Blaine is the best gym leader in all the pokemon games, ever.
He was the second-last gym leader in the Kanto region, and is a quiz master and fire pokemon expert. Since he was such a badass Giovanni burned down his gym, because Giovanni is a dick who loves irony.
It's okay Blaine, your spirit burns on, just like your pokemon!
Pokemon Platinum is out March 29th, 2009
Platinum changes (Will contain spoilers!):
* Lucas, Dawn and Pearl have new clothes designed for colder weather since the entire Sinnoh region has dropped in temperature.
* The Pokétch has been redesigned. Players can now scroll up and down between applications instead of having to cycle through them all to reach a previous one.
* Some moves have been redesigned with a different animation, like Razor Leaf.
* When Pokémon are called from their Poké Balls, the back view animation has been changed, as well as the front view animations. Like the animations introduced in Pokémon Emerald and continued in Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, these animations will consist of two frames with various distortions to the sprite.
* When battling against certain Trainers, such as Gym Leaders and the rival, their sprites are now animated to move in the same manner as a Pokémon's sprite.
* Some Trainers (including your rival) use Seals when sending out their Pokémon.
* Three of the region's Gyms have been changed. Eterna, Hearthome, and Veilstone Gyms have all been redesigned.
* Gym Leader closeups, just before a Gym battle, have been changed from enlarged sprites to higher-quality drawings, and the term VS.
* The template in battle for a Pokémon's name, level, and HP is now a dark gray instead of white, and its shape has also been changed.
* When entering new areas, the location labels in the top-left corner of the screen have been redesigned, similar to their update between Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire and Pokémon Emerald.
* When first visiting the Resort Area, the player is given access to a large house. Inside on a table, there is a catalog that lists different items that can be mail-ordered to decorate the house. This is similar to the Secret Bases of Hoenn.
* The player meets Professor Rowan and the opposite gender character earlier, and obtains their starter Pokémon on Route 201.
* The very first battle is against the player's rival who, following tradition, has chosen the starter Pokémon with an advantage against the player's starter.
* The player and the rival now encounter Cyrus at Lake Verity at the beginning of the game. The player will also meet Cyrus at different areas, such as the Eterna City statue.
* Dialga and Palkia both appear on Spear Pillar. Giratina then phases into the dimension in front of Cyrus.
* A new area known as the Ruined World(also called the Torn World, in the USA version Distortion World) is playable, with platforms floating at ninety-degree angles to each other. This dimension does not follow the laws of physics that the human world follows, like allowing the player to surf down an upward-flowing waterfall. The camera angle changes between perspective and isometric views to suit the angle of the player. It also has moving platforms with jumpable gaps between them. Giratina, when inhabiting this dimension, will be found in its Origin Forme, and is also the only wild Pokémon located here. Uxie, Mespirit, & Azelf also appear to help the player reach Giratina, but may still only be battled at the Sinnoh lakes.
* A Double Battle with the player's rival against Flint and Volkner occurs at the entrance to the Battle Frontier.
* Dawn/Lucas no longer gives the player the Dowsing Machine or the VS Seeker near the Route 206 junction. Instead, she/he now meets the player at the entrance to Mt. Coronet.
* Some of Sinnoh's Gym Leaders have been reordered. Fantina is now the third Gym Leader, Maylene is the fourth and Crasher Wake is now the fifth.
* At least two new characters have been added. One is a police officer spying on Team Galactic, using the codename "Handsome" (U.S. name "Looker"), and the other is Pluto (U.S. name "Charon"), a professor of Team Galactic.
* Team Galactic's plans for world domination and the layouts of their HQs, such as their hideout in Eterna, have been changed. In addition, they openly recognize their goal, and are more villainous.
* The player is now able to challenge all the Gym Leaders of Sinnoh to rematches, as well as the player's tag battle partners from throughout the game (Cheryl, Buck, Marley, Mira, and Riley) can also be challenged in a restaurant located in the Survival Area, known as the Trainer Café. Each opponent has a team of five Pokémon, with levels between 65 and 78.
* The Elite Four's Pokémon are stronger after the player visits the Battle Zone, with levels between 65 and 78.
* Team Galactic gains control of Stark Mountain under the command of Charon; it is up to the player, with help from Buck, to defeat them.
