Pikmin 3 has been a long time coming, in fact most Nintendo Wii U games have it seems. On the bright side, the game is now upon us and as the old saying goes, “some things are worth waiting for”.
Having been stranded in an intergalactic traffic accident, three crew members of the SS Drake find themselves wandering the planet of PNF-404, a lush world which is home to the Pikmin. Thankfully for the crew, the Pikmin are a friendly helpful race, who love nothing more than to complete tasks for stranded strangers. So as our friendly crew members go about their business the Pikmin are only too happy to help.
The main task for our heroes on this new found planet is generally to survive, searching for food and at the same time helping to replenish resources on their own planet. To make things a little more difficult the crew must negotiate a 15 minute day which means squeezing in all the necessary tasks as quickly as possible before getting back to safety, which is pretty much essential if you don’t want your Pikmin eaten by some pretty gruesome creates.
There is certainly plenty of variety in Pikimin 3 as the game gives you a chance to control all three crew members, as well as being able to command five different types of Pikmin. Crew members are easily switched between using the press of a button, allowing you to perform various tasks on different parts of the map.
Pikmin types includes; the high jumping, electricity conducting Yellow Pikmin ; the Fire Resistant Red Pikmin; the Aquatic Blue Pikmin who can breath underwater; the glass smashing Rock Pikmin and finally, the high flying Winged Pikmin. Quite a variety I’m sure you’ll agree.
With all these limits and choices, there are obviously plenty of puzzles to solve. This can involves smashing walls, building bridges or gathering the previously mentioned resources. You’ll also use Pikmin to battle some rather nasty enemies and since their life is in your hands they’ll follow you to the last. While you’ll no doubt enjoy the spoils of the day, spare a thought for the poor Pikmin who’ll be licking their wounds after facing up to the likes of Bee-summoning Hummingbirds, Jellyfish, Large Frogs and all manner of bugs. Be warned that although these beautifully designed creatures may look impressive, they are pretty deadly and it’s unlikely that all the Pikmin in your ranks will survive following an encounter with them.
Controlling the Pikmin is not an issue thanks to the ability to aim them in whatever direction you desire and watch as they carry out your deeds, although in this respect you’ll probably want to stick to the Wii Mote and Nunchuck as the Gamepad is not really as accurate as you probably hoped it would be. There is the neat addition of a gyro powered camera for the Gamepad, however that aside the game really feels like it was in development for Wii, before getting an HD upgrade and landing a U on the box.
It would have been nice to see the game enhanced with some further touchscreen commands or some other innovative use for the Gamepad, however it’s sadly lacking, although thankfully this doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the game too much.
One of the most impressive things about Pikmin 3 is the presentation. It goes without saying that this is probably the best looking HD has ever been on Nintendo Wii U. The colours are bright and vivid and each of the characters and creatures, from Pikmin to the enemies, look absolutely fantastic. When you see game design like this, it’s hard to imagine why Nintendo didn’t upgrade to HD years ago.
As with all Nintendo games, the soundtrack, graphics and sound effects blend together wonderfully to create something quite special, it’s just a shame that the gamepad controls let Pikmin 3 down slightly.
In all, Pikmin 3 is a wonderfully crafted title, you’ll lose yourself in its puzzles and presentation and find it hard to put down. The only problem is that it doesn’t last more than 10 hours, however that won’t stop you playing it continuously.
(Version Tested: Wii U)
+ Beautifully crafted worlds
+ Wonderfully addictive gameplay
+ Fun and Innovative
- Gamepad controls could be better