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What You Need to Know About "Pokémon Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl"

Kain writes video game articles that include tips, tricks, and tutorials. He is especially enthusiastic about horror games.

The original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS. The games were a commercial success. For some Pokémon fans, those games were their first. While the other Pokémon remakes were developed by Game Freak, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were developed by ILCA. For the most part, these Nintendo Switch games are faithful recreations of the originals. The graphics style will be more reminiscent of the DS era of Pokémon games rather than the Let's Go style or Sword and Shield aesthetics. The characters have a diminutive "chibi" appearance in the world, however, the battle graphics will be more 3D with full-sized character models. The art style has sparked criticism by some fans in the Pokémon community. Others view the art style with a strong affinity, believing it serves a nostalgic purpose of artistic expression.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl take place in the Sinnoh region, a vast and sprawling area with colossal mountains, grassy fields, snowy landscapes, mysterious caves, lakes, and majestic seas. Players will embark on a quest to catch Pokémon, collect gym badges, defeat the nefarious Team Galactic, and become a champion by defeating the Elite Four. Your choice of Pokémon starters will be Turtwig the Grass-type, Chimchar the Fire-type, and Piplup the Water-type.



Catching Pokémon in "Brilliant Diamond" and Shining Pearl"

Just like the original Diamond and Pearl, wild Pokémon primarily appear in grassy areas, caves, and in watery areas. You'll have to weaken a Pokémon before trying to catch them with a Poké Ball.

You won't be able to find Pokémon roaming around in the overworld unless you're in the Grand Underground area that's beneath the Sinnoh region. The Grand Underground contains rare items and Pokémon statues that can be utilized at a Secret Base. A pickax and sledgehammer is used to dig into the walls to look for treasures. Treasures can be sold to obtain other items from NPCs. Statues that are placed in your Secret Base will attract certain types of Pokémon.

"Brilliant Diamond" Legendary Exclusives

  • Raikou
  • Entei
  • Suicune
  • Ho-Oh

"Shining Pearl" Legendary Exclusives

  • Articuno
  • Zapdos
  • Moltres
  • Lugia

Players can carry up to six Pokémon in their parties like previous installments, but you'll be able to swap them out without visiting a Pokémon Center. Your Pokémon gain experience points and learn new moves until they evolve. The Exp Share is available from the start, enabling other Pokémon in your party to gain experience all at once. Some players see this as a beneficial thing, as it makes it easier to raise lower level Pokémon that are not in battle. Other players fear that the game will become too easy. Unfortunately, there is no way to turn the Exp Share off unless an update is implemented. The original Diamond and Pearl were pretty challenging towards the end of the game.

The health bars in battles deplete significantly quicker compared to the original games. They were painstakingly slow in the Nintendo DS games.

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HMs and TMs in "Brilliant Diamond and "Shining Pearl"

HMs (Hidden Moves) were a staple of the Pokémon series for a long time. HMs could be used an unlimited numbers of times. They were needed to remove obstacles or advance to new areas. Unfortunately, it was difficult to delete the moves once they were taught to a Pokémon. Certain HMs were not very useful in battle. Players often resorted to using an HM slave, a Pokémon that was only taught HMs and usually not used in battles. Bidoof was a popular HM slave in the original Diamond and Pearl.

The remakes still feature HMs like Cut, Rock Smash, and Surf. Players don't need a Pokémon in their party with those moves anymore. Wild Pokémon will help perform the HM moves instead. In my opinion, that is a welcome change, for it will make it easier to diversify your team.

TMs (technical moves) are limited, however. TMs can be found in the Sinnoh region, awarded by gym leaders, or given by NPCs. Make use of TMs wisely. Generation eight had unlimited TM use, but these remakes have gone back to their roots it seems.

Dawn in Safari Zone

Dawn in Safari Zone

Features and Improvements

A lot of generation four exclusives return to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Players can bait honey trees to attract wild Pokémon, enter Pokémon contests, decorate Poké Ball seals with stickers, and walk around with Pokémon to strengthen your relationship with them.

Players can change their clothes and style in the game. Outfits won't have an impact on the gameplay, though. They'll only affect your appearance in the world and in battles. The aesthetics of the outfit will depend on whether you play as Lucas or Dawn. Outfits can be purchased in the towns throughout the Sinnoh region.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl features an auto-save and a waypoint system in case you get lost. The originals only had a manual save. If you forgot to save or your Nintendo DS ran out of battery life, then you would lose all your progress back in the day.

The remakes will be compatible with Pokémon Home, but not at launch. If you have saved data from Let's Go Pikachu or Let's Go Eevee, Mew will available from an NPC in Floaroma Town. Jirachi can also be acquired if you have saved data from Pokémon Sword and Shield.

There are not any significant differences between Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. The versions mainly affect what wild Pokémon you encounter. A lot of content in Platinum is not in the remakes. Many Pokémon will not be unlocked until you complete the game and unlock the National Dex.

© 2021 David Patrick

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