Two great Pokémon games have been released in the last six months and yet they offer two completely different ways to play. If you are hesitating between the two experiences, here are our tips for choosing which one to buy.
While Pokémon Legends: Arceus offers the first open-world semi-open world Pokémon experience, Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl bring a beloved generation back to life in a chibi-designed remake. Anyway, your wallet may not allow you to buy both opuses and you are therefore wondering about the choice to make. Maybe you would like to take your first steps in the Pokémon license but you really don’t know where to start.
While the choice is entirely personal and based on individual tastes and preferences, the mechanics, storyline, as well as general improvements to the base formula can influence a player’s perceived quality for each title. Especially since if everyone has their strengths, an equal price does not necessarily guarantee equal pleasure.
Why choose Pokémon Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl (DEPS)?
Or why not choose them for that matter. Remakes of the fourth generation taking place in Sinnoh, these two opuses revisit one of the emblematic scenarios of the license with completely revised graphics in chibi version and an updated game system to make the experience smoother and more enjoyable. The problem being that the chibi style might not appeal to everyone, and the franchise’s standard formula will struggle to win over new players unlike Pokémon Legends Arceus. Let’s say that the main advantage of DEPS is precisely to allow new faces to discover the license as it has been since the beginning: that is to say by embodying a young trainer who must accumulate the arena badges of city to city until beating the League while capturing Pokémon to fill its Pokédex.
Besides, this famous classic formula invites you to choose between two versions (Pearl or Diamond) where a few creatures are exclusive, where Pokémon Legends Arceus (LPA) offers only one and only game with the same Pokémon for all. That being said, the Pokédex of DEPS is much more extensive than that of LPA.
A variety of activities are available on Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl: beauty contests, exploration of the great underground with mini-games, Rosa Rugosa Park to capture legendary moults, Pokemon or even making Poffins. That being said, most of these features were already present in the base version of the game, and many then found the remaster to be a bit lazy. But it remains a very good entry point for all those who have never known the fourth generation of Pokémon. However, our advice would be to start with Pokemon Let’s GO Pikachu or Eevee if you really want to discover the license by the first generation on Nintendo Switch.
In short, DEPS does not offer enough changes compared to the old experience to justify its price of around 60 euros in most stores, but it is still a good start to try the classic Pokémon adventure on the Switch. On the other hand, if you already know Pokémon and the traditional formula tires you a little, we advise you to go on Legends Pokémon Arceus which, despite its certain graphic defects, offers a rich and new experience for the license (but above all a duration of immense life).
Why choose Pokémon Legends Arceus?
In truth, if nintendo and Game Freak have chosen to release the two opuses a few months apart, it is because they are closely linked. Of course, the best would have been to be able to buy both games, start with DEPS and continue with LPA, but we are here to choose. Pokémon Legends Arceus therefore takes place in the past of Diamond and Pearl, at a time when Sinnoh was still called Hisui. There, humans are mostly afraid of Pokémon and you will have to convince them that they can be both a great help and good companions.
Your objective will remain the same as in all Pokémon games: catch them all and complete your Pokédex. The difference this time lies in the completion of the Dex in question. You will have to complete tasks for each creature in order to raise its research level: capture the Pokémon X times, feed it, attack it with such an ability, surprise it, etc. It may seem a bit repetitive of having to capture the same Pokémon several times, but the gameplay of the game will immediately take away this impression. By freely exploring the different areas of the game (a beach, a forest, a mountain or even a swamp), you will probably not see the time pass because you will also have to collect resources, face gigantic Pokémon called Barons or even recover Flames scattered in the region and Unown to complete your alphabet.
In short, there is plenty to do and whether you’re a veteran of the Pokémon license or someone who wants to discover it, Pokémon Legends Arceus is definitely a good entry point. The title deviates considerably from the traditional formula and therefore has almost nothing to do with DEPS, in terms of gameplay. It also introduces new features such as the ability to move in combat, the crafting system, on-the-fly capture or even extreme fluidity (goodbye dialogues and the various menus that pause your progress). In just two weeks, the game had sold over 6.5 million copies worldwide and, both press and players, agreed that he was very addictivein addition to offering a good lifespan (about thirty hours for the scenario and more than double to finish everything).
Entirely new, many hope that this experience of freedom and fluidity will be retained for the next installments of the license, but nothing is less certain. We may have to wait for a second Legends to enjoy it again, but one thing is certain: Game Freak has listened to its fans who have been calling for a drastic change for the franchise for years.
Ultimately, it all depends on what you want at the time. With both titles priced the same, all you have to do is choose between the classic, linear formula of Diamond and Pearl, or the unique experience of Pokémon Legends Arceus that has nothing to do with the traditional franchise.