 Gameplay Changes
* The Wi-Fi area has been enhanced with the new Wi-Fi Square, which supports up to 20 people at once. The new area seems to focus exclusively on mini-games, which include Pumping Wobbuffet, where players hit a Wobbuffet, and Rolling Mime Jr., where players can balance Mime Jr. on a ball.
* There is a new key item called the VS. Recorder (given to the player by Looker when the player first meets him in Jubilife City), which allows players to record battles in the Battle Frontier and Wi-Fi, and share the records with other players over the GTS. Battle records can be rated by other players when viewed, and the most popular battle records are displayed for all to see. Players can also take snapshots of their PC boxes and share them with other players in a similar fashion.
* The GTS has now incorporated an e-mail system that allows players to be notified of completed trades. Notification messages are sent to the player's actual e-mail address.
* The Sinnoh starters are now allowed in an expanded Amity Square, allowing a total of 20 Pokémon to enter the park.
* Over local wireless, there is a new feature where the player and their friends can put their Pokémon Eggs in and randomly swap.
* HM05 (Defog) is now located on the bottom floor of the Solaceon Ruins, instead of Pastoria's Great Marsh.
* HM04 (Strength) is now obtained from Riley on Iron Island, instead of in the Lost Tower.
* On certain days of the week, there are Trainers that the player can challenge in certain Pokémon Centers, who are located in front of the Center's desk.
* Along with Diamond/Pearl's Move Tutors, three more have been added in Platinum. They are located in Snowpoint City, Route 212, and the Survival Area.
* Hypnosis' accuracy was changed from 70% back to 60%.
* Bebe's PC has new wallpaper, like Retro (modeled after the Gen I & II games).
 Obtainable Pokémon
* 59 Pokémon have been added to the original Sinnoh Pokédex, giving it a grand total of 210 entries, with all non-legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation IV now included, as well as their pre-evolved forms and several other Pokémon. The newly-added Pokémon, such as Rotom and Giratina, are now available before the Elite Four challenge.
* Giratina can appear in both its Another Forme (U.S. name "Altered Forme") and its Origin Forme. It will appear in Origin Forme while in the Distortion World, and in its Altered Forme while out of it. The Platinum Orb, an item found in Giratina's dimension, is required for it to maintain its Origin Forme while outside of the Distortion World.
* The ability of Giratina's Origin Forme is Levitate, and its base stats are similar to those of its Altered Forme. The Origin Forme is more offensive, while the Altered Forme is more defensive, with the base stats of Offenses and Defenses switched between each other (Origin Forme's base stats, from Attack to Sp. Defense: 120, 100, 120, 100, and Altered Forme's base stats in that same order is 100, 120, 100, 120). The Speed stat remains the same.
* The Regigigas of Snowpoint Temple is now found at Level 1, making it the lowest-level non-glitch wild Pokémon in the history of Pokémon games (not to mention the lowest-level non-glitch legendary in a game).
* Shaymin's new Sky Forme is focused on Speed and Special Attack. It can learn new moves like Quick Attack, Air Slash, and Leaf Storm, and its ability is Serene Grace.
* Shaymin can also change between its two forms by use of the Glacidea Flower (U.S. name "Gracidea Flower")(though this item only works with the event Shaymin given away in Japan). This item will not work at night, or if Shaymin is frozen.
* Rotom has new forms as well. Each of the five forms shows Rotom possessing a different electrical appliance. Despite having visual characteristics of other types, the five forms share the original Rotom's Electric/Ghost-type combination, but their base stats are far higher. They also share the original's ability, Levitate. The new forms are not normally available, and are therefore banned from official tournaments. The item to unlock these Pokémon in the game, the Secret Key, will be distributed at retail stores as well as via Wi-Fi, between September 28 and November 4, 2008, and will be given away again from January 16 to March 2, 2009.
* Regirock, Regice, and Registeel are catchable at level 30 with the help of the event Regigigas that was distributed in Japan.
* Kanto's Legendary Birds begin to roam Sinnoh after the player obtains the National Pokédex, much like Mesprit and Cresselia do. To trigger them to begin roaming the region, the player must talk to Professor Oak in Eterna City. They are all encountered at Level 60.
* After the player has defeated Team Galactic's Eterna HQ, Cynthia now gives the player a Pokémon Egg containing a Togepi.
