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Pokémon Brilliant Diamond vs Shining Pearl vs. Sword and Shield: Which one should I get for this holiday?


Sinnoh remakes

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

New territory

Pokémon sword and shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield box art

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes of the classic Gen 4 games, bringing new visual brilliance and features such as Grand Underground. Games look outdated in many ways, with a lack of quality of life improvements and a number of invisible obstacles blocking player progress.

$ 58 on Amazon

Avg

  • Extremely easy to progress
  • Expansive content after the game
  • New Grand Underground

Cons

  • Lack of fire types
  • Invisible barriers
  • Wild encounters

Pokémon Sword and Shield take players to the UK-inspired Galar region, with a host of new Pokémon to acquire and features such as Wild Area and Dynamax battles. However, the story is a bit short and lacks huge improvements over previous titles.

$ 60 on Amazon

Avg

  • Innovative wild area
  • Many new types of Pokémon
  • Extensions available

Cons

  • A little too easy
  • A short main story

If you are trying to figure out which of the Nintendo Switch Pokémon games you should buy, either for yourself, your child or a friend, you have several options. There are main entries in the form of Pokémon swords and shields. At the same time, there are some classic remakes with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. If you are trying to choose between them, here is what you need to know.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl vs. Pokémon Sword and Shield: What’s the difference?

Pokemon Sword and Shield starters

Source: iMore

There are a few key differences between these games, although both are Pokémon RPG games, there are also many similarities. In both games, players aim to become regional champions, which means forming a custom Pokémon team and occupying eight different gyms, while also dealing with all the vicious plots you discover along the way. Many basic gameplay mechanics are also similar, as players capture or modify Pokémon, developing them as they gain experience fighting other Pokémon.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Pokémon sword and shield
Camera Isometric Third person
Pokémon HOME support Yes, 2022 Yes
Random encounters Yes no
Region Sinnoh Galar
Level restriction no Yes
Wild Area no Yes

One of the most significant differences is in the presentation. Pokémon Sword and Shield use a third-person perspective, while Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are isometric games, in line with original experiences. Some fans may prefer the isometric angle of the camera, but others may find it more outdated compared to the third-person adventure.

This extends to movement, which can be awkward on Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl compared to Sword and Shield. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have numerous cliffs, caves, waterways and forests, which makes things extremely difficult to navigate. This is something to keep in mind if the game is intended as a gift to a younger player. In contrast, Sword and Shield are relatively simple, with areas with clear lines of vision and extremely easy to navigate, even in the larger, semi-open world of the Wild Area.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl vs. Pokémon Sword and Shield: Pokémon available

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Amity Square

Source: The Pokémon Company

The Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are located in the Sinnoh region, while the Pokémon sword and shield are located in the British country of the Galar region. Different regions come with unique Pokémon, so the type of Pokémon you come across depends on the Pokémon Pokédex available for collection. We have Sinnoh Pokédex for Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, while Sword and Shield use Galar Pokédex. Sword and Shield also have Galarian versions of famous Pokémon, such as Galarian Rapidash, which looks like a unicorn.

It is worth noting that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, being Gen 4, suffer from an extreme lack of Pokémon fire type. If you don’t take Chimchar as a beginner, bringing a fiery Pokémon to your team can be difficult, making the game pretty unbalanced compared to Sword and Shield.

Depending on which Pokémon you want to capture and use in your team, this will largely determine which game you want to choose. Pokémon HOME trading somewhat alleviates this, but only in part. Trading is currently available in Sword and Shield, while coming to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl 2022. There’s also an Expansion Pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield, which adds new adventures, new exploration areas and new Pokémon to collect if I’m willing to pay for two DLCs.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl vs. Pokémon Sword and Shield: What to buy?

Pokemon Sword Zacian I Shining Pearl Palkia

Source: iMore

After all, the Pokémon game you should buy depends largely on your focus. If you want a more nostalgic experience, we recommend taking Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl. If you want a game that looks a little more modern, you should choose Sword or Shield.

If you are buying this game as a gift for a child, we highly recommend Sword and Shield, especially if this will be the first Pokémon game for a child. While it might be a little easy, there are some navigation issues and lack of quality of life in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, issues you don’t have to deal with if you take the leading Pokémon games for 2019.

A classic experience

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Reco

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Back to the past

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl provide a new way to play classic Gen4 games, although there aren’t many features in the way of quality of life.

Welcome to Galar

Pokemon Sword and Shield box art

Pokémon sword and shield

A new generation

Sword and Shield have dozens and dozens of brand new Pokémon they can grab, although the games stick to older formulas more than players like.

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Naveen Kumar

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