Faded pearl, rough diamond.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl stay true to their source, but miss out on important innovations from later generations.
to me Pokemon Brilliant Diamond on Shining Pearl Review, Michele rediscovers the Chinoh area. Fifteen years later, it seems almost unchanged.
A few years ago, Pokémon GO reached a new audience by letting you go out into the outside world for the first time to complete your Pokémon collection. Early days fans know better, of course, because that’s exactly what it was like at the end of the ’90s. Young people scoured the playing field with the Game Boy and Link Cable in search of like-minded people to develop The Haunter of Kadabra. For three generations, this was also the way to trade in Pokémon, until the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl changed everything. Wi-Fi support for the Nintendo DS suddenly made it possible to trade Pokemon or engage in battles with trainers from all over the world. For this reason alone, the fourth generation is an important milestone. Fifteen years later, developer ILCA is still very loyal to the remastered source material, quickly showing that not all elements of the original games are equally obsolete.
The basic recipe for the game Pokemon is now widely known. As an ambitious young trainer, you can go out into the world to expand your Pokémon collection, collect badges, and in between, challenge the local criminal organization. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remained very loyal to that formula at the time and the recreations didn’t change much. Additional narrative content that was introduced in Pokémon Platinum at that time is also missing from the new releases. In addition, the range of wild Pokémon that you encounter during your adventure is almost unchanged. In particular, not having a Fire-Pokémon to add to your team is again an issue during the early hours of these reruns. So the story and construction of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is a missed opportunity to correct some flaws from the original games.
In terms of visuals, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are a step back compared to previous games. Using a ‘chibi’ graphic style with elaborate and slightly detailed characters in the outside world doesn’t have the same amazing effect as previous Switch versions. With Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, the series debuted on the big screen three years ago and for the first time, you can explore the outside world from an over-the-shoulder perspective that depicts the world with an impressive eye for detail. So a return to the classic bird’s eye view tastes very pungent.
However, the ILCA makes up for the disappointment depicted during the fights. There, the characters have a full 3D model, and the look of your Pokemon has never been more detailed. ILCA gets the most out of the Switch, allowing attacks to spread from your screen without causing a drop in frame rate. Regardless of perspective, the Shinnoh area itself is more impressive than ever thanks to the graphic power of the Switch. Shinnoh’s wide range of environments is a great bonus. You will once again explore several islands, Snowpoint Glacier City and the magnificent Coronet Mountain in the center of the region.
Some innovations from previous games have been missed. For example, this time the Pokémon no longer roams the underworld, again forcing you to blindly sweep through the grassy areas to replenish your Pokédex. Other elements from previous games have been taken over with great carelessness. Unlike the original games, it is impossible to disable “Sharing Experience”, but the level of your opponents has not been adjusted accordingly. Diamond and Pearl now wasn’t the most challenging game at the time, but the difficulty level of the new releases is laughable. In other words, developer ILCA is not able to implement the correct items from the previous games in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Even a few completely new items don’t all have the same quality. For example, it is now possible to have your favorite Pokemon following you, but the effect is very clumsy. After all, your Pokemon’s speed in the world is determined by its combat speed. As a result, a slow behemoth like Tortera can barely keep up with what you want and teleports always next to you instead of actively following you. In the end, the only major improvement to the gameplay is the revamped Grand Underground. After just a few hours you can explore this underground cave complex to build your secret base, find fossils and catch rare Pokemon. So it is always a pleasure to visit new corners of the subway. All in all, the new items in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl make up a mixed whole.
The fourth generation of Pokémon games is still a milestone because of the online component. In many other regions, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl have aged much less, and this is also reflected in the new versions. Those who want to relive games from their childhood with enhanced graphics will find the perfect games in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Do expect a remake that lacks many of the improvements from past generations and also doesn’t have the same graphically impressive effect. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are finally a decent remake of an important Pokémon generation, but in many ways.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are now available for the Nintendo Switch.
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