Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pokemon Diamond

Game Freak, Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
Director: Junichi Masuda
Producers: Hiroyuki Jinnai, Hitoshi Yamagami, Gakuji Nomoto, Hiroaki Tsuru
Screenshots courtesy of

All Pokemon Diamond merchandise
Pokemon anime
Pokemon Diamond cards
Pokemon Diamond toys Description:
Pokemon Diamond is a traditional Pokemon RPG that takes place in a region called Sinnoh.

In the Sinnoh region, there are two Pokemon that symbolize the region. They appear in the Sinnoh reigon's myths and old folklore. One is called Dialga, and is said to have the power to control time. The other is called Palkia, who is said to have the ability to distort space. The sinister organization called Team Galaxy is trying to rule the region by utilizing these two Pokemon's power. During your adventure to complete your Pokedex and become the Champion, these two Pokemon, and Team Galaxy, will intertwine into the story and lead you on a fantastic journey across the Sinnoh region.

When you set off on your travels, you'll be able to play as either a boy or girl Trainer. You will also utilize the DS's dual slots to transfer Pokemon from the GBA Pokemon games and be able to link up with Pokemon Ranger to access more special content. Pokemon fans have caught glimpses of Mime Jr., Lucario, Munchlax and Weavile in Pokemon movies, and these Pokemon will be debuting in this adventure.

A fun, light-hearted RPG. >>> by skysenshi
Whew! This review has been waaaay overdue. It's ironic that after taking a break from the video game industry, I finally found time to write a video game review. Anyway, I have a confession to make: Pokemon Diamond is the very first of the series that I have ever played.

It's hard to imagine myself playing Pokemon nearly 2 decades ago. Sure, I watched the anime, but my gaming habits were a different matter altogether. I thought that the video game series looked very childish and that they were more suitable for tweens (pre-teens). I'm surprised that I've gotten much older but more appreciative of games with simple graphics and old school mechanics. I've actually become a retro-gamer now, instead of the hardcore gamer that I used to be. (Besides, "hardcore" is no longer the preferred term in our industry. There are casual gamers that exhibit the determination and strategy of hardcore gamers.)

Pokemon Diamond plays like any other old-school RPG: You walk around a 2D map, hop from one town to another, enter grasslands and dungeons complete with mazes and all. The only difference this has to old RPG franchises like Final Fantasy is that there is no epic battle between good and some diabolical villain. For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Pokemon is a game wherein the player collects as many adorable little critters, called pokemon, as he or she can. So basically, you'll be traveling throughout the entire map in order to battle with cute furries, weaken them, then store them in a ball.

Each pokemon has a maximum of four skills to deploy, but they will want to learn different skills as they level up. It's up to the player to decide what skills they should learn, depending on the player's strategy. I was actually more obsessed with evolving my main pokemon party than completing my collection (called the pokedex). Evolving not only changes the look of the pokemon, it also makes him/her stronger. My heart broke, however, when my Abracadabra evolved into Alakazam. His evolution required trading. When I got him back, he no longer recognized me as his master and I had to get to know him all over again.

There are many side activities to do in Pokemon Diamond. You can enter your pokemon into a beauty pageant (I hated this part). You can do quests to get their skills. You can walk them through parks. My favorite activity of all was baking Poffins. This reminded me so much of Cooking Mama, though the stylus doesn't seem to be as responsive. Baking Poffins increases certain pokemon traits, though I mostly use them so that all my pokemon would have a close affinity with me.

Don't expect much from the story. It's very cutesy in that aspect, because all you're after is defeating gym leaders and finding out what Team Galaxy people (the villains) are up to. Based from what I've seen in the anime, the premise for all games in the series seems to be generally the same.

Overall, Pokemon Diamond is a relaxing game, though I had a difficult time with the final battle. There's nothing interesting to do after that, even if a lot of side quests do open up. Would I repeat this game again? Sure, if only to collect 'em all. I'd need to play Pokemon Pearl, or trade with someone who plays it, in order to complete the collection.

DIFFICULTY: Easy - Moderate
COMPLETION TIME: 71:50 hours
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: 8 Badges, 145 Pokedex
MAIN PARTY: M.Empoleon lv63, F.Staraptor lv60, F.Luxray lv60,
M.Alakazam lv63, M.Rapidash lv61, F.Roserade lv60
RATINGS: Gameplay 10; Battle 10; Story 7; Visuals 8; Characters 7; Sounds 8; Replay Value 9

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