Review by videogamer1030

Reviewed: 03/25/09 | Updated: 02/26/10

Why is Pokemon so addicting?

Pokemon is a video game franchise that has sucked in millions of people with a brilliant concept. Creatures called Pokemon are inhabiting the world and it is up to Pokemon trainers to prove their ability by catching Pokemon and using these Pokemon to battle them against other people who have the same goal. The battling system may be simple on the surface, but is surprisingly complex. The story is easy to beat for basic players, but battling competitively is much more challenging. Each of the large amount of Pokemon has a large variety of moves, a certain elemental type which is advantageous or disadvantageous towards types of moves and numerical statistics in attacks and defenses. As of it's release, Platinum has the most updated battle system in the series.

Pokemon Platinum, like Yellow, Crystal and Emerald before it, is a complete Pokemon version. This means that it has all the content of the first duo of games that came out before it, plus more. Huzzah. People bother with the first two (identical) games when it is now obvious that a third edition comes out later. If by some miracle you didn't buy Diamond and/or Pearl, you can now experience the complete version or you can save your cash.

It's hard to say that Platinum changed enough for a purchase. There are only minor alterations to Diamond and Pearl that are hardly worth acknowledging.

For instance, Platinum added new forms of existing Pokemon, but no new Pokemon. The new form of Giratina on the cover of the game is one of these new forms, and it is getting the spotlight in Platinum version. The plot twist of Platinum is at the peak of the original story- Spear Pillar. Ordinarily you'd just confront the powerful legendary Pokemon of your respective version and be done with it, but now there is a random 20 minute sidequest in the "Torn World". It's an interesting area to explore, but it's certainly not worth thirty dollars. Or three for that matter.

Other minor touches added to Platinum include slight alterations in Pokemon gym design, a bit of new music, a slightly updated story, and more. These additions are barely worth mentioning, but at least there's a hint of some new content.

Perhaps the biggest draw of Platinum version would be the Battle Frontier, a location that debuted in Emerald version that hosts challenging computer trainers in facilities with their own unique rules. Unfortunately, the Platinum Battle Frontier isn't quite as expansive as it's Emerald version counterpart. The biggest reason why this addition should be completely overlooked is because the exact same Battle Frontier has been placed in the far superior HeartGold and SoulSilver versions, so it's best to experience it in those games.

Platinum has a pitiful 2 or 3 percent difference from Diamond and Pearl versions. Even as far as the "cash in" third version of Pokemon is concerned, Platinum is still a disappointment. Only consider it if you are either a Pokemaniac or if you have never played Diamond or Pearl prior.

Story (2/10)- The story is recycled from Diamond and Pearl (with a few insignificant differences). That story still followed the same structure as any other Pokemon game. The story is where most of the recycling comes from because it is completely static. An evil team tries to awaken a godly legend to take over the world, and the protagonist must stop them while trying to get to the Pokemon League in the process. Woo. Oh, did I mention there's a rival? That's new. A professor? No way. The Pokemon champion is a girl this time? What a breakthrough!

Gameplay (6/10)- The gameplay system still works well. Discovering and catching different species of Pokemon across the world and using them to battle and trade with other people is what makes Pokemon unique in comparison to other RPG's. Much of Pokemon's appeal is raising and combining a large variety of monsters into a team that works well in battle. Many teams require a balance of elemental type, like fire, water or steel. The main story is easy, but the biggest challenge lies in going head to head with other Pokemon fanatics There is little new from Diamond and Pearl, but battling mechanics are slightly altered due to new movesets.

Audio (7/10)- The same tracks reappear from Diamond and Pearl along with a few new ones. Tracks are a mixed bag, some are too cheerful, but others are very good.

Graphics (8/10)- The graphics are relatively impressive. The world is highly detailed with a 3-D feel, yet it sticks well to the overhead Pokemon style. The battle screen is very simple, only showing your team and your enemies teams abilities, health, and 2D sprites of the battling Pokemon. 3-D battles may have been ideal, but the 2-D fights help in order to save space on the cart, which adds more content to the game. In comparison to Diamond and Pearl, graphics have taken a slight step up. The Torn World in particular was detailed, but the DS can still do better

Lasting Appeal (9/10)- Pokemon is the type of game that can last for hours. People can battle with their personalized Pokemon or collect a range of over 490 species of Pokemon to mark down in the games electronic Pokedex encyclopedia. Battle! Trade! Game on!

Overall (5.5/10)- Even Diamond and Pearl didn't significantly change from the previous Pokemon games, but Platinum offers nearly no change whatsoever. It's probably best to skip out on this version, and perhaps even all 3 of the versions.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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

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