When it rains (in the Sinnoh region), it pours. During today’s Pokémon Presents livestream, the Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed a trailer for an apparently open-world Pokémon game, à la Nintendo’s massively popular open world Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild. Pokémon Legends Arceus is heading to Nintendo Switch in early 2022. Set in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl’s Sinnoh region, the new game promises to “introduce fans to the Sinnoh region of old — before the existence of Pokémon Trainers and Pokémon Leagues.” Judging from the imagery in the trailer above, pre-League Sinnoh region looks a lot like feudal Japan. The trailer also teases a role for the mythical Pokémon name-checked in the title. In Pokémon lore, Arceus is the godlike creator of the Sinnoh region, and possibly the entire Pokémon world.
Ishihara also announced that Diamond and Pearl are getting a Nintendo Switch remake, named Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl. Originally released on the Nintendo DS in Japan in 2006, and going international the next year, Diamond and Pearl introduced Pokémon fans to the Sinnoh region with the starter Pokémon Turtwig, Piplup, and Chimchar. According to a press release, “these games are updated with the easy-to-understand, player-friendly conveniences introduced in recent Pokémon core series video games, in addition to up-close-and-personal Pokémon battle scenes.” We assume that means we’ll see some of the quality-of-life improvements introduced in the (very good!) Pokémon Yellow remake Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! The two new games Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be available later this year.
2021 marks Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, and the Pokémon Company has promised to pull out all the stops for the yearlong celebration. Katy Perry has already been announced as the headliner for the “P25 Music” partnership and on this Saturday we’ll be treated (?) to a virtual concert featuring a CGI Post Malone. Arceus help us.