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Pokémon Sparkling Pearl / Sparkling Diamond: “There is always something pleasant and heartwarming about playing Pokémon again”

Casually, the Pokémon license has already made its nest on Switch. From Pokémon Let’s Go to Pokémon Sword / Shield via New Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, quite a few games with different styles have already been released on Nintendo’s hybrid console. This fall is Pokémon Sparkling Pearl / Sparkling Diamond venturing on Switch. As is often the case with the franchise, this opus is available in two versions, with relatively minimal differences. Indeed, only 21 Pokémon are exclusive to each version. For the rest, they are identical.

A chibi style

Pokémon Pearl / Diamond is not unknown to players most loyal to the franchise. This is a remake of the game released in 2007 for Nintendo DS. The graphic improvement is obvious (and fortunately for that matter!). We find there a cute artistic direction with a chibi style (by that mean “kawaii” characters with big heads and small bodies). We find a treatment quite close to what Nintendo had done with the remake The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Graphically, it is therefore very clean (even more on the new OLED Switch!) With shimmering colors and nice effects, especially in terms of reflections and light effects.

A well-known but pleasant recipe

Regarding the gameplay, this remake is closer to the original. The game is simpler, a little too much. Indeed, Nintendo introduced the multi-exp which makes your whole team (even Pokémon that have not been used) gain experience points during a fight. As a result, your team is quickly very strong and you will not encounter any major difficulties on your way. The scenario is hardly very original and the principle hardly changes: we capture wild Pokémon to fill his Pokédex and create a team of thunder to face the champions of eight different arenas and obtain their badge. So of course, the surprise effect is no longer there and the recipe is well known. Nevertheless, the magic happens and there is always something pleasant and heartwarming about re-immersing yourself in a Pokémon.

A good dose of nostalgia

Among the novelties, we will note the appearance after a few hours of play of the “Grands Souterrains”. In this huge underground world you will find treasures, Pokémon fossils, and you can catch rare but difficult to capture Pokémon.

Far from being a revolution, Pokémon Sparkling Pearl / Sparkling Diamond is a cute game. It provides a good dose of nostalgia and will appeal to fans of the Pokémon license. A little appetizer (a good thirty hours anyway!) Before “Pokémon Legends: Arceus”, the real new Pokémon whose release is scheduled for January 28, 2022. 4/5


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