Pokemon Shining Pearl is difficult game to enjoy at first, but if you can get over the first aggravation and monotony, there’s a lot of enjoyment. Since the original Pokemon Pearl was released in 2007, it has been my favorite game in the series, so I was thrilled to learn that it would be remade for the Nintendo Switch.
Unfortunately, however, the remake doesn’t get off to a great start. Because of all the running around you have to do at first, it took me several hours before I started having fun with it. But now that I can rapidly travel to previously visited towns and have most of my favorite Pokemon Shining Pearl on my roster, something Pokemon Shining Pearl allows for later in the game, and I have a much better experience.
Setting/plot: The same as before
The Pokemon universe has always been an odd mirror of our own, with fanciful and mundane creatures. Pokemon Shining Pearl are considered pets and pals, although wild Pokemon (Pocket monsters) can be captured and added to your team for more structured battles against competing trainers (these are in-game characters, not other real humans). It’s strange if you think about it too hard, but the concept is that you get to acquire and train a wide range of charming creatures before competing for domination in an RPG-style turn-based battle against other (computer-controlled) opponents.
Pokemon Pearl casts you as a youthful want tobe Pokemon Shining Pearl trainer at the start of your adventure. Along the way, you’ll tour Sinnoh, meet new Pokemon, and capture wild Pokemon for your combat squad. You can challenge your team against other trainers as you rise through the ranks, finally facing off against the best: the Elite Four and the reigning Pokemon Shining Pearl Champion.
Shining Pearl is essentially the same game as the first Pearl, with the same scenario, except it’s now available for the Nintendo Switch rather than the DS. It does what you’d expect a remake to do with some current upgrades, the same core elements as the original, and not much else.
Gameplay: A Sluggish Start
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure if I loved Shining Pearl at first. It could be because I hadn’t played anything in the series since Pokemon X, which came out in 2013; the current title felt like a hassle from the start. Wild Pokemon battles occur so regularly that going from point A to point B can be aggravating, even if you try to avoid most actions to save time. I expected this, but it feels incredibly obnoxious in the early game when you can’t easily dominate or dodge most encounters while also attempting to catch every new sort of critter you come across. It all becomes a little tedious.
The regularity you encounter wild Pokemon Shining Pearl can also be a significant issue. You must go worldwide to follow the tale, discover different varieties of Pokemon Shining Pearl , and discover secrets. You will occasionally come across trainers or wild Pokemon wanting to fight. Once combat begins, everything switches to a turn-based fighting system, allowing you to take your time determining which Pokemon or ability is best suited to deal with the situation at hand.
In the case of other trainers, your teams will compete until all members on one side are deleted. Wild Pokemon, on the other hand, can be weakened via battle and caught using Pokeballs, which are little spheres meant to contain and carry Pokemon Shining Pearl . It is usually fine—even expected—except when it becomes inconsistent. For example, it can take many seconds of jogging around for a Pokemon Shining Pearl to appear. Sometimes I’ll complete a battle and can’t even take a whole step before I’m fighting something else.
Certain circumstances can also cause the start of a war to drag on. These minor delays can pile up when you’re not attempting to catch Pokemon Shining Pearl and want to progress. Battles can also stretch on for a long time. It can result in some annoyingly protracted fighting that does not endanger your team but feel like they take forever to complete.
I know this doesn’t portray the most pleasing picture, but I gradually began to enjoy myself. The classic Pokemon Shining Pearl fight involves a variety of attacks (for example, fire, water, grass, and so on) and works effectively. It’s still quite satisfying to pull off an attack your opponent is vulnerable to and watch their health bar plummet dramatically. Fast travel, which allows me to effectively portal instantaneously to any place I’ve already visited, has also greatly assisted me.
Many more minor things function well, such as color-coded battle menus, easy-to-read battle information, and quick button shortcuts, which assist in mitigating the impact of all the early tedium.
Graphics: Adorable but Inconsistent
Most of the time, you’ll be exploring the world of Pokemon Pearl from a top-down perspective, and the aesthetics aren’t particularly appealing. The character models are small and cutesy, which is good, but they are relatively simple and uninspiring.
On the other hand, battles look much better, with far more complex characters and much more intricate animations than the smaller equivalents shown in the top-down portions of the game. It’s a minor thing, but I’ve been enjoying how each of your pokemon moves while idle. Of course, it helps to sell the concept that they all have different personalities.
I also like how you can have one of your Pokemon Shining Pearl mon follow you outside—purely its aesthetic, but it’s cute and reinforces the idea that they have personalities.
Shining Pearl is ultimately worth purchasing based on what you desire or expect from it.
The nostalgia of playing Pearl after so many years made it an easy buy (despite my complaints, I don’t regret it). Your mileage may vary, but this is an excellent place to start if you want to play a fun Pokemon Shining Pearl review on a current platform.
ALSO SEE: Best JRPGs
- Product NamePokemon Shining Pearl
- Product BrandNintendo
- Release DateNovember 2021
- PlatformNintendo Switch
- GenreAdventure, Role-Playing
- ESRB ratingE (mild cartoon violence, in-game purchases, users interact)