Review by SuperScizor
"Expecting a lame rehash? Prepare to be disappointed. (Spoilers)"
Just like Yellow, Crystal, and Emerald before it, Platinum is the 3rd version of the newest region's games. Other than a few new activities and small changes to the story, much doesn't change between the first two versions of a Pokemon game and its third version. However, that trend has finally been broken with the arrival of Platinum. Platinum is so different from its predecessors that, in my opinion, it feels like an entirely different game rather than a third version.
The game's most significant change is its story. Two new characters, Charon, a new, mysterious Team Galactic Admin, and Looker, a secret agent investigating Team Galactic, add a few interesting changes to the story. Cyrus in this game has much more depth to his character than his boring DP self. Rather than being just another leader, he uses his speaking skills to effectively brainwash his followers. He is also very deceptive and selfish- the "new world" he was going to create with Dialga and Palkia's powers was just for his own pleasure. But the most significant change in story is Giratina. Giratina was catchable in DP, but didn't have much of a backstory- he was in the same boat as Rayquaza in RS. Now Giratina is the star of the show. As Cyrus tries to control Dialga and Palkia, Giratina shows up and creates a portal to the Distortion World, a mysterious 3-D realm. The new story makes up for DP's disappointing plot.
The graphics have been greatly improved from DP. The new sprites for Sinnoh-Dex pokemon are great, except Golbat- having his wings down just annoys me. Other than that, though, the sprites are much more dynamic and make the Pokemon look more active. Back sprites are now animated as well. Before, most pokemon just shaked and glowed red/blue/whatever color corresponded to your Pokemon's type. Now they make some sort of animation. It's a nice touch, and shows the DS's capabilities well. But what really shows the DS's capabilities well is the Distortion World. This area is in 3-D. The whole place looks like an M.C. Escher painting- you jump onto walls and ceilings often. Many places in the game have also received a graphical update. Caves now have darker, more realistic lighting (but you can still easily see), the Great Marsh now actually looks like a swamp, and not a bunch of grass covered in manure. The Battle Zone (an island area you unlock after beating the game) now has palm trees everywhere. Stark Mountain now has lava pools outside.
The battle system is greatly improved from DP as well. Battles progress much faster in this game. Instead of waiting for the text to finish before performing the attack, the text and the battle animation happen almost at the same time. Surfing is also much faster. DP's surfing was the slowest surfing in any game and made surfing a real pain. In Platinum, however, you surf faster than you can run! My only complaint with Platinum is its save times. "Saving a lot of data" takes twice as long in Platinum than it did in Diamond. Even if almost all of your PC boxes in Diamond are full, and you only have caught ten pokemon in Platinum, Diamond will still save twice as fast. I see no reason why this has happened, but it's a small price to pay. After beating the game, the Battle Frontier offers many challenges to test your Pokemon battling skills.
Online play is still just as good as it was before. It's a shame there are no random battles like in PBR, but I guess Ninty just wants to make more money. The GTS, or Global Trade Station, lets you trade with anyone in the world, as long as you have seen the Pokemon you want before. There's only one problem: in early US copies of Platinum, there is a glitch in the GTS that prevents you from seeing the level of the Pokemon that the offerer wants. It's pretty annoying, but chances are if you haven't bought this game yet, it won't have the glitch. Nintendo will fix this glitch for you if you send your game in, but you will lose your save data, so I wouldn't recommend it. The all-new Wifi Plaza allows you to play minigames with players from all over the world. The minigames aren't the best, but they're not bad, either.
The music is mostly the same from DP. Several new tracks have been added, however. Giratina's battle theme is probably one of the best pieces of music in any handheld Pokemon game. (Course, Miror B.'s Pokemon XD theme is still better :p) The Regi Trio theme is also great. It's a great remix of the Regi theme from RSE.
Even after you beat the game, there's always something to do. The Battle Frontier is a great diversion in this game. There are five battle facilities, each with their own rules. The Battle Tower is straightforward battling. The Battle Factory only lets you use rental Pokemon. The Battle Hall lets you battle with your one favorite Pokemon. The Battle Arcade is half skill and half chance: a roulette wheel on the touch screen can either lead you to victory or send you to a crushing defeat. And the Battle Castle puts your decision making to the ultimate test. In the Battle Castle, your Pokemon are not healed after each round. By winning battles, you get points. You can spend these points on a variety of things, including items and the ability to see your opponent's Pokemon before the match. But you also need points to heal your Pokemon, so using your points wisely is the key to success. The Great Marsh has plenty of rare Pokemon to catch. The pokemon that you can catch change daily, so always keep a look out. Completing the Pokedex is tough in this game, but if you work hard enough, you may have a chance...
One final note: This game has new Pokemon that weren't in DP! ...Sort of. Giratina has an all-new Origin Forme. Origin Forme is the form that Giratina takes while in the Distortion World. The only way to have a Giratina Origin Forme outside of the Distortion World is by giving Giratina a Griseous Orb. (You can get the Griseous Orb by returning to the Distortion World after beating the game.)The event Pokemon Shaymin also has a new form. Shaymin Sky Forme is a fast, powerful special attacker. Its Serene Grace ability will prove to annoy your opponents beyond what they ever thought possible. And finally, Rotom has five new forms. Known collectively as the Rotom Appliances, they have different base stats and a signature move. There are five appliances total: a lawnmower, a washing machine, a toaster, a fan, and a refrigerator. Lawnmower Rotom can use Leaf Storm. Washing Machine Rotom uses Hydro Pump. Toaster Rotom learns Overheat. Fan Rotom can use Air Slash. Refrigerator Rotom has access to Blizzard. Unfortunately, none of these Pokemon can be used in Wi-Fi battles or in the Battle Frontier.
Final Score: 10/10
Long story short, this is the best Pokemon game ever. It has enough content to set it apart from Diamond and Pearl. I'd recommend that you buy it now if you haven't already.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 12/02/09
Game Release: Pokemon Platinum Version (US, 03/22/09)
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