With the much anticipated release of Pikmin 3 on the Nintendo Wii U fast approaching, many gamers are setting their sights on the first two titles. Countless Wii U owners have been trying to determine whether the two games are lazy ports or refined remakes. Did the ‘New Play’ series do justice to Captain Olimar’s adventures? If you’re looking for something to tide you over until Pikmin 3 or are curious about the series- look no further!
The original Pikmin charmed over a million GameCube owners right from the adorable start-up screen. Created by the genius behind Mario, Zelda, and countless other Nintendo hits- Pikmin seemed to be a love letter to early GC adopters. Gamers were extremely impressed by the innovative gameplay, imaginative world, beautiful graphics, and exceptional processing power previously displayed in the Mario 128 demo.
The upgrades to the original Pikmin are substantial- the difference in gameplay is day and night. After a few hours of playtime you’ll never be able to go back to Pikmin with the GC controller. While the controls and gameplay have been tweaked- the story remains unchanged. As Captain Olimar you’ve crash-landed on a distant planet, all alone- or so you think. Your ship is badly damaged, life support systems will only hold out for thirty days- and it just so happens thirty parts are missing.
The use of the Wii remote’s IR pointer and intuitive button layout far better suit the fast-paced Pikmin world. Controlling up to one hundred of the red, yellow, and blue creatures is far easier now. The speed and accuracy of the pointer allows you to confidently face-off against the local wildlife and effectively recover all the ship components in time.
Nintendo was savvy enough to not just stop at a control change for the Wii port. The first remake sees numerous improvements originally introduced in Pikmin 2. Alongside the finely polished visuals- you’ll find widescreen support and no longer compressed audio. Because many of the gameplay enhancements and graphical upgrades were already present in Pikmin 2- the changes aren’t nearly as drastic in the sequel.
The biggest change, aside from the controls, is the new save system. Players can now restart from any previous day- a welcome addition. Glitches have been fixed, AI has been improved, the Wii remote speaker is utilized for random sound effects, and Pikmin can be called (and thrown) from a greater distance. The endings, enemy reel, and credits have all seen creative tweaks here and there.
Without a doubt, if you’re excited for Pikmin 3, you have no reason not to grace your Wii U with the remakes of Pikmin and Pikmin 2. The enhancements to the gameplay and graphics make them far superior to their GameCube predecessors. If you were frightened away by the nerve-racking ambiance of the GC version- you’ll be relieved by this smoother, more forgiving excursion.