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Super Contests In Pokemon Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl Explained

"Pokémon Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl" have arrived on the Nintendo Switch and critics are saying that both versions of the game are a moderate success. Admittedly, the new remakes are considerably shorter than the original Nintendo DS titles and they lack some of the content which was present in "Pokémon Emerald," confirming many fans' worries. To Game Freak's credit, part of the reason the games are shorter is that developers cut out a lot of the chaff, boiling the games down to their most stellar features. One of the more notable features that received this treatment is the Pokémon contests that were first introduced to the series in "Pokémon Ruby" and "Sapphire."

The old contests had two rounds that judged the Pokémon in a player's roster based on their condition and moves. The "Brilliant Diamond" and "Shining Pearl" have expanded on this, making the events full-blown concert events. Pokémon Super Contests are held exclusively at the Super Contest Hall in the center of Hearthome City. Players can reach Hearthome and enter contests after defeating the second gym leader. The new contests last four rounds in which a player's Pokémon are judged based on three categories: Visual, Move, and Dance. Achieving a high score in all three categories is the key to success in the contest, as they are then added together in order to produce the player's final score. Here's everything you need to know about the Super Contests.

How the contests work

Unlike most of the game, raising a Super Contest winning Pokémon has nothing to do with battle strength. Judgment comes down to the Pokémon's performance, moves, and "condition" which is composed based on one of five stats: Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, or Toughness. A player can enter one of their Pokémon in a Super Contest show by talking to Nurse Joy in the Contest Hall, selecting the category they'd like to enter, selecting the rank they'd like to enter at, choosing the Pokémon who will be competing, and then finally choosing a Ball Capsule to use in the contest show. Players may also pick their characters' outfits in order to best match their Pokémon.

There are four ranks to climb in Pokémon Super Contests: Normal, Great, Ultra, and Master. Players can also enter Shining Contests once their Pokémon has been the Star of the Show in all five categories in the Master rank, (don't worry, players don't need to catch a shiny Pokémon to enter.) Players can move a Pokémon up in the ranks by winning a competition of a given trait at the previous rank.

How to win

There are techniques to performing well in each category of the competition. A player should do a little work before even entering the competition. To start, they need to prepare their Pokémon for the Visual portion. They can do this by raising the condition-stat they intend to compete in. The easiest way to do this is by cooking Poffins and feeding them to the Pokémon they intend to compete. The stats Poffins increase are based on the berries players use in order to make them. All Poffins increase condition-stats, but players may find that their Pokémon have certain preferences related to their nature which give them higher bonuses from some Poffins and lower bonuses from others. Decorating the Pokémon's Ball Capsule with stickers may also give them a small boost in the Visual section.

The second portion of the competition boils down to the player's own skills. The Dance segment is a simple rhythm game in which the player must tap or hold down the A button in order to match the prompts on screen. The better their timing, the higher their Pokémon will score.

The final category depends on the Pokémon's moveset. Players will select a move that their Pokémon will use during the Dance segment of the competition. Each move has different effects based on what category the Pokémon is competing in, so it's best to experiment and see which moves work best in a given area and really make the Pokémon shine.