- For the 3rd Japanese Series see Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl.
- For the Overseas dub of Season 10 see Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl.
The game contains 107 new Pokémon and chronicles the adventures of a new Pokémon trainer who strives to become the Pokémon League Champion, collecting and training various species of Pokémon along the way. As do most games in the series, Diamond and Pearl feature eight Pokémon Gyms led by Gym Leaders; professional trainers whose expertise lies in a particular Pokémon type. Gym Leaders serve as bosses and reward skilled trainers with badges, key to the advancement of the plot, Pokémon League.
The game begins in Twinleaf Town. After viewing a television report about a media-conducted search for a Red Gyarados spotted at a far-away lake (Johto's Lake of Rage), the protagonist and his/her best friend travel together to check the local lake for a Pokémon like it. They spot Professor Rowan, an expert in Pokémon evolution and studies and his assistant, who is the playable character not selected in the game: Dawn (female) or Lucas (male). After a short discussion the pair exits from the lake, leaving a briefcase behind. When they are attacked by wild Starly, the protagonist and his or her rival examine the case. The player is then given a choice between three Pokémon found in the briefcase, Turtwig, Chimchar, or Piplup. After defeating the Starly, Dawn or Lucas retrieves and returns the briefcase to the professor. Noticing that a bond has been forged between the young protagonist and his/her chosen Pokémon, Rowan offers it to him/her, asking that he/she embark on a journey and fill his/her Pokédex.
As the plot continues, the protagonist encounters the main antagonist, Team Galactic, although their motives are unclear until later. Team Galactic captures Uxie, Azelf and Mesprit, of Sinnoh’s three lakes, and imprisons them, making it the player’s responsibility to free them. Upon releasing the trio, he/she is able to travel to the sacred shrine atop Mt. Coronet and enter the cave, where the leader of Team Galactic awakens either Dialga in Diamond, or Palkia in Pearl. Dialga or Palkia’s powers begin to overwhelm Sinnoh, causing the newly free Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit to attempt to stop it. It is then that the player is able to engage in a battle with (and has a chance to capture) the version-appropriate Legendary Pokémon.
- The game takes place in the new Region of Sinnoh.
- These games have new features relying on the DS's touch screen.
- 107 new Pokémon are introduced.
- A new device called a Pokétch is introduced.
- A player after having seen the first 150 Pokémon in the Sinnoh region can make Diamond and Pearl compatible with Game Boy Advance Pokémon games after obtaining the National Pokédex.
- The DS's Wi-Fi is used allowing chatting, battle and trades online.
- The night and day system returns in Diamond and Pearl.
- A new battle system is introduced, allowing attacks to be based on being physical or special, rather than attack type.
- Contests have been re-done, now they are known as Super Contests, with a number of new additions.
Depending on which starter Pokémon the player chooses, decides the overall difficulty of the game.
The featured Villain Team, in Diamond and Pearl, is Team Galactic and their leader Cyrus. Depending on which game it is will determine which legendary Pokémon Team Galactic will try to summon on Mt. Coronet. Diamond will feature Dialga and Pearl will have Palkia and on Platinum Giratina will appear.
As in every other Main Series Pokémon game, there are a set of Legendary Pokémon which were first featured in Diamond and Pearl.
Legendary Dragon Pokémon
Dialga and Palkia are specific to either Diamond or Pearl respectively, but Giratina can be obtained in Diamond and Pearl once the National Pokédex is received and Turnback Cave is unlocked.
Lake Guardian Pokémon
Uxie and Azelf can be obtained in their respective caves, located in Sinnoh. However, Mesprit, once confronted in its cave, roams Sinnoh, meaning you have to find and capture it before it flees the battle.
Nintendo Event Legendary Pokémon
Version Exclusive Pokémon
|Version Exclusive Pokémon|
|Seel, Dewgong, Scyther, Scizor, Murkrow, Larvitar, Pupitar, Tyranitar, Poochyena, Mightyena, Aron, Lairon, Aggron, Kecleon, Cranidos, Rampardos, Honchkrow, Stunky, Skuntank, Dialga|
|Slowpoke, Slowbro, Pinsir, Slowking, Misdreavus, Houndour, Houndoom, Stantler, Spheal, Sealeo, Walrein, Bagon, Shelgon, Salamence, Shieldon, Bastiodon, Mismagius, Glameow, Purugly, Palkia|
The gameplay of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl is very similar to that of previous Pokémon role-playing games (RPGs), with several changes and additions.
