Pokemon is one of the only types of RPG's (role-playing game) where all types of gamers usually like or love it. Even gamers who don't enjoy RPG's like the Pokemon series. This is largely attributed to how simplistic and inviting the games are. I must admit that, while I quite enjoyed the series in my youth, I never kept up with the Pokemon games nor was I infatuated with the series like seemingly most of my friends were. Prior to playing Pokemon: Platinum, the last game in the series I played was Pokemon: Emerald edition. With that out of the way, I need to emphasize that playing Pokemon: Platinum was a wonderful and refreshing reintroduction to the games I haven't kept up with.
The World and the Pokemon
The world of Pokemon: Platinum was a seamless and nearly flawless experience. I found often wondering why this game's world felt so good to explore and be a part of. For starters, the world doesn't spend every waking moment trying to hinder the player from exploring its landscape by demanding you have certain Pokemon with certain moves. While it does restrict you to a healthy degree, Platinum's world is very open and dare I say inviting to explore. It has enough Pokemon and new areas to keep you entertained and plenty of different Pokemon trainers to battle. Not only is it fun to explore, but it's not very easy to get lost either. It's open just enough that you still have a sense of exploration but not too big where it can be overwhelming to explore. It's just a fun place to explore overall.
The Villians and Characters
Pokemon as a series never really had the most flushed out or interesting characters. While I'm aware that there is the manga and other forms of media that flush out certain characters, in-game characters served as information dispensers or Pokemon trainers. However, this game pleasantly surprised me with its rather interesting main villain and quirky side-characters. Now, I should preface that these characters and villains aren't nearly as fleshed out as a game like The Witcher 3 it's none the less refreshing to have memorable characters as well as unique and memorable Pokemon.
The Gameplay and Challenge
If you've played any Pokemon game for a handheld system before, then you know how this works. You are given one of three different starting Pokemon and are tasked with catching other Pokemon for your party. There's a lot of incentive to catch different types of Pokemon so you have a well-rounded team. For example, you want to avoid having too many of the same type in order to cover your weaknesses better. While it is simple, there are many different strategies to deploy to ensure you have the most optimal team. Needless to say, it works exceptionally well and is easy to catch on. While I've stated several times that it's a simple game, by no means is it a walk in the park. Pokemon: Platinum demands you give it your attention and many of the Pokemon trainers, such as a certain Cynthia, will give you a run for your money if you don't respect the difficulty. It's difficult enough where you won't spend hours on one particular part, however, it is a highly rewarding feeling to conquer what the game throws at you.
I give this game a solid 3.5/4 and a recommendation. What prevents this game from getting a perfect score are a handful of annoying "quirks" as my pal Seth refers to them. One area, in particular, is annoying to explore because it employs a "mud system" where while moving your character can get stuck in the mud and it becomes cumbersome to navigate. The engine can be a bit slow as there's a lot of unskippable parts of the game as well, but I think it's all really manageable. In conclusion, if you consider yourself a Pokemon fan and haven't played Pokemon: Platinum, then you are doing yourself a disservice. It is one of the best of the series.