Well, I've had some quality time with my new DS, and a surprisingly great game for it, the above titled: Pokemon Diamond. Now, I haven't played any Pokemon games since Silver. I was, yes, a little weary about picking it up. Pokemon had become to same same for, and I was a little worried about FireRed (A remake of the original Pokemon, which I'd played to death a while ago), and Sapphire to me wasn't as impactful as Silver, changewise.
Let me wax Poetic on why the Pokemon series works, and why it did. The formula is catchy, and the gameplay has an easy to pick-up, yet difficult to master type of engagement about it. And the varying types of Pokemon per version, though, while a little gimmicky, actually serves to thrust that gameplay to its Fore-Front.
I haven't played Pokemon, since... I was 13. So, thats 7 years. Pokemon Blue, the first game, was... amazing. It changed the way I looked at Hand-Helds. Changed the way I thought about RPG's, which, are still hard for me to get into mind you. It brought about a huge revolutionary step for the Gameboy, and its audience. One of the greatest adventures, that I caught all 151 (WITHOUT the Gameshark). Believe me, even WHEN you get that stupid degree, saying you've caught them all, there is still nothing more warming than the feeling saying, I just conquered a game that would take many a life-time to "Catch 'Em All!"
And with the release of Gold & Silver, came new graphics, new gameplay mechanics, TIME! like... TIME?! In a freaking Hand-Held game, what in the heck?! I mean, it just blew my mind. But the greatest thing, and something Nintendo and Gamefreaks did right with Pokemon Gold & Silver, was that it made the proper sequel. It bettered the game, was unique and individual in it's own right, but paid homeage to the original in all the ways it should have. Adding 100 new pokemon, but still making it possible to trade with older versions. Giving you a new adventure, and then allowing you to head back to the old place, seeing the changes that time had brought. Some disheartening, some quite pleasing, and some all too familiar (TEAM ROCKET!!!!! LMFAO).
But where Diamond differs is in someways, what would seem like a few steps back. But its not. In all the things it doesn't do when compared with the sequels to red/blue/yellow, is that it takes those gameplay mechanics, and instead of adding to the 'if it isn't broken don't fix it, just kind touch it up' monicker of someone that wouldn't wish to ruin what made the oringal great but also realized it needed to be touched up; is to completely go another way.
Do what was never done. If you've already built something, its typically not broken, and therefore, you wouldn't have to worry about fixing it. Pokemon Diamond broke into the Vault, found THE formula, and dropped this brand-spanken new Poke' Engine into an even more Brand-Spanken new Poke' Body.
With 3D Graphics, great sound, the feel of what makes Pokemon just right, and a whole crap load of new content, that at this time, I can barely even BEGIN to touch on, Diamond is the Silver and Gold Editions of Pokemon respecatively, but great on its own, and in its own right.