So, each generation of Pokemon games has a third version, which is always released about a year later and has a ton of cooler features than the prior two. Normally, I don't bother buying these games, but when this game came out, I had expendable income, so I bought it.
The third game in each generation tends to attempt to have a plot. In Yellow, it tied in some elements of the anime. In Crystal, some guy that really wanted to yiff Suicune stole the plot. Emerald... I didn't pay much attention, but it basically made it so that both sides of Ruby and Sapphire were evil, and you were the neutral party. In Platinum, you follow the trail of a Zenigata-type character and a man that seems to be the closest Pokemon will get to a Sephiroth type.
This brings me to an aside. We all know that the majority of cartoons are 22 minute adverts. This is no less true in Japan. For example, Zoids is a toy lien that was big in the 90s or 80s or something. They were windup toy robots that you built yourself. It had a mild surge in popularity about 8 years back. They had three anime: Chaotic Century, New Century, and Fuzors. All three aired on Cartoon Network in some capacity. Fuzors was so bad that it was canned early on. It lost its grip on that balance that keeps a show like GI Joe or Transformers from wallowing in its Shilldom. Chaotic Century was the darker, Gundam-ish series, whereas New Century was the hot blooded, Pokemon-esque series. I bring this up, because no one I know liked Chaotic Century, and everyone remembers it. Inu-Yasha was the main character. I point this out, because this franchise did what Pokemon should do. Pokemon is a franchise where every product tries to get you to buy another product. You buy things in a circle. Gotta Catch em all.
The problem is that Pokemon is a children's game, and the anime is a show that has almost no serious plot. If you cater to the anime fans, then your plot can't be but so deep. This is very apparent when you play games in the third and fourth generations. Ruby and Sapphire's stories feature two organizations - Doomsday Cults bent on reviving their legendary pokemon to bring about a great flood or a great drought. "In order to expand the seas/land!" Gen 4 tops this the over-the-top "I want to end the world!" Big Bad. Really, it made me happy to be back in the first generations where a kid literally overthrows a criminal syndicate simply because they (literally) standing in his way. Really. If that guy had just stepped to the side to let Red enter the gym, Giovanni could've taken over the world. Silver's story in the sequel wasn't half bad either, a bad boy with daddy issues trying to find his dad and dismantle the remnants of his old man's gang. No, Cyrus is a fucking idiot. No fewer than three times in the game does someone tell him that unmaking the world as he plans would kill him too. Not only that, but his minions are idiots. The mooks in this game are unmatched in retardation*. "Boss wants to destroy the world... wait... I don't agree with that. But uh… I’m going to go ahead and follow him anyway."Or, his lieutenants, “Well, since this idiot is done trying to take over the world, let’s just go back to stealing stuff with all of our advanced technology.”
This brings me to a second aside.
The Pokemon games take place in what is an interpretation Japan. Its been mapped out. Characters and places have refered to other continents and countries in canon. Now, if you want to expand the seas, why do you want to cause a great flood? You already live on an island chain that's surrounded by ocean. Hell, if that's not secluded enough, why not just try to take over Hawaii or some island in the pacific. And, the idea with the drought is so stupid that I can't even begin. I'm pretty sure that's just going to bring about the apocalypse. Of course, it’s only natural that after trying to completely fuck up the planet, that the people of this world decide that they should try to mess with the deities that created the world.**
The game plays a lot like every other Pokemon game. I guess that goes without saying. The interface is only slightly improved. The graphics engine was changed in order to fix some glitches, and about eight new “formes” were introduced, meaning new movesets and making the aforementioned God Pokemon actually playable… because apparently they sucked in Diamond and Pearl. The characters have winter clothes, which is really just an excuse to see the heroine in another miniskirt. Postgame stuff was added, but that’s all a bunch of junk that cheats anyway.
* Let's just ignore the whole, "You're breaking into our secret base, so let's fight Pokemon instead of killing you," thing.
** I am still slightly bothered by the fact that I currently have enslaved all of the Gods of Pokemon.