With the Pokémon 25th Anniversary rumour mill in full spin, fans firmly believe Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes are a guarantee. It makes sense really, with Sinnoh next in line for a regional reboot, and it’s been six years since the last remakes, the Hoenn-based Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
Twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations aside, it’s simply time for Diamond and Pearl got another chance to shine and if recent leaks are to be believed, our return trip to Sinnoh could be mere months away. With that in mind, here are ten features we would love to see in the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes.
Gimmicks in recent Pokémon games have had mixed reactions from the fandom. Sword and Shield’s Dynamaxing allows players to turn their Pokémon into giant forms with special moves replacing standard ones, though not all Pokémon can Gigantamax, giving them an exclusive action.
Dynamax energy can be found underground in Galar, and while an established underground mechanic already exists in the original Diamond and Pearl, it would be easy to implement Dynamax energy into the gameplay and lore. Seeing some new Sinnoh Gigantamax forms would also be a treat.
Game Freak have yet to address how Mega Evolution/Dynamaxing/Z-Moves co-existing in the Pokémon canon – could the Diamond and Pearl remakes be a good opportunity to close this loop? Enhancing these two games with features from newer instalments would certainly be an interesting move: who wouldn’t want to have their Mega Charizard X face off against a Gigtantamax Charizard?
Of course, It would need balancing to ensure gameplay consistency, especially to enable the mechanics at a competitive level. If appropriately applied, this would put a brand new spin on battles. For example, restricting one mechanic use per match would be a great place to start.
Time-specific Pokémon encounters
The original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl had five specific periods in a day. Morning, day, afternoon, evening and night should make a return with groups of Pokémon exclusive to these times. It would improve replay value alongside adding a challenge to completing Pokédex entries.
Pokémon rotation changing by area would work well – it’s standard in most games – and with over 1000 Pokémon to juggle, day and night cycles coupled with area specific rotations, it could make for a fuller experience.
A National Pokédex
In a move that shamed the wider Pokémon fandom, a minority of trainers took it upon themselves to threaten Game Freak’s staff due to there being no National Pokédex in Pokémon Sword and Shield. This even led to the cancellation of the Sword & Shield launch event, ruining the fun for everyone.
We don’t want a repeat of this behaviour, but can’t deny the allure of having a National Pokédex (a full Pokédex featuring all known Pokémon, not just those from one specific region). Even if all previous generations can’t be caught in-game, we’d still like to access their data via Pokémon HOME, GO, and Sword/Shield to get the job done.
The Distortion World
The Distortion World served as a hub for catching Origin Forme Giratina in Pokémon Platinum. It features 3D traversal alongside an abstract construction that defies gravity. The area could serve as a perfect vehicle to deliver the content mentioned above such as Mega Evolutions, but could also serve as an introduction point for other unannounced mechanics being added in the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes.
Giratina’s home turf could hold items to control the outside world to help players battle Pokémon, for example. Sinnoh only introduced around 50 new Pokémon to the National Pokédex. With the recent additions, this could be a great mechanic. It could also be a great place to catch previous legendaries and mythical Pokémon, like warp holes in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
New multiplayer features
Diamond and Pearl changed the game in terms of Pokémon multiplayer, offering Wi-Fi services and the underground sub-game. It would be nice to see some improvements to the Sword/Shield engine here. For example, logging on and off from a Wi-Fi connection to refresh Dynamax lists is tedious. Another way to implement multiplayer would be to have a players avatars live in the Survival Area. Originally used as a hub for gym leaders and trainers, this could be a multiplayer trading and battling hub.
Enhancements from Pokémon Platinum
Pokémon Platinum, the last in the line of enhanced third version games, was a more significant game that added to Diamond and Pearl. Gyms were re-ordered to enhance gameplay, and Cyrus received a thicker plot alongside players continuing the adventure after their defeat.
Other changes included better HM locations and general quality of life improvements. In other words, it was the definitive fourth generation Pokémon experience and its legacy should be present in the Diamond and Pearl remakes.
Please, no HMs
Mainline Pokémon games have made it clear that HM moves are no longer on Game Freak’s gameplay mechanics checklist with their last appearance being in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Mechanics such as out-of-battle abilities and rideable Pokémon prove that this mechanic is now redundant. Players shouldn’t be forced to change their team compositions just so they have all the bases covered when it comes to HM abilities.
Portable Pokémon PC boxes
Portable PC boxes are arguably the best quality of life improvement introduced in recent Pokémon games. Players no longer need to visit a Pokémon Center, they can just hit a button whilst looking at their team to access their wider collection. It comes in handy when trying to match up types when attempting to catch challenging Pokémon. In conclusion, it just makes more sense to have access to the Pokémon storage system at any point during gameplay.
More Wild Areas
The most significant selling point of Pokémon Sword and Shield was the Wild Area. It consisted of Pokémon wandering around a large open space. The formula was later improved in ‘The Isle of Armor’ and ’The Crown Tundra’ DLC packs, with most of the map being an open-world area with free-roaming Pokémon.
Taking the latter approach to the Diamond and Pearl remakes would be a massive leap forward for mainline games. Utilising the pre-existing underground areas as pseudo Wild Areas would also work well alongside Dynamax raids being at home here.
Ultimately, Pokémon remakes always bring innovation. Heart Gold and Soul Silver brought us follower Pokémon, while Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire adding primal forms into the spotlight. Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee – whilse not a mainline remake – had some excellent quality of life improvements also. In true Game Freak fashion, they’ll likely take us by surprise. However, this essentials list gives fans a strong foundation in speculating how the Sinnoh remakes will look.