DS

North America

Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl

by Mike Gamin - April 22, 2007, 3:10 pm PDT
Total comments: 52

9

You obtained a Pale Sphere, size 12!

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are arguably the first true Pokemon games to come out on the DS and are considered the fourth generation of the series. Touting a single player RPG experience that will last at least 40 hours and a big step in the right direction as far as online multiplayer is concerned, this generation is the best yet.

For good or bad, the main adventure mirrors the formula from the original game, with only minor improvements and changes. You are an intrepid youth setting out to become a Pokemon champion. Along the way you compete with your "rival" best friend on your way to defeating the Elite Four, all the time trying to catch 'em all in order to complete the Pokedex given to you by a professor in the beginning of the game. Several tweaks and additions have been made, but it is far from enough to make the game feel significantly different from the original games. The day/night cycle from the Gold/Silver generation returns, and it includes even more cycles. The double battles that were introduced in the Ruby/Sapphire generation have been improved, adding wild double battles as well as the ability to team up with computer controlled characters. On one hand, the story in the game still feels like a complete rehash of the past games. On another hand, the “If it's not broke, don't fix it" mantra comes to mind. Hardcore fans of the past games won't let it bother them, but others may be turned off.

The new overworld is stunning. The overhead view with 3D buildings feels great for this game. It's cheerful and brings a level of life to the bright and colorful Pokemon universe that wasn't present before. The engine should be utilized in as many other games as possible. The Earthbound/Mother series would play great in this environment. Sadly, the 3D feel is not brought into buildings or battles, each of which feels a lot like the Ruby/Sapphire generation of games. Sprite animations, similar to those seen in Pokemon Crystal, make a return, so the Pokemon have a little more character when they get tossed into battle. Introductory animations that occur before battles are a nice addition. It's cool to see the blades of grass part just before a wild Pokemon reveals itself.

When inside a battle, the similarities with past games are most apparent. Your Pokemon is still in the lower left while your opponent's is in the upper right. The frame around the Pokemon's HP and level is identical to the one used in Ruby and Sapphire. Pokemon still faint by disappearing into the ground. Backgrounds are slightly improved and do a better job of showing the current terrain. Attack animations are improved but the nature of the battle system keeps them from being too spectacular. Without doing a direct side by side comparison, it's hard to even point out a lot of the differences between the battle scenes in Diamond and Pearl and those in Ruby and Sapphire.

The sound effects and music have definitely improved over past versions of the game. Many Pokemon players got used to playing the old games on mute, as the repetitive music got quite annoying after a while. The overworld compositions in Diamond and Pearl really make you want to put some headphones on and take it in. Pokemon growls (especially those of the newer Pokemon) actually stand out when compared to others, as opposed to the almost incomprehensible 8 bit screeching from old games. The first time a Kricketune gets thrown into battle this becomes quite apparent. When a Pokemon is based off of a cricket, sound is important, and the effect is quite successful.

Probably the most important reason that the series has become the phenomenon it is today is its ability to link up players of the game and create a community. Diamond and Pearl attempt to take that feature global. Relatively early in the game, the coolest new feature becomes available; the Global Trade Center. Players can make Pokemon available for trade and state their minimum requirements for that exchange. Did you pick Piplup as your starter but wish you could have a Chimchar too? Chances are someone who picked Chimchar is having a similar thought. Breed your Piplup and put the baby up on the Global Trade Center stating that you want a baby Chimchar in exchange. Chances are you'll get your wish in only a few hours. There was some concern that this trade center would allow cheaters to flood the market with hacked rarities like level 100 Celebis. The developers did take some steps to prevent this. Firstly, players can only search and request Pokemon that they have seen. Because the rare Pokemon like Celebi are, in fact, rare, players who haven't seen them won't even be able to look for them right away. Also, players can only offer one Pokemon for trade at a time, so those cheaters that cloned 150 Celebis won't be able to flood the market with them. All that said, the game is still young in the US and it could become a problem over time. It's nice to know that the problem was considered when developing the system, though.

To take advantage of virtually every other online component of the game, a friend code is required. People who share friend codes can battle and trade online by using the basement of any Pokemon Center in any town. For the duration of either of these actions, voice chat is available. It really feels like you are talking on the phone while battling, and it adds a personal level to the online component that really falls in line with what Pokemon has always been about. The only downside to this system is that there is no way to see if your friends are online while playing the single player experience. In order to check, you have to go into the Pokemon Center and sit on a screen where nothing else can be done. This all but requires some sort of connection outside of the game so that you know when to go into the WiFi room.

