one more handheld game before i finish up the console games i’ve been chipping away at. late last year i played through pokemon ruby, and even at that time i had been skeptical that its follow-up, diamond/pearl on DS, would be able to add anything significantly new. after finishing more than half of pearl i have to say that for me at least the answer is a resounding no. as evidenced by my previous posts i consider myself to be a fairly avid pokemon fan in general, but this latest iteration is disappointing to me on so many levels. for one, although the game adds 100+ new critters, many of them are additional forms of previous pokemon and the amount of old pokemon used is just way too much. i know i can’t be the only one who’s sick of battling @#$% geodudes and zubats. and even among the new pokemon i didn’t find much to interest me (did we really need another cute electric rodent?). the visuals are little better than the graphics of the GBA games, and there aren’t any important new gameplay elements to make me feel that this was any improvement upon the previous generation. the elements that have been expanded, most of which were introduced in ruby and sapphire, are all the parts of the game that i’m the least interested in, namely, contests, secret bases, berries, and the game post-win. the one part of the game that could’ve been more worthwhile was the global trading network, but based on my cursory look at it, it seems like it’s just not worth the bother of trying to find a fair trade. the accompanying website could have been interesting, but it closed a year ago and no site has been created to take its place.
all in all, it’s only based on the strength of the core pokemon gameplay that i managed to bring myself to play half of pearl. part of the problem may be that i played three generations of pokemon games, originally released over a span of 7 years, in only a year and a half. but comparing the generation III and generation IV games side by side shows that there was a significant drop in innovation, so much so that i would have to rank this as easily my least favorite pokemon game yet. i’m wary of tackling pokemon black/white any time soon, but given that it features 150 completely new pokemon and completely new graphics i’m cautiously optimistic.
wild pokemon links approach!
– my go-to reference for the game is the fantastic bulbapedia wiki. don’t leave home without it.
– just in case anyone might find this useful, i researched the best book pokedex for the generation IV games for my nephew, and it seems that prima’s pokedex for heartgold/soulsilver is the best since it covers not only the pokemon in HG/SS and D/P but all the previous generations also
– i’m clearly in a minority, because the game generally got glowing reviews. here’s a typical review from nintendolife.com.
– entry at wikipedia
– i used ponyta this game, partly in honor of this guy, who has posted one of the most alsome pokemon-related videos ever
– and just for fun, someone put some perspective on pokemon’s abilities and the realities of pokescience