Fans have been waiting a long time for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, but the remakes are already being cannibalized by Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the other Sinnoh-based title releasing just a couple of months later. With some of the key features in the upcoming open-world Pokémon spin-off being ones players expected in a mainline game, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is already beginning to undermine the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes.
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl were extremely important to the series and fans have been anxiously awaiting their remakes. In the past, when Pokémon games were remade, they were typically reimagined in the current generation of games rather than simply being tuned-up versions of their originals. As a result, fans were excited over the possibility that Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl would see the return of Mega Evolutions or the introduction of regional variants in the Sinnoh region. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be happening.
While Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl look like they’re going to be quality remakes of their beloved originals, they likely won’t replace Pokémon Sword and Shield as the official competitive platform in 2022. The games will include new features like trainer customization, an expansive dungeon-like Underground, and the return of Pokémon following their trainers, but it doesn’t appear that BDSP will feature Mega Evolution or regional variants. Instead, Pokemon Legends: Arceus appears to be getting the most significant upgrades.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus promises to do some really cool things for the franchise with an open world, a new formula for battling, the return of Pokémon in the overworld and even more regional variants of existing Pokémon. However, it’s coming at the cost of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Some of these features, most notably regional forms, are ones that would have normally been included in Pokémon BDSP. So instead of having one dynamic remake, these two very similar games are cannibalizing content from each other.
With Pokémon Diamond & Pearl finally getting their remakes just two months earlier, it’s unnecessary to design an open-world spin-off game set in the same region (albeit centuries earlier) that features incredibly similar characters and locations. Pokémon Legends: Arceus may be testing the waters for a potential future for the series, but the idea would have worked better if it wasn’t combined so closely with the Pokémon Diamond & Pearl remakes.
It feels like Pokémon Legends: Arceus is sapping away features that would have otherwise been included in the Pokémon Diamond & Pearl remakes. New forms and evolutions have proven to be an excellent way to reinvent old Pokémon, and they get fans excited for new titles, but it does a disservice to Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl when most of those features are withheld to being included in a new spin-off. As a result, Pokémon Legends: Arceus overshadows its Sinnoh-based counterpart.