Pokemon Platinum

  • by McKinley Noble
  • March 23, 2009 00:00 AM PST

While Pokemon Platinum may not be a completely fresh RPG experience, the rock-paper-scissors gameplay remains every bit as engaging as it's been for the last 10 years. Yes, Pokemon Platinum is the same great game as Diamond & Pearl, with plenty of major changes and minor tweaks for hardcore fans of the series, but even the addictive and inventive gameplay may not be enough for more casual DS players to enter the world of Sinnoh a second time. Still, if you like your Pokemons, get ready for an improvement on near-perfection.

THE VERDICT by McKinley Noble McKinley Noble's Avatar Let's be real: It's Pokemon. That's really all I can say. It's a great game, and if you're a diehard fan like yours truly, then you probably own it already, and this review won't change your mind. That said, it's still the same great game it's been for the past ten years with a fresh coat of paint and some fantastic new features.

Pokemon, and on, and on...

Pokemon Platinum isn't really a sequel, but more like a director's cut. In the same tradition as Pokemon Yellow, Crystal and Emerald, Platinum is essentially the same game as Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, but with version-exclusive additions that range from fresh and innovative to somewhat nonessential. Basically, the more you like Pokemon, the more likely you'll savor and enjoy Platinum's small, but various differences from Diamond & Pearl. Luckily, there's enough new content that I can say Platinum's definitely worth a look, even if you've already filled out a Pokedex in every game up until this one.

Like all the Pokemon games before it, you start Platinum as a budding young trainer who sets out to travel the world with a Pokemon partner. While your main task is to see all the Pokemon in the game and collect tons of powerful monsters, you also must contend with a gang of Pokemon thieves while battling your way into the Sinnoh Pokemon League to become the undisputed champion of all the Pokemon trainers in world. Sound familiar?

Pokemon Re-Mastered

For a pseudo-sequel, Platinum boasts an impressive amount of new things to see -- more than most Pokemon fans may be expecting from this game. Everything in Platinum, from the environments and music to the animations of battle sprites has been altered, and it should be apparent even to the average player that the world looks and feels different. One of the major changes I've enjoyed in Platinum is that Gym Leaders and Gym Trainers only have Pokemon of their assigned type, while Pokemon trainers' lineups around the Sinnoh region have been switched around, ensuring that I'd be unlikely to run into too many familiar battles.

It's already a relief that the hundreds and hundreds of Pokemon battles in Platinum have some variety to them, but I also didn't expect so many towns and dungeons to get a complete graphical and structural facelift. Game Freak's development team obviously spent a lot of time refining several levels in the game, and they sometimes just outright remodeled the layout of entire stages in the game where they just could have been lazy and copied Diamond & Pearl. With new characters and an altered storyline involving the shadowy Distortion World and version-mascot-Pokemon Giratina on top of everything else, Platinum kept changing things up enough for me that I was playing nonstop for days. Even in places where I expected nothing to change, everything looked completely different: many items weren't where I remembered them, and the various Pokemon I was finding weren't where I thought they'd pop up.

Comments [17]

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Existential_11

Instead of 4.5 stars, shouldn't this game get something like 2 stars? The first ones, red and blue, deserve 5 stars because they were original and so great that they saved the gameboy. These are just a rehashing of a game that is over a decade old. I know they added widgets and small graphical updates, but I really do not see how this qaulifies as a 4.5 star game anymore. It doesn't add anything to the genre.

sportsorviolence21

Existential_11 wrote:

Instead of 4.5 stars, shouldn't this game get something like 2 stars? The first ones, red and blue, deserve 5 stars because they were original and so great that they saved the gameboy. These are just a rehashing of a game that is over a decade old. I know they added widgets and small graphical updates, but I really do not see how this qaulifies as a 4.5 star game anymore. It doesn't add anything to the genre.

CUZ U HAITR. SHAT UP.

Lanmanna

@Existential_11

Wow, I would research before saying that. You might as well complain the same about annual sport games and numerous other games.

How about-
Tag battles
New Pokemon
Holding items
Different characteristics of the same Pokemon giving it different stats.
Wi-fi trading and battling
Day and night real time alternating what Pokemon you can catch.
Some stuff I'm not remembering.

Yep, sure is the same.

Existential_11

Lanmanna wrote:

@Existential_11Wow, I would research before saying that. You might as well complain the same about annual sport games and numerous other games.How about-
Tag battles
New Pokemon
Holding items
Different characteristics of the same Pokemon giving it different stats.
Wi-fi trading and battling
Day and night real time alternating what Pokemon you can catch.
Some stuff I'm not remembering.

Yep, sure is the same.

All those things you mentioned were introduced before this game in other iterations. I'm not a hater, I just have standards. It's like giving every student a 4.0 instead of just the top 5%. Giving everything a 4.5 stars takes away from the prestige of games like Pokemon Red and Blue... making them appear to be less special. If it is an average "upgrade" it should get an average score. Half a star is not enough to differentiate a classic and a cash-in.
KenTheGreat1

Existential_11 wrote:

Lanmanna wrote:

@Existential_11Wow, I would research before saying that. You might as well complain the same about annual sport games and numerous other games.How about-
Tag battles
New Pokemon
Holding items
Different characteristics of the same Pokemon giving it different stats.
Wi-fi trading and battling
Day and night real time alternating what Pokemon you can catch.
Some stuff I'm not remembering.Yep, sure is the same.

All those things you mentioned were introduced before this game in other iterations. I'm not a hater, I just have standards. It's like giving every student a 4.0 instead of just the top 5%. Giving everything a 4.5 stars takes away from the prestige of games like Pokemon Red and Blue... making them appear to be less special. If it is an average "upgrade" it should get an average score. Half a star is not enough to differentiate a classic and a cash-in.

I actually think that Diamond is a classic itself. Personally, I didn't care for the G/S/C series, and the Emerald line didn't really make a huge impression on me. With D/P and Platinum, I actually get the same feeling like I did when playing the original Red and Blue series.

Existential_11

KenTheGreat1 wrote:
'''
I actually think that Diamond is a classic itself. Personally, I didn't care for the G/S/C series, and the Emerald line didn't really make a huge impression on me. With D/P and Platinum, I actually get the same feeling like I did when playing the original Red and Blue series.
'''

We are talking about Platinum though... as a separate game from the rests, it does not add much.
You even say:
"...pretty much the same game as before; may not be quite enough new content and features for gamers that have already bought Pokemon Diamond and Pearl."
I liked Pearl and Diamond, though the game really didn't take any risks with the series. It was a decade old game with some added updates. The WiFi was probably the most important update.

I'm sure a reviewer would get fired if they actually review a game as average (Jeff Gertsmann, anyone?). I mean Barbie: Island Princess, is probably a 1/2 star and Mario Kart would be at the other end of the spectrum of 4.5 star. I just have a beef that review scores tend not to reflect that distribution. Nothing personal against you or anyone in general.

The reviews lately have been giving too high of ratings, which steals the limelight from the really great games. Also, it can mislead gamepro's audience.

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