Nintendo DS : Pokemon Pearl Reviews

Gas Gauge: 80
Gas Gauge 80
Below are user reviews of Pokemon Pearl and on the right are links to professionally written reviews. The summary of review scores shows the distribution of scores given by the professional reviewers for Pokemon Pearl. Column height indicates the number of reviews with a score within the range shown at the bottom of the column. Higher scores (columns further towards the right) are better.

Summary of Review Scores

Game Spot 85
GameZone 85
Game Revolution 70

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Beautiful Pearls

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 84 / 87
Date: April 23, 2007
Author: Amazon User

After countless spin offs the real deal is here: Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. The Pokemon craze has been around for years. Ever since the Red and Blue versions hit way back, Pokemon has been huge. It's tried and true formula has worked for over ten years, and it's pretty apparent that the formula isn't going to die now. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are a lot like the Pokemon games that preceded it, but they've really thrown in some good touches here. Still, most players who've been playing since the Gameboy days, or even as recent as the GBA days will still get a "been there, done that," feeling. Still, the game is good, addictive and it will keep you busy for hours on end.

As I said, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl have a "been there, done that" kind of feel. You begin as a rookie trainer in a village, and under some circumstances, you are asked by a professor to go and collect Pokemon data using a Pokedex. On your journey your goal is to collect as many Pokemon as you can and train them to take on other trainers, and to get all the badges from the games various gym leaders, while you've got a rival who is out doing to same thing to prove he's better than you. In addition, there's an evil organization called Team Galactic that has plans for a new world order and to do that they need all the Pokemon they can get. If all this sounds familiar, that's because it is! It's the exact same formula that worked for the original Pokemon games on the Gameboy, the games on the Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance. The story, of course, is simple and charming, but where Pokemon has always managed to shine most is it's fantastic and addictive gameplay.

Pokemon is actually really strategic and in-depth. That is to say, it requires a lot of thought, and believe me, some of these battles (especially against the new Pokemon that are introduced in this version) require a lot of your skill. Battles are turn based, where you select a command and then watch a round of combat. There's a paper/rock/scissors effect here, however. Each and every Pokemon has a type, and some of the attacks they use reflect its type. This makes up what deals massive damage, what deals no damage and what deals just normal damage. Grass may be strong against water, for example but grass is also weak against fire, but in turn, fire is weak versus water. This effect plays through with seventeen and different types, and there is no best type because every type has a weakness. It's because of this element that Pokemon is so much fun to play. Just trying to construct the perfect team will take you more than a day, and with over 100 new creatures to collect, you can form endless amounts of teams. Just catching all the Pokemon alone will keep you busy for well over 50 hours. To add to the effect you'll face several other trainers as well, and you never know what they'll throw at you. Your strongest Pokemon may very well become your weakest in certain battles just because of its type.

The battle system itself is made even simplar by the touch screen. Where as before you were scrolling through menus, battling can simply be done by touching the different options on screen. It makes battling a lot faster, especially because the icons are pretty big. Luckily, there's never really a point where you have to use the touch screen if you don't want to, and battling can still be done the old fashioned way if you so choose.

As with Ruby and Sapphire there are also moments of two on two battles. Usually they come with either two trainers taking you on at a time, and you'll send out the two Pokemon in your top roster, or you'll be with another trainer who will send out his or her Pokemon with yours. It adds to the strategic feel of the game, but the moments of two on two battles are pretty few and far between.

In your journey you'll also receive a nifty watch that works based off the time of your internal clock. This means that much like Gold and Silver, it'll switch between day and night. Some Pokemon come out only in the early morning, others come out late at night. Some Pokemon only come out on certain days. Either way, those itching to catch each and every Pokemon will enjoy this aspect of it.