Unlike the previous games, when the two trainers will battle with you when you are standing in front of them, the two trainers who are standing far away will both move towards you when you catches their eyes.
In previous generations, Pokémon attacks were deemed "physical" or "special" based on their type (for example, all Fire-type moves were special and all Ground-type moves were physical). Starting with Diamond and Pearl, moves are now categorized into three groups based on how they are executed. Examples of this include the move Fire Punch now being Physical, Gust being Special, and moves that do no damage are now in a new group called Status, or Other.
Pokémon Contests, events where one’s Pokémon compete in a show of sorts to win ribbons, return from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire as “Super Contests”, with similarities and differences. Super Contests consist of three rounds. In the Visual Judgment round, players utilize the Nintendo DS’s stylus to place accessories and objects on their Pokémon to appeal to a particular trait, such as “Cool” or “Cute”, and earn points. In the Dance Judgment round, Pokémon compete with opponents in a test of rhythm and balance. The final round, Performance Judgment, is identical in premise to Pokémon Contests of the third generation of games; Pokémon use their techniques strategically to appeal to the judges and crowd. Assuming the same role as Pokéblocks in the third generation, baked goods called Poffins can be made through use of the touchscreen and fed to Pokémon in order to increase certain traits and, consequently, the likelihood of success in a relevant Contest.
First introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl features sensitivity to the time of day and day of the week, which is reflected in a number of facets, such as the lighting of the overworld and locations of non-player characters, the availability of certain species of Pokémon (Murkrow and Misdreavus can only be found at night, while Drifloon is only available on Fridays), and even the lighting during battles. The scale of the day and night cycle has grown from the original cycle of morning, day, and night; Diamond and Pearl's cycle features five different time periods: morning, day, afternoon, evening, and night.
PokétchA new device called the Pokétch, resembling a wristwatch, can be obtained and plays host to a wide variety of features, including a time management system, a calculator, a map, a counter, a wireless link up search, and a drawing pad.
Below Sinnoh is a large underground area, used for multiplayer gaming. Players can create and decorate secret bases (first featured in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire) and participate in minigames, one of which will allow the player to unearth fossilized Pokémon such as Cranidos and Shieldon, Shieldon only in Pearl, and Crainidos in Diamond. These Pokémon, as well as Spiritomb, can only be obtained by exploring this underground area.
Diamond and Pearl employ support for the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, allowing players to trade, battle and communicate through voice chat online. The basement of all Pokémon Centers provides access to a list of a player's Friend list to engage in these activities. The main system for trade is the Global Trade Station trading system. This allows players to search for any Pokémon they have seen on a worldwide scale, with the resulting list showing people around the world who are willing to trade that Pokémon, as well as the Pokémon they want in return for it. The trade does not have to be instant and an offer can be left for other players to browse and complete, even while the player is offline.
TM's and HM's
Along with the fifty existing Technical Machines (TMs), which teach Pokémon a new move, forty-two new TMs have been added to the game while the previous fifty have been retained, bringing the total to ninety-two. This marks the first time an entire fifty-TM set has been left intact between generations, and the first time the total number has exceeded fifty (fifty-eight counting HMs). Two of the eight Hidden Machines (HMs), which, like TMs, teach Pokémon a new move (but permanently), have also been changed (Note:Flash has changed from an HM to a TM). This gives the games a total of 100 machines from which to learn moves.
Elite Four and Champion
Along with the announcements of Pokémon Dash's release and the release date of the Nintendo DS, the development of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl was announced at a Nintendo Press conference in the fourth calendar quarter of 2004. Junichi Masuda, one of Game Freak's music and game developers, took on the development of the games. The games, slated for a release during 2005, were pushed into a release in 2006. It was not until mid 2006 where further information about the games would be given - compatibility with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, connectivity with Pokémon Battle Revolution, and features such as the Pokétch and the inclusion of the time sensitivity were revealed.
