Pokemon Diamond – Reviewed – Nintendo DS

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by Daniel de Bruyne

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Pokémon fans excite, the challenge to be the best Pokémon master is on, all over again! Nintendo and Game Freak have brought Pokemon to the DS in the form of a very well rounded package with a pocket full of new features and upgrades.

Sticking however, to the core look and feel recipe of all previous releases, Pokémasters can look forward to over 100 new Pokémon and 25 older ones that you will fondly remember, sharper graphics, improved tunes, modified game play, a new yet familiar story line and a whole new world to explore.

Find out more, after the jump.

tn_565_1.jpgWorking very nicely with the built in real time clock, “Sinnoh” is the name of the new region where the game begins, and players start out by choosing whether to play as a boy or girl during the journey to becoming champion. Pokémon veterans will immediately feel at home with the layout and graphics of the game, however refined, to be classic Pokémon with town scenes and interaction with locals remaining minimal and cute. In the wild, a nice improvement is that in previous games, it seemed almost impossible to take 3 steps without being assaulted by one or other Pokévermin lurking in the wild, and the “run away” feature didn’t always work, leaving you with knocked out Pokémon before long, however in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, this is slightly less of an issue, and the option to “run away” is much more effective, leaving you to be on your merry way. Battles with Pokémon are laid out very much the same, however, the Pokémon and their attacks have been animated nicely and the touch pad controls keep things interesting.

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Unfortunately, minimal use is made of Nintendo Dual Screen technology, but it does not hamper the gamer in any way, but you might find yourself wondering if there is more you should be doing with your stylus. On the technical side, there are quite a few features that you can spend your time fiddling with, like the ability to import Pokémon from your previous Nintendo GBA game cartridges by inserting them into the GBA cartridge slot on the Nintendo DS. Online play is also available if pre-arranging with another Pokémon player (friend codes required), you can engage in online battles, trade and even voice chat with each other, however, in Wi-Fi mode no codes are necessary and you can do all of this so long as you are within Wi-Fi range.

For Pokémon lovers, this game quenches every Pokémon need, and is definitely a “gottagetit”, however, for gamers looking for something new and exciting, Pokémon Diamond or Pearl might not be the best choice, if you didn’t enjoy or take interest in previous Pokémon releases, you probably won’t find anything new in Pokémon Diamond or Pearl to make you splash your cash.

Gameplay: 7/10 [Great “Collect ’em all” RPG, but minimal use of DS controls]

Presentation: 6/10 [ Although we know that sticking to the Pokémon recipe is important, but we also know and expect that DS can do more, and hopefully we’ll see it future releases]

Sound: 6/10 [ A slight improvement, but more is possible]

Value: 7/10 [ Great for the Pokémon fan or new player, very decent playtime, online & WiFi battle, trade and chat ability plus the ability to download Pokémon from previous games ]

Overall: 6.5/10 [Addictive, easy and a good mobile “flip and play”. ]

Last Updated: October 21, 2008

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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