Parents' Guide to

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Classic titles get a visual upgrade, simpler monster play.

Game Nintendo Switch 2021
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 5+

Buggier than the Original

How did they make it more glitchy and carry over bugs from the original games? This is what happens when you outsource your entire game to an outsourcing company. They make assets. Not entire games. Pray Nintendo doesn’t let these people on their IPs again. This was completely and utterly insane in terms of gameplay. Everything else is fine.
age 6+

Best Games Since Heart Gold and Soul Silver

The games are very well made remakes despite what some critics and toxic Pokémon fans say. The games are mostly faithful remakes of the DS games Diamond and Pearl with some much needed improvements to the originals. They also fixed the EXP Share issue where you don’t get as much experience points if you are at a higher level so it’s not as easy to over level like the other Switch Pokémon games. They added a feature from the old DS games Heart Gold and Soul Silver where you can have your favorite Pokémon follow behind you. The Grand Underground fixed the issue of fire type Pokémon being scarce. Once you beat the game and have seen all of the Pokémon, there is a post game where you can battle the gym leaders at much higher levels. And once you capture Giratina and Heatran you can also battle the Pokémon League at very high levels. Champion Cynthia has a team of Pokémon that are all in their 80’s making her final team the strongest in the series and debunking the myth that the games are dumbed down and easy. There is also a way to get the original games music if you want to listen to the old DS music. And the games reward you for playing Let’s Go Pikachu or Eevee and also Sword or Shield by giving you a free Mew and Jirachi early in the game. These games are so amazing and developer ILCA did an excellent job on the games. There is so much content. There’s the Ramanas Park where you can use Mysterious Shards found in the Grand Underground to encounter legendary Pokémon from the first 3 games. The only bad thing about the games (and it doesn’t bother me) is the lack of Pokémon after 2006-07 which is when the original Diamond and Pearl came out. This means that newer favorites like Yamper and Scorbunny are not in the games at the moment. You can catch everything else for a total of 493 Pokémon counting event Pokémon. All and all these aren’t perfect games but they are still very enjoyable.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (6 ):

While these adventures bring players back to a classic adventure in the franchise, the modern enhancements take away some of the challenge that made them so noteworthy. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl are remasters of 15-year-old games, providing a new generation of gamers a chance to explore the Sinnoh region. But this isn't just a basic retread of the older stories. A number of enhancements have been made to freshen the gameplay for a new audience, not counting the cute new visuals. These include an auto-save feature as you enter buildings or routes, and directions whenever you access your menu screen in case you're ever lost about what to do next. These are supported by massive enhancements, such as the option to use hidden moves to bypass barriers such as rocks and trees, instead of taking a precious skill slot that isn't necessarily useful in battle. Similarly, the option to always access Pokémon from anywhere you are, instead of having to trek back to town to remake your party, is a huge time-saver, and all Pokémon in your party share experience at the end of a battle, even if they've never been deployed in the match itself. These features are paired with improved connection options to help you trade Pokémon or battle with friends nearby or with other players around the world, as well as an improved Grand Underground that feels like you're getting a second massive area you can explore for hours.

All that being said, the largest issue with these two games is that while the enhancements make the game feel more responsive and updated, it also makes the gameplay incredibly easy. This is clearly tied to the experience-sharing feature, which can make your Pokémon so incredibly powerful that you won't have an issue taking on random creatures or opponents that you run into along each route. When you realize that you can also instantly swap out your party for other captured creatures without ever having to retreat to town (aside from resting your creatures), you'll breeze through gyms and opponents alike unless you send out creatures that are clearly weak to specific attacks. If these games had harder difficulty levels, or if it took these new enhancements into effect to scale the challenge, it would be more engaging, especially since these games are basically the same as they were 15 years ago. But the simplicity of the game doesn't ruin the fun, especially if you're a Pokémon fan or want to explore the Sinnoh region for the first time.

Game Details

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