• Matthew Rondina

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Review

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have been updated for a new generation of gamers on the Nintendo Switch, my full review.

Trainers get ready, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are now available on the Nintendo Switch. I have spent a few weeks trying to “catch em’ all” and I am happy to share the games are faithful to their original versions and have made many meaningful quality of life improvements. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl offer hours of fun gameplay, new features, and adorable monsters to capture.

These games are an updated version of Nintendo DS release from 2007. With new graphics and features, as well as 150 Pokémon to catch, Diamond and Pearl are sure to please old fans and newcomers alike. Whether you're a seasoned gamer or just getting into the Pokémon world, these games are the adventure you have been waiting for. It’s time to dawn your trainer’s cap and walking shoes it’s time to explore Sinnoh!

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Details


Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Developer: ILCA

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Adventure, Role-Playing

Modes: Single-player

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

New, but familiar gameplay


The game’s controls are simple and easy to use; you can run around, jump, interact with characters, open menus, and battle. The game follows a familiar formula: You are a young trainer who sets out on a journey to complete your Pokédex and become a champion. Along the way, you'll make new friends, battle fierce rivals, and discover the power of Legendary Pokémon. I have played through both games and I still catch new Pokémon that I haven't seen before, making the 150-plus Pokédex really shine.

"I have played through both games and I still catch new Pokémon that I haven't seen before, making the 150-plus Pokédex really shine."

Graphics and visual design


Developer ILCA did a great job connecting the past visual style to a new modern experience with Diamond and Pearl. You'll explore the Sinnoh region, one of the most geographically diversified of any Pokémon game. You travel across the map navigating mountains, icy fields, and spelunking in underground caverns. The visuals are a big improvement but still offer fun nods to the original art style with "cookie-cutter" pattered trees, rocks, and other formations. ILCA even mimicked the sprite-style poses of Pokemon trainers in their more fully realized models.

"Developer ILCA did a great job connecting the past visual style to a new modern experience with Diamond and Pearl."

The visuals in battle also have been significantly improved, region-specific backgrounds now appear as you duke it out. You can also change the appearance of your trainer with various costumes, but it would be great to have more options.

Greater detail in Pokémon models


Several classic creatures have been given a fresh coat of paint as well and look better than ever in this version. Take Geodude for example, this Rock/Ground-type Pokemon was first introduced in the original Red and Blue.

"Several classic creatures have been given a fresh coat of paint as well and look better than ever in this version."

In Diamond and Pearl its appearance is drastically different from its debut 20 years ago, now taking on a more stone-like look with shades of grey streaked across its form. The pocket monsters look great, and the modernization of visual elements makes the overall experience more appealing.

The Grand Underground


One of the biggest improvements to Pearl and Diamond is the expansion and overall improvement of "The Grand Underground." The area isn't new to the games, but it is more fun to explore with a variety of distinct environments to check out.

Redesigned gyms


Pokémon Diamond and Pearl feature all-new Gym Leaders who specialize in different types of Pokémon. A new Elite Four awaits you at the end of your journey along with Sinnoh's creator, Professor Rowan.

Trainers now roam around areas like Hearthome City and battles are heavily improved over the original versions. During showdowns, items can be used mid-battle; this helps for trying out new strategies or using an item that will help regain energy/HP if needed.

Final thoughts on Pokémon Diamond and Pearl


Diamond and Pearl are great RPGs in their own right, especially for younger players, or those wanting to revisit Sinnoh there's a lot to love. The new visuals are cartoony and fun, while also paying homage to past games in the Pokémon franchise. The reimagined soundtrack, solid story, and improved battle mechanics make for an enjoyable experience. It would be ideal to see more new Pokémon added along with more quality of life improvements added


Pokémon Diamond and Pearl PROS


+ A solid story that pushes the adventure forward

+ Great soundtrack

+ Some key quality of life improvements

+ Faithful to original releases


Pokémon Diamond and Pearl CONS

- There are a lot of repetitive tasks

- The return of random encounters

- Exclusive Pokemon tied to each version


Gameplay: 8/10

Graphics: 7.5/10

Sound: 7.5/10

Replayability: 8/10


Overall Rating: 31/40 (78%)

A copy of the game was provided by Nintendo for the purpose of this review.