Video Game Review - Pokemon Platinum
It's time for Pokémon trainers to dust off those Pokéballs and head out for another round of adventure in Pokémon Platinum, an enhanced remake of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Platinum features a handful of revisions, new Pokémon, and an improved online mode, but is it enough to rationalize catching them all again?Platinum's plot is identical to Diamond and Pearl's story, with a few minor alterations. You're still a young trainer out to prove yourself, and along the way some outside organization has evil schemes to use Pokémon to their advantage. Team Galactic is out to find a rare Pokémon that can destroy the region and rebuild it in the image of their leader, and it's up to you to thwart their evil scheme. It's really more about small sub-plots, and the entire premise is shallow. If you're looking for a profound story, or a significantly new tale, you'll be disappointed.
Platinum still follows the basic Pokémon formula, which after over a decade, is showing its age. You'll spend hours traversing the Sinnoh region, battling wild Pokémon and skilled trainers on your way to becoming a Pokémon master. Nintendo did freshen up much of the existing game, most noticeably the gyms, which contain new designs and obstacles to overcome. There are other small changes that make Platinum a uniquely different experience than Diamond and Pearl, even if it looks identical on the surface.
The biggest addition to Platinum is the inclusion of two new areas; the battle frontier and the distortion world. The distortion world is devoid of any random battles, instead it focuses on solving puzzles. It's a nice change, though it comes late in the game. The battle frontier, which originally appeared in Pokémon Emerald, features five arenas focusing on various challenges. It's meant to reward dedicated players, and it requires a high degree of skill to win.
Online multiplayer makes a return, and it has been revamped for the better. In addition to the standard versus modes, the new Wi-Fi plaza allows players to participate in various mini-games. Players can also record their matches with the new versus recorder item, and battle friends online. Much of the other basic online functionality has been streamlined and optimized, making Platinum's multiplayer the definitive experience in the series to date.
You'll spend at least 20 hours burning through the main quest, and easily waste away more than double that leveling your optimal team for multiplayer and completing side quests.