Gotta Catch’em all...again!
Posted 4 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
You will be hard pressed to find a gamer in the last decade who has not laid their hands on a Pokémon game. The series has been a success spawning numerous portable and console games and continues to attract gamers of all ages. While the DS was graced with its own Pokémon RPG in 2007 with Diamond and Pearl, a new, third release has finally hit stores with Pokémon Platinum. Does this edition promise enough new features to warrant a purchase?
If you’re one of the small groups of people to have never played a Pokémon title let me give you a quick synopsis of the game. The story revolves around you, a lover of Pocket Monsters (Pokémon) who wants to become the next best trainer. In order to become that master trainer, you will need to collect and train monsters to battle other wannabe trainers along the way. To give you more incentive and to help you reach your goal, Professor Rowen has given you a choice of a starting Pokémon and in return has asked you to help him in collecting information on the Pokémon that inhabit the land.
Professor Rowen has given you a choice of a starting Pokémon
To become that master trainer, you will need to not only collect and train Pokémon, but earn badges from the various Pokémon Gyms in the different cities. If you manage to collect all eight badges, you’ll be allowed to take part in the Pokémon League and show your skills off against the best in the land.
Pokémon plays out like Rock-Paper-Scissors whereas some Pokémon are strong against certain types but weak against others. In order to be the best on the field, you’ll need to devise a strategy in order to deal with the various types that exist. Thanks to the open nature of the game, it’s up to you on how you create your team and this variety can lead to some interesting and hard fought battles both in game and against your friends in the real world.
Platinum’s story doesn’t simply have you walking around fighting and collecting, but also contains a pretty major storyline involving an organization called Team Galactic. Lead by Cyrus, Team Galactic is plotting to use Pokémon for evil reasons. It’s up to you and your Pokémon to stop them from succeeding.
The biggest modification to the game’s story is the inclusion
of the Distortion World fairly late in the game
The biggest modification to the game’s story is the inclusion of the Distortion World fairly late in the game. This new area appears about 35 hours into the story and also is where the cover’s Pokémon, Giratina, can be fought and/or collected. The addition of the Distortion World is a nice but small addition to the game’s expansive storyline. Players of the previous DS games might not find it really necessary to play through the story again for this small section.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics in Platinum have not been tweaked too much from Diamond/Pearl. The game does have some different animations from what was offered in those two, but nothing too drastic or that stand out. Some nice touches include small designs on the city and location labels and cool little graphic intros to the Gym leaders. These are minor touches which do add a bit more flair to the end product. The cities and locations in the game are ok, but still seem too similar to past games with only marginal enhancements. The Pokémon designs in battles are also fair, but still lack full-fledged animations. I am still surprised that this hasn’t been addressed as the DS is capable of doing a lot better.
The Pokémon designs in battles are also fair,
but still lack full-fledged animations
When you’re looking to get the most for your hard earned cash, Pokémon’s RPGs offer you more than what most can handle. The game’s story, which will take most people at least 40 hours, can quickly become 80 when trying to level up your creatures and to complete your collection. Those who hate level grinding in RPGs will loathe it even more as it is a truly necessary in this game. If you simply try to rush through the story and avoid the many side-quests, you can reduce your time, but then you’re not getting the true Pokémon experience.
Diamond/Pearl offered Wi-Fi gaming and Platinum continues that to even better results. The lobbies and modes offered for Multiplayer makes playing with friends so much more interesting and easier to navigate. There are even a few multiplayer games, not including simply battling your friends, which can keep most people occupied for hours on end. Thanks to fact that all three versions work together, even if your friends don’t have Platinum, you can still join up and teach them a lesson.
The lobbies and modes for Multiplayer makes playing with
friends more interesting and easier to navigate
It’s tough to give a final say on Pokémon Platinum because of the prestige the series has. If you’ve never played a Pokémon game or have not played Diamond/Pearl, then you need to get this game. The modifications from Diamond/Pearl, while different, don’t really justify another purchase if you have already spent so much time on either of those two. At the same time, if you haven’t played Pokémon and have been waiting for the series to ’reinvent’ itself, this is not the answer.
Platinum is a fun game to play but I seriously doubt it will win back those who left the series a long time ago. There have been additions with each portable generation, but the improvements have typically been small steps rather than huge leaps and risks. The series is in desperate need a face lift and while the game is a blast to play, those who had a marginal interest in the series will be hard pressed to find a real reason to return. At the same time, those who have played and loved the franchise will not be disappointed with what is on offer here, as this is by far the best game in the series.
Ultimately, this is a good game on its own accord and will satisfy your portable gaming requirements but the series needs to evolve. With the DSi now available and developers proving what can be done with the DS hardware, you know a more magnificent product is possible and fans deserve it.
+ The Additions of The Distortion World, Battle Frontier and other changes from Diamond and Pearl make this the one to get
+ Greatly Improved Online Experience
+ Easy to pick up and play
+ Will last most people at least 50 hours
- Owners of Diamond or Pearl might not see the worth in upgrading
- Too much level grinding
- Weak Pokémon cries
- The Series is in desperate need of a something fresh and different
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Release Date : 2009/03/22
System : Nintendo DS
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : Game Freak
Category : Role Playing Game
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
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