New to the Series: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond Review
Editor’s Note: If there is one thing you need to know about the author of this article it is that he’s never wanted to review a Pokémon game, and he has never PLAYED a Pokémon game. And so I thought his perspective would be interesting. Was Pokémon Brilliant Diamond a good place to start? How difficult was the game? Will it hook you on the series? Here is our review of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond!
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond is a excellent game to start with if you’ve never played a game in the series before. Right at the start, the game says “Welcome to the world of Pokémon” and then goes on to explain what Pokémon are and what the world is like. The game then eases players into its world, story, and gameplay. While pretty typical for a Pokémon games, I’ve been told by Editor-in-Chief, Adam Roffel, that some games in the franchise ease you into the game better than others. This must have been one of the positives ones, I suppose.
The story seems pretty simplistic on the surface: the main character is going out into the world to find Pokémon and become the best Pokémon trainer. However there is a very interesting subplot involving the ‘bad guys’ in the game, Team Galactic (which we won’t spoil) and other sub quests that make the world feel more lived in. Plus, each and every Pokémon type has its own description and nature. Its very well developed, and provide more than enough information for those new to the series.
If there is one guarantee in a Pokémon title it’s that the gameplay will hook you in, at least for a while. This is what will addict you to Pokémon if you’ve never played it before. The turn-based battle system is easy to pick up and learn. It’s the different types of Pokémon that add a nice layer of strategy to the battles. Each type of Pokémon has their own unique abilities, some that work on your enemies and others that do not. Figuring out how to use your Pokémon against the enemies will keep you on your toes.
The boss battles in this game are especially nothing to shrug off. Brilliant Diamond starts off pretty easy and the random battles do remain fairly easy but the boss battles, oh my, they get very tough. The ending bosses in particular are something you’ll want to be over leveled for!
Brilliant Diamond also has a wonderful world to explore, with lots of things to find. Whether you are looking for Pokeballs lying around the world, hidden items you can’t see, the overworld is so much fun and varied. And that is just above ground! The Grand Underground is equally, if not more impressive You need to check that out as soon as possible, especially since there are a few rare Pokémon you can catch early in the game that could make your time in Sinnoh easier. There is so much more to find in this game though. Even when its over, you should go back in to find plenty of after game content. The need to “Catch Them All” is so real too.
You can also trade Pokémon with other players online or battle people as well! The Grand Underground has neat online features too. There is so much to see and do in Brilliant Diamond, and new content seems to drop in my lap hour after hour!
Brilliant Diamond has a mix of retro style small characters in exploration, with a Chibi look, and taller, more modern looking characters in battle that are carry overs from the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games.. The two styles of graphics work together and create a very good looking game. While some might be disappointed not to get the game remade in the same style as Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, I was still impressed with the end product.
As for the audio, its pretty good. The soundtrack/sound effects are not on the level of a Zelda or Mario game, but they fit the game well.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond is an excellent game. If you’ve never played a Pokémon game before, this one will likely hook you on the series. The need to “Catch Them All” is very real. Brilliant Diamond will, without a doubt, lead you to Pokémon Sword or Shield next if you haven’t already played those games.
Thanks to Nintendo Canada for providing a digital code for this review. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond is now available at retail and the Nintendo Switch eshop!