August 13, 2013

Pikmin 3

Lasting First Impressions

Pikmin 3 Cover


ikmin 3 could be a Wii U system seller.  The third game in the series that started on the GameCube 12 years ago, Pikmin 3 is proving to be the biggest, boldest, and most impressive adventure to date.  As with previous titles in the series, players take on the role of an adventurer who has crash landed on an alien world and finds himself the commander of an army of tiny creatures called Pikmin.  Unlike previous entries, however, this time around players control three adventurers at the same time and are joined by two new Pikmin, the Rock Pikmin, and the Flying Pikmin.  This strategy adventure is sure to give any player a run for their money as they learn to use each of the five Pikmin to their advantage to collect fruit and find a way off the planet and back home to save their own world.  Along the way, other creatures, some much larger than others, intent on eating the cute little minions will provide intense action that is sure to get the blood pumping.  All the trappings of Pikmin are here, and fans of the series will not be disappointed.  This is Pikmin, only bigger and better in every way.


Of course the biggest change with this new Pikmin is the addition of the Wii U’s included Gamepad controller.  Players have the choice to use just the Gamepad to play the game or use the Gamepad only for the map and additional functions while playing the game with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller.  While the Wii Remote/Nunchuck combination is probably the best way to play Pikmin as it gives players more precise control, the constant switching from the TV to the Gamepad makes this an undesirable way to play.  The game regularly instructs players to “look at the Gamepad” as new tutorials are played out or as new collections in the game are found.  Additionally, the game’s overhead map is found on the Gamepad and players can quickly select an area on the map and tap the “Go Here” button to have their character and Pikmin move automatically to that location.  This helps players strategize their play, especially when they need to control more than one crew member at the same time.  With all the extra gameplay happening on the Gamepad, it just made sense to me to play the game with just the Gamepad controller as it made all the other functions easier and more manageable.

Graphically, Pikmin 3 is an absolutely beautiful game to behold.  A massive step forward for this series, the natural environments are rendered in gorgeous detail and makes the game look like the player really is some tiny insect-like creature running around a massive jungle.  The included camera feature, available on the Gamepad, allows players to view the world from the eyes of the crew member and take snapshots which can then be shared out to the Wii U community.


Pikmin 3, while a cute looking and very fun game, is, at its heart, a quick thinking strategy game.  Each of the Pikmin species encountered have different abilities: Red Pikmin are immune to fire; Rock Pikmin can be used to break hard substances such as glass; Yellow Pikmin are immune to electricity; Blue Pikmin can swim; and another new breed, the Flying Pikmin can, yes, you guessed it, fly.  As players encounter puzzles and big boss battles, it will take quick thinking and a lot of strategy to get out alive.  Players have limited time to spend solving problems or defeating enemies until the sun sets each day and all the Pikmin must be rounded up and stored safely in their Onion Pod in order to escape the dangers of the night.  There is so much to do and explore in each of the available areas, that players will find themselves in the “just-one-more-day” scenario and unable to put the controller down.

The Wii U has been struggling to provide top notch gaming experiences since its launch in November 2012. With a game like Pikmin 3 releasing from Nintendo, fans of the series and new fans alike will be thrilled to find a nearly perfect game on their hands.  Pikmin 3 is beautifully crafted with intelligent puzzles, strategic gameplay, challenging boss fights, and plenty of collectibles to be found.  Nintendo has succeeded in making a wonderful follow up to the Pikmin series and a title that every Wii U owner should have in their collection.

Nintendo, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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