Spoiler warning: While we'll avoid displaying any information here that might be considered 'spoilerific', we recommend exercising caution when clicking a link that takes you away from the site.
Since the dawn of the Pokémon series, the mainline games have been neatly divided into two versions, and while they're usually the same basic game, there are differences to note – such as the Pokémon you start with or the monsters you can encounter along the way. The system was established to encourage players to trade with each other, and thereby obtain monsters not included in the version they own.
This has previously been done by creating two different ROMs of the game, but with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl, it would seem that the process has been streamlined, because unscrupulous types who have gotten access to the game early are reporting that you can flip between the two versions from the same ROM.
On the surface, this makes a lot of sense. The base game is pretty much identical across the two variants, so why not consolidate that data and simply have a 'flag' which decides the version you play? It's worth noting that unless you're running the game illegally on a hacked console, you won't be able to toggle between Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, so this news will be largely irrelevant to the millions of people who intend to purchase the game via legitimate means.
Of course, it does mean that if you buy the double-pack bundle, you're technically buying the exact same game twice – even if there's no way to actually toggle between them on an unhacked Switch.
Does this news bother you? Or could you not care less? Let us know with a comment.
This is enough reason to save some money for games that actually deserve them.
The dual-release conceit should have been done away with ages ago, but they'll persist because people keep fronting money for two copies of the same game every generation.
Also: piracy on Switch is out of control at this point.
I could say it's slightly disappointing, but from a business and logistics perspective it makes a lot of sense.
Also I think the people who would buy both versions of the game aren't necessarily invested in whether they have the same ROM or not, they just want to have a copy of both versions for collecting
Boy it's Fire Enblem Fates all over again
@Ralizah At this point they need to just release dlc for all the missing Pokémon in each version.
Not all of us want to trade constantly with other players or pay extra for a second game.
So if they still want to make money off the “exclusive” Pokémon, at least give us a cheaper option.
From a programming perspective it sorta makes sense...but from a consumer perspective it's really not a good look, especially to those buying two different versions of the game.
The two version approach should really be done away with at this point. I understand that it promotes trading and sharing of experiences, but there must be better ways to do this within a single product in the modern day.
That will surely incite the rage of some people.
I agree the "two versions" model is outdated. It made sense back when you took your gameboy to the playground. These days you connect your home console to the internet, trade with a bunch of strangers for the sake of completing the pokedex or getting some highly sought out evolutions and that is that
As a kid I loved the different versions of the same Pokémon games.
As a grown up, you realise it is a cheap trick to get more money.
While it is, dare I say, shameful. I think a lot of modern day video game practices are, such as micro transactions, loot boxes, paid DLC and the like. It is all are just paywalled content to get us to pay more money.
This is a new low, even for Pokemon company. I mean they could at least pretend that they are selling two different products, instead of locking content from buyers.
I worried that for anyone who wants to play both versions of the games that they are going to download redundant update data for it, as a result of how the titles are handled despite their data being effectively identical.
I bought Diamond so I have no problem with putting the "Pearl" rom on my hacked Switch. This Pokemon version crap needs to stop if they are going to do that.
I... truly don't know how to feel about this. But it does make the dual version thing stand out that much more as a bad thing.
If you buy both games you ll have some extras such as steelbook etch .. As for the difference between the games , every pokemon gen was made the same way (with the only difference to be the exclusive pokemon, legendary etch) . The only games i can remember that had significant difference were sun and moon (day and night clock time)
“Toggle”. I’ve always viewed the two games model as something that should simply be an option within one game. Same with certain features that don’t carry between generations.
What is so shocking about it?
All the Games where nearly the same Rom from the early beginning on.
The differences where a artistic choice in Gameplay to force Players to trade from the early beginning on.
@RupeeClock you bring up a good point. Buying both versions digital will probably take up double the SD storage than necessary if only to keep up appearances that they are two different games
This is one of those things that kinda makes sense but is also terrible at the same time lmao
I think that there ought to be more substantial differences between the two versions to make them worthwhile. Gen V toyed with more significant differences, but they hardly even bothered with subsequent generations. Either way, I doubt that the differences will ever be substantial enough to justify buying both copies except for the most hardcore of collectors.
@Bobb : It makes absolute zero sense to buy both versions digitally. At least when you're buying physical copies, a player can trade with themselves (or members of a household can have disparate copies), and there is the novelty of two distinct physical copies for collectors.
It's a cheap marketing trick to make people feel like they have a choice and that the choice they make allows them to express their preferences. It makes the buyer feel more connected to the product because they see a part of their own identity in that decision. Plus, for people who are collectors/completionists, it pressures them into paying extra for both versions of what is essentially the same game. It's a scummy practice that needs to stop, but it never will as long as it makes money.
