Review by vy2012

"What was once flawed was now successful."

I'm a huge fan of Pokemon and I have played the Pokemon series for at least ten years. I also enjoyed watching the anime, playing trading card games, and spend most of my time playing Pokemon games during my break. When I played Pokemon games of various versions, I haven't got the feeling to write the critique about the game. Most of the Pokemon games I've played (Emerald, Diamond, Platinum, HeartGold, Ranger) are very enjoyable although some Pokemon games have been flawed. Pokemon Red & Blue has flaws that are fixed in Yellow; Gold & Silver are fixed by Crystal, Ruby & Sapphire are fixed in Emerald, and Pokemon Platinum fixed major flaws that Diamond & Pearl exhibit. I am not saying that various Pokemon games are bad. But when games are evaluated, one must take it seriously whether this game is worth playing or not. Pokemon Platinum is without a doubt the most enjoyable game I've played since the game came out to the U.S. 3 years ago. Game Freak and The Pokemon Company has finally step up to improve this game that would make the playability last much longer; I wouldn't call it a “game that Nintendo would earn money by deceiving players” even though some people may claim it to be true to themselves. Pokemon Platinum will remain to be the most versatible gaming experience for almost everyone.

Game Play:

This game takes elements recycled from previous installments of the Pokemon series. Generation I introduces attacks and some battling mechanics and begins its typing for 15 types (Normal, Grass, Fire, Water, Electric, Fighting, Ghost, Psychic, Ground, Rock, Bug, Poison, Dragon, Flying, and Ice). Generation II adds two new types, Dark & Steel, introduces gender mating, weather conditions for battle, and more moves & items. Generation III introduces abilities, Pokemon contests, double battles, and expanded mechanics, moves, & items. Generation IV introduced the physical/special split as well as even more abilities, items, & moves. Training methods are seen most starting with Pokemon Emerald, where EV (Effort Value) training and breeding to get the right ability is practiced for wireless competitive battling. Generation IV takes the training further by adding 6 items that helps EV training a lot easier. These elements are now permanently recorded in Pokemon's history for more than 15 years. You might ask: what does history have to do with Pokemon Platinum? If these elements didn't exist, then the Pokemon franchise would go out of business; they have to be innovative and create ideas in order to keep the franchise running.

As for the game itself, Pokemon Platinum has taken control of various aspects that should never be forgotten just like Diamond & Pearl. The bottom screen is used as if you have a watch, with expanded features (something a real watch couldn't do). You could look at the standard clock (digital or analog) and manage your time to do whatever you like i.e. keeping track of time to get to your next class should you not physically have a watch. You could use a calculator to do basic functions. You could write notes. You could flip a coin. You could keep track of your stuff by the use of a counter. You could change the Poketch color. You could look at the pedometer in the case of hatching a Pokemon egg. You could check for wireless connections and their activities. You could check your team and breeding status of two Pokemon. For battling purposes, you can check type matchups. The only difference between Pt and DP is that in Pt, you can go back and forth on a particular app (a bit better) while in DP you have to press the red pad about 20 times in order to get to the standard clock if you were in the calculator (which is slightly frustrating).

Not only does the Poketch features are helpful but the top screen is just like any Pokemon games in the Game Boy Advance. Running shoes makes a return, as well as the V.S. seeker although you can't use it in caves or any buildings (like it matters…). Fishing rods makes a welcome return as well; you can fish for water Pokemon in the sea. The bicycle is extremely appreciated as well, giving you mach speed that gives you the speed it needs to hatch a Pokemon egg and go above a muddy slope in certain areas. Wild Pokemon will appear frequently, however. The explorer kit is an addition in DPPt; you can find items that you wouldn't find it on the region. As far as the key items goes, these items above is the sole focus of this wonderful gameplay.

Difficulty:

I find that any Pokemon game is not hard, but it's not easy either. You have to do a lot of training/grinding and I mean a lot in order to get to the level curve. But even the level curve is not enough because some Pokemon's typing can crush your Pokemon in a matter of seconds. Imagine that a rock move hits your dual bug/flying Pokemon. That would hurt a lot, close to a KO! The Artificial Intelligence(AI)s is getting tougher against me even though I know which Pokemon he/she is using. Hold items are also frequently used for AIs; I see almost every time when I was about to KO an opponent's Pokemon, that Pokemon uses a Sitrus Berry (25% restoration of maximum HP). If it isn't enough, trainers, gym leaders, elite four, and the champion had prepared several Full Restores just for annoyance. I find that most trainers and gym leaders have increased their levels of their Pokemon which is a good thing; more experience points lead to easier level ups. This semi-hard difficulty of this game is fun to experience.

