Review Roundup Of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Here's what critics have to say about Pokemon's return to the Sinnoh region.


Last year was the first time since 2015 that the end of the year didn't have a new Pokemon game release, although Nintendo did fill the gap with the fun Crown Tundra expansion for Pokemon Sword and Shield. This year though, Pokemon is back and taking another trip through time with a remake of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.

Reviews have gone live for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, with several critics praising the game's balance between a nostalgic tour of the Sinnoh region while adding some welcome quality-of-life updates to the standard Pokemon formula. GameSpot's Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl review-in-progress by Steve Watts said that the game's modern quality-of-life tweaks smooth over some rough edges and the animated chibi art style is adorable, but the "classic vibe also feels like you've done this before."

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Now Playing: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Video Review-In-Progress

  • Game: Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: ILCA Inc.
  • Release Date: November 19
  • Price: Starting at $60

For more, head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic to see what other critics have to say about the Diamond and Pearl remakes.

GameSpot -- 70/100 (review in progress)

"Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl keep enough classic elements to feel like a comfy nostalgia trip, while smoothing over enough of the rough edges that they feel relatively contemporary with other recent Pokemon games. It can't be easy for a storied franchise to pay homage to its legacy while also modernizing in this way, but in my experience so far, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl strike the right balance. -- Steve Watts [Full review in progress]

Game Informer -- 85/100

"Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have online features which were not accessible during our time playing the game for review. These features allow players to trade, battle, compete in Super Contest Shows and gather in the Grand Underground with other trainers over the internet. Our review currently does not reflect any online functionality and may be updated if the multiplayer modes significantly add or detract from the experience." -- John Carson [Full review]

VGC -- 80/10

"The original DS Diamond and Pearl were great back in the day, and 15 years later this new coat of paint makes them just as entertaining. The improvements may not be as drastic as some may have hoped, but what's here is a solid Pokémon adventure regardless." -- Chris Scullion [Full review]

TheGamer -- 70/100

"The problem is that these are very good remakes of Diamond & Pearl and excellent games in and of themselves - they’re just nowhere near the best Gen 4 remake. Given that Platinum is still superior to Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl in almost every conceivable way, it’s difficult to comprehend why these games even exist aside from making them available on a modern console, in which case… just port Platinum. That’s the main takeaway I have from my time with Shining Pearl: it’s brilliant and it shines, but not quite as brilliantly bright as a game that came out 13 years ago." -- Cian Maher [Full review]

NintendoLife - 60/100

"While some of the slower elements of the original games have been fixed, and The Grand Underground makes up for the comparatively weak Pokédex, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s new art style and a few other stumbles make this pair of games a somewhat disappointing retread of Generation 4. They’re also very clearly in the shadow of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the upcoming open-world-like Pokemon game that has fans hoping it can take the series in exciting new directions beyond 20-year-old mechanics." -- Jordan Middler [Full review]

Polygon - No score

"Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl aren’t for the kids that love Pokémon now — they’re for their college- and working-age older siblings or even their parents. They’re for Millennials like me who grew up with the first three generations, or even Gen Z players, who perhaps first came to the Pokémon series with the original Diamond and Pearl. These remakes are Game Freak and developer ILCA’s ploy to recapture those of us who only see Pokémon as a memory, or something to play on our phone while standing in line for coffee." -- Ryan Gilliam [Full review]

VG247 - No score, impressions only

"In many ways, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl feel like a belt-and-braces development. It’s clear to me that the title Game Freak wanted to make is Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which is due out in just a couple of months. BDSP feels almost like an obligation, co-developed with an external company that’s new to the franchise; a Sinnoh remake created in the most simple form possible because, well, fans expected a Sinnoh remake. Taken as that - as a stop-gap on the way to Arceus, as a way to tread water until the newer, shinier, more exciting game - it’s alright." -- Alex Donaldson [Impressions]

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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