Review – Pokémon Platinum [DS]

Posted: February 22, 2012 in DS, Pokémon, Reviews
Tags: , , ,

Pokémon has come in leaps and bounds since its first release in Japan 13 years ago, each with their own “added extra” version. Red & Blue had Yellow, Gold & Silver got Crystal. Ruby and Sapphire received Emerald. Forgetting about Fire Red and Leaf Green, now Pearl and Diamond have Platinum version. Each also had a unique spin on why you must buy this version if you’ve already bought the original version. Pikachu, Suicine, Rayquaza… Now it’s Giratina’s turn…

The premise is unsurprisingly similar to other games in the series. You start off as a young boy or girl. A professor with a tree-like name hands you a Pokédex and asks you to catch ‘em all, because he’s too old, having spent his youth doing nothing. As always you have an evil organization intent on doing something evil, Team Galactic takes centre stage this time, wanting to take Giratina and harness its power for their own nefarious deeds.

The graphics have received a bit of an update since Diamond and Pearl, areas have been tidied up and some small touches added in the more seasonal areas. Pokémon have little animations from behind when you release them as well as when you encounter them in the wild or in a battle, additionally, important trainers have a small animation when you encounter them, such as Gym Leaders and your Rival. Buildings are still not flat sprites, but the angle actually changes are you walk on either side, as in Diamond and Pearl.

All the action takes place on the top screen, with the bottom screen your Pokétch, a digital monster which you wear on your wrist apparently, which offers a wealth of digital services such as clocks (both digital and analogue, stopwatches, alarm clocks, countdowns). There are more Pokémon related features, from day care checker, if you have put some Pokémon into day care, you can see how they’ve levelled up and the all important presence of an egg, to the friendship checker, to see just how much the Pokémon in your squad love you, with big hearts showing potential for a happiness evolution.

The gameplay hasn’t altered much since its first incarnation; you travel from town to town combating Gym Leaders to gain badges to confront the Elite Four to become a Pokémon Master. All the while (if you so wish) catching Pokémon to complete your Pokédex. Pokémon is a Role Playing Game of the most customisable fashion. Many RPG’s have a set amount of characters with fixed attacks. Pokémon has over 450 characters with more movesets than you could shake a stick at. Every game is different, each experience is unique. One big addition is the inclusion of the Distortion World, which you must enter to sort Giratina out, since he’s having a bit of a strop. The world features some new puzzles, as well as some physics defying moments, such as walking on walls and surfing down a waterfall which is flowing upwards. It is prominent fresh touches like this that show you that it’s been a worthwhile purchase if you’ve already bought the Diamond and Pearl versions.

Pokémon cries will always remain the same, much to the dismay of the entire world. I long for the day when the cries from the animé will finally be used for the entire set. The music doesn’t seem to have changed since the time of Diamond and Pearl either, with the delightful chimes you know and love.

The Wi-Fi connectivity used in Diamond and Pearl makes a comeback, as well as the Sinnoh Underground, where you can set traps for other trainers to get caught in, as you hack at the walls for treasures which you can exchange for moves off certain people in Sinnoh. The old favourite concepts are there such as trading and battling (it wouldn’t be a Pokémon game if it didn’t), as well as some Platinum exclusive features. Amongst these are trainer rankings, so you all can show off your finest attributes, also trainer videos to record your moments of glory. The Wi-Fi Plaza is a new addition which offers interactivity with trainers all over the world, when you enter the Plaza, you are loaned a “Tap Toy” which can be upgraded by playing Plaza games or trading them away if you dislike it that much. It seems an unnecessary addition giving you things like a Tap Toy, but some gamers find it a welcome distraction whereas others will prefer to concentrate on the main game.

The length of the Pokémon games has always been what you make of it. The game is made short if you wish to plough through, taking on Gym Leaders and trainers straight away. The lifespan is greatly increased if you decide to “Catch ‘em all”. Also available is the opportunity to go back and re-battle certain people, who level up as you do throughout your quest, so training isn’t simply limited to running around in the grass.

There really are far too many changes to list individually in this review, so our good friend Serebii of Serebii.net has kindly given us permission to offer his webpage, which lists said changes, for your reading pleasure:

http://www.serebii.net/platinum/changes.shtml

As with all the third versions made after the main two, this offers something a little different for you. And this seems to offer the most extras to gamers than previous versions. Go grab a Giratina.

Graphics 4/5
Sound 3/5
Gameplay 4/5
Playability 4/5
Lifespan 4/5

Pr0s
A] Even more ‘mon to get in one game
B]Graphically updated
C] New forms for Giratina, Rotom and Shaymin
D] The Wi-Fi social aspect has been expanded
E] Extra things added from Diamond and Pearl

Cons
A] Not much different from other games
B] Tap Toy and mini games feel a little tacked on

TOTAL

8/10

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