|Publisher(s)||The Pokémon Company|
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer, online multiplayer|
Pokémon Platinum Version (ポケットモンスタープラチナ Poketto Monsutā Purachina?, lit. Pocket Monsters: Platinum) is a title in the Pokémon series of video games. It was developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. It is an enhanced version of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl in the same vein as Pokémon Yellow, Crystal, and Emerald, which were remakes of Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, and Ruby and Sapphire, respectively. It was released on September 13, 2008, in Japan; March 22, 2009, in North America; May 14, 2009, in Australia and May 22, 2009, in Europe. The developers made Platinum with the intent of making it a stronger version of Diamond and Pearl, which they described as the "ultimate" Pokémon titles.
In Platinum, players control either a male or female child character and start off with one of three Pokémon — Turtwig, Chimchar, or Piplup — from Professor Rowan. The mascot Pokémon is Giratina, who plays a central role in the game's plot. While it only had one form in Diamond and Pearl, it is given a new alternate form alongside a new area called the Distortion World, which features altered physics from the normal land of Sinnoh, where the game takes place. The gameplay stays true to traditional Pokémon mechanics. Players explore a large area, which ranges from mountains to bodies of water, grasslands, populated areas, and snowy expanses. Similar to previous titles, players have their Pokémon fight turn-based battles against other Pokémon.
Pokémon Platinum has been met with generally positive reception, holding aggregate scores of 84 and 83.14% at Metacritic and Game Rankings, respectively. It was praised for the additions and changes made to Diamond and Pearl by publications such as IGN, Nintendo Power, and GamePro, though it has also been criticized for being too similar to them. IGN ranked it as the ninth best Nintendo DS game ever made, as well as nominating it as one of the best DS role-playing games of 2009. It was the fastest-selling game in Japan at the time, selling 7.06 million copies by March 31, 2010.
Pokémon Platinum is a role-playing game with adventure elements. Its basic mechanics are the same as those found in Diamond and Pearl, featuring two-dimensional gameplay. As with all Pokémon games for hand-held consoles (excluding generation 6 games, which is the first to have 3d gameplay), gameplay is in third-person overhead perspective, and consists of three basic screens: a field map, in which the player navigates the main character; a battle screen; and the menu, in which the player configures his or her party, items, or gameplay settings. The player begins the game with one Pokémon and can capture more using Poké Balls. The player can also use his or her Pokémon to battle other Pokémon. When the player encounters a wild Pokémon or is challenged by a trainer to a battle, the screen switches to a turn-based battle screen where the Pokémon fight. During battle, the player may fight, use an item, switch the active Pokémon, or flee (the last not an option in battles against trainers). All Pokémon have hit points (HP); when a Pokémon's HP is reduced to zero, it faints and cannot battle unless revived with a Pokémon skill or item such as Revive or Max Revive.
If the player's Pokémon defeats the opposing Pokémon (causes it to faint), it receives experience points. After accumulating enough experience points, it may level up; most Pokémon evolve into a new species of Pokémon when they reach a certain level. Apart from battling, capturing Pokémon is the most important element of Pokémon gameplay. Although other trainers' Pokémon cannot be captured, the player may use a Poké Ball on a wild Pokémon during battle. A successful capture adds the Pokémon to the player's active party or stores it in the PC if the player already has the maximum of six Pokémon. Factors in the success rate of capture include the HP of the target Pokémon and the strength of the Poké Ball used unless it is a Master Ball which has a 100% capture rate; the lower the target's HP and the stronger the Poké Ball, the higher the success rate of capture is. Platinum features largely the same Pokémon as in Diamond and Pearl, with some added and some missing. Platinum features the Pokétch, a wristwatch-like device, introduced in Diamond and Pearl. It features simple applications such as a calculator, map, counter, and drawing pad. Platinum also features the Underground mode, a mode where players dig for spheres and Fossils.