Story:

The story pattern of all Pokemon so-and-so versions is no different, and Platinum (Pt) is no different either. You start out as a ten-year old Pokemon trainer who is about to get his or her first Pokemon (1 of 3). You catch every species, compete in gyms, save the world, and become the champion. That is the pattern. The story differs from region to region; you would be interested to see every chapter of every Pokemon region.

Sound/Graphics:

The Nintendo DS has reached its full potential. The sounds from various soundtracks are simply amazing and graphics are high-quality and is great in general.

Replay Value:

Way back in Pokemon Red/Blue, when players finished everything there is in the game, there is very little to do. Pokemon Platinum will keep you busy for most of your time. Your journey continues and is far from over even you become the Champion. There is a lot of motivation to do in Platinum.

The Battle Frontier makes a welcoming return that is introduced in Emerald. You battle through 5 different facilities that operate differently. This is where you can test all of your Pokemon that you have spent your time EV training. Hard work actually pays off; your hardly trained Pokemon (not just Lv. up) might actually have the potential to give you “flawless victory” in various battle frontier facilities. You can earn Battle Points in order to trade for a rare Technical Machine or a very helpful hold item i.e. scope lens, leftovers, etc. The battle frontier serves as a one player competitive battling.

Another fun experience is Pokemon Contest, a welcoming return as well from Ruby & Sapphire. You don't need to train vigorously; you have to prepare a Pokemon's design. This is a mini-game with three events taken simultaneously: dress up, dancing, and appeal moves. To do well in this mini-game, a key item, Poffin Case, is used to store Poffins, much like the Pokeblock in Ruby & Sapphire. Not only that, you also need a fashion case, another key item, in order to store decorations. Both key items and skill is crucial to success. You could even use money to get higher level Poffins to increase your Pokemon's condition (a huge upgrade from DP). That is another fun experience to play.

The Safari Zone also makes a return as well. The Safari Zone in Platinum is the Great Marsh, a place with swamps with grass. You start out with 30 safari balls and 500 steps and try to catch them all. It is a motivation to complete your Pokedex.

Another feature from Emerald is the ability to challenge the gym leaders. There are different gym leaders and your previous partners every day. These gym leaders and other trainer's Pokemon are toughened and AIs are serious and aggressive as usual. The biggest rewards from aggressiveness are huge prize money and EXP points.

You also have the ability after the post-story to challenge your rival during the weekends. As usual, AIs are aggressive and could be a massive challenge to you should you not be prepared for battle.

Pal Park is a feature introduced in Diamond and Pearl that enables you to migrate Pokemon from Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and Leafgreen versions of the Game Boy Advance. It is a way of filling up the Pokedex. You can migrate 6 Pokemon at a time. Hidden Machine Surf is required if you are searching for migrated Water Pokemon. You earn berries for every completed capture attempt.

Capture new legendary Pokemon that was not in your Pokedex after your story ends and load yourself a lot of Poke Balls.

Wireless features:

Wireless connections make a strong appearance in a spotlight. Higher technologies result in massive interaction between people around the world. The global trading system is the most versatible trading facility for people around the world to trade Pokemon with. When people connect to Wi-Fi (and charge their batteries for insurance in case the connection is interrupted), they can choose any Pokemon, any level, and for strict rules such as gender. This procedure works very well for completing the Pokedex. The problem, however, is that they must meet the species the first time in order to record it to the Pokedex in order to register it. As for multiplayer, we can wirelessly play the battle tower, Pokemon contests, trading Pokemon, and battle each other.

Overall:

When Pokemon games are evaluated, one must say whether the Pokemon games they already had are worth to play or not. Pokemon Platinum is one of the most exciting games ever played in Nintendo. Great story, expanded features, and massive replay value adds up to the game you would play for ages. I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes Pokemon even if they got other Pokemon games. At the time of this writing, I had maintain my save file that says that I played for 3000+ hours of Pokemon Platinum.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/27/12, Updated 04/03/12

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


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