Pokémon Shining Pearl & Brilliant Diamond, two long-awaited remakes of the original Gen IV games for Nintendo DS, are headed to Switch later this year—boasting not only a new coat of paint but completely revamped gameplay features to boot.
Make no mistake, the Sinnoh region’s return in November hasn’t been afforded the same level of financial investment as, say, 2019’s Sword and Shield—having been outsourced to a third party in order to allow Game Freak to focus its attention on next year’s Pokémon Legends: Arceus—but the end result is certainly nothing short of a loyal recreation. Sporting the same top-down, chibi-like visual design as the franchise’s earliest years, the meat and bones (i.e. battles) still play out in full 3D, with animations, while not as intricate as those seen in Gen VIII, still far beyond that made possible by the DS.
As far as gameplay features go, sadly, there currently appears to be no gimmick similar to Dynamaxing, Z-Moves, or Gen VI’s incredibly popular Mega Evolution to spice things up for veterans who have already spent countless hours exploring Sinnoh in the past. But there’s still plenty of time for some surprise announcements.
What today’s footage did reveal, on the other hand, was a completely revamped Secret Hideout mechanic, which allows the creation of a home away from home at certain hotspots throughout the world. Here, you can stash various trophies and other decorative items to create a den, and even encounter critters not found in the overworld.
Pokémon Shining Pearl & Brilliant Diamond release November 19th for Nintendo Switch. Collectors can also get their hands on a suitably themed limited edition Switch Lite on the same date, pre-orders for which are now available.