The only other online component of the game is in the Battle Tower. There, Pokemon teams that were created by other players world-wide can be downloaded and battled against. After they have been downloaded, they are controlled by the computer AI. Players can also upload their current teams in order to add it to the massive pool of potential downloads. While this is an interesting way to add to the near limitless combination of potential opponents, the lack of a random matchmaking mode is a bit frustrating.

There are even more potential multiplayer options for local wireless. Battle and trade are there, but there is also a Union Room that can be used to just congregate and chat with up to 7 other local players. While in the room, players can battle and trade, as well as exchange records, draw, and chat (a la Pictochat). Probably the most exciting addition to local wireless play is that of the Underground. Underneath the entire overworld is a maze-like system of caves. While in the caves, your DS broadcasts your location locally. If other players in your immediate area are in the Underground as well, you will be able to find them and interact. Several things can be down here. When alone, players can excavate the walls looking for several different types of items like fossils, hold items, and evolution stones. The excavation plays out like a simple but addicting puzzle game in which you use either a hammer or a pick axe to chip away at the wall. Chip away too much before finding the item and the wall will collapse, resulting in a loss of the item. Walls can have anywhere from one to four items hidden inside them at any given time, and it takes a good balance of luck and thinking to find four items without causing a collapse. Players can also take the time to set up and decorate their hidden base. Decorations can be bought by exchanging items found while excavating with entrepreneurial hikers scattered throughout the area. Once a base is set up, a basic capture the flag game can be played where you must find your opponent's base and steal their flag. Given the fact that the Underground can be entered at any time from any area in the game, it will most likely be an oft-used time killer by many players.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl is an extremely well conceived game. While some may complain that it is too much like past titles, it's hard not to get drawn into the charm and depth of the universe. About the only reason someone could have for not picking this title up is if they played one of the original games to death and just lost interest. While there are several aspects of the online modes that could be fleshed out and improved, what is there is great.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7.5 9.5 8 9 10 9
Graphics
7.5

The overworld is great, but the battle scenes feel a bit too much like the Game Boy Advance games.

Sound
9.5

The sound really stands out as a point of improvement over the previous games in the series. Music compositions are great, and Pokemon growls are greatly improved.

Control
8

The touch screen is used well for easy move selection during battles.

Gameplay
9

If it's not broke, don't fix it. Classic Pokemon gameplay is only slightly improved, but it's still as good as ever.

Lastability
10

Pokemon is one of those games that define the lastability category. The depth of the RPG system and sheer number of available characters give the game near limitless replay value as people fine tune their teams for online battling.

Final
9

The only reason to not play this game is if you played and are sick of the original ones. Even then, the online community may be enough to change your mind. If you haven't touched a Pokemon game before, regardless of your age, you should start now.

Summary

Pros
  • Global Trade Center
  • Great 3D overworld
  • Great sound effects and music
  • Online play with full voice chat
Cons
  • Nearly identical story to past games
  • Only slightly improved battle graphics
  • Very reliant on friend codes
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorApril 22, 2007

A 9.0? Seriously? What the heck is wrong with you!!?!? This game obviously deserves a 12. I could take the time to point out everything you posted was incorrect but instead I'm just going to stop reading your crappy reviews.

(Seriously, good review. It touched upon my major concern - which was the fact that I really don't want to buy *another* Pokémon game.)

MUST...FIND...CHINK...IN...ARMOR.

MUST...INSULT...NWR...REVIEWER...

AAARRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!

~Carmine "Cai" M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

I'm probably going to review this game as well, and since Pale has done a great job of discussing all the different features and such, I'll probably take a more philosophical approach. I love it too, by the way. :-) You'll hear me gush about it on this week's RFN.

Karl Castaneda #2April 22, 2007

Damnit. I'm actually kind of close to buying this game...

DAMNIT.

CericApril 22, 2007

A 9 sounds perfectly in-line with the review. Personally until their/there/they're is a vastly improved version I wouldn't rank any of the core games above a nine. Mostly because it isn't really expanding the fan base.

Magus19April 22, 2007

I've been away from the series since Silver and I'm glad I bought this one. I remember why it was so much addicting. I won 2 tournaments back in the Blue days I was 13 and won against adults. Now I'm the adult and I'm sure some kids could kick my ass because they know more about the new pokemons moves, that's the cycle of life face-icon-small-smile.gif

GoldenPhoenixApril 22, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Magus19
I've been away from the series since Silver and I'm glad I bought this one. I remember why it was so much addicting. I won 2 tournaments back in the Blue days I was 13 and won against adults. Now I'm the adult and I'm sure some kids could kick my ass because they know more about the new pokemons moves, that's the cycle of life face-icon-small-smile.gif


I haven't played a pokemon game since the first ones. Weren't they Pokemon Red and Blue?

