Pokémon Brilliant Diamond is a peaceful and adorable game for Pokémon fans of all ages



Official art of the generation four remakes featuring Dawn and her partner Piplup

Sadly, most series, including widely beloved ones, lose their spark over time and either stop releasing original content or stray so far from the classics that the first fans are beyond disgusted. Thankfully, after 25 years, the Pokémon franchise is still going strong—their newest game, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, is a stellar example of this.

Released alongside Pokémon Shining Pearl, the games came out as remakes of the 2006 games Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl. Despite having the same Pokémon as the old games, the graphics are obviously much more advanced and have enrapturing overall art and animation.

When I initially saw the trailer for the game several months ago, I was skeptical about the way the characters looked in the overworld. Outside of battles and encounters, all of the characters, including during cutscenes, have a “chibi” or short and stubby form. I thought this was a little on the lazy side and saved the creators work by not making highly detailed and stunning models, but eventually, the cuter and endearing style grew on me. I really like the design of Dawn—the female playable character—so I was excited to be able to run around as her. It was still a little odd to see my character in more realistic proportions during battle, but the change-up was nice and didn’t really bother me too much. It gave the game an overall more lighthearted feel though, which was a little disappointing during dramatic cutscenes.

On the other hand, some of the battle formats were replicas of the old games. The tag-team battle format, which allows for the player to battle alongside an NPC during some encounters, is much more frequent in this game than in others among the Pokémon series. I personally love double battles with NPCs as they helped the game to be much more tangible, and I was able to be enveloped deeper into it.

I personally love double battles with NPCs as they helped the game to be much more tangible and I was able to be enveloped deeper into it.”

Another aspect that made the game quite engaging was the added evolutions of Pokémon in this generation. Although these evolutions have been around since the original release of generation four, these are nonetheless fun to see highlighted in the remakes. In addition to being new Pokémon in the Sinnoh region, which is where the game takes place, they also have unique ways of evolving outside of leveling up. Whether it be having a Pokémon hold a special item or interacting with a certain landmark, these unusual methods add more activities to the post-game when trying to complete the Pokédex.

On the topic of the Pokédex, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond did indeed have the national Pokédex, as did the original game. Containing all of the Pokémon released from the four regions that were existent at the time of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl rather than just the Pokémon exclusive to the Sinnoh region, the national Pokédex adds more to do post-game despite the fact that it is available fairly early in the game. In later games, the mounting number of Pokémon able to be registered is overwhelming and it is extremely difficult to fill the national Pokédex. Thankfully, since there are only 493 Pokémon in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, filling the national Pokédex is a much more realistic goal.

Since I never got around to purchasing a copy of either Pokémon Diamond or Pokémon Pearl, the plot of the game and activities out of the main story were quite entertaining and very new to me. Because this was a new experience, I didn’t have any attached nostalgia. Despite this, I’m sure it was absolutely thrilling for many to see their favorite characters rebooted into a modern version of their childhood memories. Truly, this game did not drift away into smokey memories but rather rekindled my love of the Pokémon company and its thrilling games.