Excitement With A Slight Disappointment, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Review

After 15 years since the debut of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, Pokemon fans get to relieve their experiences with new remakes

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Somer Alrai

The Nintendo Switch releases a modern remake of the Pokemon game Brilliant Diamond satisfying fan’s nostalgia.

On Sept. 28, 2006, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl first came out, creating a new generation for Pokemon games and the franchise. Previous to the release of these games, Pokemon games have been played in consoles such as the Game Boy Advance  or Game Boy Color, however, the release of Diamond and Pearl brought the games to a more modern version of consoles at the time, specifically the Nintendo DS.  

As time passed ever since then, Pokemon games have continued to evolve, presenting fans with more and exciting content.

On Nov. 19, 2021, 15 years after the initial release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, Game Freak and The Pokemon Company gave fans of the franchise a long awaited remake of the games that marked a new era; Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl for the Nintendo Switch.These new games give fans of the previous released games the opportunity to relieve their most unique memories in a 3D format. These games are unique because every single aspect of the original version can now be played once again.

As a remake of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, the main purpose of the player is to defeat the eight gym leaders. Each leader is stronger than the other with different types of Pokemon in order to challenge the elite four, the four strongest trainers who stand in your way against the champion of the region, a champion whose theme song still brings fear and goosebumps to those who previously challenged her in the original games, the champion Cynthia. 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl keeps the same story line and same plot as the original games. The player first starts up with the intro to the game that shows the legendary Pokemon for the game, which  varies depending on which version of the game the player chooses. In Brilliant Diamond, the legendary Pokemon is Dialga, a steel and dragon type, also known as the God of Time, while in Shining Pearl is Palkia, a water and dragon type, also known as the God of Space, Matter and Cosmos. 

After the introduction to the game, the player is automatically sent (only occurs when a player starts a new adventure) to a screen where Professor Rowan, the Pokemon Professor of the Sinnoh Region on where the game takes place, explains what is the mysterious and fantastic world of Pokemon. After the explanation, the player gets to choose whether to be a male or a female, which then proceeds with a name selection for the character. 

For the gameplay, the player starts in the quiet Twinleaf Town. It would be a perfectly quiet town if it wasn’t for the player’s rival, Barry (of course, the name can change to one’s liking but Barry always fits nicely for this character), who is hysterically loud with a burning passion towards being the strongest Pokemon trainer of the Sinnoh Region. After the player’s first encounter with the rival, they both leave the town in order to get Pokemons from Rowan, who they run into by coincidence just outside of the town, Rowan presents both player and rival three Pokemon selections as their starter: Chimchar, a fire type monkey, Piplup, a water type penguin and Turtwig, a grass type turtle/tortoise. 

The Pokemon Brilliant Diamond rendition can even be accompanied by a Pokemon ball themed controller.
(Somer Alrai)

After the selection of the player’s starter Pokemon, the player is now free to continue with the story, which consists of traveling around a wide variety of towns and cities, each with their own event/challenge. Although it may seem like a straight path with not so much of a problem to those who have not played any of the franchise games, it is not. The player has to fight against an evil organization who plots to use the power of the legendary Pokemon in order to conquer and destroy the world. However, Team Galactic, the evil organization of these games, plots to use power to simply rebuild the galaxy just how the boss, Cyrus, desires to.

There are many pros and cons with these remakes. Of course, these remakes allow fans to experience the original games in a new format while still having the same feeling as when they first played the original games. However, as having other Pokemon games for Nintendo Switch that were released much earlier, such as Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee or Pokemon Sword/Shield, it was mostly expected that the remakes would change the style to that sort of graphics and game experience. The remakes fell short to satisfy people in many aspects.

Freshman Matteo Brambilla feels that the new model of the game takes away the purpose of what the game really is.

“I dislike the models of the Pokémon, they seemed low quality. They didn’t have nice textures, just flat colors and it wasn’t as interesting [as the original games],” Brambilla said. “I enjoyed it, but it’s a new Pokémon game so it’s made for children and didn’t make me feel like I would really lose at any point until Cynthia, [the final boss of the main story].”

However, not everyone shares the same ideas when it comes to the design of the game. Some people believe that the new style of the game gives a better gameplay experience.

“One of the things I liked was the new chibi art style. The art style in brilliant diamond and shining pearl is much different than that of previous pokemon games, and I like it a lot. Also, the fact that it’s a remake of the original Diamond and Pearl, Diamond being one of my first Pokemon games, gives it points from me. I also really enjoy the music, it really adds to what’s happening in-game,” sophomore Benji Lu said. “[Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl] has a new art style which I do like better, and also better graphics in general which is to be expected.”

Not only does Lu like the new art style the game has to offer, but also the new features that come with the game. The main new features are: the ability to change your character outfit, an expansion of the underground area which now allows the player to visit different caves each with their own different style of Pokemons and the ability to walk with your Pokemon.

These new features provide a more modern aspect to the game that were previously added to other games. However, even with all the positive changes and add ons brought by the new releases, the game still falls short of the hype that the release announcement of the games brought.

“I strongly dislike the amount of back and forth in the game. I constantly found myself going back and forth and it was taking way too long. Just me personally. It’s been five months and still no Pokemon home support. Very annoying considering the fact that we are moving to Gen 9 in a few short months,” sophomore Noah Borokoff said. “$60 was way too much to pay for that game. It was good, but not good enough to be worth the price. With what has been done in the recent games, they could have done much better. It’s stayed almost exactly true to the originals, from what I can remember, at least.”

Despite every positive and negative factors provided by the new Pokemon releases, it is certain that all Pokemon fans felt a sense of nostalgia and happiness to relieve a game presented during their childhoods.

“I had a huge hit of nostalgia when I went to get my starter again. Seeing Turtwig’s cute little face again brought a tear to my eye. It was a generally pleasant experience throughout nearly the entire game… Overall, it was nice to see some return to the game and see a whole bunch of familiar faces again. Solid 7/10,” Borokoff said.

There were many pros and cons with Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. The game did fall short to meet many things that people had in mind when they first heard about the releases, such as pre-added features from other games. However, the feeling of nostalgia is still present. The game could have been much better but it was decent overall… 8/10.