SheckyApril 22, 2007

Are the old Pokemon characters useable in this game?

TrueNerdApril 22, 2007

I haven't touched anything Pokemon related since I completed the original Red when it first came out, but all this gushing about the new one... I may get pulled back in.

GoldenPhoenixApril 22, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: TrueNerd
I haven't touched anything Pokemon related since I completed the original Red when it first came out, but all this gushing about the new one... I may get pulled back in.


Sadly that is what happened to me, but hey maybe since I avoided everything Pokemon since Red/Blue there may be enough changes that I can get back into the new one!

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 22, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Shecky
Are the old Pokemon characters useable in this game?

After you "beat" Diamond or Pearl and see the first 150 Pokemon of the new Pokedex, your pokedex gets converted back to a "National Dex" (that has all of the pokemon with their original numbers). After that the Pal Park opens. At the Pal Park you can transfer 6 pokemon per day from the GBA generation of games. It's a one way transfer.

NeoThunderApril 22, 2007

I hate any game where "skill" isn't directly controlled by the player. A good example would be the difference between Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario.

I'm likeing Super Paper Mario a lot better because it's not about taking turns hitting each other. Your skill is not determained by the roll of a dice.

Make Pokemon more like that and i'll give it a try again.

GoldenPhoenixApril 22, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: NeoThunder
I hate any game where "skill" isn't directly controlled by the player. A good example would be the difference between Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario.

I'm likeing Super Paper Mario a lot better because it's not about taking turns hitting each other. Your skill is not determained by the roll of a dice.

Make Pokemon more like that and i'll give it a try again.


That is one reason why Mario and Luigi is such a unique series, it has RPG style battles, but your damage is all dependent on your skill. If you get good enough you can almost avoid any damage.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterApril 22, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: NeoThunder
I hate any game where "skill" isn't directly controlled by the player. A good example would be the difference between Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario.

I'm likeing Super Paper Mario a lot better because it's not about taking turns hitting each other. Your skill is not determained by the roll of a dice.

Make Pokemon more like that and i'll give it a try again.


Have you been hanging out with S_B recently? face-icon-small-wink.gif .

KlapauciusApril 23, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
Quote

Originally posted by: NeoThunder
I hate any game where "skill" isn't directly controlled by the player. A good example would be the difference between Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario.

I'm likeing Super Paper Mario a lot better because it's not about taking turns hitting each other. Your skill is not determained by the roll of a dice.

Make Pokemon more like that and i'll give it a try again.


That is one reason why Mario and Luigi is such a unique series, it has RPG style battles, but your damage is all dependent on your skill. If you get good enough you can almost avoid any damage.


Err... nobody too familiar with the battle system on Thousand Year Door, then? I was blocking those attacks like crazy. Its a great system where your skill and timing is a part, deciding how powerful your attack is and if you block or even deflect your opponent's attack.


About Pokemon... I WANT!!!!! I wish Nintendo would get around to saying when it will be released in the UK.

SheckyApril 23, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
Quote

Originally posted by: Shecky
Are the old Pokemon characters useable in this game?

After you "beat" Diamond or Pearl and see the first 150 Pokemon of the new Pokedex, your pokedex gets converted back to a "National Dex" (that has all of the pokemon with their original numbers). After that the Pal Park opens. At the Pal Park you can transfer 6 pokemon per day from the GBA generation of games. It's a one way transfer.


Only via transfer? So someone like me who has never played any past title will have no way of obtaining any original GB/GBA generation Pokemon?

Also by one way, do you mean that you can only transfer from the GBA game (which doesn't surprise me) or that if you transfer the pokemon is removed from the GBA game. If it's only the former, then I could borrow someone's game to get some of the original pokemon.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 23, 2007

Uhm. When you do transfer from a GBA game, the poke gets erased off the game.

All hope isn't lost though if you don't have the original games. The Global Trade Center and just trading in general will help you get the Pokemon you want. I know I'll hook you up with some older ones if you want.

TirrandirApril 23, 2007

Actually, after you get the National Dex, the game is set up so you can catch roughly 380 Pokemon WITHOUT TRADING AT ALL. You'll find everything except your version exclusives, the previous three generations of Starter Pokemon, and previous legendaries/event pokemon/super rare stuff like that.

