Review: Pokémon Diamond/Pearl [Nintendo DS]

It’s POKÉMON, as in Pokémon: Gotta catch ‘em all! …All 493!


I went into my local Game Crazy on release day to pick up my reserved copy. I had been excited for 8 months for the new Pokémon gems, Diamond and Pearl, for the Nintendo DS. I came home and played Pokémon for hours on end. The next school week, nearly everyone with a DS had at least one copy of the game—and this is high school!

Story: 8/10

The story has been the same since the original Red and Green. You start out in a small town and must travel all over the new Sinnoh region to become the champion and catch ‘em all!

Gameplay: 10/10

These are definitely the best Pokémon games yet! There are 493 monsters to catch, eight badges to obtain, and an entire world (the real world) of trainers to battle! In the beginning of the game, you receive one of three starters: Turtwig, Chimchar, or Piplup. You journey out into the world, train and capture Pokémon, battle trainers, build a base, enter contests, trade friends, and much, much more! Welcome to the world of Pokémon. At the core, this game is just like the others, but it is far more in depth.

Graphics: 8/10

For a DS game, this game has average graphics. The overworld looks AWESOME in 3D, but unfortunately all the Pokémon are still simple sprite images. However, even though this game is filled with sprites, it still looks top-notch. In-battle moves look beautiful and smooth, transitions are elegant, and there are small graphics-related surprised just about everywhere in the game.

Sound: 10/10

There are hundreds of sound effects in the game. Every Pokémon has a (almost) unique cry. There are lots of sounds for the various moves that the Pokémon use.

Music: 10/10

In my opinion, this game has the best music of all the Pokémon games. There are so many awesome battle themes. The route themes are great and give the experience of going to a new area. The music fits the mood perfectly most of the time. You might even stand around in an area just to hear the great tunes this game has to offer. I almost always play with the sound on.

Touch screen features: 9/10

The touch screen, one of the key features of the DS, improves battling tenfold! Instead of using the clunky buttons, you can simply tap options on the touch screen. The onscreen buttons are pretty large, as well, so those with big thumbs can still use it. The touch screen can be used for the entire battle or to operate the Pokétch. The Pokétch is an in-game watch-like accessory. It sits on the bottom screen once you get to a certain point in the game. It's a pretty handy item with interesting options. It has a clock, timer, Pokémon status bars, pedometer, and quite a few more add-ons! There are a number of other touch screen features, such as the Underground and fossil hunting.

Multiplayer: 10/10

This was one of the original reasons why Pokémon was created. You can trade and battle with your friends without any annoying link cables. Some newer features include the ability to communicate and share data with your friends.

Wi-Fi: 9/10

One of the best features of the game, Wi-Fi allows you to connect over the Internet with just about anyone else with a copy of either Diamond or Pearl. You're required to have a friend code to battle or do a direct trade, but there is also the fully open Global Trade Station, which you can find at There are plenty of opportunities to snag rare Pokémon, get someone else's Pokémon, and get rid of unnecessary Pokémon. There are lots of possibilities online.

Play time: 10/10

This is one of the key features that all Pokémon games have. After you “beat” the game, you're far from finished. This is one of those games that you can easily get over 100 hours on, and for diehard fans, over 1,000! That's just because there's so much to do to keep you coming back. After beating the game, you can take on the Battle Tower challenge, continue to hunt down the rest of the elusive Pokémon, and re-battle in-game trainers. Oh, you can always train up new Pokémon to become level 100 battlers and go up against all your friends. I played Pearl for four months straight (then I bought Diamond); that just shows how great it is!

Replayability: 8/10

Unfortunately, all Pokémon games have that infamous single file. If you want to play again, you'll have to buy a second copy or erase your already-existing file. Most people who have played for hundreds of hours usually won't want to do that, so the best option would be to get a copy of the version you don't have.

Final: 10/10

This is such an awesome game that just about anyone will like. (Even people that hate Pokémon will play this!) This game is so in depth, yet so simple that just about anybody can play it. Casual players can just zip through the main storyline, while hardcore players can slowly go through, meticulously training Pokémon to overly-excessive levels at early points in the game. This is one of those games that don't really depreciate until the next generation comes out. Have at it! Just about everyone plays it, so you don't really have to worry about being ashamed of playing it in public. The age range on this game is everywhere from 5-year-olds to seniors.

Buy/Rent/Emulate/No: BUY!

You have a DS but you don't have this game?! Get out there and buy yourself a copy! Emulation for the DS is pretty terrible and will be for a while, and renting is just plain stupid.


Pokémon: Gotta catch ‘em all!