Pokemon Platinum

Four Nintendo million-sellers in FYQ3

Compared to six in same period last time.

Nintendo's profits may be down a bit, but four of the company's games still managed to sell more than a million units between April and June.

Pokémon Platinum

Pokémon Platinum

Shine pet.

As marketing strategies go, it's a pretty successful one. Every few years Game Freak and Nintendo release a new version of Pokémon, split into two separate titles usually defined by subtle differences in the bestiary, 2007's Diamond/Pearl being the latest example. Roughly two years later a mildly altered 'director's cut' version hits the shelves, combining the pokédex of each and papering over any cracks in the narrative to provide a definitive edition for the generation. And so, predictably enough, Platinum is to Diamond/Pearl as Crystal was to Gold/Silver, polished thoroughly yet expanded to a disappointingly minor degree.

For those of you who have never dabbled in the world of Shinx, Togapei and Squirtle, and for whom Platinum would be an excellent place to start, here's a quick overview. Pokémon are intelligent monsters living in the wild. Hang around in the right places and they will attack you, or at least the tame Pokémon at your side. Beat them heavily enough and they'll join your party to fight for you instead, like the masochistic little turncoat Pavlovians they are. They can level up, learn new skills and be traded with in-game characters or friends via Wi-Fi. And there are loads of them. 493 are available in Platinum, although many are accessible only via inter-DS trading.

The bulk of the gameplay consists of strolling around, battling wild Pokémon and subduing them to add to your repertoire. Once captured, up to six can accompany you at once, with the rest stored in a box on a PC accessed at any town's Pokémon centre, allowing trainers to fine-tune their parties for any challenge. As you roam, building your squad and skills, new gameplay elements, subtleties and gimmicks are drip-fed into the experience. Soon, players encounter their first gym, a training centre based around an area's local Pokémon where you can battle the gym leader to obtain a badge, increasing your kudos and enabling new moves. Once the eight gym leaders have been bested, trainers must take on the 'Elite Four' - master trainers in possession of powerful Pokémon.

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Japan still loves Pokémon films

Pet-fighting animations make millions.

Pokémon has become the most popular animated cartoon series ever in Japan, as the 11 films combine to gross over JPY 50 billion (GBP 246 million) in the region.

Pokémon Diamond expansion revealed

Nintendo has unpacked a fresh expansion for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.

It's got the imaginative name of Pokémon Platinum and, according to Kotaku's translation of the Japanese site, is due out this autumn. In Japan land, presumably.

There's no word on what it will do yet or if it can be used like a real pet, but we expect there will be more monsters to collect and train and show to your friends.

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