@Azuris No, the problem here isn't the games being identical - the problem is that Pearl's data is literally IN the ROM for Diamond and vice versa.
why should this bother anyone? this is just more efficient programming
These games are a nightmare. Screw you Pokemon Company.
I wasn't under the impression that Pokémon had my wallet or interest in mind, so I don't care.
At least it's clear from the files. They could split the previous games as much as they like - they're still the same apart from the title screen and a few Pokémon.
Really dont give a damn
@Ralizah Well, at least Legend Arceus recieves only one version
"But I'm old, now, and I know this is a scam. It's evil! RAWR!!!"
But kids are still kids. And if you were still a kid, playing Pokemon in the playground, and you had Diamond and your friend had Pearl, it'd still be awesome, right?
If they added a little more randomisation into the game, it'd be even better. Imagine a completely randomised landscape with random evolutions and more..
I mean, we ALL have exactly the same copy of Animal Crossing.. But with SO many differences between each player, it's fun to play and find the differences, meet up to trade fruit and furniture. Things like that.
Perhaps Pokemon oughta do that, rather than sticking to the simple A vs B approach.
But they sure will charge you full price for that switch to be flipped.
@patbacknitro18 not until there's a third story locked behind paid DLC.
@Noid But thats the same as Red and Blue.
The Restrictions where artificial from the Beginning.
The make one Game and limit it in two Versions to force People to share with each other.
There was never a Problem of being able to have everything in one Game.
Back then they maybe let some Assets out to save Memory, but the Code was the same all along.
Nowadays there is nearly no Reason to keep so minor Stuff out because of Space.
It should have been clear for a long time that people who bought two versions were already getting ripped off.
I have always felt that the best way to go about this for Pokemon would be ONE single version of the game where the rarity and exclusivity of a certain pool of Pokemon is determined upon starting a new game.
This will encourage trading and such without completely locking the content between two versions.
But of course as long as huge amounts of people keep buying 2 versions of each Pokemon game why would they...
@Silly_G I agree with you. That said, there exists the option and marketing campaign for buying both versions from the eshop. It is bound to have people buying it
@RupeeClock Most likely. I mean there are ways they likely could avoid that (on a computer for instance I would have the start icon pass different flags but share the same DLLs and Exe). But this is Nintendo we are talking about, and I still can sort my games into folders on the switch.
So, they're basically locking away the exclusive content from both versions unless you buy the exact same software twice? Pokémon Company never ceases to amaze.
"It's worth noting that unless you're running the game illegally on a hacked console,"
Or you could play it legally on a hacked console, after purchasing a license to the game, as is your right. Using a ROM isn't illegal. Hacking a Switch isn't illegal, Nintendo just reserves the right to ban your account if they notice.
I'm not even a stickler about these things, but it's weird to see such imprecise language used on a site that covers ROMs so often.
@Noid they pretty much always have been pretty much the same. The difference before was likely handled via precompiler settings, compiler parameters, and maybe a conf file to store location data for different pokemon that was compiled into a specific roms. The only difference now is that it's likely a launch option.
Please just stop making excuses for everything Pokemon company tries to pull. Gamers are the reason the franchise is in such a sorry state (myself included, since I have bought most of their games). Stop giving them your money and accepting subpar games. Make them be better. These remakes show that Pokemon company has listened to none of the sword/shield criticism. Their games lately are completely stale, unambitious and low effort.
@Buizel My armchair thoughts are that it could be quite easy: just assign "version exclusive" Pokemon to a hidden die roll and determine which ones you get when you start a save file, perhaps based on the trainer ID.
I’m more okay with the two versions than I am with charging almost double for remakes. The original games were $35, the price is insane.
@Bustacap Which brings the question... what's the point of a dual release if you can fit all the content into a single card/download? It's not like they're offering two different experiences if you get 'em both. Exclusive Pokémon could've been handled through in-game choices and RNG tables these days, but yeah, $120 double packs must sell.
@patbacknitro18 well, no it isn’t. Those two games had largely different story paths and difficulties. If you want a reference point for comparison, try basically every mainline Pokemon game ever released.
They should give the other legendary as DLC, dual release make less sense these days but releasing third version that should be free DLC is even more anachronistic
@Ralizah As it should be. I'm glad there are enough Wii and Wii U ROM sources out there to keep those games alive for future generations. Wii U eShop is a step away from being permanently disabled, and our digital purchases will never carry over to any existing Nintendo device.
So if it's the exact same ROM, how then does the playing experience differ between the two? Is the user asked to select which version they've bought at start-up?
I've never really understood why people buy both versions. I thought the purpose was to encourage trading and playign with friends. Like, if got Red version back in the day, my friend would get Blue. I don't think it was an attempt to "get more money" other htna to sell more games overall. I guess completists gotta complete, but one version would be enough for me.
