Pokémon Diamond & Pearl

Remakes are some of the best titles in the Pokémon franchise. Games like HeartGold/SoulSilver and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire take established experiences, modernize them, and add on a variety of new content. It’s a formula Game Freak often utilizes, as there have been three mainline remakes as of 2018. Pokémon: Let’s Go is a reimagining of Kanto, not a new version of Red and Blue, so I’m not counting it in the conversation.

With remakes a staple of Pokémon, there’s bound to be a region Game Freak will tackle next. When I look at each game released, there’s no better region to update than Sinnoh. Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum were absolutely phenomenal games that would not only benefit from the jump to HD, but could also be drastically improved with the modern approach to game development that Game Freak seems to be following.

The Jump to HD

Due to the limited nature of the DS and even 3DS, we’ve never seen pocket monsters from the region pop in HD. Sinnoh is packed with interesting creatures that would only look better on a modern console like Switch…

Not just the Pokémon are creatively designed, though.

Sinnoh is home to some of the most visually unique, detailed areas in all of Pokémon. Areas like the three lakes could be beautifully rendered with modern tools. Combine that with the atmospheric music and you have an experience like no other.

Another gorgeous area I’d love to explore is route 216 and 217, the way to Snowpoint City. Heavy, snow-covered routes that are consistently hit with a strong blizzard, these could give way to some of the most cinematic experiences in the franchise. Snowpoint City and its surrounding areas already look great in the original games, though they could be polished in a remaster.

An Amazing Narrative

It’s pretty obvious the series’ graphical fidelity will see a massive increase on modern platforms, but a key attribute of Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum that would benefit from a remake is its narrative. Sinnoh boasts one of the more interesting stories in all of Pokémon, as it’s the first time I’ve felt totally encapsulated by the story. It’s another world-ending adventure, but something feels different this time. The series’ first real venture into other worlds and realms gives way to a batch of new theories regarding the story, which in turn left me feeling completely invested in the plot. Palkia, Dialga, and Giratina were three unique legendary beats that presented an actual challenge, unlike many previous legendaries saw in Pokémon.

Team Rocket, Aqua, and Magma have always presented a threat to the player, but Team Galactic went about it differently. Rather than simply stealing Pokemon or trying to manipulate the weather in an extreme way, Galactic instead attempted to harness the power of Palkia or Dialga and create an entirely new universe. The story of Sinnoh sets the bar for the series as a whole, giving way to a universe-shaping narrative that doesn’t disappoint.

A Unique Champion

Sinnoh also is home to, arguably, the greatest champion of all time. Cynthia is a fan favorite, but what sets her a part from the rest is her place in the story.

The player encounters Cynthia multiple times throughout their adventure, which sets her up as a surprising face when confronted after taking out the Elite 4. I’ll admit, her being champion isn’t the best-kept secret, though developing a relationship with her throughout the story creates a unique dynamic for the championship showdown. Witnessing just how tough her Garchomp is several times in the game sets up premature strategic thinking. Due to this established knowledge, the intimidation factor is there when Cynthia sends out her final monster. Moments like these are why I’ve fallen in love with Sinnoh, and just speak to why it deserves to be remade.

Some Great Gym Leaders

Gym leaders can be wacky, tough, or a flat-out joke. Sinnoh’s gym leaders check all the boxes and then some. The writing and design choices behind some of them are just brilliant, and perfectly complement whatever tone the game is going for. Take Gardenia’s gym: It’s a maze created by trees where the player has to take out her hidden trainers before battling Gardenia. Depending on what starter you chose, Gardenia’s gym can legitimately present a challenge. Grass-type gym leaders are often a breeze, but this trend came to a halt with Gardenia’s gym and, more specifically, her signature Roserade.

Related video: Should There be a Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Remake?

There’s just so much to be improved and built upon in a potential Sinnoh remake. It’s more ambitious than any before it, and could serve as the first vividly rendered, beautiful remaster in the series. 

Does a Sinnoh remake interest you? Let me know in the comments down below!

Aric Sweeny
Former Editor-in-Chief, now staff writer here at NE. I'm an English student in California. Let's talk Pokémon.


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