It’s simple to be cynical. Indeed, it’s hard not to shake your head at a series that has produced a dozen variants all cut from the same template and generated billions in merchandising. But then you start playing and you quickly realise that Nintendo’s staggering sales of 155 million Pokemon cartridges have a lot more concerning exquisite game design than exploitative marketing. Even those who have already lost countless hours in a pursuit to “catch ’em all” will find themselves hooked over again.
Given that you will find a bulging roster of 493 critters to capture, raise, battle, preen and breed, inevitably a few of 100 pokemon diamond do not have the creativity and charisma of old favourites. Nevertheless the charm in the pocket monsters is still an important ingredient in what makes these games so pleasurable. Another crucial component is how convincing, consistent and engaging the planet would be to explore. The Sinnoh region is a wonderful location to visit.
Pokemon’s battle method is very easy to learn but surprisingly strategic and tactically deep. Assembling a well-rounded team that may defeat any opponent requires careful thought and proves very satisfying.
The best news for parents is that %anchor1 represent among the best value the gaming industry is offering. Immensely deep and captivating, players can spend dozens upon a large number of hours seeking to foil Team Galactic’s nefarious plans while also exploring underground caverns mining for treasure, entering talent shows, growing and harvesting berries, cooking treats for critters and seeking to capture elusive wild creatures.
Most extra features are minor improvements, including the Poketech device, which could act as a watch, pedometer, radar, notebook and display the status of the menagerie. The most important addition is wi-fi internet support, which lets faraway friends battle and trade creatures.
A whole lot is different on the planet of Pokémon since we last visited in Emerald. Obviously, incorporating over a hundred new creatures – a few of which are baby versions or evolutions of older Pokémon, like a pre-evolution of Mantine and new forms for single-stage monsters like Lickitung and Aipom – constitute much of the excitement that surrounds the coming of these new adventures.
But it runs a hell of any lot deeper than just a couple new arrivals. The battle system has become reworked in the most significant switch to the basic principles of battling because the Special stat was broken down into individual attack and inlqrn values right after the first games turned out to be a bit broken. Where before each move would utilize a particular stat based on its type alignment (so, fire type moves would use Special Attack while Rock moves would go on Attack), now each move is classed as either Physical or Special and uses the proper stat. This reveals move set possibilities that would never before been employed and opens the door for most previously overlooked monsters to boost and be legitimate possibilities for competitive play.
And simply as new evolutions and move sets try to level the playing field somewhat, so too does adding a number of new attacks and abilities. Bug and Ghost types are now significantly better catered for with an array of new attack and support moves, and several older attacks happen to be given elemental counterparts, like Fighting and Water versions of Quick Attack. In addition there are numerous new attacks which make once unusable Pokémon viable, particularly in 2 vs 2 battles.
Power Trick can make defensive legend Shuckle in to a demon by swapping its minimal attack stat using its astronomical defence; Trick Room lets slower Pokémon attack first for a number of turns, making the likes of Snorlax and Steelix that much more imposing; moves like Bug Devour and Hurl take advantage of held items (both yours as well as the opponents) to deal damage accordingly. Whatever type you often favour, you’ll find at the very least several helpful new moves here to complement any move set.