Today I am checking out Pokémon Diamond which is part of the first set of Pokémon games to be released for the Nintendo DS. On a personal note, this is the generation when my son (who was 7 at the time) got right into Pokémon with the TV show of this generation of games being on constantly. As a result, I have a ton of nostalgia for this game and generation of Pokémon.
It's About You, It’s About Me!
The story of Pokémon Diamond is not going to blow you away. If you like Pokémon then you will like this. The Sinnoh region that the game is set in has a very Japanese island feel to it. I would say this is one of the best regions that Game Freak has done and it has just a ton of color to it and that is something I like. As you would expect, you start off picking your Pokémon. This game actually has my all-time favorite Pokémon which is Piplup so I always pick him. The other two are Turtwig and Chimchar. I think this game actually has some of the best starters of any Pokémon game. Your goal is to be the best by beating all the gym leaders, putting your rival in his place, dealing with an evil organization and discovering the secrets of the legendary Pokémon. It is pretty basic Pokémon stuff, but since when has that been a bad thing.
While it is true that Pokémon Diamond did not reinvent the wheel. I do think that they added some things to this game over the Game Boy Advance Pokémon games that came before it that make the overall experience better. To start with the day/night cycle has been greatly expanded to feature five times of day. The game introduces this new Poketech which is like a smartwatch that makes use of the bottom screen and the touch controls actually work way better here than you would think.
I do feel that it is fair to say that while this is a game that does play it safe. It is also the first Pokémon game for the Nintendo DS so I do give them a bit of a pass in that regard. It is clear they wanted to get a Pokémon game out as quickly as possible and they did that and they also did a good job.
Next Generation Pokémon
One of the things many people were excited about with Pokémon Diamond was the visuals. Well, this is before the game was released. I actually think the visuals are pretty solid and would set the tone for what would come in the other Nintendo DS Pokémon games. There is a notable improvement over what the Game Boy Advance offered with its Pokémon games. The actual region has way more detail to it and the Pokémon battles look fantastic and have some moments that do look like they are 3D.
I really enjoyed Pokémon Diamond back when it was first released. Still, the setting and the starter Pokémon really make this game for me and as a result, it is a game I have played through a few times. If you like Pokémon, you will like this it is as simple as that. I think you could debate that some of the later Nintendo DS games improve on this, but none of them let me start with Piplup!
Final Score: 9/10
- The best three starter Pokémon in my opinion
- The region is fantastic
- It has a story that is more engaging than you would think
- Tons of new Pokémon to catch
- It has some interesting mini-games
- Later DS games did improve the formula
- No other generation lets me use Piplup as a starter!
Download Pokemon Diamond
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP