In typical Nintendo fashion, the company recently announced a Pokémon Presents news video with little advance notice. The video, which premieres at 6 p.m. PT on August 18, promises to give players more information on the upcoming Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, as well as the highly-anticipated open-world Pokémon Legends: Arceus. While both games already have a release date and a trailer, this is the fans’ opportunity to learn even more about the games — and criticize them, as the Pokémon community generally does. With that in mind, here are five things that we’d love to see in this week’s Pokémon Presents.
Tune in to our YouTube channel on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 6:00 a.m. PDT for a #PokemonPresents video presentation featuring #PokemonBrilliantDiamond, #PokemonShiningPearl, and #PokemonLegendsArceus! pic.twitter.com/quBEdaCce2
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) August 13, 2021
Trading, battling, and otherwise playing with others locally and around the world is a hallmark of Pokémon games. It’s unclear how either of the new games will allow players to interact with others. Sword and Shield‘s Wild Area was a step in a new direction for the series, giving fans the closest thing to real-time player interaction that the series ever had. It makes sense that Arceus, a game built on a seemingly open-world framework, would allow players to do something similar. It’s also possible that player interaction will be built into the game’s story or main mechanics somehow. We’d love to hear more about how trading and the like with other players will work.
The Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl trailer contained a brief shot of Generation IV’s Union Room, a place where you could go to meet up with other players near you using the DS’s local wireless abilities. As it looks like the remakes are keeping the Union Room feature, we want to know more about how it’ll be used and how it’s been updated for modern players who are used to expansive online options. Nintendo games have never had the most robust or easy-to-use online capabilities, but this is an opportunity for significant change.
We almost certainly won’t see this until much closer to the release, but we can dream, right? Recent Pokémon main-series remakes have struggled with post-game content, which is odd, considering that the post-game is where a lot of classic Pokémon titles excel. Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver were the last remakes to have a substantial post-game, mostly because the original Gold and Silver‘s post-game was incredible. More recent remakes, like Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, have missed the mark, with fans begging for a recreation of the Battle Frontier from Pokémon Emerald.
Pokémon post-game content is often kept a secret by Nintendo, with the goal of surprising players when they defeat the region’s champion and find out that there’s more to experience in the game. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are almost certain to have a decent amount of post-game content, mostly because fans made such a racket about Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (and rightfully so). They’ll probably have the traditional Battle Tower or other endless battle mode alongside some fresh story-related content. Arceus, on the other hand, is a total wild card since we don’t know anything about the game’s progression structure. Will it have gyms? A champion? An (old-fashioned) Battle Tower? Or will it just go on forever, sort of like Breath of the Wild? We’re eager to hear more.
The existence of a National Pokédex has been a contentious topic within the Pokémon community. Many fans want the “true Pokémon experience,” with all 800+ Pokémon available to catch, trade, and battle in one game. Nintendo and Pokémon’s developers have frequently pushed back on this, stating that the amount of work required to animate and balance every Pokémon in existence in one game isn’t worth the effort. Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see just how many ‘mons are included in these upcoming games.
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will almost certainly have every Pokémon that appeared in Generation IV (Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum), but it’s possible that the game will also include some additional Pokémon from series history, particularly if players are able to trade and battle with Sword and Shield owners. Arceus has already shown that although it includes Pokémon from Sinnoh, the region where the game takes place (coincidentally also from Generation IV), it also includes more recent creatures, like the starter Pokémon Oshawott and Rowlet. We’re hoping for a good variety in the game’s wild fields, though not every Pokémon needs to be included.
This one is specific to Arceus. As fun as they are to explore, Pokémon worlds are generally pretty linear, with your journey taking you through a series of numbered routes and towns on your way to becoming the Champion. Once you’ve visited a given area, there’s really no reason to go back to it unless you’re looking for a particular Pokémon or you have to backtrack for story reasons. Arceus looks to open up the usual Pokémon world quite a bit by allowing players to run in any direction they choose. If it’s like Breath of the Wild –– which we hope it’ll be — you’ll be able to freely move around the map with no restrictions. We’d love to get more clarification on just how big the world will be and how you can traverse it. (Also, we need to know whether your Pokemon will follow behind you like in HeartGold and SoulSilver. Very important.)
This one also applies specifically to Arceus. In the reveal trailer, we saw Trainers catch Pokémon seemingly by sneaking up on them and tossing a Pokéball when they weren’t paying attention. There was no UI or HUD overlay in this footage, making many wonder how exactly players will go about catching new ‘mons. We’re curious as to whether it’s a stealth-based system, with rarer or stronger Pokémon requiring you to be more careful around them, or whether it’s a luck-based system as usual. The former would be much less frustrating than previous games’ catch systems have been, so we’re hoping that Nintendo elaborates on what could be a very unique new feature in the Pokémon series.
Regardless of what Nintendo and The Pokémon Company show on Wednesday, there are sure to be new surprises and fresh looks at these three upcoming games. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are set to release on November 19, while Arceus isn’t expected until January 28. We can only hope that our questions will be answered with new footage, content, and observations.