'Brillant Diamond' and 'Shining Pearl'
Source: The Pokémon Company

The Biggest Difference Between 'Brilliant Diamond' and 'Shining Pearl' Is the Exclusive Pokémon

Sara Belcher - Author

Nov. 16 2021, Published 4:45 p.m. ET

It's been years since Pokémon players have been able to experience the Shinnoh region, but with the new remakes of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl coming to the Nintendo Switch, trainers new and old can experience the franchise's previous generation.

For almost every new generation of Pokémon games, the developers release two different versions of the title — but what's the difference between these two titles? In the end, there isn't much of a difference.

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There are exclusive Pokémon in 'Brilliant Diamond' and 'Shining Pearl.'

In each generation of Pokémon games, there are often certain Pokémon that are exclusive to each title — a fact that often determines which title players will ultimately purchase. There aren't often as many game-specific exclusives for a generation as there are for Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which is why you should know the difference in the Pokémon for each game before buying your copy.

Pokemon in 'Brilliant Diamond' and 'Shining Pearl'
Source: The Pokémon Company
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The exclusive Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond are:

  • Cranidos
  • Rampardos
  • Stunky
  • Skuntank
  • Murkrow
  • Honchkrow
  • Scyther
  • Scizor
  • Caterpie
  • Metapod
  • Butterfree
  • Ekans
  • Arbok
  • Growlithe
  • Arcanine
  • Seedot
  • Nuzleaf
  • Shiftry
  • Mawile
  • Zangoose
  • Solrock
  • Seel
  • Dewgong
  • Kecleon
  • Larvitar
  • Pupitar
  • Tyranitar
  • Mime Jr.
  • Mr. Mime
  • Elekid
  • Electabuzz
  • Electivire
  • Gilgar
  • Gilscor
  • Dialga (legendary)
  • Raikou (legendary)
  • Entei (legendary)
  • Suicune (legendary)
  • Ho-Oh (legendary)

The exclusive Pokémon in Shining Pearl are:

  • Shieldon
  • Bastiodon
  • Glameow
  • Purugly
  • Weedle
  • Kakuna
  • Beedrill
  • Slowpoke
  • Slowbro
  • Slowking
  • Stantier
  • Bagon
  • Shelgon
  • Salamence
  • Sandshrew
  • Vulpix
  • Ninetales
  • Pinsir
  • Lotad
  • Lombre
  • Ludicolo
  • Sableye
  • Seviper
  • Lunatone
  • Misdreavus
  • Mismagius
  • Magby
  • Magmar
  • Teddiursa
  • Ursaring
  • Palkia (legendary)
  • Articuno (legendary)
  • Zapdos (legendary)
  • Articuno (legendary)
  • Moltres (legendary)
  • Lugia (legendary)
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Source: The Pokémon Company

There are other legendary Pokémon players can unlock in each game, regardless of which version they buy. If you have a Nintendo Switch save of Pokémon Let's Go, you'll unlock Mew, and if you have a Nintendo Switch save of Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield you'll receive Jirachi.

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Players who pre-order the game will also receive a Manaphy egg once they receive their game. This egg can be accessed by selecting "Get via Internet" from the Mystery Gift function. You will need internet access for this.

The remakes are a bit different than the original 'Pokémon Diamond' and 'Pokémon Pearl.'

While the original games already featured plenty of opportunities to catch legendary and mythical Pokémon, the remakes will offer even more opportunities, giving players an option to expand their Pokédex further than they could in the original.

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For starters, the game will introduce Ramanas Park, which is an area designed specifically for new experiences exclusive only to the remakes and increasing the likelihood of a legendary or mythical encounter.

Buddies in 'Pokémon Brilliant Diamond' and 'Shining Pearl'
Source: The Pokémon Company
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This is where you'll likely cross paths with Pokémon like Zapdos, Raikou, Articuno, Suicune, and many others. Just remember, the legendary Pokémon available for you to capture will depend on which game you choose, so be sure to pick wisely.

Similar to Pokémon Sword and Shield, the Pokémon in this game will also be roaming free, meaning you'll have some control over the Pokémon you'll encounter on your journey.

In previous installments, trainers would run into random Pokémon while walking through tall grass or in caves, leaving them little control over which Pokémon they battled. With the free roam feature, you'll be able to see the Pokémon milling about in the grass, reducing your unexpected battles.

Players can also add a buddy to walk around with them, similar to many of the recent installments in the franchise, bettering your relationship with that Pokémon.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on Nov. 19.

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