Review by RedBollu

"Oh yeah!-Pokemon is back, and it's better than ever!"

I have loved the pokemon games ever since they were first released. I have had at least one Pokemon game from each generation, and I have loved them all. Their fun is neverending. Seriously. Well here it is-my review for Pokemon Diamond, and, if you like, Pokemon Pearl aswell, seeing as they are basically the same game.


Ah, the most important aspect of a game in my opinion. Pokemon Diamond is essentially the same as previous games, except with tweaks and improvements here and there. Yes, the game is turn based, yes, you can only have six pokemon, and yes, there are no new pokemon types, but boy, it never gets boring. Pokemon Diamond gets all the innovations from all the previous games and chucks them all in the game. The battle animations and screen are on the top Ds screen, whereas the other battle options are designated at the bottom screen. You can choose these options by using your stylus, or by the good old A and B buttons. The main aspects of the battles is to defeat trainers, get money, and level up your pokemon, and in some circumstances, evolve them. You also roam around the world, looking for pokemon to catch, some are very common, whereas some can only be found at a certain location, time, date, etc. Also, new methods of evolving have been introduced to the game. Some pokemon can only evolve after meeting a certain criteria, such as learning a new move, or leveling it up at a certain location. You basically go around, defeating gym leaders of different towns and cities, so you can earn your gym badges and finally battle the Elite 4 ( the toughest trainers around ), which is reminiscent of the previous Pokemon installments. Like always, you have a rival who will battle you, although the rivals are a lot more gentle than in the previous games. There are also different side missions and other things you can do. These include breeding pokemon, so you can have the ultimate pokemon, and train it in specific areas so it becomes more powerful than normal. However, this is sometimes a lengthy process, and the components of which are too complicated to explain here. Also, different controls have been allocated to different buttons. WIFI has also been implemented in the game. In previous generations, if you didn't have a friend around the block who played Pokemon, you were more or less screwed when it came to different things. Not anymore. Now, you can make friends over the internet, battle you friend who live across the world, and trade worldwide. Neat, huh?



As ever, you are a young teenager who leaves your home town to become the best trainer in your region. Yes, that includes saying bye to your mum, and as ever, acquiring a starter pokemon through helping the professor in some way. And yes, you fight an organisation of bad guys, so all in all, it is exactly the same as previous installments, except for a few things, such as mysteries concerning the legendary pokemon, etc.



Dum Dum Du---Oh, sorry! I was just listening to one of the Pokemon Diamond tunes. Pokemon Diamond's orchestral score is one of the best yet in all of the pokemon franchise. Nearly all the tunes are catchy and upbeat. Sometimes I find myself just flying to a certain place in the game to hear it's music-it's that good. All of the pokemon is good, and the music in this game definitely lives up to expectations. The melodies often provide a pleasant atmosphere to the game, and the music also fits to every occasion. For example, when in a cave, you will hear a fittingly eerie melody, whereas when you are battling a legendary pokemon, you hear an also appropriate awe inspiring melody. Previous generation pokemon have also retained their familiar cries. However, some cries of the new pokemon are down right annoying, such as Kricketune.



Ok-I'll admit it-the pokemon designs this time round are rather, shall we say, un-inspired. Most of them are bland, and uninteresting, for example, Carnivine and Bidoof. Yuck. They are boring to look at, and in my opinion I think Gamefreak must have been half asleep when they were designing some pokemon for Pokemon Diamond. It's a shame really, because I have always thought that Gamefreak have always had good imaginations. Still, they still must have some, for thinking of around 140 new pokemon after they have previously designed over 300 pokemon is a feat in itself. Most of the cool pokemon, however, can only be obtained by trading, and other hard methods, which leaves people without the things to do these methods quite dissapointed. You will also encounter nearly the same pokemon on all the routes of the game, such as Buizel, Bibarel, and other common pokemon.



The games are 2D/3D. When not battling, the areas of the game are pretty much 3D, but when battling and looking at your pokemon's stats, the graphics still remain 2D. Many people complain about this, but it really doesn't bother me the slightest. Pokemon animations have also been put back into the game. Pokemon animations were first introduced in Pokemon Crystal, and only made it back in the game when Pokemon Emerald was released. The animations also add a new feel to the game. For instead of just seeing a motionless sprite, with a noise associated with it, you now see your pokemon moving. For example, Infernape ( a monkey pokemon, which it's first form, Chimchar, is one of the starters, and it is also the starter I chose ) makes a few jumps, which resembles what a monkey really would do. All the pokemon have animations, however some are just basic movements, such as moving from left to right, or moving their arms a bit. As with all the games, the images for the pokemon moves have been improved massively. The moves are now flashier, cooler, and are a joy to see.



Here we are-the end of this review. I hope you have enjoyed reading this review, and I also hope that I have given you some insight into Pokemon Diamond. Me and Pokemon have been through everything together. It has provided me with fun, and happiness when I have been sad. I've known it for nearly half of my life, and we have crossed many bridges and climbed many mountains together. It seems now that as we both get older, we still have new surprises left in us. Pokemon Diamond has kept me company, even if it does mean me recharging my Ds battery quite a lot. I've met new companions, and now with access to the internet, I can now battle and trade with people I would never thought I would battle and trade with.Pokemon is king of my Ds games. It tops Mario, Sonic, and the other Ds games I have. This game also brings back memories of the good old days of Gold, etc. Sure, I have been through the woes of losing pokemon, etc, but I look back on them now, and I know that it really has been an amazing experience. Pokemon Diamond is a truly awesome game-everything about it is good. It is pure fun, and that is all there is to it. Pokemon Diamond is a game that should be played by all pokemon fans, and also newcomers to the franchise. In short, pokemon just gets better and better. After the long wait I have endured to get this game, I must say, it has been worth it. Should Ken Sugimori pack up his bags?............Hell no! As long as there are pokemon games, I am going to buy every single one of them, and re-live the experiences that I have had nearly all my life. Pure brilliance.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/27/07

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