Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for Nintendo Switch review: A fun but basic remake for new and old fans

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for Nintendo Switch review: A fun but basic remake for new and old fans

Source: iMore

There has been a lot of controversy with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, a remake of the original Gen IV games. When they were first announced, many fans were bored by the chibi-style aesthetics of the outside world. As more mechanics were whizzed out, even more criticism, both justified and ridiculous, emerged.

Unfortunately, these little complaints are typical of all Pokémon games released, so it can be hard to know if a Pokémon game is good or not, by talking fandom. After all, many fans threatened to boycott Pokémon Sword and Shield, but it ended up being a fun game (if nothing phenomenal) and became the third best-selling Pokémon RPG in the franchise.

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Having beaten Brilliant Diamond, I can definitely say that this is an enjoyable adventure. It sticks to the original DS games while improving some mechanics that were cumbersome in the originals. More could have been done to make it stand out as a remake, but it’s a fun time for all Poké fans.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl titles

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Bottom line: While some of the issues from the original DS games are still present, this is a fun Pokémon game for people of all ages. The main game is entertaining and there is plenty to keep you entertained after beating the Elite Four and becoming champion.

The good

  • The fun of any Pokémon game
  • Beautiful battle areas
  • Updated mechanics from the originals
  • Fun Grand Underground
  • Lots of post-game content

The bad one

  • Invisible barriers
  • Fire type scarcity
  • Hardly any platinum content

Disclaimer: This review was enabled by a review code from Nintendo. The company did not see the content of the notification before publication.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: What is good

Pokemon Bdsp Barry And Player

Source: iMore

Category Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Title Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Developer ILCA
Publisher Nintendo
Genre Adventure, role-playing
Game size 6.7 GB
Play time 35 hours
Players Single
Format Download / playing cards
Launch price $ 60

One of the most beautiful things about Pokémon, including Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, is that it appeals to people of all ages. It may be a child’s first introduction to RPGs with its cute creature design and simple combat mechanics, but it may also be a veteran gamer’s dream where they focus on complex attacks and EV training. No wonder Pokémon is the biggest franchise ever.

The Pokémon formula has really not changed much since the first Pokémon games, Red and Blue, were released back in the late 90’s. Given that this is a “faithful remake” of the original Gen IV DS games, there are even fewer things that break that form than there are in later Gens. Running around collecting Pokémon, trading with others, and defeating all the gymnastics leaders and an evil team is pretty par for the course, but it’s still a fun ride, no matter how many times I experience it. Fortunately, there are a few eye-catching things worth cheering into in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Beautiful battle areas

It’s a little silly that I can praise this part of the game so much, but most 3D core Pokémon games that led up to this point have had really bland and almost non-existent battle areas. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s battlefields, however, are a pleasure to watch. Lots of attention to detail, including background changes depending on the time of day, was included and makes these fight sequences feel more developed than ever before. Sometimes I stop fighting just to admire the beautiful scenery.

Grand Underground expansion

Pokemon Bdsp Grand Underground

Source: iMore

Players could go underground, dig for treats and create secret bases in the original games. However, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl add Pokémon Hideaways to the Grand Underground. These areas basically function as Sword and Shield’s Wild Area, where wild Pokémon can roam the upper world and be engaged in combat.

The kind of Pokémon that spawn here depends on the Hideaway or biome that the player is in, and some Pokémon spawn only rarely, making you want to visit regularly. In addition, the Grand Underground map is large with lots of different biomes to explore, so there is plenty to do.

Fortunately, you can increase the chances of specific Pokémon types popping up by placing statues in your secret base. These statues must be extracted from the underground walls of a digging mini-game. Fossils, spheres, scales, evolutionary rocks like Fire or Thunder and more can also be found down here.

Luckily, rare green statues can be uncovered while digging, increasing the chances of specific Pokémon types popping up even more when placed in the secret base. I was so drawn to mining and statue hunting that I often went down there during my entire adventure. I even spent four hours in a row in the Grand Underground before at some point returning to the main story.

HM’s changes and other quality improvements

Pokemon Bdsp Bibarel

Source: iMore

The original games had a total of eight HMs, or Pokémon features, that allowed players to advance to locations previously blocked for them. For example, teaching a Pokémon Surf allowed players to swim across the water. Unfortunately, with so many HMs, people had to settle for HM-compatible Pokémon they did not want. That is why so many people had Bidoof and Bibarel in their party as they could learn so many of these traits.

