reviewed on NDS
'Can you Catch-em-all?' (cont.)
The backwards compatibility comes in two forms, using the Pal Park to migrate them directly after acquiring the National Dex, and simply having it inserted into the GBA slot in order to raise the appearance rate of certain version specific Pokemon.
In terms of other features, the contests from Ruby/Sapphire still remain, along with berries, however they are slightly different in the sense that the player can use the touch screen to 'dress' their Pokemon up with the items they find during the game, in order to get a higher score. Players often need reminding of the overall objective, seeing as they'd be prone to getting lost amongst the wonderful distractions.
Made with Two Screens in Mind
Being an established handheld title, you would expect nothing less than Gamefreak using every feature available to its fullest. Pokemon Diamond/Pearl manages to use all the innovative features on the handheld console.
The touch screen is used as the main menu, for battles, sorting out the bag, making poffins (the replacement for Pokeblocks) and with every trainer's essential item, the Poketch. This device functions like a watch, occupying the bottom screen with the time, but as you progress certain NPCs will give you extra applications that have a varied amount of functions (ranging from essential to utterly pointless - examples being the onscreen item finder and the coin flipper respectively). Gamefreak chose not to allow movement via the touch screen, which would have been interesting, but perhaps that would have over milked things. Overall the touch screen is used in the way many expected it to be used. Other features such as the microphone are used to disable traps (in the underground multiplayer zone, where players can dig up gems and items, such as Fire Stones or Fossils), and to record Chatot's cry (a bird Pokemon obtainable before the 8th Gym).
But by far the most impressive feature is the use of the built-in Wi-Fi. After obtaining your first badge, the player is able to enter the GTS building in Jubilife City. This stands for the Global Trading Station, and players, once linked to their wireless connection, can either deposit one of their Pokemon (directly from a box, if you're lazy and don't want to switch them into your party) and ask for something specific in return, or they can seek a specific Pokemon, in the hope that they have what they're asking for. This enables players to put a rare Pokemon on offer, and do something else, only to return later to find that Japanese or American players (I say that in the context of those who have waited for the European release) are willing to trade with them, and that this trade has been completed while you were off levelling up or digging in the underground.
If this isn't to your fancy, then you can exchange friend codes with people, and do a normal trade there (as the GTS is limited by what you have seen in your Pokedex). The only problem I found with the GTS, was the sheer degree of hopeful fools who were expecting their Level 5 Bidoofs or Magicarps to be traded for the title Legendaries, Dialga & Palkia. This made it frustrating to find an honest deal, but once every player ignores them, they'll soon get the idea, right?
Just like its predecessors, I am completely addicted to this new title. Having got the National Dex, I've already started on my Eeveelution [sic.] army, with the two new addictions, Glacion and Leafion, adding to a pretty solid team. The Battle Tower keeps the game alive with its online Wi-Fi tournaments, and Pokemon Battle Revolution is not long round the corner.
I honesty can't fault this. I'm forcing myself to be subjective. If you've played one before and didn't like it, you're unlikely to buy this, and if you did, you'd be put off by the lack of solid change - but it is exactly this, combined with the little changes, that will draw all the Pokemaniacs in, and keep them hooked for a very, very long time.
No Pros and Cons at this time