Video Game Review: Pokemon Platinum

The trailer above is from the Russian Nintendo channel. It was the easiest one to find.

Details: I spent about thirty hours playing through the game. More information can be found at https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-platinum-version/

Score: 5.8/10

This is a review of the game from the perspective of someone playing it in 2019. Pokemon Platinum is simply outdated. The recent Pokemon games are so far ahead of this game that this game is just not worth playing.

Pokemon Platinum version came out in 2008, to give you an idea of how old this game is. The story is the same as all Pokemon games. You are a kid in a world with little monsters called Pokemon. You need to catch and train these monsters to battle for you and eventually become the Pokemon training champion.

Gameplay is basically the same as in all the games. You walk around a world. There are grassy areas where you can randomly encounter a Pokemon whom you can battle with and catch. There are human trainers through out the world you can battle with. Battle is turn based one versus one (or two versus two, but very rarely) and you take turns doing attacks to each other.

What’s depressing about this battle system is that the most recent iteration or this game, Sword and Shield, has the same battle system. There is no real innovation in the gameplay of this franchise. I felt bored playing this old gameplay system and it kind of turned me off of even trying to play Sword and Shield.

I also hate random encounters. The genre of turn based role playing games has evolved and any game with random encounters either needs to include a way to turn them off or to get rid of random encounters altogether. Sword and Shield finally got rid of random encounters because they are simply old fashioned and not fun. They are also not fun in Platinum.

In regards to pacing, this game is boringly slow. The speed you walk, the speed of battles, the speed text and dialogue show up, these things are all so slow by modern video game standards. This game just drags you down into this slow grind. It grinds at you and wastes your time.

Something I did like was the time mechanic. The game follows the time of real life and you can see the game darken and brighten along with the real world time. Some Pokemon can be caught during the day and some at night. This was a cool mechanic.

Visually, the game looks pixelated as hell. You need to remember this game was released on the Nintendo DS. That over a decade ago. The game doesn’t look great technically. In terms of the design of the Pokemon, it is some of the best designs I’ve seen yet for these monsters, and I’ve played most of the Pokemon franchise. In other words, the art design is good and the game is a fossil on a technical level.

The music is synthesized as was most music for the Nintendo DS at that time. It’s still pretty good though.

Overall, this game should be skipped. If you want to play Pokemon, always buy the most recent iteration. No matter your complaints, the newest version will likely always be at least somewhat better. I played this game mostly out of curiosity and kept plowing through it in hopes that it would get better, but there’s not much you can do for a game this old on a video game system as primitive as the Nintendo DS. By the time I beat the final boss and got to the end game content, I simply couldn’t care enough to play this game anymore.

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