I’ll be starting my next Pokémon adventure soon, but before that I thought it would be nice to collect my whole Pokémon Diamond journal in one place for easy reading. I’ll also finally give the game a proper review like I always meant to do. So without further ado, please enjoy my journal from Pokémon Diamond!
Table of Content
Gameplay – 9 / 10
Since this is the first Pokémon game to arrive on the DS, the second screen came with a few changes. Mostly I think the game handled things very well. Being able to use the bottom touch screen to select your attacks was a great choice. Then the addition of the Poketech and all the apps you can get for it were a fun use for the bottom screen while exploring. Honestly my only gameplay complaint is with the item system. The fact that your bag can carry an infinite amount of stuff is great. No more being forced to drop stuff off at the computer to make room. However, the removal of the computer storage entirely was an annoyance. It’s nice to have everything with you, but sometimes I WANT to drop things off in the computer just to get rid of clutter. Without that ability I’m stuck scrolling past a lot of items every time I open my bag. The game easily makes up for this fault with the addition of the occasional companion. Not only are these instances a great help to get through a difficult area, but they offer up an amazing opportunity for some amazing level grinding.
Graphics – 8 / 10
The sprite work in this game doesn’t appear to be much improved from the Gameboy Advance games. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. All the Pokémon have always been highly detailed and this game is no exception. The overworld might suffer slightly, but this is a common trade off in most 2D RPGs and can’t really be held against it. They have at least made attempts to improve the appearance of the overworld. Instead of being the flat tiles of previous games, everything is layered to give an almost 3d appearance, allowing things to shift with your perspective. Personally I didn’t care for this effect because it causes everything to look heat rippled. However, I do think it is the right direction for the series to be going in.
Audio – 8 / 10
The Pokémon series has always had good music to back up the gameplay, and this game is no exception. They have also improved some of the Pokémon calls as well as introducing some rather unique calls to certain Pokémon, for better or worse. That distinct call for Kricketune for example can actually become quite annoying.
Story – 8.5 / 10
I was actually really pleased with the story of this game. It really dug deep into some of the lore of the Pokémon universe. Gen IV offered up true gods and creators of the universe this time with its legendaries, and it’s funny in a way when your 10 year old character captures it to become essentially your pet. It’s like, hey look at my pet rat. I taught it how to tackle. That’s cute. Now check out my god of all creation. I taught it not to destroy all of humanity. Honestly any time you can start your day with a walk to the lake, and come home with the god of time and space as a pet, you’ve had a good day. On top of that, the story was much more engaging than previous titles, with characters meeting you out in the world to thicken the plot.
Total Playtime – 62h 54m
The Pokémon games, and honestly the RPG genre in general, have always been known for being very lengthy games. At just under 63 hours, I definitely got my money’s worth with this one. On top of that, there is still a whole list of post-game stuff I could do. I may have seen all the Pokémon to fill my Pokédex, but I didn’t catch all of them. I also know that are a few side quests that only become available after you have beaten the elite four. You could easily play for over 100 hours and still not finish everything.
Total Deaths – 0 White Outs!!
That’s right! For once I have a game where I never died. My Pokémon may have been knocked out a few times, and without any recordings to look back on I can’t give any solid numbers for that. However, I do know that my whole party was never wiped out even a single time while playing. I did good this time.
Overall Score – 8.5 / 10
The Pokémon series has always been a joy to play since the very first game, and Pokémon Diamond is no exception. While this game didn’t add anything particularly groundbreaking to the series, you can still see where they started laying the groundwork for future games. For example, the move to a 3D rendered world rather than the flat sprites of previous games hints towards the fully 3D games seen in Gen VI. The story itself is also much more engaging than previous titles, and with a lot more on the line. You’re not just stopping Team Rocket from stealing a few Pokémon, you’re stopping Team Galactic from literally destroying the whole world. Beyond these changes, the game follows in the already successful footsteps of the games before it. With hundreds of Pokémon to choose from and hundreds of moves to teach them, you can customize your party to suit your personal play style. You can also play the game a dozen times with different parties for new experiences. Then of course there is still a very deep substructure for the competitive players to dive into and craft the perfect Pokémon from. As deep and complex as that substructure may be, the more casual players like myself can still easily play through the whole game completely oblivious to their very existence. So don’t let the fanatics scare you away from the franchise. You don’t need to know the names and stats of all 700+ Pokémon. You don’t need to know anything about EVs and IVs. You don’t even need to research the perfect party. All you have to do is pick up a Pokémon game and enjoy the experience, whatever that may be for you.
Thank you for reading, and look forward to Pokemon Black & White!!
I hope you enjoyed Pokémon Diamond. If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.