What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Pokemon game has more robust online features than previous games in the series. Through the DS's built-in WiFi, players who have exchanged Nintendo DS friend codes can trade, play mini-games, and battle with friends. But kids can also trade and exchange records with other players from around the world, but there's no communication involved. In the Union Room, those who have exchanged friend codes can chat with each other by clicking on words from the game's dictionary (there's no free-form chat), and can share pictures they've drawn (including, unfortunately, "naughty" ones) using a basic MS Paint-style program. Common Sense Media does not recommend letting kids play online without supervision until they are age 12. This game is about capturing and sending Pokemon into battles. But these battles are generally considered tests of skill rather than conflicts motivated by anger. When a Pokemon is defeated, it faints. Kids can transfer the Pokemon they collected from Pokemon Diamond or Pearl, as well as older Game Boy Advance games, into Platinum.
What's it about?
POKEMON PLATINUM is an extension of the successful Pokemon Diamond/Pearl games for the Nintendo DS that offers some new locations, puzzles and characters, expanded options for online play, and of course exclusive new Pokemon to collect such as the impressive Giratina that graces the box's cover. The game begins when you and a friend come of age and are given your first Pokemon by Professor Rowan, a Pokemon researcher who also asks for your help to index the wild Pokemon in the region. While exploring, capturing wild Pokemon, earning Gym badges, and battling Trainers to add information to your Pokedex, you'll also encounter Team Galactic, a gang who seems to be up to no good.
Is it any good?
The game's basic format will be familiar if you're played previous Pokemon games, but Platinum adds some new twists of its own, such as the Distortion World (a new place to find ultra-rare Pokemon), the WiFi Plaza where you can play multiplayer mini-games wirelessly, and the ability to record videos of your battles and share them. All of the cool features from Diamond/Pearl, such as touch-sensitive menu buttons, the Poketech device, and the fact that different Pokemon can be caught depending on what time of day it is, have been carried over as well.
Sure, the core concept hasn't changed much from previous iterations, but the gameplay is deep and challenging enough that it really doesn't need to. With 210 Pokemon to collect, a huge world to explore, plenty of side quests and secrets to discover, and a rich multiplayer component for trading and battling with friends, Pokemon Platinum is simply jam-packed with things to do, making it a good bet for role-playing game fans of all ages.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about some of the strategies that they've developed to battle other Pokemon. Why are some Pokemon weak or strong against others? Why is battling considered an important part of training? Why is it important to capture and classify all types of Pokemon?