Game review: Pokemon Shining Pearl
Between the three major console giants, Nintendo takes the crown for older game remakes. It is always hard to predict how good a remake is going to be and what the developers are going to change. Is it just a polish on the exact old game? Will there be some extra content? Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl were initially released way back in 2007 on the Nintendo DS. They were announced for the Nintendo Switch on the 25th Pokemon anniversary.
We've seen many different iterations and remakes of Pokemon games over the years. Each so different that it made it hard to predict what this one would look like. And this one kind of just looks the same but better. The remake was both faithful and respectful to the original games. They both tell a story of a little kid that will go around cataloguing Pokemon, training and battling until he becomes the strongest one around and beats the main trainers that need to be defeated in this version of the game. Essentially it is a traditional Pokemon game. And this is not a bad thing. This format of Pokemon games is why we all loved them in the first place.
With that being said, it may be a little too faithful of a remake. The games offer the exact same Pokemon list as the original Diamond and Pearl. This leaves out a lot of newer favourites. It also keeps the exact same battling mechanic as the old game. That is both good and bad. Good because it is a solid traditional turn-based battle where your key to winning is by choosing the best Pokemon to combat the type of your opponent. Bad because they left out all the new mechanics that were added since then, like the Dynamax for example.
One good change however is the fact they changed the way hidden mechanics like fly, rock smash or surf work. Before, you had to teach one of your Pokemon those moves even though they were not that effective in battle, just in case you needed them to navigate the map. Now, that is not necessary. When you need a Pokemon to do that for you, you can summon a wild Pokemon.
The art style of the game has obviously been revamped. The refresh has really awesome elements. Some backgrounds are just stunning. The Characters however are a little boring. They all seem to lack character, but that is me just being picky at this point. The game does run really well in both handheld and docked. Nothing too special but it is solid which is what you need from it. The music in the game is also excellent. I very much enjoyed it.
At the end of the day, the game did exactly what it promised. It is a remake of the old game. They fixed a couple of bugs, made the quality of life better and made it run beautifully and smoothly on the Switch. Is it the best Pokemon game on the Switch? Definitely not, but that is not what it intends to be. It is a great intro game if you are introducing a younger person to Pokemon or if you've played the original and are looking for nostalgia.