Dreaming of Sinnoh: What could we expect in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes?

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes gen 4 remake Sinnoh Game Freak The Pokémon Company

Each new generation of the Pokémon series delivers a variety of new creatures to capture and discoveries to be made in a new region. Likewise, every generation has its fans and introduces newcomers to the franchise. I was introduced to the Pokémon series with the third generation, and my sister subsequently allowed me to play her copies of Pokémon Yellow and Pokémon Crystal. Since then, I have played every mainline entry in the series and believe that each one has something to offer. However, the fourth generation is my favorite. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl introduced us to the Sinnoh region, and it advanced the series forward in a variety of ways, especially in terms of online connectivity with friends. Since Game Freak has already remade the first three generations of the series, fans have been clamoring for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes for years now.

Frankly, we are too. So here’s how and why remaking Pokémon Diamond and Pearl could prove so successful.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes gen 4 remake Sinnoh Game Freak The Pokémon Company

A “Dynamax” story

The first thing you will do in any Pokémon title is play through the typically linear main story — traveling across the land, searching far and wide for new Pokémon to catch to defeat the gym leaders, the Pokémon League, and the game’s “evil team.” In the remakes for generations two and three, new bits of story enhanced the experience. This was more noticeable in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, as the story was substantially altered to include Mega Evolution, a gimmick of sorts from the then-current generation six.

Along those lines, I believe that the generation four remakes should include Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Dynamaxing mechanic in both its narrative and gameplay. There is an emphasis on obsession over power in Diamond and Pearl, and Team Galactic seems like a solid pick for abusing the power of Dynamax. The format of Max Raid Battles would fit the world of Sinnoh, with towering legendary encounters making sense. Encountering Dialga, Palkia, and even Giratina could be made more interesting by turning their fights into a Max Raid Battle format. This would present a challenge for the gyms included in the fourth generation, but it would also develop them into something more memorable.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes gen 4 remake Sinnoh Game Freak The Pokémon Company

Likewise, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire added a post-game story that took inspiration from the generation’s third version, Pokemon Emerald. This allowed the player to experience an extra bit of story that both extended the game’s length and allowed them to capture Rayquaza. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl could take this same approach by incorporating elements of Pokémon Platinum into post-game content, unfolding a new mystery around Giratina while further exploring Dynamax.

Pokémon following you

This is a minor thing, but generation four’s engine was used to develop the remakes of the second generation in the form of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. One nifty little feature that made its way into the remakes was Pokémon being able to follow you around. Sword and Shield brought this feature back in The Isle of Armor, but it feels uninspired and pointless. HeartGold and SoulSilver actively rewarded players for spending time with their team of lovable pocket monsters.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes gen 4 remake Sinnoh Game Freak The Pokémon Company

Diamond and Pearl were the first to demonstrate this feature (Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow aside), but it was restricted for specific creatures. I would love to see a grand return of this feature, with every Pokémon being able to follow you. This should realistically be available throughout the entire adventure, as it adds some personal flair to the journey. We saw it in Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee!, so the implementation has proven to be successful elsewhere.

The main reason I want this feature is so I can have the best Generation 4 Pokémon following me. I am of course talking about the fire starter, Chimchar!

No HMs

Pokémon Sun and Moon were a godsend for longtime Pokémon fans. The seventh generation brought with it some bold changes, most notably the removal of traditional gym battles. However, the most impactful change was that HMs were no longer required thanks to the ingenious Poké Ride feature, which let you ride Pokémon and or use them to accomplish other tasks. You still had to interact with obstacles, but they became a separate entity. More recently, Sword and Shield abandoned HMs entirely, which is an even greater leap forward.

However, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl arguably use the most HMs out of any game in the franchise. One slot of your team was always taken by an “HM slave.” A remake could present the opportunity to rectify this jarring issue though. This of course means that some areas would need to be reworked to accommodate a drastic change to its world. On one hand, bringing back Poké Ride from Sun and Moon could present a fine middle ground. On the other, since Sword and Shield proved that you do not need any of this at all, a complete overhaul would be terrific too.

New ways to Shiny hunt

A large segment of the player base, including me, likes to go Shiny hunting. For the unfamiliar, “Shiny hunting” essentially means tracking down a rare version of a Pokémon that has an alternate color palette. The chances in generation four were quite slim, with the odds being 1/8192. Generation six improved the odds somewhat to 1/4096.

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire followed the new rules of finding shiny Pokemon, so it would make sense for a Diamond and Pearl remake to do the same. This isn’t what I’m asking for though. I would love to see them spice up the methods in which you can hunt down a particular Shiny.

Sword and Shield’s methods at launch were frankly the worst we had seen. The Crown Tundra expansion, which released this past October, introduced Max Raid Dens. This made finding a Shiny Pokémon a ton of fun, as it also provided a fun in-game challenge unlike anything we have seen before. Diamond and Pearl would likely bring the infamous PokéRadar back, but I’d enjoy seeing Max Raid Dens or something similar present in the remake.

It is unknown if we’ll even get a remake of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Game Freak is unpredictable with what it announces. For example, the DLC for Sword and Shield came out of nowhere. However, if series trends are anything to go off of, the next game(s) has a high chance of being the remakes we have been craving for all these years.

The fourth generation of Pokémon games are close to my heart and have brought me endless hours of joy. The day Game Freak announces a Diamond and Pearl remake will be the day this Pokémon fan cries. Do you want to see a remake of Diamond and Pearl?

Jaimie Ditchfield
Freelance Writer. Work seen on GGRecon, Zelda Universe, and BackToTheGaming. Studied Games Journalism and PR for three years, and is relentless at spreading his love for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.