I don't think this game is too much different from diamond and pearl. Just a few features here and there but nothing else.
We chat with a Takeshi Kawachimaru and Junichi Masuda about the upcoming Pokemon game for Nintendo DS.
The Pokemon phenomenon continues to roll on. Eleven years after the U.S. release of Pokemon Red & Blue on the original Game Boy, the series is stronger than ever. Pokemon Platinum is the upcoming release on the Nintendo DS platform after a string of hits that included Diamond, Pearl, and the two Pokemon Dungeon games. Still, with so many Pokemon games out there, it might be tough for the developers to find new directions for the series, right? We put that question, and a few others, to two of the main forces behind Pokemon Platinum: game director Junichi Masuda and game designer Takeshi Kawachimaru.
GameSpot: How did you approach this entry in the series? How does the team decide on what upgrades and enhancements will be featured in a new game?
Takeshi Kawachimaru: When we first started work on Platinum, we all had lots of opinions ("I want to change this," "How about changing that?"). We would have lost the connection to Diamond and Pearl if we made too many changes, so I decided to focus on what we most wanted to change. If you compare Diamond and Pearl to Platinum, you'll notice big changes in the area map as well as the heroes. I'll be happy if fans who played Diamond and Pearl have fun finding the changes.
Junichi Masuda: We produced Diamond and Pearl as the ultimate Pokemon titles. From the get-go, I felt Platinum had to be even stronger than its prequels. One of the ways we enhanced Platinum was with Giratina's Forme change (we eventually chose to feature its new Origin Forme on the package). When designing Giratina's Origin Forme, we paid meticulous attention to the character's details. Our designer redrew Giratina's image again and again to make the Pokemon significantly different than its Altered Forme (seen in Diamond and Pearl) and change its shape. We decided on the concept that Giratina Origin Forme is a Pokemon from an "antimatter" world.
GS: Can you tell us about the new features in Platinum and the thinking behind each of the additions?
TK: The most significant new feature would be Distortion World. When we started developing Platinum, Masuda explained some key concepts, such as "antimatter," "E=MC˛," and "There's an antimatter world, a paradox of time and space that exists in relation to Dialga and Palkia." Among the flood of concepts he gave me was a term called "Reversed Mt. Fuji" ("Sakasa Fuji"). Masuda explained that Sakasa Fuji refers to the reflection of Mt. Fuji on the lake, which embodies the antimatter world. I thought of how I could incorporate all the concepts into Platinum and did extensive research. I didn't really understand what antimatter meant at first, but I think I was able to grasp the concept eventually and conveyed it in the game.
JM: Thanks to Kawachimaru's deep understanding of the themes, antimatter effectively became the core concept of Platinum (in the Distortion World). In addition to the core concept, we created the new Wi-Fi Plaza and Battle Frontier. We included these new features because we wanted our fans to be able to play and share information with many friends. Pokemon Platinum is packed with new exciting features beyond what was in Diamond and Pearl.
GS: Pokemon Platinum broke sales records in Japan, selling over 1 million copies in the first three days of its release. Were you surprised that it broke this sales record?
TK: I was very surprised and excited! I just want to say thank you very much to all the Pokemon fans who waited for Platinum so patiently!
JM: It's fantastic! I was moved and surprised because our goal is to create games that will be loved by fans. I felt our players' love from the games selling so quickly.
GS: How would you describe the core Pokemon formula? What game elements did you feel Platinum had to have?
TK: It makes you feel like the Pokemon are really living in the game screen. I think that's the core element of Pokemon. I hope that fans love their Pokemon as though they are their friends.
I wanted fans who have already played Diamond or Pearl to enjoy the newness and change in Platinum. I think the Distortion World symbolizes both. I would be very happy if players discover the newness and change in the many features, like the changes in the area map, play control enhancements, and the expanded Pokemon world.
JM: What's always in my mind when I create the concept of the Pokemon world is the idea of an ideal world--a fantasy world in a video game that humans in our world would want to live in. Also, what makes the Pokemon unique is their relationship with humans; the relationships aren't merely that of an owner and his or her pet--it goes beyond that.
If I were to describe the game elements of Pokemon Platinum in one word, it would be "change."
GS: Were there any features/concepts you thought about while you were making Pokemon Platinum that you got in to the game? Are there any ideas that you came up with but are saving for a future title?