"The system was established to encourage players to buy two copies of the same game, and thereby make twice as much money for Nintendo."
Or am I being too cynical?
There has to be some difference between the ROMs, even if it's a single bit.
Back in Red/Blue, which I played on emulator, I "caught 'em all" by catching everything that could be found in Blue, then renaming my save file and loading it in Red. Worked just fine. So they've always been basically the same ROM.
@rushiosan to keep what makes the pokemon series so interesting, trading with friends
Is this really news? I mean of course they're the same game, with only the version exclusives as the main difference. No one should be surprised by this.
"so this news will be largely irrelevant to the millions of people who intend to purchase the game via legitimate means"
Oh so this is a problem is restricted to people who moan on the internet rather than the majority then.
This is just like when DLC was already on the disc of some game that released 10 to 15 years ago. I cannot remember the game though. It upset a lot of people then.
@saanaito My thoughts exactly. Animal Crossing of all things managed to implement this with different people having different fruit in their towns. Why not Pokemon?
An alternative idea would be for player choice to have an impact on the region they play through. Maybe seasonal variants of the region which are determined by the player at the start? (e.g. you could choose to play through a winter version of the region while your friend chooses summer)
@Ralizah They have such a crazy userbase that even with rampant piracy they continue to outsell the game launches from other consoles. As long as they remains the case they don't really care.
"Oh so this is a problem is restricted to people who moan on the internet rather than the majority then."
I'm honestly surprised that this is news. I assumed some past Pokemon titles also functioned like this.
Really, there is no point in creating a slightly different ROM for each version when both versions are effectively the same game. This is ILCA working smarter rather than working harder, but apparently that's worth being mad about.
there is no reason for there to be separate games, aside from greed. I hope people figure out how to do this more easily
These aren't worth a total of $120
Honestly this seems like the way to do it going forward if they’re going to continue dual releases (they obviously will). It seems like a lot less work on the developers to do things this way, especially given how precisely scheduled into the future Pokémon always is. This could potentially save them time behind the scenes (I have no clue how game dev actually works, but I’d imagine this makes bug fixes/patches easier since they only have to update one ROM).
So I imagine this is pulling the same thing Nintendo did back on the N64 Ocarina of Time, with the Japanese and US versions of the game?
Effectively a bilingual game, corresponding revisions used the one single byte ROM difference as a language select.
Except now they want us to specifically pay for that byte swap?
@Ralizah Yeah. It was kinda cute in the game boy era (get together with your buddies in the schoolyard and swap pokes, etc) but ever since internet trading became a thing it just seems really greedy.
@Curator They don't even need to release DLC. With online trading, I haven't had the need for any additional games or consoles in God knows how long to get Pokèmon that isn't in whatever version I have.
I'm a huge fan of the franchise. I still think it does good things and things better than other games of it type. But I am on the train that two versions of the same game is completely unnecessary today. It's a relic that needs to be moved on from
@MindWanderer : I experimented with that too. I don't think the same trick worked with the third versions (though I could be wrong there) as the additions were more substantial (especially in Crystal and Emerald with their battle sprites and map changes), and the save data couldn't be used interchangeably as they could between the two standard versions (which were almost identical).
It's an interesting way to approach the 2 title nature of Pokemon games. But I can't say there is any good reason to be upset by it, the means through with the result is accomplished is the same end result as before with the one real difference being that hackers could, if they want, switch over to the other game within the same title without buying the second title. But even that is pretty pointless, as modders typically don't have much of a problem with pirating a game, especially a second version of one they already may have.
@BionicDodo Too cynical maybe. I know a lot of die hard Pokemon fans and don’t know anyone who has bought two of the base versions (third versions yeah, but never the opposite base version). I’m sure there’s a decent amount of people who do double up on them, and there’s the official bundles they’ve started doing to accommodate them but by and large I don’t think many are sucked into getting both. Still a marketing ploy, works as a social push to get friends to buy opposing versions to catch the Pokémon not available in the others and create some FOMO in the process but I don’t really think the goal has ever been to sucker people into buying two of the same games.
It's pretty much irrelevant whether it's the same ROM or not - they are still using the same basic trick of blocking off a small amount of content and charging double to those that want it.
@chardir Why would you want it though? The main difference is the Pokémon you can’t catch, I could understand it years ago if you didn’t know anyone who had the other version and was hellbent on catching them all but with online trading what’s the point?
LOL @ all the dweebs who just can't help themselves and feel forced to buy two copies of the same game for no reason. Then they complain that Nintendo/GameFreak is the problem.
Not surprised to see alot of people excusing their greed.
@larryisaman People like to collect stuff. They must think it sells more copies or why continue to do it.
