We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

North America

Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl

by Mike Gamin - March 19, 2007, 10:17 am PDT
Total comments: 12

Several new features have been added to the same RPG formula the series is famous for.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl represent the fourth generation of the main Pokemon RPG series. The main plot remains consistent with the past games: the player is a fledgling Pokemon trainer who starts out by choosing one of three starter Pokemon. Those Pokemon are Turtwig (a grass type Pokemon that resembles a turtle), Chimchar (a fire type Pokemon that resembles a monkey), and Piplup (a water type Pokemon that resembles a penguin). After choosing, the trainer must travel the world, seeking out gyms in which they can battle and obtain badges. After all of the badges are obtained, they can battle the Elite Four and earn the title of Pokemon Champion.

New to these games, trainers will also be given a Poketch. This is a wristwatch-like device that appears on the bottom screen of the DS. It features more than 20 modes that are obtained throughout the game, each offering a different use. One mode may be just a simple clock, while another will tell the trainer how happy their Pokemon are.

Thanks to the internal clock in the Nintendo DS, a feature that was first introduced in the second generation of games is making a return. The game world will be perfectly synced to the DS's clock. If the game is played at night, it will be nighttime in the game world. All together there are five different time sections; morning, day, afternoon, evening, and night. The time of day affects several things within the game, like available wild Pokemon and berry growing.

As in past games, the main way of obtaining new Pokemon is by catching them in the wild. Diamond and Pearl feature several new additions to this mechanic. Firstly, all of the Game Boy Advance games from the main series (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen) can be inserted into the GBA slot of the DS. When inserted, different Pokemon will become obtainable in certain areas of the wild. Each game has a different set of Pokemon associated with it. There is also a new object, known as a Poketore, that helps track certain Pokemon. When in grass and using it, the grass will rustle where monsters are located. Based on how the grass moves, trainers can go after rare Pokemon right away, possibly finding an incredibly elusive shiny addition to their team. Rarer types can also swarm on certain areas of the map. Checking in with certain game characters can clue trainers in on where to go to catch those hard to find creatures. Also, some tree dwelling Pokemon can only be coaxed into the open by spreading honey on the tree and coming back later.

The battle system for the games is basically the same as all previous Pokemon games. Each Pokemon can learn a maximum of four moves. The desired move is selected at the beginning of a battle round. There is one fundamental change to the underlying system though. In past games, attacks were categorized as either special or physical. Which category they were depended on which elemental type they were. In Diamond and Pearl, any attack can be either category, and a new icon was put in place to differentiate them. Many old moves have changed categories now because of this.

The contests that were introduced in the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald generation are also expanded in Diamond and Pearl. The visual judgment phase of contests require the trainer to dress up their Pokemon using the touch screen of the DS to place accessories. The better the accessories, the better score the Pokemon will receive for that round. Next, the Pokemon competes in a dance/singing competition. This mode plays like a rhythm game where the player taps four buttons on the screen. The final round of the contest remains true to the performance round in the old contests. Trainers choose the best sequence of moves to perform in order to achieve the highest possible score.

When the series transitioned between the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance hardware, old Pokemon could not be brought into the new games. That is not the case as the games move from the Game Boy Advance to the DS, but the Pokemon are not moved in a classic trading sense. Instead, there is a new area in the game known as Pal Park. When going to this area, if there is a Game Boy Advance version of the game in the GBA slot of the DS, the six Pokemon currently in that game's character's party will be set free in the park. The trainer will then be given a series of special Pokeballs that will capture a monster every time (like Master Balls). With those balls, they must search the park for the Pokemon that were set free. Rarer Pokemon (like legendary ones) will be harder to find in the park. The faster all six are found, the better the prize the trainer will receive, but regardless of time taken, they will always get to keep the Pokemon, effectively transferring them to the DS game. Even though the Pokemon are re-caught, they are still identical to the old one in every way. This event can only be performed for six per day. Because of this new transfer method, once a Pokemon has been moved from a Game Boy Advance game to a DS game, there is no way of moving it back.

For the first time in the series, Diamond and Pearl players can also go online to play with other people. There are several different modes that take advantage of the Nintendo WiFi Connection. Players can build a friend list by exchanging friend codes with one another. Once on each other's lists, they can trade and battle with each other. The game also features voice chat before, during, and after battles and trades. There is also a special underground dungeon area where players can go together. There, players can show off their own secret (decorated) base. They can also search for fossils, which can then be used to resurrect otherwise unobtainable Pokemon. While searching, they may also find gems that can be traded with merchants for decorations for their base. There is also a Capture the Flag game where players must enter their opponent’s base and retrieve a flag while avoiding obstacles and traps.

Besides using a friends list to connect with players, there is also a global WiFi feature. In this mode players can connect with other unknown players for battles and trades, as well as upload their records to a world-wide ranking system. There is also a global trade station where players can post trades that they want to make and peruse other players' desired trades.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl will be available on April 22, 2007 in the US.


