Pokémon has been around for over 20 years. For most of us it would have been the centre of our childhood. Even today it keeps on growing, including some of the exciting announcements from the recent Pokémon Presents. While the introduction of Mamoswine and Sylveon Pokémon Unite and the 5 year anniversary of Pokémon GO!, which will now see the appearance of Pokémon from the Galar region featured heavily, it was the details of the next entries of Pokémon games that stole the show.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl
The highly anticipated revamp of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl has seen a few graphical improvements since its initial reveal, which will be a breath of fresh air for players. It still contains the remarkable legends Dialga & Palkia, still takes place in the Sinnoh region and still has the same characters, but it now has some open-arm changes.
A major reveal in this presentation was the return and new look of Sinnoh’s Grand Underground. These cave networks allow players to create and customise their own secret bases. A new inclusion of the Grand Underground is the addition of Pokémon Hideaways. With a changing array of biomes, new Pokémon will appear according to the statues in your secret bases. This will give you more opportunities to catch Pokémon you may have missed and make completing your Pokédex a little bit easier this time around.
When it comes to style, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were always ahead of their time, allowing players to add stickers to their Pokéballs in order for their Pokémon to appear with a stylish flourish. This customisation is back with unique animations as Pokémon emerge from their balls in a burst of fireworks, confetti and more. But that is not the only style change. In this rendition, you can now customise your own character with adorable and fierce outfits, which you may possibly want to match with your secret base.
Also returning to the game are the Union Room, where you can trade and battle with players from across the world, Pokémon contests where you can win awards for dazzling an audience with your Pokémon partner. You can now also have your choice of Pokémon walking or flying with you as you travel the region.
One final touch is the new Switch Lite that was styled for the game with Dialga and Palkia printed in a striking black and gold look that replicated the unique Nintendo DS Lite that coincided with the original games’ launch.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl releases November 19th 2021
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
This Pokémon game takes everything you know about the series and breathes new life into it.
When you think of Pokémon, you think of a top-down game with a fixed camera. Legends breaks this archetype. Pokémon Legends: Arceus now has a third person look with a free moving camera, as you take your character around the world.
Pokémon Legends in the Hisui region, a land that will eventually come to be known as the Sinnoh region from Generation for. It certainly raises more questions about the overarching story of the game, especially given that it is chronologically the earliest in the series to date. Legends sends you back in time to when humans and Pokémon did not live in complete harmony. While this may be hard to take in, it does come with a new aspect to catching, observing and interacting with Pokémon.
You now team up with the Galaxy Expedition Team consisting of the members: Professor Laverton, Cylene and the leader Kamdo, as you journey to create the first ever Pokédex. Professor Laverton gives you your starter Pokémon which are: Cyndaquil, Rowlet and Oshawott. Cylene is the leader of surveying and assisting on your journey, while Kamdo notices your knack for research and recruits you into the team.
Since this is set before there was any true knowledge of Pokémon, your role is to observe and collect data about them. Certain requests dotted about the region will have you interacting with Pokémon in new and exciting ways. Now, with Hisui being a large region, there are several campsites set up where you can stock up on Pokéballs, heal Pokémon and get any other supplies on your observing journey.
Whether surveying or just admiring Pokémon, there are different ways in which a Pokémon may react. In Legends, Pokémon can be shy, aggressive, joyous and more. This may mean that they run away from you or attack you, without even trying to battle them with your own Pokémon.
Another change in this game is how you would capture a Pokémon. Traditionally, you would engage in a battle with them, weaken them and then try to ensnare them. However, the battle style has been completely scrapped in this game. When it comes to capturing, you need to slowly walk up to the Pokémon, aim your Pokéball and then capture it. While we still do not know if it catches the Pokémon for the first time, this is still very different to the normal way.
If you do wish to battle a Pokémon, you would throw a Pokéball near the Pokémon in question. This will then activate a battle. Another thing Pokémon fans are used to is the turn-based battle system. However, turn-taking now depends on the agility of your Pokémon. If it’s faster, it may have back to back turns. While this may seem unfair at first, you can actually influence these turns with your combat style. Certain moves with the Pokémon will have two choices of combat style: Agile & Strength. An Agile style attack would be weaker, but would mean you have the chance to go again, while Strength style deals a heavier attack, but does mean you would not go for two moves. This does give a balanced feel for the fights and make Pokémon battles even more exciting.
As with all Pokémon games, this one comes with a selection of new Pokémon. Wydeer is a Pokémon which you can ride in order to travel across the region quicker. It evolves from a Stantler that has braved and survived the cold of the winter regions. Basculegion allows the user to travel across the seas of the region and comes about when a Basculin absorbs the souls of dead Basculin from its school. Much like the more recent Pokéemon entries, there are also regional variants of existing Pokémon. Some of the adapted Pokémon from the Hisui region are the Hisuian Braviary, which can fly you around, and the Hisuian Growlithe, a true good boy. Hoepfully, we’ll get to pet him.
Finally, while there is no exact antagonist announced yet, we can see in the trailer that some Pokémon, such as Gyarados, become somewhat possessed and it’s your job to break it from its spell in a battle, then allowing you the chance to capture the Pokémon. We’ll have to wait a little longer before the full mystery is revealed.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus releases January 28th 2022
You can watch the full presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdja9m4YlT4
Words By Arib Dauhoo