Pokemon Diamond & Pearl: Prima Official Game Guide Paperback – Apr 22 2007
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Third party guides are always something of a debate. On one hand, they just look better than some of the first party guides and often provide information that isn't normally found within a first party guides pages. On the other hand, they're third party. It's not straight from the pros. Prima is pretty well known for pumping out fairly good Pokemon guides (save for their Fire Red/Leaf Green guide), and I expected this to be a brilliant guide. It's not bad, but for a Pokemon guide as big and thick as this, you expected they'd cover so much more of the game than they did.
The introduction chapter is nice but long. Much like Nintendo Power's guide there's a lot of information to swallow here. Newcomers would do best to start here, but really, there's nothing that anyone who has played a Pokemon game doesn't know. If you've been with Pokemon for a while, most of it should be pretty natural to you now. Still, the information contained here isn't bad. It's just that Pokemon hasn't changed so much that those who've been playing don't know this already.
The walkthrough, the meat and bones of any strategy guide is where things get a little hectic and the guide reaches a high point. The walkthrough isn't perfect, nor is it as well organized as the walkthrough by Nintendo Power, but it definitely works well and can get you through the adventure. It feels like it lacks, detail however. The guide is written in a step by step fashion. That is it says: Step 1, and then goes on to explain step one. The problem with how this guide utilized its step by step walkthrough is that I know what to DO, but not really WHERE I do it, and the screenshots don't really help either. So its great that the walkthrough is written like this, but it would've been nice if like Nintendo Power they told you where to do this stuff. They detail all the return trip stuff in some nice detail, though. However, there are moments when in the walkthrough the guide will lead you somewhere only to tell you you can't do anything and to turn around. It's really annoying to go all that way only to have to turn around. Also, the guide tells you what items can be obtained in an area, but it doesn't show you where the items are on the map. It points berries and the like, but that's about it. While it helps you find Gym Leaders, the suggestions they make are also not all that helpful. Again, though, I can't be too upset with this considering this is Pokemon, where as long as you know your opponents type, putting together your own strategy should be no problem at all.
Really, the walkthrough isn't bad, but it does feel like it's lacking detail from time to time. Such as the maps looking like generic screenshots or the lack of actual screenshots. Yet what you get from the walkthrough is really helpful and detailed, even when it seems like its not. The Prima guide really is a good guide to have. Perhaps it just doesn't have that flash.
All the stuff after the walkthrough like the contests and the wi-fi connection is also really really helpful. Yet the Pokemon lists is really not. They'll show you all the Pokemon you can catch and then tell you where to catch them. That's it. No moves list or anything. To an extent it's pretty useless, but I suppose you could make do. However, the coverage of the wireless connection and contests is more than willing to make up for the loss. Especially the wi-fi connection as its pretty new and Prima devoted an entire section to it.
Afterwards we get into the charts and appendices. All the stuff is here, but like a lot of appendices in guides, there's a lot of it, which means a lot of page flipping. The guide will already have you flipping pages as it is at 296 pages (most of which is actually just unfilled space, you're really not getting anything here that isn't in Nintendo Power's Thinner guide). At least you can look back there if you're unsure of a move, TM or HM, and the like.
Overall the Prima guide is actually a pretty good guide. There's not a whole lot here that isn't in the Nintendo Power guide. If you're looking for a better organized guide then go with Nintendo Power, but that shouldn't suggest in anyway that the Prima guide is bad. Again, though, it's becoming a pain to always have to wait for a separate Pokedex to come out, and here it's no exception. Prima will release a Pokedex sometime in May, so if you need one, that's when you can get one.
But really could use a more completed Pokedex section. Its nice to know the name and numbers of the Pokemon. Its more helpful if you were actually told about what moves and what level they learn them. It also would have been terribly helpful to learn when they evolved and under what circumstances.
Do yourself a favor and get the guide Nintendo did for this game. It may not have the flashy graphics and flare of the Prima guide, but at least it gives you a move list and evolution status.
There are many, many bad points. Errata are common. The guide is poorly organized - I found myself lost over and over, with the need to go online to find out where to go next. The guide gives only some hints of what to do next in each area, and at that, the user needs to flip back and forth between different sections of the book every few minutes. One of the worst aspects of the book includes a total lack of information about the more than 300 Pokemon that become available to the player after beating the Elite Four. The guide doesn't list these Pokemon anywhere, so the user must either take many hours playing to find any given Pokemon or go on-line for answers. Also, other than for the three "starter" Pokemon, there is absolutely NO Pokedex in this guide, and not even information about how and when the Pokemon encountered in the first half of the game will evolve. This would be marginally acceptable if the Pokedex Prima will put out in a month were to be available at the time the games were released, but the Pokedex isn't scheduled for release until late May or early June.
