GDC 07: Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Hands-On

Nintendo shows off English-translated versions of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl at the 2007 Game Developers Conference.

Among the handful of games on display at the Nintendo booth at GDC 2007 is a time-limited demo of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl for the Nintendo DS. As has been tradition with the Pokémon series, the core gameplay will be identical between the two games, with the defining differences being which Pokémon you'll be able to catch and train. Nintendo and Game Freak seem to be taking a pretty laissez-faire approach to its first set of traditional Pokémon games for the DS, and even though it had been a while since we'd gone hands-on with a Pokémon game, we briskly fell into the familiar rhythms of the franchise.

The demo started off in Jubilife City, where we controlled a prototypically fresh-faced Pokémon trainer, ready to explore the world and throw down in some Pokémon battles. While chatting with a few other Pokémon trainers, we were given a Pokémon watch, or Pokétch for short, which appeared as a digital watch face on the bottom screen of the DS, and it even included a crude, monochrome LCD version of Pikachu in the corner. As we wandered around Jubilife City, we crossed paths with several other enthusiastic Pokémon trainers, and as is tradition, we found ourselves getting into some friendly Pokémon duels.

Based on what we saw, the game certainly looks a step up from the last Pokémon games for the Game Boy Advance. The characters and environments seen while exploring the world at large appeared with greater detail and richer, more vibrant colors. The combat also looks better, with greater animations and special attack effects. Our initial impression of the gameplay, though, didn't feel much different from any of the other core Pokémon games. We would pit our team of Pokémon against that of another trainer, and our Pokémon would take turns beating the snot out of each other until one of the teams was incapacitated. There was some DS touch-screen functionality in the battle menus, though we found that we could also just as easily use the D pad and face buttons on the DS.

This style of gameplay has served the series really well thus far, so the similarity of the action to past Pokémon games isn't inherently a bad thing. Of course, the real Pokémaniacs out there will be excited about all of the new breeds of Pokémon to be found in Diamond and Pearl. In our brief time with the game, we saw Lucario, Buizel, Mantyke, Mime Jr., and Chatot. This may sound like gibberish if you're not a Pokémon fan, but if you are, you're probably chomping at the bit to capture these new breeds.

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl also promise some level of interoperability with the forthcoming Pokémon Battle Revolution for the Wii, making the package that much more alluring for those with the Pokémon fever. You won't have to wait very long for your fix, either--Diamond and Pearl are set to arrive in North American stores April 22.

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Discussion

222 comments
SeanHaley
SeanHaley

This sucks because I'm in Australia and I have to wait till the of June before I can get my hands on it!

digxxbitty
digxxbitty

im just gettin a good night sleep tonight cuz im not gonna sleep at all tomorrow night! playin all the way thru

Bull_Teh_OTAKU
Bull_Teh_OTAKU

I have been waiting for too long, I might not be able to hold off until tomarrow.

newstuff13
newstuff13

me too,Nin10doFan44.i can't wait for diamond and pearl to come out,and is less than 24 hours.

devilzrule27
devilzrule27

I was never a Pokemon fan but the games were always decent little pick up and play RPGs.

Sora212
Sora212

Which Is Better Pearl Or Diamond ?

shortyman920
shortyman920

Sweet can't wait. I'm not a nintendo fan and I only like a small handful of their games, but I can' wait to play this game!

kurami23
kurami23

1 more week, and gamespot still hasn't updated this page...

DARKMOON-0
DARKMOON-0

I all ready know what pokemon I'm going to get in the game I cant wait

Pengeh
Pengeh

Haha, I've been waiting for it for a long time... 11 more days... :P

zaki_is_a_boy
zaki_is_a_boy

11...more....days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

L7UWP
L7UWP

I have the Pokemon fever, and I'm out of tylenol, so Diamond & Pearl here we come!!! :P

YOU_GANGSTA
YOU_GANGSTA

16 more dayz......took it long enough -_-'

OFLODAtheBIG1
OFLODAtheBIG1

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

pie_guy
pie_guy

man i want this game... :D

Lithavalon
Lithavalon

aww man almost there and i bought my pink ds lite 2 days ago just in time for my POKEMON PEARL! Pink ftw

OFLODAtheBIG1
OFLODAtheBIG1

2 MORE WEEKS YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ecotwilight4
ecotwilight4

I love Pokemon Diamond!!!!!! Must get....... already pre-ordered diamond version & Dialga is better than Palkia jks there both so powerful but i like to control time better : )

trevbando66
trevbando66

dope_revenge is my new freakin' hero, that was the ****

nini96
nini96

I love pokemon diamond!

