New Pokemon chat feature promotes unity, harmony

Fans of Pokemon have long been united by their love for fantastical cockfights, their active support of Darwinism, and their obsessive-compulsive collecting. When Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl launch in April on the DS, the far-flung Poke-nation diaspora will take another step towards unity, finally able to voice their love unabashedly to each other no matter how many leagues lie between them. In theory, at least. As you might expect, players will need to enter each other's Friend Codes in order to enable the chat feature, so in all likelihood most of the chatting will be done amongst the previously acquainted. Players can either connect and play over a local wireless connection, or they can log on to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to challenge Trainers worldwide.

Diamond and Pearl also feature some new Wi-Fi Connection locales to address some of your more pressing Poke-needs. The Global Trade Station functions as a Pokemon Craigslist of sorts, allowing you to post Pokemon you want to trade on a board and browse the offerings that have already been posted. This could make catching 'em all a sight easier for those inclined to barter.

After swapping creatures to your heart's delight, head over to the Battle Tower to see how you stack up against the world's best. You'll battle " Trainers who have registered their player Data in the Wi-Fi Battle Dome." After you battle, you'll be able to upload your data so that other players can battle you "virtually." Near as we can figure, this means that after uploading your data, you and your Pokemon will be battling all over the globe without your direct involvement. As "virtual you" wins battles, your self-estee… er, ranking will get higher and higher. You wanna be the very best, like no one ever was? Now's your chance.

With souped-up graphics, 100+ new Pokemon, and in-game changes affected by the passage of real world time, Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl are shaping up to be Pokemon gold. Already super-stoked to buy it? Pre-order starting March 18 and score yourself a collectible Pokemon stylus. Poke-licious.

March 15, 2007




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