* Bebe now gives the player an Eevee before the player obtains the National Pokédex, which means that the player can get Eevee the first time they arrive in Hearthome City. It is obtained at Level 20.
* A man in Veilstone City gives the player a Level 25 Porygon as a gift.
* Manaphy, which is still unobtainable in-game, is now required to be seen to complete the Sinnoh Pokédex. It can be added to the Sinnoh Dex by viewing its picture in a book in Mr. Backlot's room in the Trophy Garden mansion.
* Dialga and Palkia both appear on Spear Pillar (one at a time) after the player has completed the Stark Mountain event, spoken to Cynthia's grandmother in Celestic Town, and obtained the Adamant and Lustrous Orbs in Mt Coronet.
* A new Battle Frontier takes the place of the Battle Park. It has the Battle Tower, Battle Factory, Battle Castle, Battle Roulette, and Battle Stage as venues.
* Twinleaf Town and nearby Routes now have snowy patches.
* Jubilife City has been refurbished with new pathways and some buildings have animated roof lights.
* Jubilife's Global Trade Station has been redesigned and now includes a larger global terminal.
* An arch now represents the entrance to Floaroma Town.
* Mist is now present in Eterna Forest, but cannot be removed by the use of HM05 Defog.
* Eterna City has been redesigned with new foliage and pathways. Team Galactic's Eterna HQ has also had a redesign, inside and out.
* Cycling Road has been updated and now has tunnel-like shelters in the middle of the road.
* Hearthome City has been updated with new pathways.
* Amity Square has been completely remodeled. It now includes a small lake, more paths, and more upper levels. The old buildings now contain warp panels which transport the player to other old buildings within Amity Square.
* Lost Tower has a new color scheme, and now has fog on three of its five floors, which can be cleared with HM05 Defog.
* Solaceon Town's houses have been remodeled, and the Pokémon Daycare now has a trough filled with water and tent-like shelters.
* Veilstone City now has new pathways. Team Galactic's Veilstone HQ has been redesigned, inside and out. The Veilstone Department Store now has a basement.
* The Hotel Grand Lake has been updated with new pathways.
* Pastoria City's houses have been remodeled and now also includes a board with a Croagunk on it which is located in front of the Great Marsh.
* Pastoria's Great Marsh has a new color scheme, and also has foliage changed and added.
* Celestic Town's houses have been remodeled.
* Canalave City has new pathways, and its houses and library have also been remodeled.
* The player now needs to use HM08 (Rock Climb) to access Lake Acuity.
* The area of water south of Snowpoint City where the player boards the boat to the Battle Zone now contains small icebergs. These can also be seen in the ocean when the boat is crossing to the Battle Zone. The boat has also been redesigned, most likely due to the icebergs in the sea.
* Sunyshore City has been refurbished with new pathways, and its houses have been remodeled.
* Sinnoh's climate has changed drastically. Snow is now found as far south as Twinleaf Town, whereas the Battle Zone is more tropical, now with palm trees.
* Stark Mountain now resembles more of a volcano, featuring crags and lava pits.
* The Veilstone Dept Store now has a basement, where the player can buy contest items, as well as Berries and Lava Cookies.
* Oreburgh Mine has two coal transporters that run from the mine entrance to the entrance to the deepest area of the mine.
* The entrance and exit of Victory Road have been widened, and feature a Poké Ball on an archway.
* Pokémon Platinum can connect automatically to Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl once the player has access to a Pokémon Center. This game, however, is unable to connect with My Pokémon Ranch, but is able to connect to Pokémon Battle Revolution and to Generation III games. It is known that Nintendo plans to release a patch that will allow My Pokémon Ranch to be compatible. It is unknown if the patch will be for Japanese and other language versions of the software, or if those outside Japan will have to wait for their own versions of the patch.
NOTE: An update to My Pokémon Ranch has been released on November 5, 2008 that allows it to be compatible with Pokémon Platinum. All new forms of Pokémon can be transferred such as Giratina in its Origin Forme. However, Shaymin is always in its Land Forme, but if you have the Gracidea Flower in Platinum, you unlock the Gracidea Flower for use in the Ranch that appears randomly. When Shaymin touches it, it changes to Sky Forme for as long as you are in the Ranch. Removing Shaymin while in Sky Forme changes it back to its Land Forme. Go see the My Pokémon Ranch article for the non-Platinum info about the update.