Kekira
Kekira

I've been playing Pokemon games since I was 6(do the math) and I've waited ever since the release of Ruby and Sapphire for another traditional pokemon game. I've captured all of the pokemon via. Sapphire through cheats for the unobtainables and have been training forever. I can't keep playing Sapphire and Ruby, I need Diamon NOW!!!!!

hyrulian_elite
hyrulian_elite

any one who has a ds has to get this really it looks great I NEED DIAMOND NOW as soon as i get this i'll be taking it to wifi so be warned

Webnet10
Webnet10

I wonder if you can download you can use the DS to control the Wii while playing battle revolution and if the Wii version will also have VoIP. I cant wait for the DS version but the Wii game will hopefully put the icing on the return of the real pokemon game.

MasterAsh42
MasterAsh42

Once again, I find the views of new Pokemon games from non-Pokemon affiliated sites very enlightening, very. . .sobering. It also reminds me that at this point, while Nintendo and GAMEFREAK may appear to be catering to a new audience of little 'uns with each iteration, they're indeed quite cognizant of desires of long-time fans. For example, I'm more psyched about the reassignment of moves amongst the Attack and Special Attack stats than any other all new content.

Darm0k
Darm0k

dope_revenge that was amazing

Myriam_D
Myriam_D

I always loved this series, :P I'm so out of the loop though. Back in first-second season days I could name every Pokemon in the bloody universe. Now I don't recognize a single name in the article besides Pikachu and I assume Mime Jr. is a baby Mr. Mime. *sigh* Pity, pity...

tonymatt225
tonymatt225

once a pokefan always a pokefan :)) u kan be 40 years old and still a pokefan. at least the people who make the game are.

CyberZero104
CyberZero104

Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but even though I'm not a chick, I'll get the Diamond Version. I'm starting to be a Pokemon fan after my bro gave me Pokemon Sapphire Version.

dope_revenge
dope_revenge

yo i dont mean to be a pokemon freak witchu but i been a fan of this s**t since back wit pikachu they did it first wit red n blue now the next gen is commin thru still got that theme song in my head and y'all know you're hummin too im not even gonna lie im a bit too old for this but i dont mind looks cause im too bold to miss the next game it's gon' be nutz i thot i told you this i got a benz in tha lot but id rather roll wit this but if i go to the store and s**t is sold i'll piss all over the counter cause they probably withholdin ish and i'm a get mine all in due time writin rhymes y'all already know im sippin on the coldest cris' y'all get ready for the stompin, im'a back y'all down if i have to cause im a bigger beast then these pokemon!

CheatAttick94
CheatAttick94

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

drone_8
drone_8

prepair to get your arse kicked by me the worlds best pokemon master

Suriena
Suriena

This is certainly going to be awesome for me. Pearl for me!!

Lufiras
Lufiras

I need a DS D; I NEED this Game ;____________;

Jose619
Jose619

MUST GET DIAMOND NOW!!!!!!!

Dman1010
Dman1010

yay i cant w8 4 my pearl stylus and only 22 days till Pearl!!!!!!

jamin218
jamin218

I cannt wait for this game to release. I've fully trained majority of my pokemon on Emerald, and I just started on Leaf Green.

SlaSh_H
SlaSh_H

I pre ordered mine and im counting off the days, the stylus is gonna me sweet. AND i am revisiting my Pokemon sapphire for when i have that SWEEEEEET oppertunity to transfer them. See you in the Poke Arena Ladies and Gentlemen.

7yc00n7im
7yc00n7im

This game looks amazing I can't wait for it to hit US shores thid April. I all ready preordered it and am getting that kick ass Dialga stlyus. :)

phantom4567
phantom4567

I'm pretty excited that they made another great pokemon game and with better graphics since its for the DS!,but next time, please create more pokemon, I mean there are only 107 new pokemon (not counting the new evolved forms of old pokemon), but GOOD JOB on the Legendaries, they look Frekin Awsome! Dialga rules over Palkia any day! I guess the other pokemon games they make after the new ones like emerald, yellow, crystal will be : POKEMON : Platinum Version since there are no more rocks left hahahaha. Come on April 22, get here faster!!!!

heavybotpoko
heavybotpoko

I will get Diamond and my bro will get Pearl. Pokemon rocks.

lilkao
lilkao

im getting both. im going to catch em all

ikekid
ikekid

i am the pokemon king, don't dare challenge me LOL

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

Ever since my first game 10 years ago, wow I've enjoyed this series. never for the "cartoony" stuff, but for the raw fun portable RPG goodness. Screw fanboy stuff, I'm in it for gameplay, whihc is always a blast here ;)