Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are a shame for the name of the remakes

Playing through Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl was an enjoyable experience, although it had its fair share of bugs and was way too easy for Nuzlocke (until Cynthia, at least). Much like our reviewer, Cian Maher, I would have preferred more Platinum additions, especially the spawn changes in those midgame routes which are seemingly constant waves of Geodude and Ponyta. In many ways, the remasters felt a bit half-baked.

As I said, my experience with BDSP has been pleasant. But the lack of significant changes only made me nostalgic for the best Pokemon, Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire remakes for the Nintendo 3DS. I liked Gen 3 a lot more than Gen 4 (too much water in my ass), so that’s already a point in his favor, but it doesn’t just depend on personal preference.

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At the time of ORAS release, MTs were still single-use and HMs could only be used if a Pokémon knew the movement. But these quality of life improvements cannot be attributed to the BDSP, as Sun & Moon introduced them first. I guess it’s good that the Gen 4 remakes added them to the old games, but it’s not exactly revolutionary. Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, on the other hand, blew my little teenage mind away.


Pokemon Omega Ruby Alpha Sapphire Box Arts

ORAS was the first fully 3D remake (including combat sprites) and took inspiration from the originals in every way possible. I didn’t have access to a lot of games as a kid, so I maximized the 999 hour clock in Pokemon Silver and Pokemon Sapphire by playing the same save file until time stopped , then I played more. It’s safe to say I completed both Pokedex and hit max level 100 of all my favorite monsters. My idea of ​​a Quiet Night was to beat the Pokémon League a few times with a single-player Pokémon to level up on five new egg hatches via Exp. To share.

What I’m saying is that the changes in ORAS have been revolutionary for me as a teenager. I had some disposable income from after-school jobs at this point so I didn’t go over my time, but came close enough. The best part was the updated gym puzzles. 2D puzzles have their charm, but when I first stepped onto the crisp 3D ice cream of Sootopolis – and first fell through the ground to meet the waterfalls below – I was in awe.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl make me sentimental for ORAS, the best remakes

I might be more cynical seven years later, but nothing in BDSP has succeeded in recreating that sentiment. On the contrary, gyms feel lazy because of the friendship mechanics that kept my Pokémon in battle much longer than they should have been. I know this has nothing to do with puzzles, but my Luxray dodging 100% accurate movement or shaking a burn made me roll my eyes. Gyms should be spectacular and stimulating, and in the BDSP neither were.

However, the most important aspect of ORAS was the Delta episode. This post-game content was short, but entirely new, and got you caught in Deoxys. Deoxys was the Pokémon the kids rumored about on the playground – it was the Mew of Gen 3. I can’t describe the number of days I checked the Mossdeep City Space Center to find this supposed launch number 1000 that would send me to space. But unlike Mew and Jirachi in BDSP, it wasn’t just given to us in the remakes, it felt like it was earned. The Delta episode also first recognized the theory of parallel universes which is still used in Pokémon games today to explain the mythical Pokémon appearing in Dynamax Adventures and others. It was new content and it seemed important, and it still is today.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl make me sentimental for ORAS, the best remakes

Nothing new in Gen 4 remakes. They feel like new skin on an old game. Even FireRed and LeafGreen have added some post-game content. While I definitely look at ORAS through glasses tinged with nostalgia, I can’t help but think the remakes were constructed differently back then.

It is at this point in writing this article that I remember the existence of HeartGold & SoulSilver and must take a minute to apologize. These games are like a Pokémon fan’s Christmas list: awesome pixel art and great battle sprites, a challenging story across two entire regions, a post-game Battle Frontier and, of course, Pokémon that follows you on your adventure. To me, it was details like the fall colors of the steeple and the power radiated by Lugia appearing through a waterfall in the Whirl Islands that made these games sing, but each has their favorite moment. I could write an entire article on why they might be superior to any other Pokemon game ever made – and maybe I should have rather than fought for ORAS, but I love a underdog so here we are – but I think I’ve made my point: if we’re going to play old games again, it has to be special, or what’s the point?

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl make me sentimental for ORAS, the best remakes

I hereby rescind my previous statement that ORAS are the best Pokémon remakes – and I apologize again for ignoring these classics – but I maintain that BDSP lacks the magic that made Soul Silver and Alpha Sapphire so exciting. If I want to play Sinnoh again, I’m going to dig up my 3DS rather than charging my Switch, and I think that says it all.

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