Pokemon Pearl Review

I got Pokemon Pearl for my birthday last weekend.  I had read some good reviews of it, and decided that the Pokemon franchise is something that “adults” can enjoy as much as kids.  I’ve only just started it (I’m in the process of getting my third badge) but so far, it is almost more engaging than the first game in the series.

Side note:  I played the first game(s) in the series (Red and my brother had Blue; we both had Yellow).  I got away from the series because it just wasn’t “cool” anymore.  I was in the end of high school, and Pokemon was something for middle schoolers.

Back on track now.  It’s almost more engaging than the first set.  I like the way the touch screen is used in this game, because it’s easier to pick and choose the stuff you want to do in battle.  It’s all out for you to see.  In the first series (Gameboy and GB Color) you didn’t have everything as accessible as you do now. 

You start out as a young person (I’d say a teenager; about 15 or so).  You can choose to be a boy or a girl (I picked girl), pick your name, and then start the game!

From the manual:

Object of the Game

  • The Sinnoh region is filled with many strange and mysterious wonders.  You adventure will mature you as a trainer and have you cross paths with many people.  Only with the help of friends and the cooperation of your Pokemon, will you be able to complete this daring adventure.
  • Your coal is to complete your Pokedex by collecting lots of different kinds of Pokemon.  When you cathc a Pokemon, its data will automatically be recorded in your Pokedex.  Visit Professor Rowan every once in a while to have him rate how complete your Pokedex is.  In order to catch all the Pokemon in the Sinnoh region, you must trade with the Diamond version.  Work together with your friends to get your Pokedexs as complete as possible.
  • Another goal is to improve your skills as a Pokemon Trainer.  During your adventures, you’ll battle wild Pokemon, as well as other Trainers.  Both types of battles will help you and your Pokemon become stronger.  There are also Pokemon Gyms in the Sinnoh region, each of which as a very talented Trainer known as the Gym Leader.  Only those who defeat the Gym Leaders will be accepted as true Trainers.  It will be a tough fight, but you must be brave and charge into battle!

I am challenging the third badge right now.  I am just outside of Hearthome City (where the third Gym Leader and Badge is) and have already worked through the Pokemon Tower.

My team is as follows:

  1. Staravia, level 24; Normal/Flying; Moves: Whrilwind, Pluck, Quick Attack, Wing Attack
  2. Prinplup, Level 24 (evolved Piplup; my starting Pokemon); Water; Moves: Peck, BubbleBeam, Bubble, Metal Claw
  3. Psyduck, Level 20; Water; Moves: Confusion, Scratch, Disable, Water Gun
  4. Luxio, Level 21; Electric; Moves: Spark, Strength, Bite, Charge
  5. Budew, Level 20; Grass/Poison; Moves: Mega Drain, Bullet Seed, Cut, Grass Knot
  6. Pachirisu, Level 22; Electric; Moves: Growl, Swift, Quick Attack, Spark

As you can see, I have a pretty good team.  The only ones I’m missing are some fire Pokemon (and I just caught a Ponyta), a rock Pokemon (and I have a low-level Geodude), ice (which comes later) and ghost/cloud-like.  I want a good balanced group so I can take on any foe.  Also, I’ve been training my team equally.  This helps, so you don’t have one or two Pokemon that are high level (like 30 or something) and most of the rest around 10.


  • Like I said above, you want a well-rounded team.  Don’t have all Rock-type or something.  There is always a weakness in different type Pokemon (Rock is weak against Water, for instance).
  • Travel EVERYWHERE.  There are loads of things to pick up, from extra Pokeballs to TMs, HMs, healers, berries, and even special stuff hidden around.  You may have to go through some trainers to get there, but it’s worth it.
  • Challenge everyone!  This is a must if you want your Pokemon to grow.  They grow through battling other trainers and wild Pokemon.  You gain more EXP when you battle trainers; but the battle is usually harder than a wild Pokemon of the same species.
  • If you get an EXP Share, use it!  That’s how I got Pachirisu, Luxio, Psyduck and Budew to their current levels.  I also did the same thing with a Shellos, and now it’s at 16 or some such.  (He’s stored in the computer.)  This is an easy way to level up a weak Pokemon, without fighting it.
  • Another way to level up a weak Pokemon is to have him/her at the top of the list to go out.  Then, switch out to a higher level member of your team.  This way, the weak one will get some experience and be able to level up without getting hit (usually).
  • The bike is a fast way to get around.  Use it until you get Fly.
  • You can register Key Items for quick use with button Y.  I usually have either the map or the bike in that slot, but you pick up other stuff you can set there (Explorer’s set, etc).

Now, I’m nowhere near done with the game just yet, but it’s incredibly engaging.  The game has many aspects of RPGs and it holds interest for many different groups that don’t normally play Pokemon or the DS.

Bottom line: 5/5; Rated E for Everyone, but I’d give it to a young person about 8 and up.  It can be frustrating for younger kids. 

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