As I said before, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl have added some new things. The most important new thing however, is how much easier it is to trade Pokemon and battle with your friends. Using Wi-fi on the DS is far better than the various link cables or having to go out and buy the wireless adapter for the GBA. You can battle with people all across the world, and do other things as well, such as trade with them. Of course, in order to enjoy the full benefits of this you'll need the friend code to do it, and sometimes. In order to get the full experience of the online gaming world in Pokemon, you'll need to register friend codes. If you don't you can't enjoy some of the better perks, like being able to talk to a friend using the microphone of your DS as you battle. Still, the combat is enhanced greatly when playing online. If you don't want to play online you can easily connect to another DS and battle it out that way with your friend simply sitting in the room.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are also full of little secret goodies. There are the legendary Pokemon, Pokemon contests, and of course, even after you've finished the main story there's more to be done. You can transfer Pokemon from your GBA versions by sticking it into the GBA slot of the DS. No matter how you slice it, Pokemon can easily keep you busy longer than several RPGs combined

I wish I could say the graphics and sound are absolutely amazing, but they're really not. For as much fun as this game is, it's certainly not the best as far as graphics go. The same goes for the sound as well. Pokemon has never really been a game you go after for eye-candy, though. There are some moments where some 3D effects come out, but not very many. The sprites are more or less the same sprites they've been using since the Red and Blue versions. Ideally, the game doesn't look all that much of a step up from Ruby and Sapphire, and they were not fantastic looking games either. It's really colorful, but the DS is capable of so much more than this. Likewise, in battle is still as horrible as ever. Fun to do it, but the Pokemon still only flinch to attack, and there aren't a lot of animations going on, and we're still looking over the Pokemon's shoulder. Essentially, the combat engine hasn't changed since the series first outing in 1998. There are some move animations that look really good, but aside from that it's hard to look passed the simple fact that the game's combat engine hasn't really evolved since the original games came out way back in 1998. This isn't the original Gameboy, this is the Nintendo DS.

The sound is also no exception. A lot of it sounds really tinny. There are some tunes that definitely sound Pokemon like, but again, it's using old technology on a system capable of a lot more. Most of the sound effects such as the Pokemon's cries are ripped straight from--you guessed it--the original Gameboy versions released in 1998. That's not to say all the tunes sound bad, it's just to say that a lot of what you're going to hear is recycled.

Despite the games graphics and sound, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are still excellent games. There's a lot more depth here than people think, and a lot of stuff to keep you busy for a long time to come. Even those who are tired of the same simplistic plot and formula will find something great here.


+Simple, yet addictive gameplay
+Deep, strategic combat system
+Touch screen controls make battling easier
+Wi-fi connection works well
+Over 100 new Pokemon join the roster
+Simple storyline that anyone can understand
+Being able to battle trainers all across the globe and being able to trade with them is fantastic
+Game can keep you busy for hours with all there is to do, easily over 80 hours worth of gameplay


-You can still only save one file
-Graphics and sound are horribly outdated
-The formula works, but there are bound to be gamers out there who are sick of the same old storyline

Pokemon arrives on the Nintendo DS

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 21 / 23
Date: May 17, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Pokemon Pearl and Diamond.

The Pokemon franchise has always been a mixed bag. While it spawned numerous disasters, like an annoying cartoon and frequent controversies, it also resulted in a sweet card game and some of the greatest portable RPGs the world has ever known. Any Pokemon game that has stuck to the traditional formula has been a true winner. From the series infancy right up to the recent Game Boy Advance titles, this is the RPG series that has never failed to please. With each new entry in the series (as far as the "traditional" RPGs of the series go), there have been enough improvements to keep fans interested, but enough sticking to the classic formula so as to not alienate long time fans. Read on for my review of the Nintendo DS entries in the series, Diamond and Pearl.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were released in Japan in the latter half of 2006. The American release followed in Spring of 2007. The game adds over a hundred new Pokemon to the roster, as well as a whole new world to explore, and Nintendo WFC compatibility.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are more or less what people expected them to be, and that's a good thing. Nintendo took its flagship franchise, and stayed true to the classic formula, but took excellent advantage of what the DS is capable of (in most respects.) What results is one of the finest titles both in the Pokemon franchise and for the DS.


