Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Dropping the Veilstone Game Corner is a Good Thing

Pokemon Brilliant Diamondand Shining Pearl were announced on February 27 during Pokemon Day, alongside numerous other announcements in celebration of Pokemon's 25th anniversary. This year, the Pokemon franchise will be celebrated each month with more news and events related to the incredibly popular series and its games. Despite all the buzz and excitement surrounding Pokemon this year, no more news on Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl has been shared since its announcement, and fans are eager to learn more. This is because, unlike Pokemon games of the past, this is the longest stretch of time where no more information has been learned about upcoming titles.

Pokemon remakes of the past have showcased numerous new features such as new Mega Evolutions in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon following trainers in Heart Gold and Soul Silver, and even wireless trading in Fire Red and Leaf Green. As of right now, fans have only learned that Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be very similar in scope to the original games from the reveal trailer and its website. This begs the question of whether outdated features such as the Veilstone's Game Corner will make a return, as leaving it behind might be a better option.

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As many fans of the series may already know, many references to gambling in Pokemon games were slowly phased out over time. In the original Pokemon Red and Blue, there is a trainer type that players could encounter called the Gambler. This trainer was changed to Gamer in the Fire Red and Leaf Green remakes, and the reason is due to the risk of the games having an increased age rating from the Pan-European Game Information or PEGI. This organization helps inform European customers of the recommended age range and content type that video games will have and at some point, they made it clear that gambling was subject to heightened age ratings.

Pokemon is a franchise targeted toward children mainly, and therefore the developer sought to remove any hint of gambling portrayals in its games outside of Japan. This is evident with the European version of Pokemon Platinum with the Veilstone Game Corner having absolutely no working slot machines, making the building itself rather pointless. Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver's Game Corners had their slot machines replaced with a new mini-game called Voltorb Flip, a cross between Picross and Minesweeper. It was at this point that mainline Pokemon games ceased slot machines and gambling mechanics for good.

One exception to this was the Virtual Console rerelease of the generation 1 and 2 Pokemon games which kept its Game Corners intact without alteration. Though this forced the age rating of these games to go up to 12 instead of its original E for everyone. The Game Corner served as a way for players to exchange coins for rare items and Pokemon, though for many fans there wasn't much issue as players always had the option to simply buy coins instead. With Voltorb Flip having replaced the slot machines in these older titles, the ability to buy coins and skip the mini-game process has been removed.

It was in the 4th generation of Pokemon games where fans started to see the effects of the PEGI rating system and how it would influence Pokemon games in the years to come. The remakes of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire had the Game Corner featured in the game, however, the owner of the building can be seen standing outside it reminiscing of a time where games were played. The owner expresses how he had to close the business due to reasons he does not wish to share with the player, and instead hands the player three dolls for their Secret Base. The Japanese version of Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver was the last time that the Game Corner had functional slot machines.

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Each of the Pokemon games includes at least one large city with many notable things for players to do. In Pokemon Red and Blue this is Celadon City, Pokemon Gold and Silver have Goldenrod City, Ruby and Sapphire have Lilycove City, and Diamond and Pearl have Veilstone City. One thing that all of these cities have in common is that they all have a large shopping building filled with all the items a trainer could need, and aside from Lilycove City each of them has a Game Corner. In some cases, the Game Corner is featured in two buildings where one is for gambling and coin purchasing and the other is for prize exchange.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl's Game Corner is just south of the Pokemon Center, and to the right of the Game Corner is another building where players can exchange their earned coins for prizes. One question fans have is what purpose these buildings will serve in the upcoming remakes, and if they will even have a purpose at all considering the removal of Game Corners. In Veilstone City there are 10 buildings that the player can enter, with the Game Corner and its prize exchange taking up two of those. Since the Game Corner will not serve the same function that it has before with gambling, perhaps they could be used for other features.

In Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee the Game Corner only serves to move the plot much as it did in the original, though with the addition of Jessie and James. The machines there are similar to an arcade rather than a casino, which could mean that Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl may repurpose the Veilstone Game Corner for story purposes. In any case, a decision will have to be made about whether the upcoming remakes will include mini-games in the Veilstone Game Corner or not, but if the buildings are removed, then it means there is an opportunity to include something more engaging for players.

As the Game Corner and its prize exchange building take up a sizeable portion of Veilstone City, it would be a waste to simply lock the doors and pretend they're empty houses. Instead, ILCA and Game Freak could turn these buildings into something featured in more recent games, such as a place for battles. Many times throughout the series there are houses where the player can take part in battles, sometimes with special rules such as Rotation and Triple battles. If Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl introduce a new game mechanic, the spot for the Game Corner could be used to explore that feature more, though this would be unlikely as any new feature would surely be used for the game's marketing.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will release on November 19, 2021, for Nintendo Switch.

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