This game was one of the defining games I played when I was younger, whilst it was not the first Pokémon game I had ever played, it was the one that sparked my love for the franchise. Previously I had played Pokémon Saphire but Diamond was the game that blew me away. Somehow managing to improve on everything that had come before it and still somehow stay the same, this was one of the best games in the entire series.
When talking about Pokémon games, graphics aren’t really things you talk about. They always seem to be a few years behind other games, yet they still remain amazing games nonetheless. Diamond and Pearl was the first Pokémon game on the Nintendo DS (not including Mystery Dungeon) and as such it added a plethora of new features. The touchscreen allowed for a number of new mini-games and the dual screens allowed you to control what happened in battle using the DS Stylus.
The game had a rich story and stands out as one of the most in-depth of all the series so far, with mythology being explored in ways that it had never been before. It introduced us to the evil Team Galactic as they attempt to use the powers of either Dialga or Palkia to alter the region forever and create a new world in their image. With plenty of new legendary Pokémon introduced in this game, it made collecting them all, even more fun. With a heavier focus on the mythos of each Pokémon, it was fun to try to unravel the secrets of the game world.
Diamond and Pearl felt like the first time the Pokémon franchise had ventured fully into the world of JRPGs, whilst always being one by name, the franchise always felt very westernised. Battles were made more exciting as new animations were added, taking good advantage of the DS system. The idea of the PokéWatch in the game was ahead of its time and allowed the player to access information about their game, from the touch screen. This included a mini-map, step-counter (good for egg catching) and a viewer for your team.
Overall this was the game that paved the way for future games in the franchise, it brought the series into the present and many games in the series followed the format set by this game. It’s sequel Platinum, only improved on an otherwise great game by adding even more mythos and secrets to the world of Pokémon. In conclusion Diamond and Pearl were huge games in the series that redefined the tone of Pokémon and helped bring back fans of the older games as their tastes in gaming altered. Diamond and Pearl are currently pretty hard to find pre-owned because of the release of Pokémon Go, but in the UK you can pick it up for a hefty £35 at CeX. Ebay isn’t much cheaper.
We plan to flashback to a few more classic Pokémon games in the next few weeks so until then, keep it G33k!