Goes to show that they're putting even less effort into making the games...but who cares, you pokemon fans will eat it up regardless.
@chardir I do think the communal aspect of it is still a big part of it- I know I wasn’t bothered about buying either of these games but with my friend getting Diamond and talking about how I should get Pearl the same day so we can help each other out as we go has got me pre-ordering it and excited to have that kind of experience I had when I was a kid with Red and Blue. Probably not alone in that.
Let’s say there is a large portion of people who do buy both themselves though (I really do imagine that’s a minority but could always be wrong), why would Nintendo/TPC ignore that? If droves of people are going to ignore common sense and pay twice for the same game are they really going to decline that business? At the end of the day if you buy both of these games and feel jipped/taken advantage of, the problem doesn’t lie elsewhere.
For real. It’s approaching PSP, PS1, and Dreamcast levels of bad.
From a manufacturers standpoint, it makes perfect sense, cuts down a lot of costs and effort.
It just shows how antiquated the dual release model is for "AAA" products (in quote because gosh darn look at pokemon games these days...Indies are running laps around them in terms of quality and fidelity...).
Good week for pirates got to play Forza horizon 5 & these Pokémon remakes early
If you are actually buying both versions of each Pokemon game just to obtain all the Pokemon, you are wasting your money.
The complaints about dual releases made sense back in the day if you didn't know other Pokemon players whom you could trade with, but that's no longer an issue now that internet trading has been a thing for 15+ years.
They could just enable both for $80 but...we know it's about making straight cash money off of us dweebs.
Meh, I actually don't care. Why not, if it saves production costs? Who does it hurt?
I feel almost blessed, with each piece of news about this, the more I am sure I am gonna give this a hard pass. Thanks for saving me fifty quid!
Article is confusing as hell, So will the real versions have version exclusives ?
@Bmartin001 Yes. Basically both versions are on whichever cartridge you buy and a piece of code tells the game which version it is so you can only play that one. All the content from the Diamond version will be in the Pearl version (title screen and everything) but completely inaccessible unless you hack the game.
Is anyone actually surprised by this? Isn't the whole point of Pokemon selling the same game multiple times?
I personally don't care because I need two copies anyway; one for me and one for my daughter. Even if that weren't the case I can't see this being such a bother. Its easy enough to trade on the GTS if you don't want to trade in-game to get Pokemon you are missing. This really seems like much ado about nothing.
I'm not defending this, but why is anyone surprised? I'm pretty sure all Pokémon versions are like this. And most likely all those dual versions that tried to imitate Pokémon's success were like this, including some recent outings like Yo-kai Watch on the 3DS.
The dumpster-fire gets bigger and bigger: Now people who usually buy both versions just can buy 1 version and play the other version too, since both versions seem to be on the cart. No need to buy both!
I don't understand the outrage? All the Pokemon games were always the same.
They just lock out specific Pokemon in code for each version and your team of bad guys wears a different color outfit.
From development perspective this makes sense too, since its much easier to maintain and patch.
I rather have this, then the ever increasing F2P garbage games, infested with gamble boxes and microtransactions.
Is this any surprise? When playing on emulators save files can be used between versions.
@Ralizah I very much agree. It's almost like they cheaped out on development.
As for the point about piracy, Nintendo's also really bad at trying to cover it up. Looking back at Age of Calamity, the whole game was spoiled before launch thanks to certain YouTubers who Nintendo didn't DMCA. BUT, there were streamers in Australia who played the game on THEIR launch day and they got DMCA'd by Nintendo. Nintendo keeps targetting the wrong people and I still can't forgive them to this day.
Cue everyone getting upset about this like it's any different than the usual dual release model...
I would have used a single ROM and then set flags based on a handful of criteria like system clock, battery percentage, free system memory and nabbed some accelerometer data at the last second to create some pseudorandomness in the initial setup. One ROM and pretty much everyone gets a unique experience.
Why the f*ck are yall getting mad at this?
1. The Pokemon company has never enforced people to get both games of a series
2. This just means they're thinking of ways to make updating and maintaining the games easier from a technician standpoint, which means they're actually thinking about user experience with the games
@Buizel The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages is to this days THE BEST dual game release, nothing ever did it better again.
@Zuljaras @Lilmonix3 Don't let the door hit you on your way out!
@Mando44646 @TeslaChippie Nothing greedy about making two versions of a game where buying only one is required. Don't deceive yourself into thinking otherwise.
@razorxkenshin Care to explain further what makes a game "stale, unambitious and low effort"? Cite some examples and make comparisons.
@Silly_G If that happened, people would whine about having to pay $120 for the full experience. Not worth it.
@Buizel Share some ideas then.
@Nintendoh do you want some pie charts while I am at it?
Tap here to load 97 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...