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Monday, November 29, 2021

I Got and Started Pokémon Shining Pearl!

Turtwig Von Koopa avatarBy TURTWIG VON KOOPA - Plus, I got the keychain plush.

Last week, I was upset over The Pokémon Center delaying its shipment of Pokémon Shining Pearl to me by a week. Fortunately, it wasn't delayed any further. I'm now a proud owner of Pokémon Shining Pearl... and a Piplup keychain plush.

Pokémon Shining Pearl inside Nintendo Switch box art Sinnoh Grand Underground Piplup keychain plush plushie
I think the inside of the boxart depicts the Grand Underground of the Sinnoh region.
Getting a Piplup plush isn't stopping me from picking Turtwig.

I did say I'm a proud owner, so that means I have a favourable first impression, right? ...Yes, yes I do. I'll tell you all about that throughout this article! But first, I'm doing an on-going Shining Pearl adventure blog on KoopaTV's Intranet forum, Planet Koopa. So if you want updates on how I'm doing trekking through Sinnoh, look there. That's just a tradition I've been doing since Pokémon SoulSilver, so I don't quite have a Sinnoh-to-Sinnoh comparison, but... It's something. I'm putting that content there and not on KoopaTV because KoopaTV isn't supposed to be my personal blog. (...The Ring Fit Adventure Fitness Logs are... totally different.)

As I expected, the presentation of the game is wonderful. I love the graphics—I always have and I prefer them over alternatives that fans came up with, but it's even better when you're actually playing the game. You may have fallen for a misinformation campaign shortly before the game's release that the game's soundtrack sounds awful, but in actuality, it's... great and pleasant to listen to. Here's a comparison between the music people said you'd listen to versus what you actually listen to, as long as you update your game, which I did before playing it:

The rest of the music I've heard so far also sounds great. Just writing that makes me want to stop typing this article and go play (and listen) more. It's like... the already great soundtrack from the DS originals... but modernised with superior Switch instrumentation and how they were always meant to be.

There is a problem, however: Beyond the game's presentation, there are... some aspects that were clearly never meant to be put into it.

Pokémon Shining Pearl EXP Experience All party battle
The original game wasn't designed for EXP All. EXP All is mandatory.

There are a lot of factors that will go into a Pokémon's level. Experience Growth (do you need a lot or not-as-much experience points to gain a level? Magikarp's is Slow, while Turtwig, Shinx, Budew, Kricketune, and Staravia are Medium Slow), their current level, the opponent Pokémon's level, and if they participated in a battle or not. So you can see in the above screenshot that Longstreet participated in the battle and got a full 42 EXP, while Delele and Yezzt were level 14 but didn't participate and got 21 EXP. Koopy, being level 15, only got 19 EXP. Dragking got more EXP by virtue of being underleveled, but he's so far below because he needs more EXP per level to get to the next one... and also because I'm leveling him entirely based off EXP All.

It isn't that your whole party gaining experience points even without participating in a battle is inherently bad in RPGs. Lots of RPGs do that. However, their game design and difficulty is designed with that in mind. The levels in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl are the same as they were in Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl, which did not have EXP All. That means a boss fight where their strongest Pokémon is supposed to be more formidable than any one particular Pokémon in your party is likely to be a cakewalk, where your whole party could easily overpower their ace not by grinding, but by just playing through the game normally. I literally went and beat Roark without taking any damage with just Koopy.

The amount of EXP scaling the game puts isn't strong enough to counter this, especially since the original games weren't... difficult to begin with. Now it's just impossible to lose unless you do something like actively not use your Pokémon you've been training throughout your journey and swap them with newly caught wild Pokémon, though even those will quickly catch up to the rest of your party without much effort. (Marissa is level 6 in the above screenshot, but at my save now, she's level 17... while the other party members are at level 18, since they'll be scaled to gain EXP FASTER if they're underleveled.) But most of the time I don't want to do that because I want to use the Pokémon I'm journeying with.

Pokémon Shining Pearl Brilliant Diamond Trainer School essay notebook
Hey, kid, if you want the rest of the world to read your essay, talk to KoopaTV! We accept guest posts!
(Though you need to be 13+ to be on KoopaTV.)

Well, maybe it'll somehow get harder. I've only gotten one gym badge so far after all. That's like a tutorial for other games. ...And if I really want to cope, perhaps the difficulty doesn't really matter if I'm playing for the overall... experience (points) of it. There are whole features I haven't even gotten to yet (like the Grand Underground) that I'm greatly looking forward to!

Ludwig has at least a couple of content ideas for this game for KoopaTV. ...TURTWIG VON KOOPA is a one-time byline though. There aren't any screenshots of it here, but Ludwig set his Memo Pad mesage in the Pokétch corner to be VISIT KOOPATV.ORG, so you might see such advertisements in future publications. Are you enjoying your experience with the game? Do you loathe it? Let KoopaTV know in the comments.

Ludwig also updated KoopaTV's power of science quote repository.
Koopy the Turtwig would later become a certified CUTENESS MASTER.
Ludwig ultimately declares Shining Pearl to be superior to the original Diamond and Pearl.


  1. I was so focused on sewing up the Lord Winklebottom plush I only recently started my game of Shining Pearl gifted to me by my sister's husband who got the Brilliant Diamond version.

    1. You're still far ahead of me, mostly because I only have played on two weekdays so far. >_>

    2. (Weekends, to clarify. Saturday and Sunday.)

    3. How do you think Fairy types affect the remakes?

    4. I'm not sure so far, the only Fairy type I've really encountered is Togepi and that's not notable.

    5. I've beaten five gym leaders now... so... Fairy types include... Togepi... and... Marill.
      Mr. Mime might've showed up once.

      I don't use 'em and I don't really deal with them.


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