It’s simple to be cynical. Indeed, it’s hard not to shake the head at a series that has produced a dozen variants all cut through the same template and generated billions in merchandising. But then you start playing and also you quickly realise that Nintendo’s staggering sales of 155 million Pokemon cartridges have much more to do with exquisite game design than exploitative marketing. Even individuals who have already lost hours and hours in a quest to “catch ’em all” will find themselves hooked over again.
Now that you will find a bulging roster of 493 critters to catch, raise, battle, preen and breed, inevitably a few of 100 pokemon diamond lack the creativity and charisma of old favourites. However the charm in the pocket monsters remains a vital ingredient with what makes these games so pleasurable. Another crucial component is how convincing, consistent and interesting the entire world is to explore. The Sinnoh region is a wonderful place to visit.
Pokemon’s battle system is easy to learn but surprisingly strategic and tactically deep. Assembling a properly-rounded team that may defeat any opponent requires careful thought and proves very satisfying.
The best news for moms and dads is the fact %anchor1 represent the best value the gaming industry provides. Immensely deep and captivating, players can spend dozens upon dozens of hours trying 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 their critters and attempting to capture elusive wild creatures.
Most new features are minor improvements, such as the Poketech device, which can act as a wrist 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 great deal has evolved on the planet of Pokémon since we last visited in Emerald. Obviously, incorporating spanning 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 – form much of the excitement that surrounds the coming of such new adventures.
But it runs a hell of the lot deeper than just a couple new arrivals. The battle system has become reworked in the most important change to the basic principles of battling because the Special stat was split up into individual attack and inlqrn values right after the first games turned into somewhat 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 carry on Attack), now each move is classed as either Physical or Special and uses the appropriate stat. This opens up move set possibilities that would never before been employed and paves the way for most previously overlooked monsters to step-up 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 incorporating a host of new attacks and abilities. Bug and Ghost types are now significantly better catered for with a plethora of new attack and support moves, and lots of older attacks happen to be given elemental counterparts, including Fighting and Water versions of Quick Attack. Additionally, there are numerous new attacks which make once unusable Pokémon viable, particularly in 2 vs 2 battles.
Power Trick can change defensive legend Shuckle into a demon by swapping its minimal attack stat with its astronomical defence; Trick Room lets slower Pokémon attack first for a number of turns, making the likes of Snorlax and Steelix so much more imposing; moves like Bug Devour and Hurl make use of held items (both yours and the opponents) to deal damage accordingly. Whatever type you tend to favour, you’ll find at the very least a few helpful new moves here to enhance any move set.