Not so shining.

It’s always difficult to know just how much of a game to change when you’re remaking it, and that is certainly true when it comes to the insanely-popular Pokémon series. Go too far, and you risk alienating the audience, as was evident with the enjoyable but somewhat simplified Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee Switch remakes of the original Pokémon Red and Blue. If you manage to combine the elements that have advanced the formula in the years since, though, you can create some of the very best games in the franchise, as was the case with HeartGold and SoulSilver on DS. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl fall somewhere in the middle; a pair of titles that offers a great opportunity to pick up some of the Sinnoh Dex that is missing from the current mainline Sword and Shield games, but ultimately an adventure you probably won’t return to once you’re done.

There’s a strange feeling of obligation to these remakes. Generation 1, 2 and 3 have all received stellar reimaginings, and Generation 4 felt like the odd one out. However, instead of a Game Freak-helmed remake and love letter to the generation, ILCA, the studio handling Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, has changed the art style for the worse and failed to include many elements from the generation’s best game, Pokémon Platinum.

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