Pokémon Platinum is a welcome respite to the stress of lockdown. Any time I want to squeeze some serotonin into my life, I boot up my ancient Nintendo DS, wipe my completed game file, and start playing again from scratch.
You play as a Pokémon trainer, travel through the Sinnoh region, battle and capture Pokémon to form a team, and work your way through a series of Gyms, obtaining 8 badges to reach the Pokémon League: the crème de la crème of battle frontiers. It brings a quiet sense of accomplishment, effective in its simplicity.
It’s a game I know like the back of my hand. It’s no longer unpredictable, but that’s what I like about it. I know what Pokémon I want in my team, where all the ‘secret’ items are, and the most effective route. It’s entirely inorganic, but the familiarity is what I seek, even after all these years.