Review by TSKaplan

"And thus, Generation 4 meets it's end"

At the start of the fourth generation of Pokemon many were excited and rightfully so. Diamond and Pearl added a truck load of new Pokemon, a new continent to discover and it did it all with the promise that all other generations had : To catch (or see) them all! This time around, Nintendo decided to add a lot more to the third instalment of this generations then they ever did in past games. Sure, you can catch both legendaries from each game, however this time around Nintendo decided to add 100 more Pokemon to be caught BEFORE the ability to import Pokemon is unlocked as well as 6 more legendaries (Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres & 3 Regi's) new story-line characters, more involvement for the player and last but not least they've improved on two of the very awesome and very bad-ass legendary Pokemon Giratina and Shaymin, both getting brand new forms in both Sky Form Shaymin and Origin Giratina.

Most importantly, does Pokemon Platinum deliver that same Pokemon "feeling" that all others have provided? The answer is yes and in a big way.

Storyline:
This time it seems Nintendo has paid a great deal of attention to the improvement of the main storyline as well as the meta-game afterwards. With the addition of a few new supporting characters as well as the more main role Cyrus plays in this game Team Galactic in all seems to play a darker, more sinister role in the game. While going through the game, you will meet up with your Rival who helps a lot more this time around as well as meeting with the Champion herself, Cynthia who seems to want to thwart Team Galactic's plans, but is fine with you fighting all of her battles. After the game is over and you move of to the after-game you will first notice the improvement of the Battle Tower (now called the Battle Frontier), and more importantly you will notice that once a week, you will be able to battle your Rival who eventually becomes the highest level trainer in Pokemon History. You also get to battle a member of the Elite Four, along with his buddy from one of the Gyms, sadly I won't spoil it for you here as it truly is one of the most epic double battles in Pokemon History - oops, gave a little hint =P In all, it seems the folk at Nintendo are making strides towards a better and much more full Pokemon RPG experience. In all, the entire basic storyline has stayed the same in core in that you mostly go on a journey to become to strongest by defeating Gyms and finally beating the Elite 4, but the little tidbits that Nintendo added has truly gone a long way.

Gameplay:
Sadly, not much has changed here. There have been some new sprite additions, as well as some new animations and more forms to explore (such as the Distortion World which I will go into later, the new Rotom Formes and Shaymins Sky Forme ). One very interesting thing to note is that the climate has seemingly been changed with Snow in the starting area, oh and the main sprite for both the main Boy and Girl have been drastically been improved, which is a great sign for those of you who were absolutely disgusted at the Boy sprite. The real gem of this game is the addition of the Distortion World which houses the amazing Giratina who now plays a much central role in the game. Not only does he crash the party at the Spear Pillar when Cyrus goes insane but he now has an entirely new form which in itself is a very physical and strong Pokemon in his own right. In all, while the addition of Origin Forme Giratina might be a small one, to Pokemaniacs it makes us squeal with joy. There has also been an addition of a NEW Sinnoh Pokedex, which now holds 60 more Pokemon - most that were only catch-able only after you defeated the Elite 4. The Battle Frontier has also made a return from Emerald, which houses the Battle Tower, Battle Factory, Battle Castle, Battle Hall, and finally the various Battle Shops which take the currency of BP (Battle Points). What does this mean for the Pokemon Gamer? It means that even if you do not have access to Wi-Fi you will still find yourself devoting hours and hours of time to the Battle Frontier. Speaking of Wi-Fi...the Wi-Fi Square is another addition that makes it's appearance. In it you will be able to play mini-games, and indirectly interact with the various people from all over the word which there is a globe in the room which shows where everybody in that room is from. Unfortunately there is a limit to how long you can stay in the room each day and once time is up you are exported out by a boat designed by different Pokemon such as a Charizard. Along with the other new additions, you also are treated to an entirely new Gym and Elite Four experience such as the one in the Eterna Gym which instead of running around to fight each trainer, you must navigate a giant flower to get to each zone which is activated by still defeating each trainer in the Gym, and Flints room which now has Lava running through it on each side. As for the new Formes, there are three Pokemon in Diamond and Pearl which now have new formes, Origin Form Giratina(Much more Physical), Sky Form Shaymin( More Sp.Attack based), and the different appliances Rotom can now put himself into such as a lawn mower(allows for different types). The new formes, I feel add a very "new" feeling to the game as these three Pokemon were my favourite from this generation. In all, the new game-play options truly will keep a hardened Diamond Veteran busy, as well as keep a new player playing for countless hours.

Graphics:
The Graphics HAVE been improved in this game, as new shades of colour paint almost every city in the game, as well as paint the in game menu's an entirely new shade which in my opinion is easier on the eyes. As a whole, the in-game graphics aren't THAT much different from Diamond and Pearl and will only take 5 minutes to get used to for a Diamond and Pearl player, however like I said in the Gameplay section, this will keep new players memorised for a long, long time.

Sound:
Not a lot to report here, with the addition of Giratina's cry being in places that seems just plain awkward, the music pretty much remains the same except for Giratina getting his own battle music now. If you loved the music in Diamond (and I'm going to guess most did) the music in Platinum won't really take you by surprise but just add a touch of memory of a past adventure as you pile through the game once more.

Replayability:
This game in my opinion has MUCH more replayability then it's Diamond and Pearl counterparts as the additions of the Battle Frontier and the almost perfect (aside from Friend Codes) Wi-Fi battle system which will keep the competitive Poke-nuts entertained for a very long time. Of course if you would like to go the classic route and try and "Catch 'em all", that's almost possible aside from needing to trade with others for many of the other classic legends and starters, once again Wi-Fi makes "Catching 'em all!" a very possible motive and could have been the very best addition that could have been made to the Pokemon Franchise.

As a total, this game receives an 8 out of 10 from me, as well as an MUST BUY for any Pokemon fan and if you're a new fan of the series wanting to jump in to the Pokemon scene, there's no better time to start! Jump right in, and explore the vast world of Pokemon where you can do what you want!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/30/09

Game Release: Pokemon Platinum Version (US, 03/22/09)


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