Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl are a pair of RPGs in the Pokémon franchise (each game released has two versions, e.g. Red and Blue, Ruby and Sapphire). The games were released for the Nintendo DS on September 29, 2006 in Japan, April 22, 2007 in North America, June 21, 2007 in Australia, and July 27, 2007 in Europe. The games were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. Pokémon Platinum, the third in the Diamond/Pearl trio, was released later (this was also done with other games, e.g. Emerald, Crystal). Diamond/Pearl are in the fourth generation of the Pokémon franchise.
The game takes place in the region of Sinnoh. The game adds more Pokémon, bringing the total to 493 different species of Pokémon. Diamond and Pearl both have exclusive Pokémon species, but the species can be traded to the other version (as well as imported from previous Pokémon games). In addition to this, there are many more new features, such as Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection capabilities, a new watch called the Pokétch, and changes in battle mechanics.
An anime based on Diamond/Pearl was aired on Cartoon Network, as well as three films. A total of 110 episodes have been aired in North America, with more based off of Pokémon Platinum due to be aired. The three films are similar in style to the TV show, having the same characters, but not a story arc as in the show. The three films are The Rise of Darkrai, Giratina and the Sky Warrior, and Arceus To the Conquering of Space-Time (only released in Japan).
Diamond/Pearl was relatively well-received. Critics praised the addition of online capabilities and the still engaging traditional Pokémon gameplay. The game was criticized, though, for its primitive sound and graphics, and for the fact that it really didn't expound much on its predecessors. Despite criticism, Diamond/Pearl has sold 15 million worldwide. It has sold better than the Game Boy Advance iterations.
PokémonDiamond/Pearl's gameplay is mostly similar to previous Pokémon games. Out of battle, the game is seen from an overhead perspective. In the overworld, the player can interact with non-playable characters, visit shops, travel around Sinnoh, and trigger a battle. Once in a battle, the player can use their Pokémon (whatever they may) be to fight the wild Pokémon. If weakened enough, it is possible to catch the wild Pokémon. However, if it faints, then it is impossible to catch it. Poké Balls can be bought in a wide variety of types, ranging from the generic Poké Ball to the Master Ball (one hundred percent chance of catching the Pokémon, regardless of what it is).
Battles can also be triggered with other Pokémon trainers, whose Pokémon cannot be caught. There are many options other than catching the Pokémon in battle. The menu has options to fight, use an item, switch out the Pokémon, or run away (which is not available in battles with other trainers). If a Pokémon has all of its hit points taken away, then it faints, and must be revived (either by an item or by visiting a Pokémon Center). After defeating a Pokémon, all of the Pokémon in the player's party receive experience points, which level up the Pokémon after gathering enough. Some Pokémon can evolve into a better species, such as Turtwig (one of the three beginning Pokémon) evolving into Grotle.
The game adds a variety of new features as well. One of the biggest new features is the watch-like Pokétch. It is on the DS touch screen, and has many applications (many of which can be "downloaded" from characters in the overworld). There is also a new area for multiplayer games, the Underground. It is a large underground area that is the wireless gaming area (although not Wi-Fi). In the Underground, players can make a secret base (which contains items that can be purchased) and do a variety of minigames. The "secret base" was a feature that was in Ruby/Sapphire.
The Wi-Fi capabilities of Diamond/Pearl include global Pokémon trading in the Global Trade Station (users can select a Pokémon to set up for trade, as well as a Pokémon they want in return) and online battling. Pokémon Contests aren't a new feature per se, but they have been changed. There are three stages in the contests: Visual Competition (in which players attach accessories onto the Pokémon in order to boost certain traits), Dance Competition (in which the player taps various buttons in rhythm to music), and Acting Competition (in which the player selects a Pokémon move to impress judges). Poffins (similar to Pokéblocks in previous games) can be created to upgrade certain contest traits of Pokémon.
- Digital Clock - A clock that keeps track of the time, based on the Nintendo DS's internal clock. The clock is in 24-hour time format. This application is available from the beginning of the game.
