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DS Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Music Super Complete :: Review by Marc

DS Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Music Super Complete Album Title: DS Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Music Super Complete
Record Label: Media Factory
Catalog No.: ZMCP-3242
Release Date: December 22, 2006
Purchase: Buy at eBay


In a world where every system has the capability of expansive music full of depth, Pokémon takes an interesting route in its musical evolution (no pun intended). Just like the game, the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl soundtrack seems scared to take off the training wheels and try something that isn't so 1995. In a way, it's a throwback to the previous games and gives a strong sense of nostalgia. However, in other ways, this iteration of the series is very modern sounding. The resultant soundtrack is a catchy, somewhat nostalgic, and at times even moody trip that some may find a bit disappointing and some may enjoy.


Junichi Masuda's sound team at Game Freak really know how to make catchy music, melancholy music, and everything in between that integrates with the game's graphical style. There's definitely some music that shines on this release, no matter how much of a throwback they may be. From the perspective of throwback themes, "Sandgem Town" is a prime example. Although it is pretty generic, you'll find yourself humming to its melody and Go Ichinose's arrangement is a little more complex than usual instrumentally. In addition, some old classics make their return, such as "Pokémon Center". There are some dull remixes here, but they all work interactively within the game.

Perhaps the most impressive new-sounding track is "Route 209". This track is completely dominated by a catchy piano melody, coupled with a grand and equally memorable chorus. This is one of the earliest setting themes in the game and, like the others, it receives a night and day variation. Although these variations can be superfluous, some arrangements are particularly good. "Route 216 Night" is definitely one of the best night tracks; it starts off very nocturnal, but then a very catchy beat kicks in that makes you want to battle through the night.

There is plenty of diversity elsewhere, though. Maybe I just like beautiful flowing piano melodies, but "Canalave Town" is one of my personal favorites for that reason. I think the introduction of this Masuda-esque piano style was a great addition to the game. Other themes like "Jubilife" go with the town's atmosphere a little, but are also a little forgettable outside the game. Towards the end of the soundtrack, there are also a set of more intense tracks like "Stark Mountain" to set the mood.

There's another surprising thing that Masuda's sound team have always done exceptionally well. That is, integrating a large amount of moody music into a game that is predominated by catchy childish music. Take "Mt. Coronet" for instance. The are plenty of interesting sounds and instruments that make this rise above some of the simpler catchy melodies. "Old Chateau", the ghost area, manages to be surprisingly creepy too. In some regards, it is reminiscent of the spooky yet humorous themes used for similar areas in the Mario series. It certainly enhances the diversity of the overall experience.

Of course, there is a set of new battle themes to accompany the games too. The "Wild Pokémon Battle Theme" continues the series' tradition of great battle themes, but also shows this albums weaknesses more than any other track. This track fits into the Pokémon mold so perfectly that I could imagine it being from any game. I'm happy to say that other battle themes are a little more novel, such as "Diagla/Palkia's Battle Theme". There's some almost epic use of piano here, giving a very intense effect within the battle and also on a stand-alone basis.


Despite all that's good, the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl is a bit forgettable in the end and fits into the mold a little too snuggly. Fitting the mold is the very reason some liked the game and the very reason others hated it. Even if this is a little too molded, it's still an enjoyable soundtrack as there are both new and familiar stylings, original and recycled melodies. Although not all will enjoy it, Masuda's sound team will definitely please most fans and newcomers to the game despite the flaws.

Overall Score: 7/10