Recent Comments

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl game review

Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl begin much like any Pokemon game — you’re a kid who dreams of training Pokemon, and you run into a kindly professor who makes that dream come true. In this case the professor is named Rowan, not Oak or Elm, the professors from past Pokemon games.


Graphics: 7.0

Sound: 6.0

Gameplay: 9.0

Value: 9.0

Overall Score: 8.0 out of 10.0

Pros: The best thing about Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl is that they look and feel like a good old Pokemon game. The controls are the same, the goals are the same and the play is similar.

Cons: The new monsters are not especially cool, and some changes to the game aren’t that fun.

There are other story changes as well.

In the past, games began with the professor inviting you to his lab and giving you a Pokemon. As Diamond and Pearl open, you and a friend are exploring by a lake. You find a briefcase in tall grass and are attacked by two bird Pokemon called Starlys. Fortunately for you, that briefcase belonged to Professor Rowan, and you find three Pokeballs inside.

Your string of good fortune continues because after you defeat the wild Starlys, Professor Rowan informs you that the Pokemon you used on the Starlys has bonded with you.

Thus begins two Pokemon journeys: yours and your friend’s. (I’m not sure what your friend’s name will be. The game offers the names Barry and Tyson, among others. I named my friend Doofus, and he lived up to his name.)

You walk from town to town in a land called Sinnoh finding, capturing and training little monsters that you then enter in fights with other Pokemon. Sinnoh is vast and has some really fun puzzles, and some of the gyms make great use of the DS’s ability to render 3D.

As in other Pokemon games, winning fights earns you money, and it earns your Pokemon experience points that make them stronger and sometimes evolves them into more advanced versions of themselves.

One thing Pokemon games have always done right and continue to do right is to offer a certain rock-paper-scissors approach to combat. In many of the past games, you chose between a Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur for your first beast. If you took Charmander, a dragon, you could cook Bulbasaur, the plant Pokemon, in fights—but Squirtle, the water Pokemon, had your number. Squirtle, however, was vulnerable to Bulbasaur’s plant attacks. It all evened out.

Diamond and Pearl have that same rock-paper-scissors balance. The first three Pokemon are fire, water and plant creatures: Chimchar, Piplup and Turtwig.

One thing that stands out about Diamond and Pearl on Nintendo DS is how similar they are to the old Game Boy games. They still have the same turn-based fighting system, the same basic exploration and dialog controls. The game has changed only on the surface.

You can control some parts of Diamond and Pearl using the touch pad controls on the bottom screen, but I found it wasn’t worth the trouble. I played the game using standard Game Boy controls.

Instead of using the select and start buttons to bring out registered items, look for inventory and access your Pokedex, you now have X and Y buttons.

In past Pokemon games, you turned berries into blocks to feed them to your Pokemon. You did this by playing a mini-game in which you pressed a button as a centrifuge spun your berries around.

In Diamond and Pearl, the berry blender is replaced with a pot in which you stir your berries using your stylus as you cook them into Poffins. It’s a cute game that’s not bad, but it’s not especially fun, either.

Overall, if you liked past Pokemon adventures, you should like Diamond and Pearl. They preserve the old games well.

Change Can Be Good: Diamond and Pearl introduce some cool changes. One of these is a new Pokeball called a Heal Ball that lets you catch, heal and use wild Pokemon on the fly. If you’re going into an area where your favorite Pokemon run wild, you can leave an open slot in your party and catch that Pokemon with a Heal Ball. As soon as it’s yours, you can use it.

The biggest changes involve DS’s WiFi ability. In the past, you either needed to link Game Boys with a cable in order to battle other players or swap Pokemon with a friend. Later, Nintendo released a wireless controller for Game Boy, but you still needed to have your friends right there to swap or fight.

DS, with its WiFi compatibility, lets you take fights to the Internet. There’s even a wireless headset that lets you talk to friends as you battle them.

And Change Can Be Not-So-Good: If there’s one place Diamond and Pearl fall a bit flat, it’s in the area of new monsters. Between them, Diamond and Pearl offer more than 100 new monsters to collect. But these new monsters aren’t as cool as most of the originals. You begin with Turtwig, an adorable baby turtle with a tree growing from its head; Chimchar, a baby monkey with a flame on its tail; and Piplup, a baby penguin.


Turtwig, seen here in concept art, is one of the new and overly adorable starter creatures in Diamond and Pearl. He’s sort of a replacement for Bulbasaur.

These creatures are too cute to be cool — or even evolve into something cool.