Platinum adds an area called the "Wi-Fi Plaza", an area that features several Pokémon species-themed mini-games and allows up to 20 players to be present in it. Platinum also introduces the Vs. Recorder, which allows players to record battles held in the Battle Frontier or on Wi-Fi. The GTS system, a system that allows players to trade anonymously on the Wi-Fi connection, returns in Platinum; one change to the GTS system allows players to be notified via email when a trade has commenced, though outside Japan, this feature has been reduced to being merely a message on the player's Wii. A variety of changes have been made to the appearance and availability of Pokémon; Giratina, Shaymin, and Rotom all have new forms, with Rotom having four new forms. The trios of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, along with the trio of Regice, Regirock, and Registeel, have been added to the game as well. The game also adds the Battle Frontier, a feature first introduced in Pokémon Emerald. Platinum's Pokémon Contests play similarly to Diamond and Pearl's; they feature three stages, awarding ribbons to Pokémon for having the best end result. Baked goods called Poffins can be made from berries and fed to Pokémon in order to improve certain traits, depending on the kind of Poffin made. In addition to compatibility with Diamond and Pearl, Platinum offers compatibility with the Game Boy Advance Pokémon RPGs. Players can upload Pokémon from Platinum to the Wii games Pokémon Battle Revolution and My Pokémon Ranch, though the latter is only compatible with Platinum in Japan. A significant addition is the Distortion World, which features distorted physics versus those in the standard game.
Setting and plot
Platinum is set in the fictional region of Sinnoh, an island based on the Japanese island Hokkaidō. Sinnoh is not connected to any other region in the Pokémon universe and is characterized by large, snow-covered mountains (Mt. Coronet, part of a mountain range, divides Sinnoh in half). In this game, the starters are Grass-type Turtwig, Fire-type Chimchar, and Water-type Piplup. Unlike other regions, Sinnoh has a "northern" feel to it as it is the only region with permanent snow on the ground, and with routes with snow on the ground and active snowfall. In Platinum, there is snow on the ground in other locations where it was not found in Diamond and Pearl, and the player characters and the player's rival are dressed for colder weather when compared with the designs from the original games. Sinnoh is also characterized by its waterways; it has three main lakes (Verity, Acuity, and Valor) that form a triangle. Unlike the Hoenn region, however, which is mostly water routes, only 30 percent of Sinnoh's landscape comprises waterways. Underneath Sinnoh's surface is the Sinnoh Underground, a large maze of caves and tunnels where players can dig for rare items. Pokémon Platinum, while keeping to the same plot as Diamond and Pearl for the most part, introduces several new elements to it. Two characters are introduced—the first being Charon, a scientist in Team Galactic, and the other being a detective investigating Galactic under the codename "Looker". Giratina is also the focus of the plot, whereas Dialga and Palkia were the focuses of Diamond and Pearl, respectively. However, the player can still obtain both Dialga and Palkia, whereas in Diamond and Pearl, the player could only catch Giratina and the respective game's mascot.
Pokémon Platinum was first announced on May 15, 2008, as a follow-up to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. It is in the same vein as Pokémon Yellow, Crystal, and Emerald, which are sequels to Diamond and Pearl's predecessors Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, and Ruby and Sapphire respectively. When trying to determine what content to change from Diamond and Pearl, game designer Takeshi Kawachimaru felt that the designers should focus on changing only the most important things so as to make sure that it was not too different from the original games. Game director Junichi Masuda commented that since they designed the original two games as the "ultimate Pokémon titles", they had to make Platinum even stronger than them.
Giratina's design change was one of the first things revealed about Platinum. In designing the new form, they paid attention to details; the designer redrew Giratina several times, attempting to make it look different from its form in Diamond and Pearl. They finalized its design as an "antimatter Pokémon". Masuda explained antimatter as well as E=MC2 to the developers. He also explained the "Reversed Mt. Fuji", which is what they call the reflection of Mt. Fuji. While Kawachimaru didn't understand it at first, he later incorporated them into the game. The Distortion World was based on these ideas, described as the "core concept" of the game. They also added the Wi-Fi Plaza and Battle Frontier modes to improve players' ability to share information with other players. An idea that the developers wanted to include was to allow players to communicate with family and friends more easily; the developers felt that the Battle Frontier realized this idea.
