TUCSON, Ariz. — The diabolical marketing genius behind mainline “Pokemon” games is that they always come in pairs. One will remind you that you are missing key Pokemon from another.
The new duo from Nintendo is “Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and “Pokemon Shining Pearl”, which are basically the same game with some slight differences. There are also distinct “Legendary”, characters that you won’t find in the other versions.
“Brilliant Diamond”, which is the legendary Pokemon steel dragon Dialga and “Shining Pearl”, has water dragon Palkia.
You might ask “Is it worth $60 to buy another game just for one more Pokemon?”
A Pokemon fan will know the answer: “of course!” For a Pokemon fan, the answer is “of course!”
Any other rational human being will answer “Nope”
If you can let your FOMO go, you will be fine choosing “Brilliant Gold” or “Shining Pearl” with no regrets. It doesn’t matter what you choose, the adventure will be fast and furious.
These remakes follow the 2006 DS games’ framework and include a complete overhaul of the visuals as well as a number of quality-of life modernizations. The combat scenes are the most notable enhancement. They give close-up views of the fights between the creatures. It is thrilling to get a close-up view of combat.
There’s something satisfying about “Pokemon”: scouting, tracking and capturing Pokemon will allow you take on any sassy trainer who has been taunting through dialogue boxes.
There are many levels of strategy involved. Still, it generally takes firepower — meaning collecting stronger Pokemon and evolving them into more ferocious forms – to win the higher-level battles. It is a testimony to the developers that the grind of progress feels more like a pleasure than a chore. Every time you spend with one the games, you feel like you’re making progress toward your goals.
New is the multiplayer option that allows you to join friends locally and online to explore new places and uncover hidden treasures. This mode brings a sense of community to an otherwise solo game. If you are lucky enough, you might even experience a more profound experience.
My 9-year-old son and I used the multiplayer feature for a significant portion of our weekend. I followed his instructions and let him lead. When I was a child, I didn’t realize that fatherhood would be a part of my future. I choked back tears when I saw the world through his eyes.
Moments like that — you just got to catch ’em all.
Review codes were provided by the publisher.