-CLASSIC POKEMON GAMEPLAY. This is true blue original-style Pokemon gaming, not one of those misadventures that made people tilt their heads in confusion. If you've played any of the other games in the series (the REAL series, not the departures from the classic RPG formula), and you found them appealing, you'll fall in love with this new entry instantly.
-OVER A HUNDRED NEW SPECIES. You'd think after a decade with this franchise, Nintendo would be either fresh out of new ideas for Pokemon or scraping the bottom of the barrel for new ideas. Neither is true. Nintendo keeps things fresh, with several awesome new species, and even some new pre-evolved forms and evolutions for the old ones. Not to mention there are a ton of new legendaries in town.
-NINTENDO WFC COMPATIBILITY. I really had my doubts about Nintendo being able to use this well in a Pokemon game, but for the most part they succeed well. All trading with friends locally is done wireless in a Union Room (like what you did in Fire Red and Leaf Green for the Game Boy Advance with wireless adaptors.) You can even trade online with gamers all around the world! The online trade system is an awesome addition to this series.
-INVOLVING. This game grows on you. Any fan of the Pokemon series will tell you that the RPGs are addicting, and there is definitely more to them than meets the eye. Beneath the cute characters and happy music is an in-depth game that requires well-planned strategies to win. This isn't just a kids game. Get started with it, and it will take over your whole life.
-TWO VERSIONS. As with all Pokemon games, there are multiple versions of the game - Diamond and Pearl. Each game is the same, except for the different versions of Pokemon in each game. You can buy one version and a friend can buy the other, and this is a good way to get everything the game has to offer.
-TONS OF REPLAY VALUE. With the over one hundred new species added here, the total number of Pokemon now approaches five hundred. With that many, you'll never get tired of hunting. And even if you catch them all, you can always try training different species and participating in the Pokemon contests. There's always something to do.
-LOTS OF CUSTOMIZING YOUR MONSTERS. This has always been a feature I've loved about this series. You can arrange the moves of your Pokemon to your liking, and thus customize them to suit your own fighting style. A similar-specie monster own by you and your friend, at the exact same level, may have totally different attacks!
-NEW UNDERGROUND MODE. This is a nice little extra addition to the series. Though by no means required, it's a great feature and can help you get some rare items.
-COMPATIBLE WITH THE GAME BOY ADVANCE RPGS. You can use them to import your old monsters once you get the National Pokedex, and even have them in your DS's GBA slot to make some rarer Pokemon appear in the wild! A nice incentive to have one of the older games.


-THERE ARE SOME PROBLEMS IN THIS SERIES I DON'T THINK NINTENDO WILL EVER FIX. Pokemon CAN NOT forget HM-taught moves on their own! This gets extremely annoying when your Pokemon wants to learn a new move, and you can't get rid of the one annoying once-obligatory move you want to trash the most. Likewise, you can't change the nicknames of Pokemon gotten in trades. This gets annoying when trading online with Japanese gamers who give their creatures nicknames consisting of Japanese characters us Americans will never understand. There are other little flaws but I won't nitpick.
-IMPORTING YOUR OLD GBA MONSTERS IS A GREAT FEATURE, BUT YOU HAVE TO ACCOMPLISH TOO MUCH BEFORE YOU CAN DO IT! You have to beat the Gym Leaders, Elite Four AND complete the regional Pokedex before you can do this. Fortunately, you only have to SEE all the Pokemon to complete the dex, but this doesn't make this any less annoying. Eager trainers who want to get their old monsters into the game right away are going to be annoying. I understand Nintendo wanting to make gamers work for this, but this is just too much. The feature should have been made available earlier in the game.
-HORRIBLY OUTDATED GRAPHICS. The Game Boy Advance games in the series are graphically superior to these! The graphics are often pixelated, and the attempt at three dimensions will cause confusion at times, as some paths will become difficult to see. You actually have to play the game to know what I mean.
-WHEN TRADING ONLINE, YOU CAN NOT TRADE FOR A POKEMON UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN IT BEFORE IN YOUR GAME! This is absolute bull! If you're thinking about filling out your Pokedex through online trading, forget it. I don't know what Nintendo was thinking when they came up with this asinine idea.
-YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE POKEMON UP FOR TRADE AT A TIME ONLINE. This pretty much speaks for itself.
-IF THE DS HAS SO MANY BUTTONS, WHY CAN YOU ONLY REGISTER AN ITEM TO ONE BUTTON? It gets annoying having to decide between having a fishing rod or a bike on the register button, as I use both a ton and most gamers will too. Would it have killed Nintendo to make the L and R buttons register buttons too? They don't get used much at all.

Despite the obvious flaws, this is a great game. All Nintendo DS owners will be doing themselves a favor adding Pokemon Pearl and/or Diamond to their collections.

