Here we go again: Pokemon Gen 8

So I’m a couple hours deep into Brilliant Diamond now and… yeah, it is basically what everyone seems to be saying it is. If I’m being honest, maybe I’m biased by fandom but past Pokémon remakes have always been relatively ambitious — FR/LG, HG/SS, OR/AS all added significant pieces of new content (the Sevii Islands, the Delta Episode, etc.) alongside the QoL changes of multiple generations to the games they were remaking. These, on the other hand, feel like little more than remasters.

It’s just Pokémon Diamond. I happen to really like Pokémon Diamond. But it’s still a fifteen year-old game in a nice new graphical suit (I prefer spritework but I actually kinda like the chibification at work here) with some baffling balance choices that didn’t exist in the original game (this version of the EXP share, it just sucks, man) and it just feels like an uninspired cashgrab.

That said, it’s still Pokémon. There’s very little Pokémon could do to ruin the fact that I’ve been captured by this gameplay loop since I was eight years old, and no matter what they do to it, it’s still here. I probably won’t buy both games like I used to, but I’m sure I’ll end up sinking 60-some hours into this one over the next few months.

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If you’re worried the game isn’t challenging enough, fasten your seatbelt for when you get to the Elite Four lol. Or heck, even Maylene’s not messing around.

Past remakes have been feature-complete mainline entries that somewhat importantly served as the entries for the VGC, cementing their role as “The Main Game”. This remake for comparison is a decidedly a sideshow, and competitive Pokemon will persist in Sword and Shield for the foreseeable future (it won’t be in Legends Arceus, either, so who knows how long SwSh will be the main competitive game).

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I had a lot of fun with that nostalgia too