Of course, there were some goofy original Pokemon. Let’s face it—Mr. Mime was downright embarrassing. But the new monsters include Burmy, which looks like a weed and evolves into Wormadam, which looks like a Chia Pet. That’s not to say you can’t get a kick out of the Diamond and Pearl Pokemon: Nintendo has added new animations to the mix, some of which have hilarious results. The one that really got me is the animation for Machop. It’s supposed to look like he’s boxing, but to me, it looks like he’s making funny duck-like noises by placing his right hand in his armpit and flapping his left arm over it.

On a less comical note, Nintendo has expanded the Pokemon contests in Diamond and Pearl, making them a bit dull.

More: Game tips | Pokemon primer | Games Guru Q&A

50 Comments on Pokemon Diamond and Pearl game review

  1. pokemon dude // June 4, 2007 at 6:24 pm // Reply

    I started out with turtwig at first but then restarted for chimchar. it is the best pokemon game ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i need to get rock climb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

  2. Diamond and Pearl rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t have the game, but my friend does so I play his Diamond version which is FREAKIN AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. POKEMON FOR EVER!!!~pokemon rule go pokemon ~jumps on table~

  4. Psychicmaster // June 4, 2007 at 5:46 pm // Reply

    You obtain strength from one of the ladies on the top floor of the lost tower, which is just south of Solaceon Town. Happy Dialga-catching!

  5. pokemon freak // June 4, 2007 at 5:20 pm // Reply

    i have 8 badges but cant get past victory road does some one have a map???????????

  6. I noticed in the magazine there was a picture of a town I’ve never been to were is it and what is its name???

  7. I have beaten the game and my pokemon are Empolion, Lucario,tortera,palika, azelf, and mesprite. I also have the unknown A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ! and ?. thats all 28! and in my leafgreen game I have MEW and every other pokemon!!!!!!

  8. bball50496 // June 4, 2007 at 4:46 pm // Reply

    Pokemon is awsome i have Lucario, Empoleon, and manehpy ill tell u how 2 get manehpy if someone can plz post were u get the HM STRENGTH!

    Thankyou and good Ridence

  9. flaming hot // June 4, 2007 at 4:38 pm // Reply

    it was very nice and all but the fact that you have to have all three regis is pretty gay but the pokemon dog in the special demonsion named acreause or something close to that but I have to wait for the message they send out to the games tht allows me to catch it so they had better send it quick

  10. I Just beat the 8th gym leader and I have in my party a Seelix, Empoleon, Luxray, Staraptor, Rapidash and Roserade. Also, When you are teamed up with another trainer and it won’t let you catch the awesome poke’mon there because there are two of them, just defeat the one you don’t want and then use a poke’ball. Pearl ROCKS!

  11. this game is AWESOME i mean it all the starters are AWESOME

  12. 356542878728640829070856464 // June 4, 2007 at 3:48 pm // Reply

    Yo Pyro, u gots 2 go to the lost tower ( by solaceon town) and get to the top. Then some dudes will give it to u, I think…..

  13. i really want this game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i’d get it but all i got is a gameboyAdvance!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Pyro Maniac // June 4, 2007 at 9:41 am // Reply

    I have Pokemon Diamond version and Pokemon Pearl version for the Nintendo DS. I’m playing Pokemon Diamond version and haven’t played Pokemon Pearl version yet. On Pokemon Diamond version I’m trying to figure out where to get the HM Strength because I am about to get the legendary pokemon Dialga which I have to go to activity lakefront which I have to check on my friend which I have to go to Mt. Coronet that’s what I need the HM Strength for. And for anybody who is getting ready to play Pokemon Diamond version and Pokemon Pearl version… get Piplup it’s the best. And if any body can… please tell me where you find the HM Strength on Pokemon Diamond version. I have all the best Pokemon games you can get which are Pokemon pinball for the Gameboy and Pokemon Trojei for the Nintendo DS and Pokemon Emerald version for the Gameboy advance. There is also a best Pokemon game that I don’t have which I want called Pokemon Colleseum for Gamecube. I have beat Pokemon Emerald version. And if anyone could please tell me where to get the HM Strength at let me know.

  15. to bubby

    Realy? I have Manephy to!

  16. Chimchar ROCKS!!!!!!!! Go Infernape!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. once i catch a likitung and evolve my riolu that will be my team

  18. my dream team is lucario,empoleon,fearow,likitung,manapy,and flareon.

  19. poemon 4 ever!!!!!but where did you get poke block in pearl???

