Not anything in the 9 range. Great game, same formular, some simple changes. Not phenomenal but some lasting great fun.

User Rating: 7.9 | Pocket Monsters Diamond DS
Pokemon Emerald isn't a largely surprising next generation for the Pokemon games and probably the biggest differences you'd find are Wi-Fi, 3-D environments, and tweaked battle animations. Still a fun game but not a huge blast for a new Pokemon game, while still great.

If you've played previous games you'd know how the game plays....Get your starter Pokemon, get stronger, battle gyms, unlock areas, become the best..etc. But it seems they're been pretty lazy at Gamefreak lately because without the main changes made, it probably would be a clone of the last games. Gameplay had a few improvements and like I said, some animation tweaks. Such as: some light coming out when you throw your pokemon out, all new attack animations unlike the constantly recycles last ones (great change!). So it doesn't look exactly the same when you used say thunder wave or water gun from the last games. This part really takes advantage of the DS graphics power as far as that can go. There isn't any real touch screen features aside from picking your attacks with your thumb (or with the d-pad). What I like was how they display the attack type next to the attack, therefore you don't have to keep looking at your Pokemon summary to remember stuff about the attack. Another thing that kept the same was the traditional moves you get to get to new areas, like "Cut", "Rock Climb" etc. and kind of felt predictable. "A tree. Maybe a Pokemon can cut this down"...Well gee we know! If you're familiar with that stuff don't be surprised. Using Rock Climb to get up cliffs is pretty fun though. The sound improved but not drastically. You have the same little tune it plays when you start a gym leader battle or while pokemon encounter, but just a little clearer and DS-ish sounding. Most of the sound unsurprisingly sounds like a GBA game but just a little better. Just enough changed here to not feel cheated on. It sounds pretty good for the most part. The graphics improved mostly on the attack animations and the 3-D environments, both huge changes I've been waiting for forever! It's really an easing thing to see buildings going into the sky, and cities feel really city-ish instead of what the previous games did when felt like pieces of paper for buildings. Great change. Some Minor annoyances you'd find in Pokemon Diamond have to be the useless dialogue and text you have to click through for useless things...and annoying pokemon encounters way too often. They at least could have let you choose to skip a lot of it with an option in the menu. "Welcome to the Pokemon Center. We'll take your Pokemon". Ever got tired of that? Oh well, not hell but it's always kind of kept it off pace and annoying. Kind of like watching a movie with subtitles in English when you already know English. (yeah strange analogy). They thing I'd like changes was the frequent wild pokemon... The little tune plays, you send our your pokemon, you run away...I've always wished they'd make it a little less often and and it takes about 20 second to get through a whole encounter, especially annoying in caves. Altogether I'd like the Pokemon games to take more chances and experiment with new things, but with Diamond and Pearl it seems they didn't this time and went with the flow and stuck with everything from before. Still the same great formula though. Get the game. You'll pack loads of hours and it's pretty rewarding with the variety to the game. What else can I say.