At the time I write this, the game is brand new. You should have no trouble finding a copy in any game store.

like a comfortable old sweatshirt...

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 23 / 27
Date: April 23, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Like putting on a comfortable old sweatshirt on a cold day, the new Pokemon games for the DS are warm and welcoming. Sure, the formula is the same we've had since the games first game, but the nuances like the more 3-D towns, the additional Pokemon introduced in the game and other touches (like the improvements on contests) really build upon that formula and make it new again.

I look forward to getting to the point in the game where I can pull my Pokemon from my older GB Advance games. That will really help to have more to chose from.

Another Great Generation of Pokemon

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 17 / 18
Date: April 22, 2007
Author: Amazon User

I picked up this game today and it is everything a pokemon game should be: fun, intuitive, and addicting. The graphics hold to the classic 2D sprite style, adding a sense of nostalgia for us older Poke-fans, while incorporating some interesting 3D effects. The music is light and, hours into the game, has yet to become grating.

A slew of new moves (TMs alone number almost 100), pokemon (almost 500), and items later, this chapter in the Pokemon line is full to bursting. They've even thrown in some extra side-quests of sorts. One of the big ones is the Underground, where players can participate in multi-player capture the flag games, dig for gems and fossils, or build their own secret base.

However, don't expect much in the way of a story. You're still just a kid trainer trying to (what do you know) "catch 'em all," beat (you guessed it) eight gym leaders, and conquer (but of course) the Elite Four. Not to mention having to uproot and put to an end Team [ - insert various theme - ]. In this case, Team Galactic. Ho hum. Admittedly this is nothing ground breaking, which is a disappointment, but the amalgamation and refinement of various features, from previous generations, into one makes for an overall satisfying experience.

Despite the unchanged story arc, there are enough updates and refinements that justify picking this game up, and the heart of the game - an addictingly deep, varied, and well-balanced RPG/Stragety element - remains unbroken. If anything, it's only become more well-seasoned with age. For longstanding poke-fans, new recruits, and reverts, I highly recommend purchasing this game.

I'm on the fence about what score this game really DESERVES

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 7 / 7
Date: April 27, 2007
Author: Amazon User

Like somebody mentioned before, this game is like a comfortable old sweater but how much merit does that really award this game is my question? It's fun, no doubt about that, but it's almost too familiar. I feel that they're really capitalizing on the "Don't fix what ain't broke" school of thought here. If they keep making the same game over and over again this is eventually going to become somewhat of a Dragon Warrior 8 where I am just bored to tears by the same gameplay mechanics over and over.

It's fun and you will like it as a Pokemon fan or a new player to the series.

Same tinny music that's only increased marginally in quality since the first entries in to the series.

Not much of a graphical update since the the gameboy advance.

Only small changes and tweaks to the game mechanics.

Still only one save spot.

Wifi, if a handheld game ever screamed wifi then pokemon was definitely one of the loudest. Easily the best addition to the game.

Along the lines of the wifi, having the use of a headset is also pretty useful and fun.

New pokemon, duh.

I really can't knock this game too bad because ultimately it's really fun and it's nice to finally have Pokemon on my DS but I'm a little bitter because I feel they could have done SO much more with this game. I would rate the game itself probably a 3.5/5 if Amazon would let me but a 5/5 for fun. If you're looking for some drastically updated Pokemon game then I would pass on this title though.

Best Since Red/Blue

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 7 / 7
Date: May 28, 2007
Author: Amazon User

This is the most satisfying pokemon game since the original red and blue. The story follows the same basic format as the other eleven handheld RPGs but for some reason it feels fresh.

The Graphics have been enhanced to a phenomenal level
The new starter pokemon are the best since red and blue
There is a new crime syndicate out to make their mark (Team Galactic)
And the DS allows for a unique experience (but don't worry, if you don't want to use the touch screen you have the option to use the old fashion controls).

Without a doubt, though, the best new feature is Nintendo Wi-Fi. You can battle friends in the same room or across the country...and you can trade pokemon in the GLOBAL market. No more having to force your friends at knife point to give up their starter pokemon, nope, now you can put up an offer and someone will respond to it...no matter where they happen to be in the world.

What is the difference between Diamond and Pearl? Not much...just the pokemon that you can find in the wild.

