If you were lucky enough to have a Nintendo DS back in day, Pokémon Diamond And Pearl might dredge up some good memories for you. This remake will certainly drop you right into 2007 again, as it’s rather true to the original game. As usual, I’m happy to be able to relive a great generation of Pokémon…but the nostalgia wears off and just leads to what feels like never-ending moments of déjà vu.
However, this doesn’t take away from what makes Pokémon a tried and true formula, but the games don’t stand out of the crowd. The adjustments that developer ILCA made simply are not enough to put this remake in the top tier it easily could have achieved. Brilliant Diamond does get it right most of time, and the changes don’t hinder the game in any way–so at least that’s a plus.
What I really enjoy about this remake is the cute chibi art style, and a brilliant camera zoom-in smooshed faces when your character is speaking to certain NPCs. Obviously this wasn’t option over 10 years ago on the DS, but it can be even more adorable than the Pokémon themselves. In fact, the visual upgrades in general are great.
I love the classic top-down Pokémon games, but the super pixelated world could for sure make your eyes sore or give you a headache. If Nintendo decides to to remake more DS or Game Boy titles, this art style is perfect for the Switch. Its overhead view is crisp for the most part with only a few oddities, including a funky pixel map. When switching to the floor view during battle, it looks similar to that of Sword and Shield’s battle phase–although with less quality, but a lot of charm.
Some of the quality-of-life adjustments overall improve the enjoyment of the game, especially if you’ve played one of these titles before. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl has take a play from Sword and Shield’s book, giving Pokémon shared experience. This makes leveling Pokémon that much fast, allowing for a breezy pass through the Gym Leaders and the Elite 4. Hidden Moves were also added to the Pokétch (what is essentially an Apple Watch). Instead of having to strap moves like Cut and Rock Smash to a Pokémon, they are now stored in the Pokétch. Random wild Pokémon will assist you when using these Hidden Moves, so no need to worry about what’s in that Party.
As couple of added bonuses, the Pokémon Boxes can now be accessed from anywhere. Forget about having to go into town to find a Poké Center, it’s no longer a concern. A hint of personality was also thrown in, giving players the ability to select whatever Pokémon they like to follow them around.
Another major adjustment was to the Underground. It’s now call the Grand Underground and is more like elements of previous games rolled into one. Pokémon roam about in the Grand Underground, like the open Wild Areas in Sword and Shield. Some Pokémon can only be caught from within this area, making it a great place to explore.
If you’ve played Diamond of Pearl before, then nothing will ultimately surprise you. The upgrades will definitely be an appreciated tweak for those who have already dabbled in one of these games. For everyone young enough to never have played the original, this will be a stellar experience for you. Those improvements are going make a world of difference for first-timers, and I almost envy them for it. Although I would say Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl has some good adjustments, it overall lacks enough quality-of-life fixes to push it the category of amazing remakes. But it does scratch that classic Pokémon itch.