel all that different from Ruby and Sapphire in the grand scheme of things. It felt like the full saturation point of the franchise where it realised it just couldn’t get bigger anymore. The HM situation has become ridiculous by this point, I mean Defog? Seriously.
It had too many legendries amongst which was the actual Pokémon creator God of the world. And when you’re talking about stories that are about time, space and antimatter you know there isn’t anywhere to go but sideways.
For the sake of comparison, let’s look at another game that came out on the same platform as Diamond and Pearl: Black and White. The fifth Pokémon generation was incredibly ambitious and, I feel, the real underappreciated gem of the entire franchise. It brought an entirely new animated sprite style to battles, irrelevant of your feelings on it.
It told a very unique and pretty mature story (at least in comparison to the Pokémon games that would precede it.) and made the brave choice to deny you any older Pokémon until after you finished the game. Which never bothered me at all.
All of the things I like the most about Diamond and Pearl revolve around the Pokémon it introduced as well as adding a whole bunch of new evolutions to older Pokémon. But the game itself, it’s just more of what you played before.
The additions the game brought felt perfunctory, just iterations on things that were already done in the previous generations. You liked contests? Here’s super contests. You like secret bases? Here are underground bases. You liked that rainforest area and ash covered route in Hoenn? Here’s a snowy area and a swamp.
It didn’t bring anything truly original to the franchise outside some new evolution methods. Which the series would continue to do with each new generation anyway. The app feature was nice on the touch screen and the underground was a nice place to gather unlimited resources, if a horribly boring grind.
Which is ultimately why I don’t feel all that strongly about the 4th Pokémon generation in the grand scheme of things. I’m not going to list them right now, but I’d comfortably say it was in the bottom three of the Pokémon generations… maybe even the bottom two. And that’s taking Heart Gold and Soul Silver into account too.
But I’m still enjoying playing through Platinum, mostly for the mindless, before bed experience it has become. But I also get to fill my team with Torterra, Gliscor, Magnezone, Lucario, Drapion, Electavire or any of the other fanatastic Pokemon introduced in the generation. If anything, playing this game again has made me all the more critical of the upcoming remakes of diamond and pearl.
And makes me double down on my resistance to it being a pure remake with none of the extras brought to the series by the past remakes. As of right this moment, I’m happy playing Platinum and will easily let these remakes breeze right by me… unless they add something to make them unique again…
Put Mega Evoltuion in again you cowards. Doo it! Or at least put dynamaxing in for god’s sake I mean, come on, what are you guys doing over there.