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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Role-Playing / Strategy

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Gamefreak

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

May 2007

 

 

- Instantly accessible for Pokémon fans and easy for newcomers to learn

- Engaging turn-based combat

- Great multiplayer options

- Quite possibly the best Pokémon game ever

 

 

- Doesn't appear to take much advantage of the DS hardware

- Seven-year olds the world over are waiting to kick your butt

 

 

Review: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team (DS)

Review: Pokémon Dash (DS)

Review: Spectrobes (DS)

 

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Pokémon Diamond and Pearl

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

pokemon diamond and pearl          pokemon diamond and pearl

 

Seven and a half hours of arduous battle behind me – defeating countless wild pokémon, capturing some, and challenging dozens of other pokémon trainers – my save game was deleted by my seven-year old son.  As I gnashed my teeth over seven and a half hours of lost progress, I had no idea of what would come next.  Out of curiosity I loaded my son’s saved game.

 

It was a mistake really; I should have just started another game.

 

Not only was he further in the game than me, he had Pokémon in his party that I had never seen before, his lead Pokémon was eight levels higher than the best I 

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had, and he had two trainer badges compared to my one.  The cherry on top of this kick to the gaming solar plexus was that he’d put in less than four hours!

 

At that low point I swore off playing against anyone I couldn’t see.  Pokémon Diamond and Pearl features local wireless and wifi play against people from around the globe and it works

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great, but I couldn’t help but think everybody was probably between 7 and 9 years of age.  The single-player game was much more my speed and I never had my gaming confidence slapped around.

 

While I haven’t played all the Pokémon games, I’d say this is the most polished and refined pokémon game I’ve played.  (There are no substantial differences between Diamond and Pearl versions – just a few Pokémon.)  The plot’s predictable as all get out, but that’s not the reason people play Pokémon.  It’s all about battling and capturing Pokémon (reportedly upwards of 400 Pokémon are included), and seeking out the really rare Pokémon – some of them only appear on specific days – while strategizing all the way in the turned based combat.

 

pokemon diamond and pearl          pokemon diamond and pearl

 

The rock/paper/scissors dynamic is just as addictive as ever.  Unless you’re already familiar with the types of Pokémon figuring out if they’re a rock, paper, or scissors can take a bit of time and reading the description of each Pokémon you catch.  It pays off to do so because then even a lower level Pokémon can become a dangerous weapon against a high level opponent(s).  Eventually you will intuitively know what Pokémon to bust out at the appropriate time.

 

As the first true Pokémon game on DS – Pokémon Dash doesn’t count and although Pokémon Ranger was good effort it was not a true Pokémon game – one can be forgiven if a razz-a-mataz presentation and use of all of the features of the DS would be included.  Though the touchscreen can be used during battle and to navigate the menus, it’s not necessary and though the game does look good it doesn’t break from the typical Pokémon style, though there are few nifty little touches.  All this is just fine – we play Pokémon for the battles.

 

Pokémon Diamond or Pearl will satisfy any fan of the previous games: it’s accessible, it’s fun, it features online play and trading, and the battles are more involved than ever, and you’ll get hours of enjoyment out of it – as long as you play against people your own age.

 

- Omni

(May 29, 2007)

 

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