Pokemon Diamond and Pearl

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a game by Game Freak
Platform: DS
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 6.2/10 - 10 votes
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See also: Pokemon Games, JRPG Games
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl

The beloved Pokemon series arrives at the Nintendo DS with a bang with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. These games mark the departure from the simple 2D sprites and the beginning of the series transition to 3D models, but is it a smooth transition, or are there some bumps along the road? Let’s take a look at what Diamond and Pearl get right, and also where it falters.

A slow mountain stroll

The region that players will explore in Diamond and Pearl is the mountainous Sinnoh, a place based on the real-life Hokkaido. Unlike Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire, where players struggled with the many water routes of Hoenn, Sinnoh is a snowy region full of cottages, mountains, and forests.

As we mentioned before, Game Freak decided that Nintendo’s capable DS had enough horsepower to move the game into the 3D realm. The battles are still rendered completely in 2D, but the overworld features some 3D structures.

Perhaps it’s due to the engine, but the exploration in Diamond and Pearl feels more sluggish than in its predecessors. Even the battles feel a bit slower than before, with many attacks featuring animations that take longer to play than they should. This ultimately makes playing the game feel more like a chore than it should.

It’s about time (and space)

With Ruby and Sapphire, Pokemon leveled up the plots of their games. In Diamond and Pearl, the plot is even richer than in its GBA prequels, with the introduction of deity-like pokemon that govern the fabric of the universe.

Diamond has Dialga, the pokemon that created time, while Pearl has Palkia, the creator of space. This expanded Pokemon mythos feels a bit weird, but it undeniably nurtures the overall Pokemon universe, a place that was in much need of some meaningful plots in its games.

A third legendary Pokemon, Giratina, would later appear in the cover art of Pokemon Platinum, the third, more refined version that goes alongside Diamond and Pearl.

Quality of life improvements

Diamond and Pearl introduced many changes to Pokemon’s core mechanic, refining the combat for more competitive players. One of the most welcome additions is the division between physical and special attacks on a case to case basis.

Before, every Water-type attack was special, which sometimes made no sense. Now, attacks like Waterfall (where the pokemon’s body is supposed to come into contact with the opponent’s) are properly physical.

Additionally, some nifty design implementations were made, like some pokemon having male or female forms, each with unique sprites. There’s also no limit to how many items a player can carry in their bag, a wholeheartedly welcome inclusion to the game.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl is a great jump forward for the world of Pokemon. The more advanced combat system and the many quality of life improvements turn Diamond and Pearl into one of the most complete Pokemon experience, with a few caveats.

8

The jump into the 3D realm could’ve been done a bit more smoothly; the downgrade to 30 FPS along the overall sluggishness of the game could be a turn-off for many players. That said, Diamond and Pearl are still worthy additions to the franchise, along with its 107 new pokemon.

Pros:

  • Much better battle system than its predecessors
  • A good amount of quality of life improvements
  • Sinnoh is an interesting region to explore
  • Expanded the backstory of the Pokemon world

Cons:

  • Poor performance
  • Overreliance on HM moves to explore the terrain
  • Some of the new pokemon don’t mix well with previous designs

Download Pokemon Diamond and Pearl

DS

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

DS Screenshots

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