7 Things Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl Did Well (And 7 Things It Needed To Improve)


Hey everyone! Last week I did a post about Sword and Shield, and how they did well and what could have been improved. Today is the day for BDSP to get the same treatment!

This was hard to write, considering I had more negatives than positives, I just really needed to think of things.


Okay, the story is basically the same as it was for the originals. It’s pretty hard to mess up, really. However, I did really enjoy the story, so there’s a big plus.

There’s not really much else I can say!


As much as I’ve gotten used to the chibi style, I wish they hadn’t had two separate styles – one for the overworld, one for battling. I wish they’d stuck with one or the other, and leave it at that. Preferably the regular-sized models, if we’re being honest.

I did get used to the chibi style, but it’s still not my first pick.

DID WELL: Soundtrack

The soundtrack for these games is really nice, and it’s not an improvement of the original, it’s just a remaster. The bonus is that if you don’t like it, you can get the DS Sounds (sadly that is after you defeat Cynthia though).

However, I rarely use the DS Sounds, because I just love the remastered soundtrack!


I mentioned this in my Sword/Shield post, but again, please let us have the option.

DID WELL: No HMs in the traditional sense

I was worried that we’d have to use HM slaves again and have a party slot taken up by it. However, I was blown away because you get them as part of the Poketch. It means that you can call a Pokemon in a similar sense to the PokeRide in Alola, instead of using your own party member for the role.

NEEDED TO IMPROVE: Hard to obtain Pokemon

There were two Pokemon that was proving impossible for me to obtain – Togepi and Gallade. Even though I put down so many Fairy statues, it wasn’t until the postgame where I found my first Togepi.

For Gallade, I was missing the Dawn Stone, and it ended up being easier to evolve my Kirlia into Gardevoir now that I was missing the crucial Fairy-type in Togekiss.

So instead of using a Togekiss and Gallade, I ended up with a Staraptor and Gardevoir. Not the worst thing to happen, but it left a lot of sour grapes.

People kept talking about Cynthia giving you a Togepi egg, but sadly that was just in Platinum.

DID WELL: Challenging Elite 4

I wasn’t expecting the Elite 4 to be challenging. Well, more challenging than the original, at least.

All of the Pokemon had the beneficial natures, IVs and EVs, as well as tactical Abilities and held items (looking at Flame Orb/Marvel Scale Milotic here). I had to come prepared, and I somehow managed to defeat a Garchomp using a Gastrodon (okay so my Gastrodon didn’t have a favourable Special Attack and had Ice Beam, but it still two-shot after wasting the Garchomp’s Yache Berry).

It ended up proving to be my favourite Elite 4 run, purely because of its difficulty. And I have to do it all again in my birthday Sleeplocke next month yay!

NEEDED TO IMPROVE: Not for shiny hunters

This game is not for shiny hunters. The Shiny Charm isn’t worth it, because you have to fill out the National Pokedex, and then the Charm only works for Masuda. The bike controls are awful (will discuss later), and the PokeRadar breaks 7% of the time for no reason, but it feels like it’s a 70% (hence my 70% chance joke that nobody seems to get and jumps down my throat whenever I mention it).

While Masuda is an alternative, the bike controls are horrendous, and I’ll go into that more later.

I do have shinies from it, but I’ve gone back to Sword/Shield for shiny hunting because at least things are consistent.

DID WELL: Grand Underground

The Grand Underground has been one of the more popular staples of these games, to the point where our community shiny challenges consists of the Underground (woo Underground Shiny Circuit, where my peeps at?). I could potentially keep playing the game for hours just for the Underground, and it was a lot better than the originals.

NEEDED TO IMPROVE: No creative liberties from Platinum

If any Pokemon game required a blended experience, these were it. What I mean by a ‘blended experience’ is that the third game should have been incorporated into the workings of BDSP. Platinum fixed a lot of issues that the original Diamond/Pearl games brought, but these were mostly reverted back in BDSP. Giratina’s Distortion World would have made for an amazing postgame experience, and Fire-types would have been more commonplace, as would have been the general distribution of Pokemon. The reason why people use the same style of teams (starter/Luxray/Floatzel/Staraptor, etc.) is because of the lack of diversity in the games.

These games needed to take creative liberties from Platinum.

DID WELL: No shiny locked Pokemon (except gifts)

I love that, gifts aside, there are no shiny locked Pokemon. It’s brought a community of Briefcase Simulator players, and even the Legendaries can be shiny. Of course, the gift eggs, Jirachi and Mew are all shiny-locked, but that was to be expected. Although it would have been nice to soft-reset for shiny Jirachi.

It’s why it makes the concept of shiny hunting in this game a tad heartbreaking. Everything is there, but there’s no thought put into it by ILCA.


The amount of bugs that were in this game is phenomenal for a finished piece. It definitely could give Bethesda a run for its money. I am sad that I missed out on doing the bug to get the Shaymin encounter, because that is a hunt I would have loved to have done on stream. Alas, it was not meant to be.

DID WELL: Nostalgia

The Sinnoh games in general gave me a lot of nostalgia from when I first played it as far back as 2014. All these years later, the game felt old and new at the same time, and it tapped into the memories of what my team back then was like, why I enjoyed using a Luxray originally. It’s also why I wanted to be as far removed from my original team as possible, so I could experience new Pokemon.

For this reason, I had Torterra, Gastrodon, Gardevoir, Skuntank, Magnezone and Staraptor. Gardevoir is always a staple in my Hoenn games, and both it and Staraptor were good back-ups for Togekiss. Everything else, I’d planned out and strategised, and enjoyed using them all.

NEEDED TO IMPROVE: Stiff controls

A lot of the controls left a lot to be desired. Navigating through the Pokemon boxes was tough, the hitboxes on the terrain is larger than life, and the frames just before encountering something is just bad.

A lot definitely needed fine-tuning, for certain.

I’ll definitely do another one of these lists sometime in February for Legends, which will hopefully be a more positive experience!

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