A lengthy and enjoyable RPG experience which isn't quite as memorable or interesting as previous games in the series.
Sillygostly wrote this review on .
The Bad: Not enough new content to justify the ridiculous price tag; paticularly for those who already own either Diamond/Pearl. Online play has some unnecessary constraints, and the new modes aren't particularly interesting. The formula is EXACTLY the same as it's been since Generation I. The new Pokemon are horribly unintriging. Some frustrating pacing issues. Depositing a trade-evolution Pokemon in the GTS and immediately withdrawing it no longer has any effect. Saving times are now LONGER.
Essentially more of the same, Pokemon Platinum is to Diamond/Pearl what Yellow, Crystal and Emerald were to Red/Blue, Gold/Silver and Ruby/Sapphire respectively. Platinum doesn't act as a sequel, but rather, as an expansion or upgrade, of sorts, of the core games while introducing some new features and addressing some of the shortcomings of the original releases. While the formula remains completely unchanged (even after a decade), there are plenty of new features and critters to keep fans and newcomers busy for quite some time.
Sadly, the new Pokemon aren't anywhere near as interesting as the Pokemon in the first two generations of the series. Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf for instance don't seem to be quite as memorable or majestic as the likes of say Raikou, Entei and Suicune of Generation II. This may be due to the addition of new producers and designers, who have strayed away from the original Pokemon visionaries, and are merely building upon the establishment and producing a new game purely due to commercial demand.
While there are some significant enhancements which make the Pokemon games even more accessible than ever, sadly this game simply feels like a heartless follow-up to the popular franchise. That's not to say that it's a bad game, but the nostalgic value and replayability that this game has to offer is virtually non-existent. As an experience, DPP (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum) falls short of what made previous games in the series so memorable. I have very fond memories of my experiences with the RBY and GSC era, but this game as a fresh experience is pretty forgettable, and doesn't stray far enough from the basic Pokemon RPG formula to feel sufficiently unique to make it an experience you'll want to come back to when the inevitable remake is released another two Nintendo handheld console generations from now.
Once again, the game begins with you afresh as a n00b Pokemon trainer who is in the running to challenge the Pokemon league. There are 8 new gym leaders, and yet another Pokemon League challenge to muster. And no Pokemon game would be complete without a team of antagonists (in this case, Team Galactic).
Battles function almost exactly the same as they did before, that is, turn-based with no sprite animations in battles (apart from the two-frame introductory poses), however, some subtle changes that have been made to battles (such as new physical/special/other moves), and some alterations to some familiar moves (for instance, the move surf now affects all Pokemon in a 2-on-2 battle, except the user)...
The online portion of the game is a huge letdown for me. While the GTS (Global Trade Station) is nicely implemented, it's a huge bummer that players can only battle with those registered in their "pal pads" (rather than being randomly assigned an opponent who meets a certain criteria). For that reason, I've avoided online battling as it's a headache I'd rather do without. Trading is also rather annoying as a completely superfluous, prolonged animation plays throughout every trade. Why Gamefreak would want to test our patience like this is beyond me. I've noticed an increased sluggishness with each and every generation of Pokemon, so I'd hate to imagine how much worse it would be come next generation. It takes between 6-16 seconds to save depending on whether or not you've accessed your Pokemon box; "It is raining/hailing" animations still appear in EVERY turn whenever there is a weather effect, and there are other little annoyances which make the game's length much longer than it should be. It's inexcusable in a time where the benefits of technology should allow games to run FASTER, particularly for one devoid of fancy graphics (as Platinum is rather plain, visually).
The core game will take players around 35-50 hours to complete (contingent on skill level and familiarity with the franchise), and you can add another 100-150 hours with post-game side quests, particularly if you're in pursuit of the 493 Pokemon that are available to collect both locally and online; however, if only the game were devoid of the not-too-subtle padding out techniques as mentioned above, the game would be a tad shorter and dare I say more fun to play.
If Gamefreak expects the series to wow fans over the years to come, they need to remould the formula of the RPGs and try something a little different, and not be so damn complacent. I'm getting a little bored playing the same game with a few superficial upgrades every 3 years and it's time for some kind of change.
In all, Pokemon Platinum is the most complete Pokemon RPG released so far, and is highly recommended for longtime Pokemon fans and newcomers alike. While Platinum doesn't offer anything revolutionary, it provides a lengthy, addictive and fun RPG experience for players of all ages.