Pokemon Exclusive to Diamond:

Pokemon Exclusive Pearl:

There is no difference to the storyline, choice of characters, or anything else. So it really doesn't matter which version you pick it's going to be the same experience and you can always find the opposite versions exclusive pokemon on the global market.

Buy this game, it is beyond awesome. Your DS experience will not be complete without a copy of this game. If you're a pokemon fan whether new or old you will love this version...even if you gave up on the series after Gold and Silver pick up a copy of Diamond/Pearl, it will drag you kicking and screaming back into pokemon fanmania.

Same old game-play, different pokemon

3 Rating: 3, Useful: 3 / 3
Date: September 24, 2007
Author: Amazon User

When I'm commuting, I like to play my Nintendo DS, and I bought this game hoping it brought back memories from playing on my old Gameboy Color. Well, it did..and almost the same exact ones.

It's just as fun to play as the old games, but really...and seriously... NOTHING has changed except the pokemon. No new graphics, no new technology, no new sound. I thought the Yellow version with the talking Pikachu was a breakthrough in technology, but this version went back a step...it doesn't even have talking in the game.

It's the same old fun, and nothing new. Buy the game if you liked the old stuff. If you haven't tried the old games, buy it because it's addictive and fun.

Pokemon Pearl: Awesome :)

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 3 / 3
Date: October 14, 2007
Author: Amazon User

this game is great, because there are more things to do than the other games. So far my favorite thing to do is go under ground and search for stuff, and set traps for other people. And Wi-Fi connection for the game is cool cause you can battle people all over the world, and trade for pokemon you don't have. I give it two thumbs up! b^-^d

its good, but the worst of the series imo

2 Rating: 2, Useful: 5 / 9
Date: October 13, 2007
Author: Amazon User

I'm sorry to say, but this has got to be the least fun pokemon game i've ever played. After I get through the bad stuff tho, I will list some good stuff. So don't skip this review.

The game is fun, but, personally I think the online aspect ruins it. You can get all sorts of stuff through trading that you usually won't be able to get too easily, and I find that a tad annoying. Plus, The dialogue is terrible. It's gotten extremely cheesy and at points i was shocked at how bad it is. The bad guy team in this game was also really annoying, and the fact that half the members of it didn't seem to have a clue what was going on didn't help. Theres also many new terrain types which are no fun at all, such as snow, fog, and swamps. Fog you can't see a darn thing when you're walking around, and the only way to clear it is to use an HM move. I don't like to have to remove my good attacks to put really weak HM attacks on my pokemon just to get further in the game, and this game seems to really emphasize HM's.

The pokemon gyms have also turned into giant puzzles which take quite some time to figure out at times. While this is probably welcome for most people as it adds a new level of gameplay, I personally prefer the walk in the room and beat up the leader approach of older games gyms.

But what really killed it for me is the lack of stuff to do after you beat the game. I love being able to continue playing a game after I beat it, and most pokemon games (especially gold and silver) have stuff to do afterwards. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl do have stuff, but it is incredibly boring. I continued playing for about 3 days after I beat it, and got bored and stopped. I managed to get over 100 hours of gameplay out of pokemon ruby after i beat the elite 4. (i had about 180 hours of gameplay before I started over, and it probably took 50 or less to beat the story mode)

If you don't mind this lack of fun after you beat the game, then by all means get it. And if the ability to get almost anything in the game online appeals to you, then, you should probably already have this game. But I found those parts to be annoying, so, It is my least favorite in the series.

Dont worry, this is awsome

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 3 / 4
Date: June 15, 2007
Author: Amazon User

ok, this game is AWSOME
sure, it has the same formula and bla bla bla
but its a great game
people say the graphics are ok, but once you play it you will think ruby, saphire, fire red, leaf green and emerald are all bad
you will never go back to those versions
the graphics to me are amazing, they mixed a 2d world with a 3d world.
when you walk into town all the buildings pop out of the screen,
the windmill place is one of the best examples.
then they included a other regoin that is supposed to be under sinnoh(the region you are in) called the underground
this is where you get your secret base and evolution stons and fossils, ect....
it is a lot better then prevous games
it has a good replay so if you get bored(i dont see how)you could start over
this game is just AWSOME

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