TK: There were two concepts that I personally wanted to take on--external and internal connectivity. First, (for the external), I wanted to give fans playing from their own homes the sense that there are millions of Pokemon fans all over the world. To achieve this goal, I created the Global Terminal and Wi-Fi Plaza (that allow users from all over the world to connect together).
Another concept I wanted to include (for internal connectivity) was something that would allow players to communicate more with their parents, brothers, sisters, and friends about their strategies. I think that the concept is realized well in Platinum with the Battle Frontier. Now, two players can take on battles together at all the facilities in the Battle Frontier. There's only one thing that worries me, though: I hope that friends don't get into disagreements about each other's choices while they take on the Battle Frontier together!
I do have ideas for a future title, but I can't tell you right now! But when I tell you, everybody will be surprised. That's for sure.
JM: We come up with a lot of new ideas every day, and we think about how to make the ideas more fun and exciting. We want to create games that will surprise, thrill, and excite you. So be sure to look forward to that!
GS: Are there any new features or ideas in Pokemon Platinum that were inspired by Pokemon fans? What kinds of enhancements do you make based on fans' reactions to Pokemon games?
TK: There's a hardcore Pokemon fan who collects Clefairy from around the world--he's a member of the development staff at Game Freak, actually. For fans like him, we made a small change to the search abilities in the Global Trade Station (GTS).
JM: I feel it's my job to surprise our fans with new ideas! So in that sense, I am inspired by them [laughs].
GS: Thanks for your time.
I got it, finally. Its great. I beat the main part of the story (begining to hall of fame) in about 18 hours. It has loads of new features that make it the best pokemon to date. I wonder when Gamespot is going to have their review up. I'd like to know what they thought of it. Oh, by the way, you have to have the GBA slot to use one of the features. You can upload your Pokemon from the GBA Pokemon games to Platnium.
I'VE HAD ALOT OF POKEMON GAMES. MAIN FROM WHEN I WAS 7. BUT I LIKE THE OLDER ONES LIKE FIRERED AND RUBY MORE THEN THE NEWS ONES. BUT MY FAVORITE POKEMON IS LUGIA JIRACHI.
I've bought a Pokemon game from every generation. Even though I grew out of it and got less excited after Pokemon Gold and Silver. Pokemon Gold and Silver and Red and Blue and Yellow were the BEST ONES. It was magic. Now I just don't care. Still I got Sapphire and I got Diamond. I never got the ADD ONS that came out some months later that were just the same game with a different name. Only time I did that was when I got Yellow /c Pikachu actually walked around with you so that was something different. But I feel the others were just never worth it. This Platinum at least seems to be different enough to warrant consideration of purchasing for those still crazy about Pokemon. As I said, I'm no longer crazy about Pokemon Games like I use to. They need to change it up and get away from this 2D I think. I guess I've still bought them b/c I feel like it's tradition or something and the games are still good. So being that Platinum actually did something different and isn't just Diamond and Pearl with a different name I may actually consider picking this up. Even though I still got Diamond so it's not like I'm breaking tradition if I don't get it b/c as I said, the only time I got an ADD ON was when I got Yellow so we'll see. I'll still get the future Pokemon Games though that are truly new that comes out in timespans consisting of years. Very nostalgic if anything else and I love that about it.
Pokemon Platinum and the DSi are gonna be my introduction to Pokemon and portable gaming! Dang it...2 more painful weeks to go until I get one (of each)... *sighs*
Yeah, the game IS out. I pre-ordered it, so I have to wait 'til Wednesday for it to get here. I wish UPS would hurry it up! What do you guys think would be the best starter? I like fire types and fighting types so I'm gonna pick Chimchar.
As another long-time fan (18 years old), I am going to have to get another copy of this (in English this time)! 1 day left!
well i cant stand the show, i think its terrible, (no offence to those that like it though), but the game is fantastic! its a great RPG with fantasy elements that makes it fun for any age group!
yea well im 21 as well and i wasnt playing at all (after grade six i got over it when the new series came out i didnt like the new pokemon and all and didnt like the change) then one day my lil bro bought me diamond version b4 xmas and iv been hooked since. im not into it cuz of the pokemon them selves.. i love the strategy and kicking ass..lol plus a good story line kinda..mainly cuz its long..but becuz my lil bro bought me the game and i didnt have a ds i went and bought one jus for that one game. cant wait till platinum comes out. gotta catch em all..lmao
Im not saying that this shaymin is the only one that can become sky forme im saying that its the only one that can get you the galacidea flower 789shadow
TK said that he has ideas for a future pokemon title, and that everyone will be surprised. Hope he means the rumored gold/silver remakes! :P
@ blazamane Ya man, I started back in like grade 2 with pokemon Red. I'm 18 and in university now, I've bought every generation of games since red =P
After playing pearl, I was sorely disappointed at all the uninteresting pokemon. I think I'm done with the series. as I should have been after gold.
