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Pokemon Platinum review

Such a marginal improvement, yet still so inescapably enticing

Better Pokemon storage system – When there were a mere 151 Pokemon in the good old days of Red/Blue/Yellow, the rudimentary PC boxes worked just fine for storing your catches. As our Pokedexes expanded several times over in subsequent generations, the storage system for captured Pokemon unfortunately did not keep pace. In fact it hasn’t really changed at all.

Above: Psst... put the Pokemon in here, please! If aWailordcan fit into a Poke Ball, surely all your Poke Balls can fit into a Pokedex

Collecting Pokemon has always been a cornerstone of the franchise, but for fans who really want to catch ‘em all, the 540 available slots in your PC’s 18 boxes are not nearly enough for the 493 available Pokemon, especially if you’re collecting variants like the pink and blue Gastrodons, Wormadams, all 28 Unowns, event-only Pokemon, Shinies, etc. To make matters worse, the PC system offers little in the way of organization, so collectors can easily waste hours shuffling Pokemon around in different ways. Why not integrate Pokemon storage with the Pokedex itself? You’d be able to look up captured Pokemon via various parameters like species, type, gender etc, and access Pokemon you’ve captured via their Pokedex pages. It’s a simple thing that would make life for serious collectors much easier.

More acknowledgment of the hardcore fanbase – Many of us spend tedious hours IV breeding to gain a competitive edge, so why not reward our toils by at least including an IV calculator Poketch app?

Above: IV breeding should be moretransparent, but let's keepShiny huntinga secret for the select few

And how about more in-game challenges that push the player to explore more of the game’s depth? Just playing through the single player game, you’d have no idea how much complexity lurks beneath the surface of Pokemon. Just like thenews reporterin Solaceon Town who awards you with Poke Balls for showing him a specific Pokemon each day, it would be awesome if there were some structuredchallenges and rewards for fans who want to delve deeper into Pokemon’s endless possibilities.

The Battle Frontier does offer a general challenge, but we’re talking about specific battle, training or breeding related challenges that would push the player to expand their strategies.For example:use a STAB move effectively against the type it's weak to, use a particular status effect or weather condition to your advantage, breed aPokemon with a specific advantageous nature, and so forth. This would allow solo players to enjoy more of what Pokemon has to offer without forcing them to sift through various fan sites and message boards on the internet.

Rerelease with all fourregions accessible – Nintendo loves repackaging the old as new, so why not put out a super Pokemon compilation with all of the previous regions (Kanto, Johto, Hoennand Sinnoh)available on one game? ‘Nuff said.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon? Yes! There is no comparison between the main series of Pokemon games (Red/Blue, Gold/Silver, Ruby/Sapphire, Diamond/Pearl) and the numerous Pokemon spin-off games (Ranger, Mystery Dungeon, Battle Revolution etc). A note to any parents reading this: If your kid asks you for Pokemon Platinum, DO NOT under any circumstances think you can substitute any other Pokemon game instead. If you get your kid Pokemon Ranger 2 when he asked for Platinum, you are literally setting your child on a path to lifelong failure. If he already has Diamond/Pearl/Platinum and just wants to play Ranger out of morbid curiousity, that’s fine.

Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals?Platinum isfar and away superior to Spectrobes, although Pokemon could learn a few lessons fromSpectrobes' online community features. Spectrobes players have access to a wide range of online community features, like leaderboards and player profiles with various awards and badges to earn.

Pokemon Diamond / Pearl? Yes, but only marginally. If you don’t have Diamond or Pearl, get Platinum. For everyone who already has either Diamond or Pearl, it’s not worth upgrading to Platinum unless you’re a hardcore Pokefan.

In a vacuum void of Pokemon franchise history, Pokemon Platinum would easily score a 10 – its depth and replayability are completely unrivaled among any other game series. However, after more than 10 years, we really expect more from the series at this point. Except for the most shallow of casual players, added minigames do not even remotely constitute an improvement. For fans though, it’s nearly impossible to resist playing through again, and the new Formes are unfortunately just enough to give us the PokeFever all over again.

Mar 23, 2009

More Info

GenreRole Playing

Lots of little things have been “freshened up” in Platinum, but there aren’t any major changes or additions – it’s really Diamond and Pearl again, dusted off, sprayed with some air freshener, and repackaged. But we still love it. 

Franchise namePokemon
UK franchise namePokemon
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating3+
Release date22 March 2009 (US), (UK)