  20. crack o lackin // June 3, 2007 at 8:08 pm // Reply

    im older but i still LOVE the pokemon games. I really think pearl and diamond are great games for kids of alll ages because there is no violence or other bad references in it. 🙂 🙂

  21. Cool-Kid-Kief // June 3, 2007 at 7:34 pm // Reply

    I used to like pokemon but ever since the hoenn region began it started getting boring

  22. legendary freak // June 3, 2007 at 7:15 pm // Reply

    i have a lucario, garchomp, manaphy, dialga, palkia, mesprit, azelf, uxie, giratina, heatran, regigas, cresselia, and phione, and darkrai, shaymin, and arceus

  23. I liked it a lot, it`s really FUN!

  24. Mr. Pokemon // June 3, 2007 at 5:11 pm // Reply

    I have (and love!) this game. My favourite pokemon is Lucario. The graphics are awsome, as are the gym puzzuls. Can somone post how to get the HM for rock climb? PLEASE!!!

  25. i like the game a whole lot and my favorite pokemon are manaphy (which i have from pokemon ranger) garchomp lucario torterra and mesprit is cool but its hard 2 find it.

  26. hey, i just realized something! the background for the article in the boys life magazine is fake! there’s no place like that in any city in any game!!!!…but why would they fake it?

  27. I love this game and ive already beaten the champ but im stuck at the fighting arena

  28. Dr. Weener // June 3, 2007 at 3:01 pm // Reply

    Yeah Charmanders not so big in this one, I think they shrunk him

  29. scouterkid // June 3, 2007 at 2:36 pm // Reply

    I have Diamond Version and have filled up the Pokedex of Sinnoh.For starters, I recommend Chimchar as your starter Pokemon.

  30. its dumb

  31. ya i got a regigigas and arceus ..They are both lvl 100…i beat the elite 4 with only those two guys,they dominated big time….i checked my game like 2 mins ago i got 100301020* cash i rock…

  32. Gyrados is water/flying, not water/fire.

  33. it’s so cool even tho i can’t find mesprit it’s still the greatest game.

  34. ???????????? // June 3, 2007 at 6:08 am // Reply

    Pearl rocks!!!!!!!!!!!! I love Infernape! The Legends are so cool! Especially Arceus. I am going to be the best player of the game! Anyone beat the 4th gym yet? I did.

  35. …………………………………………………………………………um……………………nice videos nice info thnx

  36. pokemon master // June 2, 2007 at 8:56 pm // Reply

    the game is different then gold or bllue or emerold. it has a three-d feeling to it. the pokemon are new aspesaly. i’m on national dex right now and i’m pretty far.

  37. wow dude have you seen this game i mean i actualy caught a manephy it is so cute i so love POKEMON !!!!!!!!!

  38. Psychicmaster // June 2, 2007 at 7:44 pm // Reply

    If you ask me, cuteness is not a problem for the world of pokemon, and as a matter of fact the reason I picked Turtwig was mainly for its cuteness (and the fact that its evolution learns earthquake at lv. 32, but that’s beside the point.) We especially need cute psychic pokemon like abra.

  39. bobby boy // June 2, 2007 at 5:37 pm // Reply

    This game rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. short kid // June 2, 2007 at 5:30 pm // Reply

    this game is amazing it is one of the best it is pure ownage especialy after the elite four and they are actually hard

  41. pokenerd supreme // June 2, 2007 at 3:20 pm // Reply

    its superbly easy and you can catch 400 out of 493 in this game ive already filled my dex

  42. spaffy152 // June 2, 2007 at 1:37 pm // Reply

    i have all 493 pokemon. im not a noob like the other posters!!!omg.roflmao

  43. pkmfriend2933 // June 2, 2007 at 12:42 pm // Reply

    I have the best team and ive beat the elite 4 already!

  44. pkmfriend2933 // June 2, 2007 at 12:40 pm // Reply

    I have the pokedex guide and it told me about the new legendaries. Plus i have reserved battle revolution for my wii. My favorite pokemon are lucario, regigigas, manaphy(which I have), and all of the new evolutions of the older pokemon

  45. Empoleon 95 // June 2, 2007 at 11:34 am // Reply

    its awsome that you can migrate pokemon from other games my favorite pokemon is mudkip hes the coolest electivire is awsome too

  46. foeller2993 // June 2, 2007 at 10:00 am // Reply

    it is pretty cool i like lucairio and garchomp the best and giratina has a cool type combo and signatrure attack

  47. I’ve always wanted this awesome game!!!!!!!! It’s the greatest game ever because I LOVE pokemon!!! This would be my dream team of pokemon.

    Tottera-Lv 100 Infernape-lv 100 Empoleon-lv 100 Arceus-lv 100 Regigigas-lv 100, and Darkrai-lv 100. Now that would be an amazing team.

  48. I’ve always wanted this awesome game!!!!!!!! It’s the greatest game ever because I LOVE pokemon!!!

  49. my favorite things about the game are the contests, underground, and wifi trading. This game Rocks!!! I cant wait for pokemon battle revolution to come out for the wii. Piplup and mime jr. are the best!!

  50. my friend zack is having catching manehpy

Leave a Comment

Please don't use your real name.