- Calculator - This application is a standard calculator, save for one thing. Whenever a button is pressed, a cry of a Pokémon is heard. This application is available from the beginning.
- Memo Pad - A simple application that allows the player to use the DS touch screen to jot down notes. There is an eraser and a pencil. This application is available from the President of the Pokétch Company after getting the first badge.
- Step Counter - This application keeps track of the total amount of steps that the player has taken. It can be reset, so it is an ideal application for hatching eggs. This application is available from the beginning.
- Your Party - On this application, all six of the Pokémon in the party are displayed. It also displays their health and whether or not they are holding an item. If they are tapped, then they shout their cry. This application is available from the beginning.
- Happiness Checker - This application shows all six of the Pokémon in the party. By tapping on a Pokémon, its happiness can be displayed (maximum of two hearts). This application can be gathered from a woman in the Pokémon Center in Eterna City.
- Itemfinder - This is a helpful application that can be used to search for items underground. By clicking on the screen, it sends out a radar searching for items. This application is given to the player by the opponent (either Dawn or Lucas) on Route 207.
- Berry Checker - The Berry Checker keeps track of all of the berries that are planted in the Sinnoh region. If they are ready to harvest, then the Berry will be displayed on the screen. This application is gathered from the Berry Master in Route 208.
- Breeding Center Checker - This feature keeps track of the Pokémon that are currently in the Breeding Center. It shows their level, so players can keep track of the amount of levels that they have gained. If the two Pokémon create an egg, one appears there. This application can be obtained in the Daycare Center in Solaceon Town.
- Pokémon History - This is a simple application that shows the last twelve Pokémon that have either been captured, hatched, evolved, or traded. If clicked, they cry out. This application can be obtained from someone in Solaceon Town.
- Counter - This application is only useful when counting things such as Effort Value (when training a Pokémon). By hitting the plus button, it adds one to the counter.
- Analog Clock - This clock is similar to the Digital Clock application, except it is analog. It lights up when the touch screen is tapped. This application can be collected from a person in Celestic Town.
- Marking Map - This is a map of Sinnoh, with six little placemarks that can be placed around the map. In addition, when Mesprit and Cresselia are running around Sinnoh, they show up in this application. This application is collected from the President of the Pokétch Company after getting the third badge.
- Wireless Searcher - This feature searches for other DSes in the immediate area currently using the wireless DS features. It can be gathered from the President of the Pokétch Company after getting the fifth badge.
- Coin Toss - One of the simplest applications, it is a coin with a Magikarp and a Poké Ball that can be tossed by tapping on it. A resident in the Grand Lake Hotel gives the player this application.
- Type Chart - An application that displays all of the types of attacks. Any combination of types can be selected, and then it says which one is more powerful (normal, super effective, or not very effective). The President of the Pokétch Company gives it to the player after getting the seventh badge.
- Calender - A calender that displays the month and the day. It uses the same internal clock that the digital and analog clock applications use. By bringing a Pokémon with a serious nature to a girl in Sunyshore City, the player gets this application.
- Drawing Board - This application begins with a picture. By scratching away at the picture, it disappears. Then, by tapping on the screen, pixels change colors to try and redraw the picture. The application can be obtained from a person in Sunyshore City by bringing a Pokémon with a naive nature.
- Roulette - A simple roulette that can be stopped and started. The resident in Sunyshore City that gives several other applications also gives this one out if she gets a Pokémon with a quirky nature.
- Pokéradar Checker - This application shows which Pokémon that have been encountered using the Pokéradar key item. Professor Oak in Pal Park gives this application to the player.
- Kitchen Timer - This application is a timer on a large Snorlax. It can be set, started, stopped, and reset. After counting down to zero, Snorlax hits on its stomach and a noise goes off. It can be obtained from a woman in Pal Park, after showing her a Snorlax.
- Color Changer - This application changes the color of the Pokétch. A slider allows the player to select which color to have it change to. It can be obtained from the woman in the Pal Park by showing her a Kecleon.
