I’ll be honest here. I never really understood the appeal of the Sinnoh Region. It introduces the lowest amount of new Pokemon in the series, is overloaded with Legendary Pokemon and has always played extremely slow, too slow for my liking.
I didn’t expect to like Brilliant Diamond, but I actually do. Having played the game up until the third gym, here are my thoughts on the updated Sinnoh games.
From the get go, we are treated to new chibi forms of ourselves in full 16:9 ratio. While this takes a little getting used to, it is a decent compromise to the pixelated miniatures of old.
As an added bonus for players who have played Sword/Shield and Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, players are also treated to a free Jirachi and Mew respectively.
Imagine my delight when I discovered that HMs were no longer a thing. The fact that ILCA recognized that the Poketch could effectively replace such an ancient concept was great. Leaning in on the Bidoof meme was icing on the cake.
But what gets me going is the Grand Underground!
Being able to build a secret base that others can visit? Check!
Bringing back the mining minigame? Awesome!
A whole lot of biomes to explore? You’re spoiling me!
Maybe it’s just me but I’d much rather spend more time in the underground than try and complete the absolute bore of the main story. (More on that later)
The automatic EXP Share was unexpected and slightly DansGame. Though I appreciate the existence of it as it definitely helps shave off some much needed grinding time. I just hope we’re given the option to turn it off when we don’t want it on.
Ball Capsules and Contests are back. I like that capsules are applicable even during normal battles and spending time experimenting on different stickers is quite enjoyable. Though frankly I’d much prefer contests of old than this new revamped version. Cook Poffins, Feed Pokemon, Win Contest, Repeat. The contests are too monotonous for my liking and the dance moves aren’t even hard to pull off.
An appreciated addition was the constant reminders on what to do added to the menu. Being the busy man I am, I often have to stop playing at certain awkward times and it helps to be reminded of what my next objective is once in a while.
Unfortunately, the lack of a bottom touch screen seems a little jarring compared to the days of old. The Poketch has no other option than to be awkwardly slotted in the top right of the screen instead. Touch screen controls during battle are also non-existent, making the already slow battles even more tedious to navigate.
While I celebrate quality of life changes, the Portable Pokemon Box goes a little too far. With said box, players can traverse dungeons with their entire pokemon roster instead of the usual six. This pushes the game from “Difficult” to “Way too Easy” since all you have to do is swap out any unhealthy Pokemon for new ones.
In conclusion, there is much to enjoy in the new remade Diamond and Pearl games and is worth the nostalgia trip. Though one might argue that the games might be way too faithful to the originals for their own good. 6.5/10