I've just made my way through Eterna Forest in Pokemon Diamond. So, for the first time, I've experienced the Pokemon games' Double Battles. To be honest, I'm not that impressed.
A Pokemon battle that's two versus two is more interesting than the usual one-on-one. But it still feels very much like a single battle since you only control your own Pokemon. The result is a battle that's reminiscent of the fights in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, even while you have two party members: restrictive.
Being able to control only one member of a two member team just seems like a wasted opportunity to me.
What if two Pokemon of related types could combine techniques?
Or what if doing two techniques in a certain order unleashed some sort of hidden skill?
No doubt the later generations of Pokemon games get into this sort of thing. Though if they don't, then things like Double Battles aren't nearly as innovative as they could be.
Nonetheless, Double Battles do hold some potential for new ways to develop the game's plot since they mean that you temporarily team up with another trainer.
Disappointingly, though, my partner in the Eterna Forest, Cheryl, looks like she'll be just a one-off character. But, there are another seven gyms to get through, and likely a whole lot of plot to develop. At this point I know almost nothing about Pokemon Diamond's Team Galactic after all.