Fans of the fourth generation of Pokémon are going to be a bit nostalgic today. The definitive version of the Sinnoh experience, Pokémon Platinum, released 11 years ago today in North America.
Platinum took what made Diamond and Pearl so great and improved upon it even further, speeding up the gameplay, adding new elements to the story, and even introducing the Vs. Recorder, which helped revolutionize the competitive scene for Pokémon.
Released on March 22, 2009 (Sept. 13, 2008 in Japan), Platinum was the second game in the franchise released on the Nintendo DS, just two years after the release of Diamond and Pearl. And in those two years, Game Freak optimized the gameplay, audio, and other elements that were criticized in the originals, making Platinum the best way to experience the fourth generation.
While there were no new Pokémon introduced in Platinum, Giratina, Shaymin, and Rotom all got new forms that altered the Pokémon’s stats, appearance, and moves (with Rotom getting four new forms based on home appliances). Players could also catch more Pokémon naturally throughout the game without needing to transfer them from older titles, such as the three Legendary Birds from Kanto and the Regi-trio from Hoenn.
The Battle Frontier also made a return in Platinum, letting players enjoy a multitude of different facilities with new challenges rather than just battling through the Battle Tower like in Diamond and Pearl.
Arguably the biggest addition was the VS. Recorder item, which gave players the ability to record battles from their Battle Frontier challenge or over Wi-Fi with other players. This would help revolutionize how Wi-Fi battles were used for content on YouTube because it made post-battle commentary easy to do for creators.
Overall, Platinum sold more than seven million copies (7.6 million) and is the 13th best-selling DS title of all time. It is the 16th best-selling game in the Pokémon series, but the second among the third iteration games, beating out Crystal (6.39 million) and Emerald (7.06 million)—only being bested by Yellow (14.64 million.)
Rumors of a fourth generation remake are still flying around for the Switch now that Sword and Shield are out. But for now, we can journey back to Sinnoh with Platinum until we get a chance to see it in a new light.