- Matchup Checker - This application shows whether or not two Pokémon are compatible. If they are absolutely compatible, they get three hearts, moderately compatible gets two hearts, and slightly compatible gets one heart. A lot of things go into whether or not the Pokémon are compatible, including egg type and nature. This application can only be obtained through a Nintendo Event.
- Stopwatch - This is an Voltorb that is a stopwatch. By clicking on the Voltorb, it starts the stopwatch. It is similar to the Kitchen Timer, except it counts up rather than down. This application can only be obtained through Nintendo Events.
- Alarm Clock - A simple alarm clock that can be set. When it goes off, the Loudred gives out a loud cry. It can only be obtained through Nintendo Events.
Pokémon Diamond/Pearl is set in the Sinnoh Region, a region in the Pokémon world. Sinnoh is based off of the real-life Japanese island of Hokkaido. Sinnoh has many unique differences from other Pokémon regions. First of all, it is not connected directly to any of them. Second, it has a large, snowy mountain range cutting the entire region in half.
Last, the three lakes Verity, Acuity, and Valor form a distinctive triangle. In addition, Sinnoh houses a massive Underground, where some multiplayer components of the game take place.
The plot of Diamond/Pearl centers around a rising Pokémon trainer (as with all of the previous games, either a male or female trainer) who is intent on becoming the best trainer in the region of Sinnoh. The game opens with the main character at home, watching television when there is a news special about a Red Gyarados that was seen in a far away land (the Johto region). The main character and his or her best friend travel to the nearby lake to see if they can find any similar Pokémon, but instead they find Professor Rowan researching with his assistant (the character the player does not select, either Lucas or Dawn). At this point, the player has the choice between three starting Pokémon (Chimchar, Piplup, and Turtwig). The player must battle a Starly that is attacking Professor Rowan. Rowan gives the player the Pokémon as a gift, and also gives the player a Pokédex and asks that he or she fills it up.
As with many other Pokémon games, there is an evil organization in Diamond/Pearl.
The organization in Diamond/Pearl is called Team Galactic, a team whose motives are unknown for a larger part of the game. At many points during the game's plot, the player must fight Team Galactic (protecting innocents, preventing wrongdoings, etc). Team Galactic at one point attempts to capture three legendary Pokémon that control the three lakes of Sinnoh (Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit). They manage to capture the three Pokémon, and hold them captive in their headquarters. Their motive for this was to extract three powerful crystals to form the Red Chain, in hopes to control the legendary Pokémon Palkia or Dialga (depending on the version).
On Mt. Coronet, the resting place of Palkia/Dialga, the leader of Team Galactic (Cyrus) manages to reawaken the corresponding legendary. The powerful legendary Pokémon reacts to this rude awakening furiously, however, unleashed enormous amounts of energy (Palkia controls space and Dialga controls time). After battling the corresponding Pokémon (and possibly catching it), the region of Sinnoh returns to normal, allowing the player to continue on completing the Pokédex. At this point, the main plotline is essentially over besides the Champion's League, and the player can choose to do many other things in the game (with the ultimate goal of completing the Pokédex).
The difference between the Diamond and Pearl versions include how often and which types of Pokémon appear. The different games can communicate with each versions using Nintendo Wi-Fi connection and DS wireless communications. These game can also be connected to the Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald Version of Pokémon using Dual Slot feature of Nintendo DS. These game cannot be connected to GameBoy, N64, or GameCube versions of Pokémon. It is also not compatible with any Pokémon Battle e-cards.
GBA Insert Pokémon
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl introduce a new feature to the Pokémon games by utilizing the Nintendo DS's GBA slot. If either Pokémon Ruby, Pokémon Sapphire, Pokémon Emerald, Pokémon Fire Red or Pokémon Leaf Green are in the GBA slot, unobtainable Pokémon will be able to be found in the wild. The Pokémon are as follows:
Pokémon Fire Red:
Pokémon Leaf Green: