Monday, April 14, 2008

Why are Pokemon Diamond and Pearl so good?

Since Pokemon Diamond and Pearl will have been out for a year next week, I thought I'd do a little writing about the games for a little while. I'd like to post something about them all week, but it will be a hectic week, so I guess we'll see.

Before Pokemon Diamond and Pearl were released, I really didn't care too much about them. I didn't follow previews, I didn't know exactly when they were going to be released save for mere chance about a week before they were released (hell, probably about a year ago today), and I didn't really care. I had been burnt out from Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald in 2003, and more Pokemon didn't really sound too much fun to me, even four years after those games.

I don't know what made me do it, but I picked up Pokemon Diamond the day the game came out last year. I started the game up, picked Chimchar, and began. I'm not sure if it was the graphics, the music, or the overall presentation that kept me hooked, but boy, was I hooked. I played and played and played and played and a year later, I now have all 493 Pokemon (I caught all of them legit, except for the stupid ones that you can only get when Nintendo supposedly "gives them away" at specific events - hey Nintendo, want to give any of those Pokemon away to someone who doesn't live in New York City or Tokyo?), three stars on my silver Trainer's Card, and around 12 Pokemon at level 100, all raised legit by me with the help of a Lucky Egg(that I obtained legit!). I realize 12 Pokemon at level 100 isn't really all that many compared to some of the people that play this game "competitively", but for me that's huge. You see, I was never into raising Pokemon to level 100. The only other time I've done it is in Pokemon Red and Blue, while abusing the item duplicator cheat to obtain Rare Candies, of course. So for me to willingly raise some of my favorite Pokemon to level 100 is a pretty impressive feat...for me.

It really is hard for me to say why the fourth generation Pokemon games hooked me so hard. Really, aside from a few points, the games are just graphically updated and roster updated versions of Red and Blue, with few new features. Granted, the online trading and battling is goddamn fantastic, so perhaps that is part of it. Lately, I've even been fantasizing about picking up a copy of Pearl to play through the main story mode again, which is something I haven't yearned for since Red and Blue. And there really wouldn't be a point to that, because I've caught all of them. Oh well. I tip my hat to you, Pokemon Company. Pokemon Diamond is excellent, for some reason I'm having trouble articulating.

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