Review by Lance_Casey
"Arguably the best Pokemon game yet!"
On September 30, 1998, Nintendo left an imprint in all our lives with the debut of those little creatures know as Pokemon, and the Kanto region. On October 15, 2000, Johto was introduced. Then on March 19, 2003, we explored the Hoenn region. That was enough for gamers for a while, but they craved more. On April 22, 2007, we found the Sinnoh region to explore. But Nintendo knew that Diamond and Pearl could be expanded upon and made even more addicting.
That brings me to March 22, 2009: The release of Platinum. Even before it was released, the internet was buzzing with message boards and chats about if this game was going to live up to the hype. The biggest question for some was if they were going to like it, or if it was worth another $35 to get it. Simply put, it was more than worth it. Platinum expanded upon the Pokemon games like no other game in the series. It is the ultimate RPG on the DS, and one of the most addicting games ever. Saying that it is just a director's cut is the worst thing you could say about the game. I pre-ordered the game, rushed to GameStop to get it and when the moment came, turned it on. I think it is time to tell you of my experience.
The story is the first stepping stone on the way to perfection for this game. The story is flawless. It has been completely changed from D/P. For instance, instead of some random citizen telling you that your friend/rival wanted you to meet him somewhere, he will tell you himself. It is a minor change from D/P, but it makes for a much better story experience. There is more of a firsthand story present in this game than previous Pokemon titles. Also, there are some brand new characters to meet, and to help with your adventure.
The real changes to the story happen near the end of the main story, and one of the real changes is the replacing of the main legendary. Instead of being only Dialga or only Palkia, the main legendary is the D/P Post-story legendary Giratina. Also, the regional Pokedex has been expanded from 150 Pokemon to 210 Pokemon, so there will be some extra time spent on filling it up for the National Pokedex.
To put the plot of the story in a nutshell without spoiling anything will be hard, but I think I can do it. The story takes place in a wintry Sinnoh region. The temperature has dropped considerably due to altercations and disturbances in the world parallel to the real world: The Distortion World (That I will discuss a little more in Gameplay). Also, Team Galactic has shifted towards more than just time/space; they are concentrating on the force that binds them together, Giratina. Of course, as the main protagonist, you find out pieces of what is really happening over the course of your quest to obtain the eight badges of Sinnoh.
One last big change to the story is the Post-Elite Four story, or Post-story. I won't spoil it, but it trumps D/P in every way you can think of.
It is really amazing how much fun the latest addition to the series is, but it's even more amazing how much they were able to put into the game. I really don't want to spoil it, but I will say this: The game has more of a plot to it than you would expect, and it ends up being an amazing experience. Long story short, I give the story a perfect 10.
Once again we have another perfect aspect: the gameplay. So many new changes have been made to the formula to make it a joyous affair of your time. The biggest change is the addition of the Distortion world, the parallel world to the Sinnoh region. It is presented near the end of the main story, but it is awesome enough to make it worth the wait. The premise of it is simple: A disturbance there means a disturbance in the real world, and vice-versa. It is also your meeting ground with the main legendary, Giratina. The Distortion world is really mind-bending, as the laws of physics don't really apply. Gravity is also altered to a point where it only applies to keep everything, including you, from floating away. After that, there are no other effects from it.
The Distortion world is really enough to warrant just a look at this game, but Nintendo always goes above and beyond the call when it comes to a perfect gameplay experience. The next huge change, which is the icing on the cake for the critics, is the Battle Frontier. It is a callback to the Ruby/Sapphire expansion Emerald's Battle Frontier, but is expanded upon in so many new and exciting ways. Of course it includes the classic Battle Tower, but it includes four more facilities to spend hours on. The Battle Arcade is for the gamblers who like taking risks. The Battle Factory is definitely inspired by Emerald, as you need to rent Pokemon to battle with instead of using your homegrown Pokemon. The Battle Castle is for those who like to tip the scale and use earned points to their advantages, and for those who love to get a heads-up on their opponents. Finally, The Battle Hall is for those who want to choose the Pokemon they fight, even if you can only choose the type. Needless to say, this is more than enough to earn the gameplay aspect another perfect 10.
A lot of the graphics are recycled from D/P, which disappointed me. However, that in no way diminishes the amazing details of the game. The Pokemon designs are almost the same, albeit some minor tweaks to their poses. The animations are also different, and that is actually something I thought was a major improvement from D/P, even though the moving Pokemon were a nice improvement from the still images. The Distortion World graphics are simply amazing when it comes to the extensive details put into it. Even with the recycled graphics, however, the graphics earn a solid 9.75.
Sound and Music: 10/10
What can I say? Junichi Masuda still knows how to make amazing music. The music tone is appropriate when it needs to be, but it isn't too serious as to make you tense. The music keeps you in the right mood.
The sound is recycled from D/P, and I actually don't mind that. Yes, I would like something new once in Wait! There are new sounds! Once again, the Distortion World gives the game that much needed variety of environmental sounds. Not only that, but I noticed that while in areas where you can find Pokemon, the cries are much more abundant than the ones in D/P, meaning they aren't separated by 2½ minutes of no cries. That along with the masterpieces of music that Masuda makes amazing everytime gives the sound and music both another perfect 10.
Extra Features: 10/10
There is nothing better than being able to blow off the main quest for a little while to have some fun, and Platinum knows that better than anyone else. With the Game Corner once again showing up, along with the new feature of being able to record and re-watch Wi-Fi battles with friends or battles in the Battle Frontier, the Game Freaks crew and Nintendo made sure you never run out of fun. Oh, and you can upload your videos to the Wi-Fi hotspot GTS database, which is greatly extended to not only let you trade across the world, but also upload your Box Data and Dress-Up data. You can also view other people's data. Finally you can even download other's videos to view at anytime. The only thing is you can only have three at a time. That earns the game yet another perfect 10.
Here is another perfect aspect for Platinum. The multiplayer aspect of Platinum is what you expect from Pokemon: Trading, battling, games, and friends. It may be the same as D/P, but with new additions. The Battle Frontier can be tackled with a friend, you can mix poffins over Wi-Fi now, and the GTS trading station is significantly improved. Also, there is the addition of the new Wi-Fi Plaza. I shouldn't have to say it, but multiplayer earns a 10.
Saving: One Slot
The only flaw, there is still only one save slot. Understandable as it may be, I hate that the only way to save new games is to delete your old file from the title screen. You won't need to probably, because of all the hours you'll put into the game.
Replay Value: Very High
Final Score: 10
Verdict: Buy It!
I could make Halo. It's not that I couldn't design that game. It's just that I choose not to. One thing about my game design is that I never try to look for what people want and then try to make that game design. I always try to create new experiences that are fun to play.
Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about Rock n' Roll."
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/22/10
Game Release: Pokemon Platinum Version (US, 03/22/09)
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