The developers chose to call the game Platinum because of their observations that "diamond" has a "meaning of love", while pearl has a "meaning of happiness". They explained that they wanted to choose something that seems "beautiful", describing platinum as "different from a diamond, different from a gem, different from a pearl, different from something that nature creates, something [that] shines, something beautiful." They also created the story to be different from Diamond and Pearl, commenting that they wanted to make Giratina seem "more fun, more interesting, cooler." They added Giratina's new area to make the story "more appealing". While Diamond and Pearl had gym leaders who sometimes had Pokémon not in keeping with the type they focus on, Platinum changes this so all Pokémon belonging to gym leaders were the appropriate type.
Release and promotion
It was first announced for an August 2008 release in Japan, with no release date confirmed overseas at that time. It was eventually released on September 13, 2008, in Japan; March 22, 2009, in North America, May 14, 2009 in Australia; and May 22, 2009, in Europe. Its North American release was celebrated by Nintendo in New York. As a bonus for those who pre-ordered Pokémon Platinum, Nintendo gave away Giratina figurines in the United States. Expanded space was given to Pokémon merchandise in Toys 'R' Us for Pokémon Platinum, which included a Pokémon Trading Card Game card set based on the Platinum name. They also arranged for several events to obtain rare Pokémon.
GamePro's McKinley Noble commented that he anticipated the English release of Platinum. 1UP.com commented that fans will not be left "wanting", stating "once you venture back down the Pokémon rabbit hole, you won't be coming up again for a while." IGN's Craig Harris commented that those looking for something particularly new in Platinum such as a new method of control would be disappointed, adding that the controls felt "clumsy". However, he noted that those who played Diamond and Pearl will enjoy it for its new features and available Pokémon. In another preview, Harris commented that those who have played Diamond or Pearl will have to decide whether the new features are worth buying the game for, while those who have not should buy it if interested in playing a Pokémon game.
Pokémon Platinum has received generally positive reception. It holds an aggregate score of 83/100 and 83.14% at Metacritic and Game Rankings, respectively. It is the 56th highest rated Nintendo DS game and the 1,542nd highest rated video game on Game Rankings. The Anglo-Celt called it a solid, fun game for those who have yet to play Diamond and Pearl. GamePro's McKinley Noble called it a great game, calling other third versions of mainline Pokémon titles "lightweight" in comparison. Famitsu gave praise to Pokémon Platinum. One of the reviewers commented that players are "getting a lot for their money", while another reviewer commented that those who played Diamond and Pearl would not find it to be "more of the same." Another reviewer praised not only the features but also the improved gameplay. The fourth reviewer found fault in it being "Diamond/Pearl at the core", and as a result, "filling up your Pokédex from zero is rough." Official Nintendo Magazine's Chris Scullion called it the "ultimate Pokémon game", though noted that this was because it was an updated version of Diamond and Pearl. Nintendo Power called it "everything a Pokemon [sic] experience should be, and more."
Nintendo World Report's Zachary Miller commented that players who were burnt out on Diamond and Pearl wouldn't find much incentive to play Platinum, but otherwise, said that Platinum is the "best Pokémon game ever made". Zippy of Hardcore Gamer cited its main quest, battle system, and multiplayer options for why "it is the best hand held RPG available right now". Games(TM) commented that the depth of Platinum's gameplay was deeper than "most hardcore MMO can boast". Toastfarmer of PALGN called it a "crown jewel" of the Nintendo DS, calling it a "deep, engrossing and virtually endless game". GameDaily's Robert Workman commented that while the graphics and gameplay could have been changed more than they were, it "will score with hardcore fanatic and newbies alike." RPGamer's Adriaan den Ouden commented that while it was similar to Diamond and Pearl, the expanded Pokédex makes it "far more enjoyable." GameZone's jkdmedia commented that while Diamond and Pearl were great, Platinum was merely good. He added that it was a "must-own" to those who haven't played Diamond or Pearl, but not for anyone else.
