Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl Review — A Semi-Precious Gem

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.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl Review - A Semi-Precious Gem

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. 

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl Review - A Semi-Precious Gem

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. 

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl Review - A Semi-Precious Gem

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.

I am a Platinum lover and an ex- Cod-aholic. I've been playing games since I was 5 years old and I refuse to quit, despite my mother's attempts to get me to. God of War and its successors are my all time favorite games.

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