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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are straightforward, major remakes – for better and worse

Over the past few years, Pokemon have made some interesting detours. We saw the experimental series take away from the traditional gym battle structure, with an open-world design, and famous for jettiso some older Pokemon from the currently playable Pokedex. Some of these changes were liked by the fans, some they understood, and some they criticized. The latest small adjustment to the series' traditions is in its latest pair of remakes – which are quite different from the ones we've done in the past.

The concept behind the Pokemon remakes, founded by the first couple in 2004 , is to modernize older Pokemon titles up to ' current ' generation. So FireRed and LeafGreen shared a visual look and feature set with GBA-era Pokemon games, while HeartGold and SoulSilver were also made for the DS era. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl break with that tradition, to an extent. Instead of being new versions of Diamond and Pearl designed to match the style and presentation of Pokemon Sword & Shield, it’s a more laborious, simplistic remake. It's the same game with a nice new coat of paint.

That glow-up isn't for everyone. The chibi style of the characters in the overworld is somewhat reminiscent of the dreamy toy style of the Switch remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which not everyone liked. But I think it makes sense, and it’s a wonderful representation of how the fuzzy plump, stubby sprite used back on the Nintendo DS might look if rendered fairly straightforwardly using modern 3D graphics. When you slip into battle, the game changes art styles to a more contemporary Pokemon look that essentially resembles anime. This may sound potentially confusing, but it isn ' t – Japanese RPGs have been using different art styles for battles and around the world for a long time, and what ' s enough which is good for Final Fantasy 7 is definitely good enough for Pokemon.

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