Eurogamer's Dan Pearson commented that those looking for a traditional role-playing game for the Nintendo DS should buy something like Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest IV or V, or the Final Fantasy remakes, though he noted that those looking for a Pokémon title should get Platinum. Eurogamer Portugal's Ricardo Madeira called it the "more complete and distinct Pokémon third version he has seen to date." IGN's Craig Harris commented that while the advancements over Diamond and Pearl were not huge, its adventure mode and online mode were more fleshed out and expanded. They also included in their list of Nintendo DS games of the Spring season, commenting that it improved on Diamond and Pearl's gameplay formula, and went "above and beyond with new areas, characters, and, of course, Pokemon [sic]". In their "Cheers & Tears: DS RPGs" article, which details role-playing games of both high and low quality, IGN included Platinum as a game of high quality. They called it "packed to overflowing with content", commenting that even those who have played Diamond and Pearl several times could enjoy it. IGN ultimately named Platinum, along with Diamond and Pearl, as the ninth best Nintendo DS game. IGN nominated it for best role-playing game for the Nintendo DS, while its readers chose it as the best multi-player game for the Nintendo DS.
Games Master UK called it "one of the most rewarding and substantial RPGs around", while NGamer UK's Rich Stanton called it "one of the finest strategy games ever made." RPG Fan's John Tucker commented that players of Diamond and Pearl would only be interested in its expanded online mode. Game Informer commented that if one was looking for a role-playing game and hadn't played Diamond or Pearl, it is "absolutely the way to go". 1UP.com's Justin Haywald called it the best Pokémon game, though noted that it wasn't very different from Diamond and Pearl. GameTrailers commented that fans of the series and those who appreciate role-playing games would enjoy it, but blamed games like Platinum for being the reason why some have lost interest in the series. GameSpot's Shiva Stella commented that while not fresh, it was the best "special edition yet". Game Revolution's Joe Dodson commented that while it was not "breathtaking", it was one of the "biggest and deepest phenomenons in gaming". CESA gave Platinum one of nine awards for excellence.
Pokémon Platinum's launch was credited for the increased sales of the Nintendo DS in Japan in September 2008. It sold more than one million copies in Japan in only three days, making it the fastest selling game in the region at that time. It sold 315,000 copies in its second week, totaling 1.3 million copies in nine days. Pokémon Platinum ranked second in another week, selling 195,000 copies; it ranked first, and sold 122,000 the week after. As of October 23, Pokémon Platinum was the second best-selling game for the respective week with sales exceeding 72,000 copies. Its current sales at that time were 1.75 million. It reentered the top 10 list in early December due to a lack of new releases. As of December 31, 2008, Pokémon Platinum had sold 2.12 million copies in Japan. It was the fifth best-selling Nintendo DS game for the week of February 12, 2009. For the week ending July 9, 2009, it was the second best-selling Nintendo DS game. For the week ending July 23, 2009, it was the fifth best-selling Nintendo DS game. It fell from the top 10 list in July 2009.
In North America for the month of March 2009, Pokémon Platinum ranked second on the top 10 best-selling video games chart, selling in excess of 805,000 copies from March 22 to April 4. For the week ending March 26, it was the second best-selling Nintendo DS game. For the week ending April 9, it was the best-selling Nintendo DS game. It ranked second place in both April and May 2009. It was the fourth best-selling Nintendo DS game for the week ending June 11, 2009. For the week ending July 9, 2009, it was the fifth best-selling Nintendo DS game. For the week ending July 23, 2009, it was the third best-selling Nintendo DS game. MarketWatch noted it as a strong seller for July 2009, a month considered to have been in a slump sales-wise. Pokémon Platinum was the 10th best-selling video game of 2009, selling in excess of 2 million copies. In the United Kingdom, Pokémon Platinum was the second best-selling Nintendo DS game for the week ended June 11, 2009. For the week ended June 20, 2009, Pokémon Platinum fell off of the United Kingdom's top 10 best-selling video games chart. For the week ending July 9, 2009, it was the second best-selling Nintendo DS game. For the week ending July 23, 2009, it was the fourth best-selling Nintendo DS game.
Pokémon Platinum was the fourth best-selling game worldwide in the third quarter of 2008, selling approximately 1,482,000 copies. In the third quarter of 2009, Pokémon Platinum sold more than 2 million copies. In North America and PAL regions, Pokémon Platinum had sold a combined 3.75 million copies as of May 7, 2009. As of August 14, 2009, Pokémon Platinum had sold over 5.66 million copies worldwide. By October 30, 2009, Pokémon Platinum had sold 6.39 million copies worldwide. As of March 31, 2010, the game's worldwide sales has reached 7.06 million.
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