But, yes, even in the beginning not all the Pokemon are new. I'm using a Ponyta in my party, and I have a Kadabra, among others. It'll get even more mixed up in the aftergame.

CericApril 23, 2007

I was sort of hoping you be able to catch all of them from the beginning and you just had to know where to look. I want to play through the game with a Farfetch'd again.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 23, 2007

Farfetch'd you can get. Like Tirrandir said, the only pokemon you can't get from old games are starters and legendaries.

CericApril 23, 2007

From the get go without "beating" the game first?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 23, 2007

Correct. They are wild throughout and what not.

The only thing you have to beat the game for is to actually transfer stuff. Here are a bunch of interesting links...

Pokemon that MUST be transferred from an old game or traded with someone who transfered from an old game
Version exclusive Pokemon
A super pokedex that will tell you how to get any pokemon in the game

TirrandirApril 23, 2007

Actually, looking at the list, it's one of those you can't get until you have the National Dex, which would require beating the main story first. So no, no playing through with Farfetch'd. Though, I have to ask, why would you want to? I always make it a point to choose new stuff, myself.

YES! No bug pokemon are on that unobtainable list!!!

SCOOOOOREEE!!!

So may bug pokemon! So many to catch! So many to breed! THIS IS HEAVEN!

Finally a game where I'll have a choice instead of being forced to crown slugs and crabs honorary bug members!!!

~Carmine "Cai" M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

trip1eXApril 23, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Klapaucius
Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
Quote

Originally posted by: NeoThunder
I hate any game where "skill" isn't directly controlled by the player. A good example would be the difference between Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario.

I'm likeing Super Paper Mario a lot better because it's not about taking turns hitting each other. Your skill is not determained by the roll of a dice.

Make Pokemon more like that and i'll give it a try again.


That is one reason why Mario and Luigi is such a unique series, it has RPG style battles, but your damage is all dependent on your skill. If you get good enough you can almost avoid any damage.


Err... nobody too familiar with the battle system on Thousand Year Door, then? I was blocking those attacks like crazy. Its a great system where your skill and timing is a part, deciding how powerful your attack is and if you block or even deflect your opponent's attack.




Exactly. PAPerMario:TTYD had plenty of skill in the battle system. IN some battles you needed to get that extra damage by hitting the button at the right time or you were a goner.

UltimatePartyBearApril 23, 2007

If you can't request a pokemon online until you've seen it, does that mean trades for pokemon you can't ever see in your version can only be done locally?

TirrandirApril 23, 2007

Well, you'll see almost every pokemon if you're diligent enough. But for the unobtainables like old legendaries and starters, you can't be given then randomly, no. You'll have to have them come over from old games, or have them be traded to you by someone specific. If it's a friend you exchange codes with, you can trade anything, seen or unseen. Doesn't have to be locally.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 23, 2007

PartyBear. I'm still trying to figure out if battling someone online (or quasi online in the Battle Tower) will add that pokemon to your pokedex or not.

CericApril 23, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Tirrandir
Actually, looking at the list, it's one of those you can't get until you have the National Dex, which would require beating the main story first. So no, no playing through with Farfetch'd. Though, I have to ask, why would you want to? I always make it a point to choose new stuff, myself.


Sentimental reasons. He was one of my original kick butt pokemon back in the original Blue. Though later he got axed somehow and then came back.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 23, 2007

PS: I'm going to have all three legendary birds from Red/Blue ready to trade soon. I'm looking for other legendaries that were obtained legitimately. Namely Entei, Suicune, Groudon, Celebi, or Deoxys.

face-icon-small-wink.gif

KlapauciusApril 23, 2007

Whether to take my teams from Ruby and Leaf Green, to make THE BEST TEAM EVER, or keep those games intact. Really, I don't know. :/

SheckyApril 23, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
All hope isn't lost though if you don't have the original games. The Global Trade Center and just trading in general will help you get the Pokemon you want. I know I'll hook you up with some older ones if you want.


Yes, this would be my first Pokemon entry, but I'll likely be interested in getting at least the 3 starters from the GBA series.

SheckyApril 23, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
Correct. They are wild throughout and what not.

The only thing you have to beat the game for is to actually transfer stuff. Here are a bunch of interesting links...

