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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
9.0
Visuals
9.0
Audio
8.5
Gameplay
8.5
Features
9.0
Replay
9.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
DS
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
Game Freak
GENRE: RPG
PLAYERS:   1-8
RELEASE DATE:
April 22, 2007
ESRB RATING:
Everyone


IN THE SERIES
Pokemon Black

Pokemon White

Pokemon HeartGold

Pokemon SoulSilver

Pokemon Rumble

More in this Series
 Written by Matt Swider  on January 16, 2007

Import Impressions: A real diamond, no cubic zirconia telefang this time


The review continues below Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl take place in a new region named Sinnoh, a collection of towns, cities and islands that feature nearly every type of environment. It even contains a snowy environment in the northernmost region Tengan Mountain, a climate that hasn't been touched by the series before. The constantly falling flakes and numerous snow-covered trees represent the best sights within this major step up for the Pokemon franchise. In fact, the entire game looks considerably better than the last canon Game Boy Advance games due to the dual-screen advantage. Colors are more vibrant, character sprites have been enhanced and buildings no longer look like flat structures. Battle scenes still take place in that 2D sequence, but also benefit from the higher color palette that helps the game boast superior shading. The appearance of characters has been improved, but the process in which you play as a rookie Pokemon trainer hasn't been disturbed. As either a boy or a girl, players begin their quest to the Pokemon League Championship by meeting a new Professor, picking between three initial creatures and collecting hundreds more to completely fill out a Pokedex. The game's Pokedex accounts for the 151 new and old Pokemon, which brings the National Pokedex number to a whopping 493. Players can recapture creatures in the new game or upload previously captured Pokemon from an old GBA Pokemon game by sticking it into DS' second slot. While there are no new monster types in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, this extensive Pokedex puts you to the test. Connectivity to Pokemon predecessors is cool, but what's really interesting about the first real Pokemon game on DS is that it uses Wi-Fi and touch-screen technology. Up to eight trainers can battle and voice chat with each other via local wireless by using friend codes. They can also visit a Global Trading Station in order to search for a new Pokemon online or put one up for adoption. Best of all, trades can occur while offline. The touch-screen functions aren't as groundbreaking, but make the adventure more convenient. Pokemon are picked by touch and menus are streamlined using a stylus during the battle sequences in place of the traditional, still useable button controls. Brand new in-game technology is also fun to play around with like the wristwatch that helps you find hidden treasure or find out how to navigate Sinnoh with maps. Of course, it can tell time, too, which is another cool and import function of the game. You see, the game's time is set in real time and certain creatures only come out at night, while others only appear during the day. Adjusting your game time might be the easiest way to capture the Pokemon that don't have an adjustable sleeping time. Besides filling out your Pokedex and advancing to the League Championship, there are a lot of diversions along the way. There are eight gym bosses with merit badges and an always pesky rival who you love to defeat. There are nearly 100 Technical Machines (TMs) and a couple of Hidden Machines (HMs) to collect and a new team of villains to defeat. There are also pageant contests to put your Pokemon through as if you're a delusional Pokemon mother who never got that same opportunity to perform in your younger, unevolved years.
--> Editor's Note: Our review of the American version of Pokemon Diamond can be found here

Nintendo finally brings a true Pokemon game to its DS handheld with the release of Pokemon Diamond / Pokemon Pearl, the fourth generation of the ?Gotta Catch ?Em All? franchise. Both games have already debuted in Japan where they released in September 2006 and broke sales records for the series. There, Japanese gamers are trading, battling and chatting with each other via Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection. Meanwhile, players in North America must wait patiently before they can collect their first Pokemon of the 107 new creatures in this adventure. Diamond and Pearl don't materialize on shelves here until April 22, 2007. For now, there are a lot of exciting details being discovered from the imported versions to get all U.S. Pokefans perky.

The review continues below


Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl take place in a new region named Sinnoh, a collection of towns, cities and islands that feature nearly every type of environment. It even contains a snowy environment in the northernmost region Tengan Mountain, a climate that hasn't been touched by the series before. The constantly falling flakes and numerous snow-covered trees represent the best sights within this major step up for the Pokemon franchise. In fact, the entire game looks considerably better than the last canon Game Boy Advance games due to the dual-screen advantage. Colors are more vibrant, character sprites have been enhanced and buildings no longer look like flat structures. Battle scenes still take place in that 2D sequence, but also benefit from the higher color palette that helps the game boast superior shading.

The appearance of characters has been improved, but the process in which you play as a rookie Pokemon trainer hasn't been disturbed. As either a boy or a girl, players begin their quest to the Pokemon League Championship by meeting a new Professor, picking between three initial creatures and collecting hundreds more to completely fill out a Pokedex. The game's Pokedex accounts for the 151 new and old Pokemon, which brings the National Pokedex number to a whopping 493. Players can recapture creatures in the new game or upload previously captured Pokemon from an old GBA Pokemon game by sticking it into DS' second slot. While there are no new monster types in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, this extensive Pokedex puts you to the test.

Connectivity to Pokemon predecessors is cool, but what's really interesting about the first real Pokemon game on DS is that it uses Wi-Fi and touch-screen technology. Up to eight trainers can battle and voice chat with each other via local wireless by using friend codes. They can also visit a Global Trading Station in order to search for a new Pokemon online or put one up for adoption. Best of all, trades can occur while offline. The touch-screen functions aren't as groundbreaking, but make the adventure more convenient. Pokemon are picked by touch and menus are streamlined using a stylus during the battle sequences in place of the traditional, still useable button controls.

Brand new in-game technology is also fun to play around with like the wristwatch that helps you find hidden treasure or find out how to navigate Sinnoh with maps. Of course, it can tell time, too, which is another cool and import function of the game. You see, the game's time is set in real time and certain creatures only come out at night, while others only appear during the day. Adjusting your game time might be the easiest way to capture the Pokemon that don't have an adjustable sleeping time.

Besides filling out your Pokedex and advancing to the League Championship, there are a lot of diversions along the way. There are eight gym bosses with merit badges and an always pesky rival who you love to defeat. There are nearly 100 Technical Machines (TMs) and a couple of Hidden Machines (HMs) to collect and a new team of villains to defeat. There are also pageant contests to put your Pokemon through as if you're a delusional Pokemon mother who never got that same opportunity to perform in your younger, unevolved years.

Bottom Line
There's a lot to do in Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl, which looks as good as a top-down Pokemon game is going to get for some time. It also benefits more than any other sequel in the series from a predecessor due to online capabilities. We just have to wait for an English version to arrive on April 22.

Check out our highly-rated History of Pokemon feature



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