By Sean Booker
Apr 13, 2009 - 12:00
The game starts you off in your home town as a soon to be trainer in the Sinnoh region of the Pokémon universe. You get to choose a gender and name and after a few events unfold, you get your first Pokémon. Pokémon are pet-like creatures that you will collect and use to battle against rival trainers. From there you are asked to travel the world searching for new Pokémon and taking on new challenges. As you continue your journey you will encounter new enemies, friendly allies and loads of ways to enjoy yourself in Sinnoh.
Along with fighting your way through all the gyms and stray trainers who wish to take you on in the game, you also have several other choices of gameplay. The two more significant ones are Pokémon contests and the Underground area, but, apart from these two, there is also a new online multiplayer mode exclusive to Pokémon Platinum.
Pokémon contests have you select one of your Pokémon to go through a talent show like game in order to win ribbons. In each contest you will have to dress up your Pokémon, which requires selecting specific accessories that relate to the specified theme. You will have to make your Pokémon dance, which translates to a very basic
The Underground area is another fun way to spend time with your single player game or your friends, in multiplayer. Once you receive the Explorer’s Kit in-game, you can head into what is essentially an underground maze that can be accessed almost anywhere in the Sinnoh region. In the Underground area, you can partake in treasure hunting mini-games along with building a secret base. Secret bases allow you to create a room and decorate it however you wish. When playing with friends, you will be able to see them in the underground maze as well, and from there you can interact with their character. One of the fun things to do is to try and steal your friends ‘Flag’ from their secret base and bring it to your own – almost like a ‘capture the flag’ style of game. To increase the difficulty of this game, players can set traps on the ground that will activate when stepped on. These traps can vary from sending someone on a track all the way west until hitting a wall or even covering their DS screen with bubbles that they must pop with their stylus.
The online mode is called the Wi-Fi Plaza and it is a new addition to Pokémon Platinum that can only be accessed if you have a wireless Internet connection. In the Plaza you can move around a room with other online players. However, your only option when trying to interact with them is asking pre-staged questions like “What’s popular?” This causes the tasks of “talking” to people to become quite dull and pointless. You can also play a couple mini-games in here that involve using the stylus in certain ways. Playing these games well will upgrade your Tap Toy, an item you receive when first entering the room. The Tap Toy is an object shown on the bottom screen that, when tapped, will play a noise.
The graphics in Pokémon Platinum are great for the DS. It stays with the 2D side scrolling aspect but still looks great on the handheld. Though it does look identical to the landscapes and character models from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. However, there are several minor differences added to Pokémon Platinum. The majority of these additions are some of the Pokémon stances are now different and some of the characters now wear different clothing. Overall, the graphics haven’t changed much but they still look great.
The sound in Pokémon Platinum, like the graphics, remains the same as in the past couple Pokémon games on the DS. This is another one of Pokémon Platinum’s disappointments as there wasn’t really anything new in the way the game sounded. It even used some of the sounds that the Game Boy Pokémon games had. It would have at least been nice to hear some new music and sound effects when playing what could be your fifth or sixth Pokémon game.
When it comes to my verdict, I place it under both Buy It and Forget It. I only put it as Forget It for the people very familiar with either Pokémon Diamond or Pearl. They won’t feel the game has enough in it to play through the same story again. However, I place it in the Buy It category for anyone who may have passed on playing those two. It’s a great experience that is different enough from the other Pokémon games, just not the first two DS titles.
Verdict: Buy It or Forget It
Verdict: Buy It or Forget It
Rating: 9 /10