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Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl will include a new Underground, customisation and following Pokémon

Doctor Oak

Staff member

Although it's been a fair few months since we last got any updates about this year's Gen 4 remakes, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, it seems to have been worth the wait. While the detailed look we got in today's Pokémon Presents suggests a largely pretty faithful remake (and one that certainly looks better to our eyes than it did in February), there are some pretty significant new features and updates as well.

The original game's Underground has been upgraded to the Grand Underground. While the core feature remains of being able to visit this area with your friends (now also available online) and play some mining minigames to get rewards such as fossils and evolution stones, you'll also now be able to find areas where wild Pokémon freely roam.


These areas are made up of multiple types of biomes, which inform what kind of Pokémon you'll find within. Some of these Pokémon are only available to catch within these games in these areas, so it's sure to be an important port of call throughout your visit through the Sinnoh region.

Super Contests from the original game also return, but with the power of the Nintendo Switch behind them they are certainly looking much better than ever and with a much more involved rhythm game flavour.


Meanwhile, Ball Capsules make their return with even more stickers and effects than ever before. You'll also be able to edit the sticker placement in 2D or 3D, with 3D allowing for much more granular placement of the effects you'll see as your Pokémon emerges from its Ball.



On the other hand, two brand new features to Diamond and Pearl are also coming with these remakes. The first is the ability to customise your trainer's look and clothing in the same fashion as in Sword and Shield. The Metronome Style Shop in Veilstone City will stock plenty of clothing items to create a unique look with.

Also, as featured in Heart Gold/Soul Silver, Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee and the two Sword/Shield expansion packs, you'll also be able to be joined in the game by one of your Pokémon following you around outside of their PokéBall.

You'll need to get to "A certain part" of the game, first, but hopefully that won't be too far into the game!


We're still waiting for clarification on whether any of Platinum's story content or features might make an appearance in these games - but it seems unlikely that the Battle Frontier will be returning at least, as only the Battle Tower is apparent on the new world map. Curiously, though, we can see that the full Pal Park area from Diamond and Pearl appears on the map, despite this ostensibly only existing in the original games for the sake of transferring Pokémon from the 3rd Generation games forward.

As with the original Diamond and Pearl Sinnoh Map, only one of the New Moon/Half Moon island pair is visible, although oddly because of the placement it must be Cresselia's Half Moon Island that's not shown, rather than the event-exclusive (albeit, never actually made officially available) New Moon Island from the original. A cloud also conveniently obscures where Shaymin's Flower Paradise island would be found.

Integration with Pokémon Home will be added for Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl some time next year. This will eventually allow an indirect connection to Legends Arceus, the other upcoming game also set in the same location. More on that game later today.

Meanwhile, ranked competitive play will remain exclusively within Sword and Shield for next year's season as well. Though perhaps that is more down to the on-going delay of the 2020 World's Championship thanks to the pandemic than anything else.

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There are just three months left until Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl are available and pre-orders are available now. A Manaphy Egg will be distributed to all players up until the 21st Februrary 2022, which will also allow you access to Phione by leaving Manaphy and a Ditto at the Daycare once that is available to you.

All digital pre-orders will also receive 12 Quick Balls, while digital and physical pre-orders of the Dual Pack containing both game at a slight discount will net you 200 PokéBalls to start the game off with.

You can watch the full trailer below:



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Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Not gonna lie, when these remakes were announced six months ago I did not care. I knew they were coming and the fact that they looked to be nothing more than a graphically updated DP didn't impress me at all. But what we were shown today with an expanded Underground and new and improved Contests has gotten my attention. Especially since in a brief blink-an-you-miss-it moment in the trailer I saw a Wild Munchlax walking around in the overworld means they, and hopefully other Honey Tree Pokemon, are more accessible. And I'm always happy to have walking Pokemon back so that's a plus in my book. Regrettably they still lack a Battle Frontier based on the new map but I expected as much since the last good Battle Frontier was ironically enough Platinum (technically HGSS but that was a copy/pasta of Platinum's so...)

At any rate, BDSP have won a place on my Christmas list. And hopefully us getting a Manaphy Egg from an event is a sign that we'll get the event items for Darkrai and Shaymin and go through the same event triggers as before. I miss doing actual in-game events to earn your Mythicals rather than having them just handed to you off Mystery Gift for no reason. I doubt we'll get the Azure Flute though since Legends Arceus would be just around the corner anyhow.