Pokemon Diamond/Pearl (DS) – Initial Impressions

I picked up Diamond (I know in the long term it doesn’t matter, but still…)

I’ve touched both the GBA and the GC pokemon games before, but never really got my head into them; the DS version however seems much more interesting.

None of the mechanics have changed from the other Pokemon games; you fight and capture Pokemon, make them gain experience and evolve, and try to collect them all. I think the only feature really new from the GBA versions is the idea of a two-on-two battle (typical from the GC versions, but I never recall seeing them on a GBA), but this works out pretty much the same way.

Of course, I (to a point) wished I’ve played those before, because I’ve got a 32nd level Monferno with some killer attacks that can take down most other pokemon in one hit, and the rest of the crew my character is carrying is only around 12-15th level while I’m fighting wild and tame ones in the 15-20th level; it makes it very hard to actually capture these. I would have definitely done the growth differently knowing this, but at least I have a sure fire round finisher.

I wish the text and display was faster; I’ve already turned off battle animations but it still is slow in battle and reporting the results.

I really dislike the day/night cycle idea, as there’s only a certain part of the day that I will usually be able to pick this up. The idea here is that the time in the pokemon world matches your time, so so some Pokemon aren’t available until then, and other Pokemon can only evolve in certain time periods. I like the concept of day vs night changes but this should be independent of what my time is. For a game like Animal Crossing, it’s fine since it’s less a game and more a sim, but for here, the time changes should be accelerated (one “day” in 6 or 4 hours?) so that no player is penalized for a time they can’t play.

I think what will really make this game sell is the Wifi stuff which I haven’t had a chance to try. A lot of it seems to assume you’re always near a Wifi point so the game can constantly use those features should you use them, but I know I’m not the only one where being near WiFi is always true. But again, I’ve yet to touch them so I can’t really say for sure yet.