Pokemon that MUST be transferred from an old game or traded with someone who transfered from an old game
Version exclusive Pokemon
A super pokedex that will tell you how to get any pokemon in the game


Thanks, your prior posts and these links spell things out nicely.

optimisticlimboApril 23, 2007

All I want is a Charmander, I just have no idea how to easily get one yet.

NephilimApril 24, 2007

I would give the game a 8

cave's have no puzzles, just turns the game into a grind fest
why are gyms and mini games the only puzzles in the game?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 24, 2007

I have to say, the Global trade center is awesome. I already have the other two diamond and pearl starters. Also, Eggs are really cool as the Pokemon stores it's birth day. I have a chimchar from Japan that hatched on Valentines day!

blackfootstepsApril 25, 2007

Pale do you know if a Europe/ Aussie GBA game can transfer R/S/E/FR/LG Pokemon to a US Diamond and Pearl cart?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 25, 2007

BFS, I'm 90% sure that the can't. GBA game compatibility is limited to GBA games of the same region.

BlkPaladinApril 25, 2007

Yes it is. But to get around that you can trade between the other region's GBA game to the region of the game you want to trade to. I have been doing that to get my English GBA pokemon to my Japanese version to put them into my English Pearl game so I can play through with other pokemon.

blackfootstepsApril 26, 2007

Thanks for the replies guys. I just checked my GBA carts and I happen to have a US Emerald so all's good!

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorApril 26, 2007

This just in! Apparently the gba games don't have to be the same region as the DS games.. just the same language...

Color me confused. So apparently UK/Aussie GBA games will working with NA DS games.

GoldenPhoenixApril 26, 2007

I enjoy the game, but honestly it doesn't seem that much different then Blue and Red for GB! Kind of sad that after all these years the improvements to the series is almost pathetically minimal when it comes to the main quest.

SheckyApril 26, 2007

The GTS is indeed cool, I got my ONIX after only a day. Got a JAP name though... any way to change a pokemon's name? Signs on the net say no, but that seems like a huge loophole in the protective online environment. Picture a kid asking what means cause it's the name of his new pokemon he just traded for...

I figured Nintendo would scrub names to defaults of trades on the GTS, but the ONIX looks to have both an original name and owner name (both JAP). Unless they're scrubbing them with canned names... you would have no way of telling.

SheckyApril 27, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
Uhm. When you do transfer from a GBA game, the poke gets erased off the game.

All hope isn't lost though if you don't have the original games. The Global Trade Center and just trading in general will help you get the Pokemon you want. I know I'll hook you up with some older ones if you want.


I might take you up on that, at least for a Charmander anyways... I think I still need to beat the game before you could trade me one though, or would it just not show up in the p-dex? Interesting experiment is to try it and see what happens... if you have one to spare, pm me.

KlapauciusMay 19, 2007

Any news on when the European release will be, yet? :/

KDR_11kMay 20, 2007

2009

Lucariofan99August 01, 2013

I'am going to say it: a B*&^%^ing nine!
FFFFOOOCCCUUUSSS BBBLLLAAASSSTTT!!!

pokepal148August 01, 2013

ok this is getting annoying.

what you have done by making that post(and many like it) in a topic that has been dead for months if not years is a frowned upon practice generally called forum necromancy, I however prefer to use the term "zombie thread"
http://www.motorcycleforums.net/forum/attachments/suzuki/25297d1309921005-intruder-recall-zombie-thread.jpg

seriously when the forum says that little thing about the thread having not been posted in for over 120 days,  the general idea is don't post in it unless you have something actually worthy of discussion to offer.

Basically...

http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachments/f2/740003d1340027751-what-do-you-folks-think-about-bulova-watches-zombie_thread.jpg

OblivionAugust 01, 2013

And guess what pokepal? You now know what the rest of us felt like when you first joined.

TJ SpykeAugust 01, 2013

Bring up a 6+ year old thread just to say you don't like the score? That is just ridiculous. pokepal s right, this has to stop. It's frowned upon on forums to bring up threads more than a few months old unless you have something significant to add to it. And it's almost never OK to bump a 6 year old thread.

pokepal148August 01, 2013

amusingly enough the only reason i prefer the term "zombie thread" is because there is a much better variety of images to use.

Lucariofan99August 01, 2013

Lol

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Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl Box Art

Genre RPG
Developer Game Freak

Worldwide Releases

na: Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl
Release Apr 22, 2007
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl
Release Sep 28, 2006
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl
Release Jul 27, 2007
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+
aus: Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl
Release Jun 21, 2007
PublisherNintendo
RatingParental Guidance
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