Pokémon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl version differences, exclusive Pokémon and new features

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have, like all mainline Pokémon games, a list of version exclusive Pokémon.

These Pokémon can only be caught in the specific game they appear in, so, if you want to complete the Pokédex, you need to trade with a player who has the opposite version to you.

Since Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are remakes, they have a number of features which have either been reworked or simply didn’t appear in the original Diamond and Pearl for the Nintendo DS.

New and returning features in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl explained

Whether you played the original instalment or if this is your first time visiting the Sinnoh region, you’ll discover a host of new and reworked features in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Let’s begin with the Pokétch – if you played Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, you’ll remember that the Pokétch lived on the Nintendo DS’ bottom screen. Since this is impossible on the Nintendo Switch, you’ll now be able to call up the Pokétch whenever you need it.

The Pokétch still retains all of its original features, such as the Memo Pad, clock, Dowsing Machine and the very useful Friendship Checker.

The major change to the Pokétch, however, is connected to how Hidden Moves works in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Rather than creating a HM slave, you’ll be able to use the Pokétch to call upon wild Pokémon to perform moves like Cut, Surf or Rock Climb.


The Underground from Diamond and Pearl has also been reworked into the Grand Underground. You’ll still be able to excavate the walls for items like fossils, build a secret base and play alongside other players in the Grand Underground, but there’s a new feature for you to enjoy – the Pokémon Hideaways.

Pokémon Hideaways are special environments in the Grand Underground where different Pokémon live – some appear naturally in the Sinnoh region, others don’t. Try experimenting with different Pokémon statues in your secret base, because they seem to have an effect on which Hideaways you encounter.


Pokémon Contests have also returned in the form of the Super Contests Shows, which last appeared in Pokémon Platinum. Compete in five different categories, such as Cuteness and Cleverness, across four different ranks – Normal, Great, Ultra and Master – to prove how special your Pokémon is. You can compete against NPCs or your friends via the Internet.


Each Pokémon is judged on three different evaluations – Visual, Dance and Move. Visual covers how well you’ve trained a certain condition, such as Beauty, for a Pokémon by giving it Poffins. It also covered the Capsule Decoration you’ve given their Poké Ball, which is a returning feature from past Pokémon games.

Dance, meanwhile, involves completing a rhythm mini-game and incorporates the Move evaluation. As your Pokémon dances it will have the opportunity to use a Contest Move and, if you time it right, you can create a Move Chain for extra points.


As mentioned above, Capsule Decoration, which we last saw in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, has also returned. You can add up to 20 stickers from a choice of 90 to a Poké Ball to give your Pokémon a flourish when they enter battle!


The Pal Park of Diamond and Pearl has been replaced with Ramanas Park where, by placing slates in specific rooms, you’ll be able to encounter legendary Pokémon. While some legendary Pokémon will appear in both games, others are exclusive to a specific version such as Lugia only appearing in Shining Pearl.

You’ll gain access to Ramanas Park once you’ve defeated the Elite Four and entered the Hall of Fame. It also requires the update for both games released on Friday, 19th November 2021.


You can also earn a number of mythical Pokémon throughout the game – Mew and Jirachi can be earned if you have a save file from a certain Nintendo Switch Pokémon game on your console and a Manaphy egg is available as an early-purchase bonus!

Amity Square in Hearthome City has also received a small update, allowing you to bring six Pokémon onto its grounds. Here you’ll be able to make Poffins and, after you’ve visited, one Pokémon from your party will be able to follow you across the Sinnoh region.

The ability to buy clothes and customise your trainer has also returned!


Finally, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will become capable with Pokémon Home in 2022.

Hope you enjoy exploring the Sinnoh region!

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