If you want maps for the first part of the game, buy this book. Otherwise, it's a waste of money - go on-line for a real guide.
As I said before, great art and stuff. But let's talk about the guide here. The format of the guide is VERY bad. Instead of going in the order of your adventure in Sinnoh, it talks about each route and each city. They aren't in order. They talk about Fantina before Crasher Wake.
I found the list of moves for the starter Pokemon pretty useful, actually. And the charts in the back were a huge help to me. And the PokeDex wasn't so bad either. But...if you're looking for tips about how to beat the Gym Leaders/Pokemon League, then don't look here. All they say is some gibberish and tell you to use Pokemon that are super effective are their Pokemon. That's it. Come on, you don't need a guide to tell you that Water is super effective against fire!
I quote this from the guide. It's about the eighth gym leader, Volkner. They're supposed to give you 'tips' on how to beat him. Here's what they said:
'Those recent renovations have really made Sunyshore Gym an impressive mae of passages that you must connect by pressing buttons. It'll be pretty tricky to figure out the right combinations to get to Volkner, though maybe not as tricky as the eight Trainers standing between you and the Gym Leader. As for handling Volkner, dish out some Ground-type moves on Raichu and Luxray, go for the Electric-type on Octillery, and then put Ambipom to rest with hard-hitting Fighting-type moves. The thrill of victory will include the Beacon Badge, and TM57 Charge Beam.'
They don't even tell you how to do the puzzle. But it was pretty easy anyway. But that's not my point. Just to tell you how useless this guide is, I beat Volkner with my Empolean. He's a Water-Type.
Let me tell you what you need to know to get the full benefit out of the walkthrough portion of the guide.
Fire>Grass, Ice, Bug, Steel
Water>Fire, Ground Rock
Grass>Water, Ground, Rock
Ice>Grass, Ground, Dragon, Flying
Fighting>Normal, Ice, Rock, Steel, Dark
Bug>Dark, Grass, Poison, Psychic
Rock>Bug, Fire, Flying, Ice
That's not all. The guide DITCHES you after you beat the Pokemon League. Not one word on the three Areas, Battle Tower, or Pal Park. Nothing.
Now I'm done ranting. Now you can decide if you want the guide.
I'll get the bad points out first. It tells you WHAT items to get, but sadly, it doesn't tell WHERE to get them. Also, the startegies for the bosses aren't that good, but that's okay. But the biggest insult is that for the puzzles in gyms, it doesn't tell you what to do. Same with victory road. It just says ''move the boulders using strength to solve the puzzles. Please. And another big point is that it doesn't have a full pokedex. You'll have to buy it sepeartely. It doesn't go into a lot of detail in it's walkthrough. That really blows when you're stuck in victory roead, and you don't know what to do. There is a couple of mistakes like saying that the eighth gym leader is the seventh, and a couple of other mistakes in the book. For some reasons, the guide tells you to go to a place, only to tell you that you need to go back. That really frusterated me in many places.
The book is preety big, and none of the pages are wasted. It involves a fair amount of page flipping to see if there's anyhting you can do in a town that you've already been to. The charts help newcomers by the type chart that all hardcore pokemon gamers know. It also has a neat list of all the tms and where they are, and a description of ALL battle moves. The contest section helps out a lot if you're into that type of thing, but personally I think it's a waste of time. The introduction section is preety good for poke beginners, and even has some things that some longtime pokemon gamers didn't know, so check it out. From what some previous people said,you might think that the nintendo power is better and cheaper. It isn't. I have both, and I think that the Prima guide is much better for theat matter.
But on the other hand, the guide really helps you to find all the items and tms. Also, it has a good guide to help you in the wi-fi, and how to do it. And the maps are preety detailed, which really help you to get to certain areas, and where to go in caves. It is a good guide to help beat the game, but if you want a pokedex, buy that instead of this guide. I bought this guide because I trust Prima games when it comes to pokemon guides, and I ahppen to dislike Nintendo Power guides. I know that it sounds like I complained a lot, but really, all those negative points don't detarct from the overall experience and I'm really happy that I bought this guide. Buy this and the pokedex when it comes out, but if you can only buy one, choose if you want a pokedex more, or to beat the story more. You owe it to yourself to buy this guide. I give it a four out of five stars.