When I first got hold of my Nintendo Wii U Console, the very first game that I was genuinely excited to see in the list of game line ups was Pikmin 3.
I had been a fan of Pikmin games since the very first one hit the Gamecube so many years ago. It felt like the wait was on for forever though when it came to finally getting myself a copy of the newest title Pikmin 3.
Was my wait worth it?
Yes and no.
Before discussing controls, visuals and audio first let me get down to the basics. Pikmin 3 starts off relativity similar to the first 2 titles of Pikmin, only this time you have 3 explorers that have crash landed on this strange planet, which sadly is eerily similar to the planets/world that the first 2 games had to offer.
The nostalgic thing about it though is that Olimar is mentioned in the game, and the name is familiar simply because he was the character we played with in Pikmin 2.
On this planet your tiny explorers will encounter a series of Pikmin. The first being the red Pikmin, which can battle fire breathing creatures without catching on fire. They are also semi strong, but nowhere near as strong as our newest rock Pikmin. They can shatter crystals, glass walls, and are useful weapons to throw when in battle.
You will also encounter blue Pikmin which can walk through water, yellow Pikmin which can generate electricity and knock down electrified walls.
Another new member to the Pikmin family are the pink ones which are capable of flight.
Each colored Pikmin is capable of strengths that the others are not, so in a sense you have a gigantic fun puzzle to solve.
The whole point of the game is to collect fruits to not only keep your character alive, but to send back to your home planet.
Semi irritating when it came to Pikmin 3 was a hideous lack of second player mode when in story mode. This to me was a major downfall due to how the Pikmin explorers were divided up.
An example is during one sequence in the game when my ship crashes and our explorers are once again divided up in 2 parts of the playable world. I must press the Y button to jump from one character over to another in order to complete one task of putting a bridge together to reunite my 2 explorers.
I would have loved a split screen option as to where I could have solved the puzzle on my side of the bridge, and my friend/family member could have solved the bridge puzzle on their side. For me switching back and forth from one main character to another had a very bland effect on me, and it reminded me a lot of the game controls in many of the Lego games now available.
Game play when it came to Pikmin 3 was relatively easy. You collect fruit, you spore up new Pikmin by retrieving objects back to their ship and wait for new members of the Pikmin family to grow.
You can have up to 100 Pikmin working with you in the game as little minions who follow you with just the toot of a whistle. Pikmin can continue to grow in size, but those Pikmin will be stored in their ship, refereed to as an Onion.
Every morning you call out the desired number, and colored Pikmin you wish to work with, and you set out for your journey. Every day is pretty much the same, you collect objects hidden in the world, and you rally up your Pikmin before sun down.
If you fail to rally them up they will get left behind and eaten at night when predators come out to hunt.
The lack of changes after a 9 year wait period for this sequel was a little disappointing.
The controls are set up fairly well, but younger players may find the consistent jumping back and forth from one color Pikmin to another very daunting or even confusing. It is all too easy to get caught up in the hype of a certain battle and out of sheer anticipation of wanting to kill the enemy you throw in your blue Pikmins, only to realize the enemy at bay will simply set them all on fire and kill them.
The map is located on the actual Wii U game pad, but I found looking up and down from my game pad to the TV was a little irritating. Helpful yes, irritating you bet! An on screen map at the corner of the TV would have been a lot easier to work with.
Some things in Pikmin 3 are rather dazzling, but the saddest thing about it is that after 9 years of waiting for this sequel, the visuals are not much different.
Yes we have vibrant colors, yes water ripples and yes the environment is rich and pretty, but it was also rich and pretty in Pikmin 2.
Our Pikmin pretty much make the same sounds they did in the first 2 games. Our human explorers also have not changed their voices. They don’t have any either, it’s just mumblings and you are forced to read the very bland and boring conversations that the characters have with one another through either calls or on screen conversations.
Pikmin 3 is a fun game, don’t get me wrong, but it can get rather tedious rather quickly. It provides for a few hours of decent game play, but all in all it is nothing more than a glossy version of what we have already experienced. After a 9 year wait period, I was expecting this title to really wow me, only it failed to do so.