A new Pokémon game will be arriving in 2021. Could Nintendo remake Pokémon Diamond and Pearl as an open-world adventure?
Neither Nintendo nor GameFreak has formally confirmed a Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake, but fans remain hopeful. In fact, the evidence is starting to mount in support of the idea – and that we could see it soon.
A recent leak from a reliable source suggested that the Pokémon Diamond and Perl remake is coming in 2021. This gives fans of the Sinnoh region even more reason to be cheerful
We broke down the likelihood of this rumor being real in an earlier feature. And the good news is that today, we’re more convinced than ever.
Out of all the possible candidates for Pokémon 2021, a Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake still seems to be the strongest contender – at least in our view.
We’ve also explored the likelihood of Pokémon becoming a fully online open-world experience in future iterations. Especially how the series seems to be creeping closer to this with every new entry.
Pokémon Sword and Shield provided a much bigger world to explore than previous entries in the series. It’s Wild Areas particularly used concepts often seen in larger sandbox games.
The title also offered more options for online play, which will be increasingly important to Pokémon as the franchise evolves.
The social aspect of Pokémon has always been a vital component of the series. So a game that takes advantage of this and offers MMO elements could be a real game-changer for the franchise.
Pokémon Diamond and Perl Remakes Could Expand on Sword/Shield’s Open World Features
Pokémon Sword and Shield’s DLC pushed the envelope even further when it came to offering an open world environment. This was the closest Pokémon has ever been to a fully-fledged open-world experience, even when compared to the base game.
It’s clear that Game Freak was taking an experimental approach to gauge how fans feel about this subtle change in format. The Sword and Shield DLC felt like a natural progression for the Pokémon series, and we’re excited to see where they go next.
We think it’s reasonable to assume that an open world with seamless online gameplay is likely on the cards for the next major Pokémon entry. But it could easily go wrong if not approached the right way.
Pokémon fans are creatures of habit, and if the formula was shaken up too much or in one swoop, this could result in a backlash. Fans may no longer recognize the series or could accuse the developers of ‘selling out’ – sacrificing what makes it unique to follow the crowd instead.
Pokémon Needs To Evolve
These are legitimate concerns, but we trust Game Freak and Nintendo. The series needs to keep moving forward because, in many ways, it’s still following the same format it did on the Game Boy.
It’s not broken, so there’s no need to fix it. But Pokémon could still offer a traditional experience even within an open world. Providing the multiplayer was optional, something players could dip in and out of when they feel like it.
Multiplayer should enhance the experience, complement it, not add layers of rigidity. Monster Hunter World is an excellent example of this. Hunters can roll solo should they choose or form an elite hunting squad with other players.
Pokémon would also benefit from this mechanic. We could say the same for trainer battles. Imagine if they were now with other players you met in the forests or Routes, rather than that Bug Catcher kid who never learns.
A Pokémon Diamond and Perl Remake Could Be the Perfect Test
Nintendo could assess how fans respond to this new open-world format by trialing it in the Pokémon Diamond and Perl remakes. This way, they could decide what features make it into the next mainline entry and what to cut.
If fans respond well to a massive open world, for example, they could keep it. But if they prefer a more linear approach, then they could reign it in somewhat.
This applies to any new feature of course, but we think the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes offer an excellent litmus test for Pokémon’s next evolutionary stage.
The setting of Diamond and Pearl is also perfect for this. Sinnoh is a vast snowy region full of mountain ranges and icy villages – not unlike Crown Tundra. Although Sinnoh is based on rural, mountainous Japan, rather than Scotland.
But this setting lends itself well to the ideas we propose. At least more than regions like Kanto or Johto would. These were smaller, more confined areas, and changing them would be seen as sacrilege by PokeManiacs – we’d agree with them too.
As the Number of Pokémon Increases, So Must the Space They Occupy
The number of Pokémon is now knocking on the door of 900. If/when a Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake arrives, it will need to be grander in scale than the original Nintendo DS version.
Like the recent remake of Pokémon Gen 3; Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, the game will likely follow the same format but will be significantly expanded. Despite being a remake of Gen 3, Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby classed as a Gen 6 title – and therefore included all the Pokémon from all 6 generations.
The Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remake will class as a Gen 8 game, so, therefore, will potentially include the majority of the 900 critters we’ve become accustomed to. That is providing ‘Dexit’ is resolved by the time they arrive.
We actually believe that the remakes will help the Dexit situation, allowing Game Freak to animate more existing Pokémon on the Switch for the remakes. Meaning by the time Gen 9 comes around, all Pokémon will be updated.
It will be interesting to see if the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes get released on the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro – something Nintendo has finally broken their silence on.
We’re looking forward to shouting “Sinnoh Confirmed” when the time comes. We hope we get to.
Also, don’t forget, the most recent Pokémon Sword and Shield update is now live – Here’s what it brings to the table.