Review by Adventurea
"Collect how many? Almost 500? Better get started...."
Ah yes, Pokemon. Those lovely creatures that stop at nothing to grab the attention of the player. Being the latest main Pokemon title, it seems to have as much popularity as Pokemon Emerald Version (Probably more). Like Emerald was to R/S, Platinum is to D/P, It took a lot of the bad out and made it good. Very good. Almost as though they planned it out. Regardless if they did or not, it worked. Oh boy did it work. The games features, Side quests, and story all make the game what it is... that and the fact that a lot of Nintendo events are a lot more accessible helps a lot, too.
Story - Not Judged
It's your typical Pokemon Story, really, except with a little more depth than the initial goal. You start as an innocent person, and somehow ended up saving the world, figures, right? Deep down though, the story is boosted from that of Diamond and platinum. In the end, the story isn't particularly why your sticking around, so even if you don't like it, it's great.
Graphics - 8/10
We're not quite too the degree of awe-inspiring for me, but it still looks amazing. We're still talking 2D Sprites and a 3rd person overview, but for the style it's in, its good and it fits, it does not distract the player, and can amaze the player to a degree.
Game play & Controls -10/10
This is the meat of Pokemon right here, you are forced to go along an almost linear story with few branching paths, but everything extra can be enjoyed once you get it, and can be returned to at any time. These game play mechanics come from not only the 3rd generation, but a few things from the 2nd generation as well. Daytime and Night time visuals and specific day events make a come back from Generation 2. Contests and the battle frontier is still there from Generation 3. What this means is there is more than one thing to master, and with each thing that you master, you get another star on your trainer card (Beating all the best contests, for example) After the story is out of the way, you're able to do basically anything you want afterword. The basics of the game have you going through battles to beat other trainers or wild Pokemon so that your Pokemon gain experience and you can move on with the story / Plot / Your business.
Most of the controls involve the buttons, not so much L, R, X or Y, You're usually using the Game Boy basics (Which is A, B, Start, and the control Pad). Now X opens the menu, but I usually set my control options to X=Start, since I'm so used to pressing Start on my 3rd Generation titles. There are Mini games that require touch control and the Microphone, and you can use the touch screen as an alternative to selecting your options in battle, There is also this Thing-a-ma-bob that you get through the story that occupies your bottom screen throughout the game while you're in the over world, that requires your touch screen, though your thumb is a nice alternative.
The controls are exceptionally easy to learn and remember, and are not frustrating. you will never be forced to "Button Mash" any particular button or so furiously tap the touch screen, so remember to do so much more as "touch" the screen.
I consider myself to be a completionist, in other words, I'm not done until EVERYTHING is done, and this game has a ton to throw at you, and many of the major accomplishments are pains to get. If you're done with the first and easiest major accomplishment, then I don't know what to say. The major accomplishments are; Beating the elite 4, Mastering the Battle Frontier, Mastering Contests, Mastering capture the flag in the underground, and Completing the pokedex (Event pokemon not required). In other words, I've been playing this game since it came out and I STILL haven't completed everything that has been thrown at me (I've got everything but the Battle frontier) Doing these quests will keep you occupied for at least another few months of game play, if not years. This game doesn't particularly have anything that stops your motivation though, like harvest moon does for me, and once you do come back, if you missed a day a journal that you have will recap what you did so that you know what you're doing. With so many things to do, I'm not so surprised.
It should be noted that for Starters of previous Generations and Legendaries of previous Generations will have to be transferred, in other words, you will need FR OR LG, and R/S/E to collect every Pokemon before Heart Gold and Soul Silvers release in the United States, and that you will need to complete Emerald and FR/LG 3 times to get every Legendary Dog, Starter, and in Emerald, Jhoto Starter (You will need to complete the Hoen dex of 200, which requires one specific Pokemon from Ruby (Zangoose) and one from Sapphire (Lunatone), yeah, one.). If you have a DSi, do not fret over it so much, as HG/SS should have most of the Pokemon you're looking for if you can't find it in D/P/Pt
Difficulty: Artificial (not judged)
In other words, the difficulty is how hard you make it for yourself. You can create a mono type team, a normal team, halt your progress to train EVERY Pokemon you could obtain up to that point to a certain level before moving on, go with un-evolved Pokemon. You can make it as flipping hard to as breezy easy as you want, and can change this difficulty at almost any time of your wishing. After beating the game, beating the Battle frontier will test your True skills as a Pokemon trainer, and that place isn't for newbies. No sir. If you can beat that, its solid proof that you know what you're doing.
The game does come with its hidden values, essentially, though, its pretty easy to understand, these hidden values are hidden until you discover how to use them to your advantage or be like almost anyone else and look it up or stumble into it on a website.
The total average of Judged Categories is (8+10+10) / 3, or 9.33, rounded down to 9.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/19/10
Game Release: Pokemon Platinum Version (US, 03/22/09)
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