Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have shown in a recent Pokemon Presents that the remakes will indeed have something for everyone. Whether players who go into the new remakes are fans of the original Pokemon Diamondand Pearl or are experiencing them for the first time, there is something to experience for every kind of fan. It was recently revealed that Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be bringing back reworked features such as the Grand Underground, Capsule Customization, and Pokemon following the player. These are all wonderful gameplay additions, but Super Contests were one of the more intriguing mechanics from the originals.
Super Contests were another avenue players could divert their attention towards with a completely different game mechanic parallel to Pokemon battling. Though it wasn't a favored feature for some fans, many die-hard players wanted to see this mini-game make a return. It was recently confirmed that Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be reintroducing Super Contests as Super Contest Shows, and there have been some changes to the core gameplay. Not much is known about the more intricate side of Super Contest Shows but compared to the original Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, there are some differences.
Many fans of the Pokemon series might remember that Pokemon Diamond and Pearl didn't originally introduce Super Contests. In the original Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire were what was known as Pokemon Contests, the first iteration of Super Contests. In Pokemon Contests, players would enter their Pokemon in one of 5 categories which included Cuteness, Toughness, Cleverness, Coolness, and Beauty. The player would turn their berries into Pokeblocks and feed them to their Pokemon, increasing these stats. It was beneficial to focus on a single stat and bring that Pokemon all the way through from Normal to Master rank in the category that best represented that Pokemon.
Pokemon Contests in the original Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire had two rounds of judging: the primary judging and the secondary judging. The primary judging determined which Pokemon was in top condition in the given category, such as the Coolest Pokemon in the Cool category. This was the superficial round, but did count for points in the overall score at the end and could make or break a player's chance at victory. If the player couldn't secure a victory, then they couldn't enter their Pokemon into the next rank of Pokemon Contests. The secondary round of judging was the meat of Pokemon Contests in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.
During the second round of judging, players would use their Pokemon's move to either appeal to the judges, appeal to the crowd, or disrupt the other contestants. Each of a Pokemon's moves in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire had a secondary effect for Pokemon Contests, and some players would focus around this, teaching contest-beneficial moves to their Pokemon. This was a mini-game that some players absolutely enjoyed, and it was brought back in full force in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire with some minor additions, most notably the ability to Mega Evolve a player's Pokemon during the contest.
Pokemon Super Contests
Pokemon Contests made a return in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl and were called Super Contests, functioning similarly to its Gen 3 counterpart, with some notable additions. In the first round of judging, players can dress their Pokemon up based on a selected theme which went hand in hand with the condition of the Pokemon. Instead of using Pokeblocks to increase contest stats, however, this time around the player would make Poffins which functioned more or less the same, only the player would use the Nintendo DS touch screen to stir Poffin batter until Poffins were made.
The biggest change from Pokemon Contests in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl was the addition of the Dance round, a competition to see which Pokemon danced the best. This was done in the form of a mini-game that played similar to many rhythm games. This additional round of judging, on top of dressing up a Pokemon in the first round, made Super Contests feel longer than Pokemon Contests did in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. This made Super Contests in Gen 4 less appealing to take part in for those who were more into the battling and training aspect of Pokemon games, which was of course the core concept of Pokemon.
The third and final round of judging in Super Contests was the Acting Competition which played more or less the same as the second round of Pokemon Contests in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. Upon winning, the player would be rewarded with a dress-up item for their Pokemon and their Pokemon would earn a Ribbon based on the category and rank that they entered in. It wasn't until the remakes of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that Pokemon Contests made a return, with no other generation of Pokemon games bring this mechanic back. This was a shame for fans of Pokemon Contests overall as Pokemon games would mainly feature tweaks to the battling mechanic, with very little creativity outside of battling.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's Super Contest Shows
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes that are once again bringing back an old gameplay mechanic that fans can reexperience. Now known as Super Contest Shows, the mini-game looks to bring back the core aspect of this gameplay, with some very interesting and arguably necessary changes. Firstly, instead of Pokemon dressed up around a central theme during the Visual Evaluation, they are judged based on the Capsule Decorations that the player put together. The Capsule Decoration was a mechanic all on its own originally with no benefit outside of battles, but ILCA and Game Freak found a way to tie it into Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's Super Contest Shows nicely.
Another major change to Super Contests from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl is the third round of judging has been effectively dropped in favor of shortening the overall gameplay. Instead of a judging round of Pokemon using their moves, Pokemon will have a singular move that they can bust out during the Dance Evaluation. This puts more focus on the dancing aspect of the Super Contest Shows, with the Visual Evaluation measuring a Pokemon's condition and its Capsule Decorations which are done outside of Super Contest Shows. This rework to the Super Contest formula from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl is a great way to streamline the gameplay and make it accessible to a wider audience.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will release on November 19, 2021 for Nintendo Switch.