I have to say that while Pokemon is always fun, I liked the old ones and the old remakes (Fire Red and Leaf Green) a LOT better than these new ones. The new pokemon just look so demented, like a Picasso creation or something. Long live Scyther!
Ok this must be epic. My brothers and i started on blue, red and yellow right when they came out and all three of us were always competitive. We got every new game until the ds came out cause we never got one. Honestly i could still pick and play the trading card game game for my gameboy sp :P Its addicting and fun. I will always think the beginning games were the best (i loved gold and crystal if anyone remembers riako, entai, and suiku). The new legendaries were epic. I just grew out of it...
Looking forward to this Sunday's release. I actually just picked Diamond back up about a week ago because I got the Pokemon bug.
it all started when i was 4 and got pokemon blue on pocket brand new and beat everyone since its awsome
I have to disagree with brawlman - The pokemon trading card game on GBC was one of the best handheld games I have played
Brawlman missing out on diamond and pearl is bad some pokemon can only be found in diamond and pearl that also means you didn't get the special shaymin and you aren't going to get regigigas. Noow you can't get the glacidea flower or a chance to regice, regirock or registeel in platinum
Dudes, I'm 21 and I still pre-ordered it! Just because a game is E-rated doesn't mean a 20 something can't play it! Even if it's Pokemon. They are just plain great games.
I think I'll get it but not sure. I'm 19 in college and was into it when it first started by gettin red and blue and the first trading cards(even the game), but I've been trying to ween off. I didn't think I'll get diamond, but I did.
my first game was yellow version on the gameboy color, but i also had a gameboy pocket(gameboy that showed no color)
dude im so glad i didnt get dimond or pearl! tis game is gonna be! im gonna stay on it 24/7. i love pokemon games (not the show or trading card game) not into tose as much, i just like how the story modes are so long.
Wow!!! Next wk n the game will be mines......i cant wait to play it with my friends n form good teams.....im an 18 year old n the 12th grade still playin pokemon n idc wat ppl think about me......my first pokemon game was silver version n i miss tht game soo much nw but i jus cnt wait for platinum to come out...so i jus keep myself busy by goin on serebii n try to follow the updates
sounds great. i cant wait till the game comes out. my happiest thought is being able to get an eevee right when i get into hearthome city so i can get my leafeon early on and pwn the way like i have been since the second generation! (gold was my first game)
Hmm, you'd think that now that we are getting closer to the day the game comes out we'd be getting more info about the game. I'd just like some more details about the game.
I was a Poke-maniac back in the day and lost interest when the new Pokemon came out. Thanks to my niece playing, I'm hooked again. I'm almost 24 and I doubt I'll ever stop loving Pokemon again. :P
@ noclue_27 Yeah pokemon is always seen as a kids game but I have been playing the games since Generation 1 and still enjoy them today (Im 18 now) besides people who criticize the games are just ignorant or have never given the series a go; Pokemon is all about strategy and if you battle any descent player it is not just about brute force tactics take their true place.
Yeah it's ok lots of people go to gift shops to buy games! My technical resource manager usually goes to target to get a new Mario game. Which is generally more E-rated.
this game looks cool, i caught garatini before in pokemon pearl looks like i wont have to do as much work in this game since its the main pokemon this time around
Yo, Mastersword. You're never too old to buy a pokemon game, who cares what people think about you. The enjoyment of playing the game for hours on end outweighs the 5 minutes of social embarrassment from buying the game. I'm an 18 year old punk, and I recently went into toys 'r us just to get a special pokemon they were giving away. Who cares what people think about you, their thoughts only last a minute, and you'll most likely never see them again in your life. =P Pokemon is hardcore.
This game looks interesting but I would be too embarrased to buy a Pokemon game in public... People would think ,"Now how old are you?" It's not harsh, it's just the truth...