HMs like Surf are performed by wild Pokémon so you do not have to teach them to your team.

The re-recordings solve this problem by making HMs act as apps on your Pokétch device. Just select HM from your Pokémon Watch and Wild Pokémon will jump in to perform the HM action for you. You do not have to get your Pokémon to learn any of them. In addition, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl allude to the original HM complications by letting a wild Bidoof and Bibarel perform many of the HM acts like Rock Climb, Cut and Surf, which is fun.

Pokemon Bdsp Move Efficiency

Source: iMore

The game also allows for automatic storage, but players can also save manually. You can even turn off auto-save, which is useful if you are on the hunt or if you accidentally defeat a legendary one without capturing it and need to reload your last save.

The fight has also become a little easier. If you have defeated a Pokémon species at least once, you will be able to see if your moves are effective against it when choosing an attack or another member of your party. That way, you do not have to worry about the big and sometimes confusing system board while fighting.

Pokemon Bdsp Exp Share

Source: iMore

The most controversial improvement in quality of life is the inclusion of Exp. Share, making it so that all Pokémon in your team earn EXP points when you defeat an opponent. While this is useful for keeping everyone on the same level without having to grind as much, it’s frustrating for players looking for a more challenging replay as it can not be turned off.

Post game content

Pokemon Bdsp Mesprit

Source: iMore

You can easily spend more than 35 hours playing through content after the game.

As with most Pokémon games, the post-game content of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl provides you with dozens of hours of entertainment. More battle-focused players can EV train in Battle Tower. Anyone wishing to complete the National Dex can track Lake Trio Legendaries or work on unlocking Legendaries from previous games at Ramanas Park. There are also rare statues to reveal in Grand Underground digging mini-games, or you can go on a shiny hunt with Poké Radar.

There really is something for every kind of Pokémon player to enjoy after hitting the main game, and you can easily spend more than 35 hours working on it all. But since you have already beaten the game by this time, it feels relaxed and more relaxing to achieve everything you want.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: What is not good

Pokemon Bdsp Slugma

Source: iMore

One of my biggest complaints with the remake is the same one I had for the original DS games. There are not many Fire Pokémon to encounter during your journey, so anyone who does not choose Chimchar as their starter is at a disadvantage.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl attempts to correct this are with Grand Underground, where certain biomes allow you to encounter Fire-type Pokémon from the National Pokédex before hitting the Elite Four. However, they are still few and far between. Not to mention, it can be hard to find them unless you know exactly where to go in the vast caves. Far more Fire Pokémon appear after unlocking National Dex, but at that point you do not need them that much.

Spatial consciousness

Pokemon Bdsp follows Gengar

Source: iMore

Another thing I found small but annoying is the invisible barriers in the game. You may be running around and having such a hard time getting around a rock because it takes up more space than it looks in the upper world. This also comes into play with any Pokémon that follows you. Do not get me wrong, I had a buddy behind me as soon as I could, but you bump into them and they can make it hard to get around them when they are in a cramped place.

Where is the platinum content?

Pokemon Giratina

Source: iMore

The original Diamond and Pearl had a follow-up game called Platinum that introduced new locations and new Pokémon to the Sinnoh story. Many had expected to see some of this content in the remakes, but unfortunately they have almost no Platinum content.

Who knows. Maybe in the future there will be some free or paid DLC that brings some of these things into play.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: Are you going to play it?

Pokemon Bdsp Fantina Battle

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out of 5

As a remake, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are by no means groundbreaking. But like any Pokémon game, they are still fun to play. You can not go wrong with the basic training battle and Pokémon capture formula. While I appreciate the HM changes, the Grand Underground expansion, and the amount of other quality-of-life improvements over the originals, I wish more had been done to spice up these games. More Platinum content should at least have been included.

Finding a powerful Fire Pokémon if you did not choose Chimchar as your starter is not easy as there are hardly any of these burning creatures until after the game. Still, I really enjoyed my throughput and still have plenty to do now that I’ve beaten the game, so it’s definitely something you can sink your time into. If you’re a Pokémon fan or are curious to play these Pokémon games, you should definitely check them out.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl titles

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Bottom line: Run around and fight against gym leaders and catch Pokémon in this classic RPG formula. There are several quality improvements and enough content after the game to entertain you for hours.

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