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Pokémon BDSP's Character Customization Is Flat After Sword & Shield – Screen Rant

After Pokémon: Sword & Shield introduced a ton of new customization options, Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl’s limited options fail to impress.
Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl introduced character customization to the Sinnoh Region, though these new options fail to match the pace set by the previous games in Gen VIII, Pokémon: Sword and Shield. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl players can purchase new outfits in the Metronome Style Shop in Veilstone City, which features a variety of different styles. Additionally, those who pre-ordered the game are able to obtain exclusive outfits modeled after Lucas and Dawn’s cold-weather clothes from Pokémon: Platinum. Players also have the option to choose between one of eight character models at the beginning of the game, featuring four different hair color and skin tone combinations for both male and female avatars.
However, as Pokémon games have given players more and more style options in recent generations, the limited customization options featured in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl feel a bit lackluster in comparison. While the ability to customize the player character is a great addition to the remakes that makes good use of their 3D models and updated Nintendo Switch graphics, players can only choose from a collection of outfits that operate more like skins as they change the trainer’s entire appearance. There’s no way to change the trainer’s hairstyle aside from these outfits, and there are only a total of ten different outfits that are available to players in the Style Shop. Additionally, the hair and eye color that players chose at the start of the game is permanent with no option to change either later in the game.
Related: Pokémon BDSP: All Fairy Types Added To The Sinnoh Region
Unfortunately, there are no outfits that become available as players progress through the game either, so the selection of outfits available when players first reach Pokémon BDSP’s Veilstone City is the same selection the shop will have the entire way through to postgame. There are some great options to choose from, including a cool cyber style and a bold leather jacket style, and the ability to change both the overworld sprite’s appearance as well as the character’s avatar in battles is an awesome feature that wasn’t present in the original 2D versions of the games for the Nintendo DS. However, with the absolute freedom to alter the trainer’s appearance that Sword and Shield granted, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s lack of variety may come as a disappointment to players.
Following the incredible amount of customization features that players had access to in Sword and Shield, which included more style options than any previous Pokémon game, the limitations in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl feel particularly restrictive. Sword and Shield not only allowed players to buy clothes at various boutiques throughout the Galar region, but these shirts, pants, hats, gloves, glasses, and bags could be used to create outfits that were unique to each player. This made fashion a central mechanic to the game and gave players the freedom to create an extremely relatable character that added to the feeling of immersion Sword and Shield provided.
The ability to visit boutiques throughout a region was introduced in X and Y. As each boutique featured unique clothes that reflected the fashion and culture of each city, this function enriched the series with yet another element that added to the depth of worldbuilding that has been a core of the Pokémon franchise since its inception. Sword and Shield took this even further with the boutiques of the Galar region, as well as the Pokémon battle uniforms that reflected their gym victories. While these were admittedly controversial as the default battle uniform couldn’t be changed, it made fashion all the more important to Galar’s culture by using it as a status symbol for trainers making their way through the region’s gyms.
Players not only had the ability to buy clothes and create their own outfits in Sword and Shield, but were also able to customize their character down to the details of their hair and makeup. A wide range of hairstyles were available at the games’ salons, and players could choose between 13 different hair colors. Eye color could also be changed, and players could even customize the shape and color of their eyebrows for a completely personalized trainer aesthetic. Sword and Shield gave players absolute control over how they wanted their character to look, which makes the small selection of style options available in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl fall flat in comparison.
Related: Pokémon Platinum Changes That Didn’t Make It To BDSP
Of course, with Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s chibi art style and return to Pokémon’s original top-down view, highly specific customization options like Sword and Shield’s makeup feature would hardly be noticeable in the overworld, so it makes sense for them to be absent in the Gen IV remakes. Additionally, as Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl promised to be faithful remakes of the originals, they were limited in terms of adding buildings and features that would majorly alter the classic Sinnoh region. Still, with the increasing ability to customize characters in the franchise, the fact that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl present players with such a limited set of skins feels like a bit of a let-down, especially considering the heavy focus on the remakes’ aesthetics.
Despite the fact that the Pokémon BDSP remakes had a limited ability to add new styles and customization options, it would have benefited the games to include more styles in the Metronome Style Shop, or at least different color options for each outfit. In addition, the warehouse next to the Style Shop serves no function, but it could have been used to include a salon where players could customize their hair outside of each outfit’s default. It would have also been nice to see more outfits or style options become available as trainers progress, like an exclusive outfit for Pokémon League Champions.
With the inclusion of Lucas and Dawn’s Platinum outfits as a pre-order Mystery Gift, however, it’s still possible that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will see more outfits become available later on. It’s also been confirmed that Pokémon Legends: Arceus will include character customization features, and some of the outfits and clothing that have been revealed suggest that fashion will once again play a major role in the Hisui region and its lore in this upcoming release. Regardless of the limitations, the styles added in Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were still a great touch to include in the remakes that made the return to the Sinnoh region even more exciting.
Next: Pokémon BDSP’s Hideaways Showcase More Open Gameplay Of Legends: Arceus
Damien Freidly is a gaming guides and features writer for Screen Rant. He graduated with his Bachelor’s in English in 2020, and is a vocalist in his spare time.

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