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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: Super Contest Shows guide

The entire concept of Pokemon was built around sharing. Ever since the original games came out on Game Boy, the mainline series has been released in pairs to encourage players to trade with their friends in order to collect all the little creatures that only existed in one version or another. As the series has gone on, the ability to connect with other players, even those around the world, has only been expanded and made more convenient. With the new versions of older games being made, they’ve started creating new ways to play with others besides just trading and battling, with Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl attempting to capitalize on a new way to show off your cutest Pokemon.

Called Super Contest Shows, these are brand new to Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. When you enter one of these contests, your Pokemon will be judged on their appearance, dancing skills, and attacks. Each area is graded in different ways, with only one trainer standing at the top by the end. If entering your little buddies in this show makes you a little nervous, we’ve broken down how the whole thing works so you can become a star in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Super Contest Shows.

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How to unlock and enter Super Contests

A trainer choosing which contest to enter.

Before you and your team can start showing off for the crowd, you will need to progress through the game a little bit. After you get your second gym badge, you will be directed to head over to Hearthome City. Once here, you will automatically meet a judge who will invite you to participate in the Super Contest Shows in the city’s contest center. Simply head to the building, and you’ll be able to take to the stage.

Different Super Contest types and how they work

Super Contest Shows are broken down into different categories based on difficulty. They start out at Normal, then move up to Great, Ultra, Master, and even Shining. Shining-level contests will be locked until you earn a Contest Star Ribbon, which requires you to first earn the Star of the Show rating in every Master rank category. You can also pit your Pokemon against others using the multiplayer option for a real challenge. There’s also the option to do a practice contest if you just want to learn how the systems work a little bit easier.

All contests work the same way, just with increasing levels of difficulty. They’re broken down into three sections that you should get familiar with and plan for ahead of time, with the first being the Visual Evaluation. Each rank has five types that they’re judging: Coolness, Cuteness, Beauty, Cleverness, and Toughness. All of your Pokemon will have different stats in these categories, so picking the best one for each type of contest is important, but you can also raise that specific stat. This is also where decorating your Pokeballs comes into play.

After that is the more active part of the contest: The dancing mini-game. These are fairly simple but do get harder the further along you go in the ranks.

Showing off a move is the last part of the contest, but it’s wrapped up in the dancing portion. At certain points during the dancing portion, you will get a chance to show off one of your Pokemon’s attacks. Again, you will want to pick one that relates to the contest type, but also time it right.

How to raise your Pokemon’s conditions

Decorating a Pokeball with stickers.

Once you’ve picked which rank and contest type you’re going to do, it’s time to buff up your Pokemon’s stats. The only way to do this is by giving the correct Poffin to your chosen Pokemon. These can go a long way in earning you the Star of the Show award in this portion if you pick the right Poffin. Here are all of the Poffins and what stat they are best used for:

  • Dry Poffins: Beauty Contests
  • Bitter Poffins: Cleverness Contests
  • Spicy Poffins: Coolness Contests
  • Sweet Poffins: Cuteness Contests
  • Sour Poffins: Toughness Contests

With your Pokemon and Poffin selected, you should also make sure they will make a great entrance. For a Pokemon, this obviously means their emergence from their Pokeball. When decorating your Pokeball for the event, be smart about which stickers you pick. There are a lot to pick from, but things like hearts will perform well in Beauty and Cuteness competitions, while rocks and fire ones tend to go better with Coolness or Toughness competitions. If you need more stickers, you can buy them from the shop in Floaroma Town.

Just remember to attack the ball you decorated with the Pokemon you’re entering in the competition!

Nailing the dancing game and move

Pokemon dancing on a stage.

The dancing section is where the real game starts and is the biggest factor in deciding who actually wins the entire Super Contest. Thankfully, unlike more hardcore rhythm games, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl simplifies it down to a single-button game. All you need to worry about is either tapping or holding the A button along with the on-screen prompts. The better you do, the higher your dance score will get, filling your Heart Gauge, and the Hype Gauge will go up as your team does well overall.

Once your Heart Gauge is full, you have the option to use the specific move that you will have chosen prior to the event starting, but don’t just throw it out as soon as you can. Wait for the other Pokemon to do their moves first, waiting until the final of the three finishes before using yours as the final move in the sequence to earn a Move Chain bonus. These massively increase your Hype Gauge, and the move itself also can trigger different bonuses like increasing how fast your Heart Gauge fills or giving you more points when your Pokemon is in the groove.

Groove is shown as either an upward orange arrow or downward blue one, with the one who has the highest groove likely winning the Star of the Show in this category.

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