Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Perhaps disappointed some of the show’s most devoted fans with their truncated Pokédexes, but that doesn’t seem to have hurt them much among the game-buying audience. The two titles are, collectively, the fifth best-selling game in Switch history, lagging behind only Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Switch iterations of Smash Bros. and Animal crossing, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. These are the bestsellers Pokemon games since Pokémon Gold and Money were released during the heyday of Pokémania in the late 90s and early 2000s, over two decades ago.
Part of Sword‘s and ProtectThe appeal of, as we explored a bit in our review, was that they used the extra hardware power of the Switch to create a true console-sized adventure, creating a world with an awesome sense of life. scale and the first free roaming overworld areas of the series. . There were still some weird quirks – story cutscenes with mouth movements but no spoken dialogue comes to mind – but it seemed like the series had finally broken free from some of the conventions it was about. relied on from the earliest Game Boy entries.
In this context, Shiny Diamond Pokémon and Shining Pearl Pokémon can’t help but feel a little disappointing. The games are true to their source material, but that source material is a pair of games released on the original Nintendo DS in 2007, and the originals and remakes are much closer to the series’ Game Boy roots. It’s not that there aren’t any improvements, it’s just that even compared to others Pokemon redone, Brilliant diamond and Shiny pearl feel useless.
they are Pokemon Games
The shortest, truest review I can write Shiny Diamond Pokémon and Shiny pearl is that they are Pokemon Games. If you want Pokemon games, you will probably enjoy them. If you don’t care about Pokemon games, these won’t change your mind.
As in most of the other entries in the series, you start the game as a youngster without Pokémon who has waited until now to get your first Pokémon, even though everyone you talk to is constantly chatting about Pokémon. After receiving a pre-captured monster from a local eccentric scholar, you quickly master basic concepts that no one else in the world seems to understand, such as “carry six Pokémon with you at all times” and “use more than one. type of Pokémon “. You explore the Sinnoh region, catch new Pokémon, and earn badges from Gym leaders, until you use your monster fighting skills to achieve cultural and strategic hegemony at the top of the Sinnoh Pokémon League. .
Catching, raising, and fighting Pokémon has always been the foundation of the series, and the rock-paper-scissor style combat system is still fairly easy to learn but difficult to master. And as much as I miss Sword‘sand Protectwith more ambitious graphics and design, developer ILCA did a smart job of merging the cute chibi art style used in the outside world with the more realistic rendering Sword and Protect-like 3D characters and arenas used for battles. And for young players who enjoyed the Pokémon Let’s Go games, the simpler and more linear structure of Brilliant diamond and Shiny pearl will be easier to follow and understand than Sword and Protect.
But for series veterans, there are parts of Brilliant diamond and Shiny pearl that look threadbare, especially for a $ 60 console game. The level grinding, rigidly linear exploration, barely there history, bland dialogue, and simple town and town conceptions are all too familiar at this point. And the places you visit and the characters you meet (including this iteration’s Team Rocket-esque petty crime gang, Team Galactic) are some of the least memorable in the series. There is rarely a reason to revisit the locations on Sinnoh’s map after you’ve been there once (other than picking berries you’ve planted), and you need to delve deeper into the main story before being challenged by most. of the coaches or gym leaders you fight.
One bright spot – and one of the most significant additions from the remakes to the original game – is the Grand Underground, an underground network of tunnels that runs beneath the entire Sinnoh region. The original games had a similar underground area, where you could dig up and trade rare items and create and decorate “secret bases” to show your friends while playing over Wi-Fi. The remakes expand the network of tunnels with rooms themes designed around different biomes. Each of these rooms is filled with biome-appropriate Pokémon, and those Pokémon are visible on the map rather than being random encounters.
It’s as close as the diamond and pearl the remakes happen to Sword and Protect‘s Wild Area, and from start to mid-game, the Grand Underground serves as a convenient way to catch a wider variety of Pokémon to complete your squad roster. Exploring each of these rooms and playing the item finder mining mini-game are two fun ways to break up the main adventure when it gets too monotonous.
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