Connectivity to Other Games
Diamond and Pearl boast compatibility with many other Pokémon games. They can connect with the Game Boy Advance Pokémon RPGs after earning the National Pokédex, when the Pokémon Game Boy Advance cartridge is inserted into the Game Boy Advance cartridge and accessory slot of the Nintendo DS while Diamond or Pearl is in the DS slot. After uploading six Pokémon from the cartridge, the Pokémon are sent into the Pal Park located southeast of Sandgem Town. Pokémon uploads are restricted to six every twenty-four hours per GBA cartridge. The player will have to re-capture such transferred Pokémon in Pal Park by means of a special Park Ball that has 100% chance of capture, before performing another transfer. Pokémon cannot be transferred from GBA cartridges to DS cards of different languages, Pokémon that know HM moves cannot be transferred, and the player cannot transfer any Pokémon back to the GBA cartridge once they are transferred to Diamond or Pearl.
Certain species of Pokémon traded internationally will have a Pokédex entry in the language of the game it originated from. This is enabled through a new function which is added to the player’s Pokédex, allowing the player to switch between multiple languages in those same Pokémon's entries, including Japanese, English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
In addition, Diamond and Pearl are able to connect to Pokémon Ranger, the only Pokémon games to do so. Using this feature, a player will be able to send a Manaphy egg from Pokémon Ranger to Diamond or Pearl after completing a special mission in Ranger. Diamond and Pearl also feature wireless connectivity with the Wii Pokémon titles Pokémon Battle Revolution and My Pokémon Ranch, allowing players to upload Pokémon into the games wirelessly via the Nintendo DS.
Lastly, the games vary in regards to which Pokémon are in them. Some species are found only on Diamond Version and vice versa, and thus trading between versions is necessary to obtain some Pokémon.
Nintendo DS Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Super Music Collection is a two-disc soundtrack featuring music scored by Hitomi Sato and Junichi Masuda under the supervision of Go Ichinose, with a few other fanfares composed by Morikazu Aoki. A two-disc soundtrack featuring music from the games was released on December 22, 2006.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has an 88 out of 100 on Metacritic and an 85% on Game Rankings, which means "generally favorable reviews." The highest score given was a 92 by UK Official Nintendo Magazine, while the lowest is a 79 by NGamer UK. However, this was an import review of the Japanese version; the score was later revised to 81% for the western version.
GameSpot has also given Pokémon Diamond and Pearl positive reviews. Ryan Davis states "Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are the most well-rounded Pokémon games to date." The games received an 8.5/10 (Great) from GameSpot.
IGN's review on Pokémon Diamond and Pearl was mostly positive, citing the core gameplay as holding up "incredibly well a decade later." Criticisms include the graphics and audio which do not fully capitalize on the capabilities of the Nintendo DS. Despite this, the game ended up with an 8.5 score which is classified as "Great" under their game tier system.
The UK Official Nintendo Magazine gave the game 92%, praising the game for having loads to do and the same addictive gameplay as the originals, but also criticized the game for being a bit too similar to the original in terms of elements such as some of the Pokémon's battle cries, which still resembled the electronic sound effect that they played when they originally appeared on the Game Boy Advance.
Gamesmaster Magazine gave a fully positive view of the games, giving them a score of 91% and a 'GM gold award, as they do with all games that score over 90%. Other games that received an award include Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, 97%) and Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3/X360/PC, 98%).
Since its release, there have been over 10 million Pokémon trades over Wi-Fi.
At G4's G-phoria 2007, the games won Best Handheld Game, and were nominated for "Best RPG".
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were released along with the Nintendo DS Headset, supported by the game's voice over IP functions (however, using the headset is not necessary for voice chat, one can also use the DS's built-in microphone.) First released late 2006 in Japan, two million copies of the games were shipped for Japan alone, though there were still shortages in response to a large demand. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl had the most successful launch week of games in the Pokémon series, and the best launch week for any Nintendo DS game for the country alone. Within forty-six days, the games sold three million units, becoming the fastest DS games to do so, and by the end of the year, the number increased to five million units in just under three months.
The games' American release in late April 2007 saw over 500,000 pre-orders of Diamond and Pearl in the United States, topping almost twice the pre-sale numbers as Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen. It went on to sell one million copies within five days of sales. As of the end of May 2007, Pokémon Diamond sold the most units of any video game for the year, with Pokémon Pearl coming in fourth.
As of March 31, 2008, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl combined have sold 14.77 million copies worldwide.
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are the first Main Series Pokémon games not to have their storage media colored to match the version.
- Diamond and Pearl are the bestselling games for the Nintendo DS.
- Pokémon Diamond/Pearl subpage on Pokémon.com
- Pokémon Diamond/Pearl official U.S. website
- Official Pokémon GTS website