CericMarch 19, 2007

I was really hoping we where going to move to the "can only have 4 moves equipped" style instead of just having for moves period.l

AcefonduMarch 19, 2007

That would be a cool idea. How are the online battles? I read somewhere that you have a lvl 50 and lvl 100 option, and even if your party isn't lvl 100 the game programs them to be 100 online. What say you NWR?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorMarch 19, 2007

Ace, I have had mixed reports on the exact specifics of it all so I couldn't confirm them as facts, but what I've heard is close to what you have.

Level 50 fights and level 100 fights. Some sources say that your Pokemon will be rounded both directions (if they are lower, they get higher, if they are higher, they get lower)
Other sources say they only get rounded down. (Bring a level 100 into a 50 fight and it becomes 50. Bring a 50 into a 100 fight and he'll get slaughtered because of the level difference)

I'd love to know which is correct, but for that we'll have to wait for our review copy of the NA versions of the games.

Smash_BrotherMarch 19, 2007

I like the level rounding idea.

Level disparity absolutely killed the point of that game if battles were intended to be fair at all.

CericMarch 19, 2007

I'm torn on that. Because they did that with the original colissuem where whatever you went against with the computer it automatically had the same level of pokemon. But they just happen to have a move that was the uber weakness of the pokemon that would be strong agains them. (Surf being done by an Electric pokemon anyone.)

Personally I prefer if they kept everyone with 5 of each other. Pretty much whichever the strongest pokemon was would stay at level x but every other pokemon would be 1-5 levels away from that pokemon.


My team is 5 10 39 20
His team is 100 99 2 38

The results would be say:
My team becomes 100 98 97 95
His team becomes 100 99 96 98

That way if I came with a full team that was only 5 off from the highest level I know what to expect and it rewards people for leveling there pokemon accordingly. When you that high the 5 levels are relatively just inconvenients.

nickmitchMarch 19, 2007

The rounding sucks. Training your Pokemon to have the best stats and highest levels is part of the game. I'd rather just have level based rankings. This way, you can enter a battle with someone on your own level. I mean, you can't just have someone with who just started and not even have one badge go up against someone who beats the Elite Four for the sake of leveling up. Wait, there's an idea, doing it by number of badges/game achievements.

that Baby guyMarch 19, 2007

I don't think you get it. The EVs of the pokemon remain. The IVs of the pokemon remains. That means you still have to search for a Pokemon with the right nature and the right "base stats." Then, if you feel like fighting competitively, you give them the EVs you choose by fighting the correct pokemon, and eventually you raise those stats to a certain point regardless of level or experience, only by those EVs. Whatever you've earned in that area remains in the level 50 and 100 battles, so it's the same as before, except now, instead of grinding 75+ levels, you only grind until you max out your EVs the way you want them, which takes much less time. It allows you to battle more competitively without having to do endless leveling.

18 DaysMarch 19, 2007

13 new legendaries
It's going to be awful.

BlkPaladinMarch 19, 2007

Well here is some information I ran into while playing the game.

1) The watch you get early in the game is upgradable one of them is a "system link" function so you don't need to go to a Pokemon Center to start a battle just change the function to that and hit the DS icon and it scans for any games in the area.

2) As for the four moves there is a person, I haven't talked to him yet that you can relearn any of the moves that the Pokemon learn so it is moving towards the equip four moves because you can unlearn and learn old moves. It costs a heart scale but you can find them in the "underground" which is accessible when you get mining equipment.

3) Escort "missions" there are currently three times so far I had to "escort" someone it is not as bad as it sounds. You fight two on two battles for even the random encounters, but the person heals your pokemon between battles automatically, along with their moves so you can use them as leveling up periods. (When you couple this with the item that doubles the money you recieve it easy money.) (The only problem I found is if you get tap happy you can end up killing the person's pokemon for that fight. Tapping the screen is the same as pressing A/B repeatedly)

18 DaysMarch 19, 2007


Originally posted by: BlkPaladin2) As for the four moves there is a person, I haven't talked to him yet that you can relearn any of the moves that the Pokemon learn so it is moving towards the equip four moves because you can unlearn and learn old moves. It costs a heart scale.

I hope this means heart scales are much much easier to obtain. You could do this in the GBA games.

CericMarch 20, 2007


Originally posted by: 18 Days
13 new legendaries
It's going to be awful.

So 13 Pokemon everyone will have.

18 DaysMarch 20, 2007

Oh no no no cos liek to get one of them you have to like goto some evennt to get a code that you put into Pokemon ranger to get toa secret area to find an egg to trade to D/P to hatch and then that pokemon breeds with some otehr legendary to make a new legendary. Doesn't that sound totally awesome?

Also, and this is a big one.
A legendary stronger than Mewtwo

Share + Bookmark

Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl Box Art

Genre RPG
Developer Game Freak

Worldwide Releases

na: Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl
Release Apr 22, 2007
jpn: Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl
Release Sep 28, 2006
RatingAll Ages
eu: Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl
Release Jul 27, 2007
aus: Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl
Release Jun 21, 2007
RatingParental Guidance
Got a news tip? Send it in!