Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Reviewed by Darryl Linington
Over the past few weeks I have really grown fond of not only my Nintendo 3DS, but also my Nintendo Wii U. The main reason for this is the fact that each console has recently received some rather great titles… Animal Crossing: New Leaf as well as Mario & Luigi: Dream Team to name a few. While the aforementioned titles have featured exclusively on the 3DS, the Nintendo Wii U has also been shifted into the spotlight with a title that is not only fun, quirky and interesting, but also offers up a unique style of play and charming characters that will just about bring a smile to anyone’s face – that title is Pikmin 3.
Developed exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U, Pikmin 3 introduces us to the inhabitants of the planet Koppai, a race who are in dire need of food as their planet’s resources have finally run dry due to over consumption. It is now up to three valiant explorers Alph, Brittany, and Charlie to embark on a crucial mission to gather food that will not only help them survive, but also save their planet from starvation.
Upon receiving positive data on the existence of food, the team is sent to PNF-404, a planet that is not only filled with dangerous creatures, but also the adorable Pikmin we have all grown to know and love. While the initial trip to the planet is a success, something goes horribly wrong and the team is separated.
To avoid any spoilers I will end things off there; however, the storyline featured within Pikmin 3 is one that is delightful, charming and a perfect fit to the game. Furthermore, it is a storyline that is well suited for the entire family. Granted, the game may seem a little childish at first, but it is a game that will most definitely test your skills at the end of the day.
During the early stage of gameplay, Pikmin 3 eases you into the game via simple tutorials; Nevertheless, things get a little more complicated once you venture a little further within the game. You see, not only will you be looking for fruit to help your planet survive, but you will also be in control of up to 100 Pikmin at the same time. Pikmin can be ordered to complete various tasks such as destroying brick walls, building bridges, collecting fruit, and attacking the enemy. While this may seem simple enough, each Pikmin has a unique ability.
Yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher, which ultimately helps you collect objects and fruit that are unreachable to the other Pikmen. Furthermore, Yellow Pikmin are immune to electric shocks as well as excellent diggers.
These little guys are not only heat resistant, but also lay waste to most of the enemies featured throughout the game.
During the early stages of the game you will notice that most Pikmin fail dismally when it comes to swimming; however, toss a Blue Pikmin in the water and you will notice that not only can they swim, but they can also attack those rather annoying water-based enemies.
These guys pack a punch and are perfect for smashing through various obstacles. Furthermore, they won’t get crushed by larger enemies.
Pikmin with wings! Able to fly anywhere, Winged Pikmin can even carry items over large hazards.
Once you get used to the control structure, as well as found all of the lead characters, you can either travel in a one massive mob destroying all who oppose you as well as making quick work of boss battles, or split up into 3 teams. Personally, I travelled around in one massive mob, which seemed to work for me; however, there are sections of this game that require your mob to split up into in order to complete various puzzles.
Adding to the difficulty, each day in Pikmin 3 only lasts for around 15-minutes which means that there is no time to waste when it comes to gathering resources. You see, at the end of the day, you need to vacate the planet as some rather nasty creatures come out at night. These creatures will devour any Pikmin that you leave on the planet’s surface.
I must admit, I kinda felt bad when I left a few Pikmin behind … I mean these little guys are like soldiers, or even better yet… Minions! And to watch them being devoured by creatures of the night was a little heart breaking.
Apart from the storyline, Pikmin 3 also features a Mission mode as well as a Bingo Battle mode. In Mission mode, the player can complete one of three possible challenges, each which are around 10-minutes long and are meant to help improve the player’s Pikmin skills: Gather the Fruit, Battle Enemies, and Defeat Bosses. In Bingo Battle each player has a bingo card, and races to gather Pikmin and collect the item or enemy that is featured on that card. These modes really extend upon the gameplay, but I really wish the main storyline was a lot longer. Hopefully there is some DLC on the way, which can extend upon the storyline.
When it comes to graphics, Pikmin 3 is beautiful. You can quite honestly see that the developers have put in a lot of effort when it comes to surrounding environment. Furthermore, I especially liked the rather creative, yet obscure, enemy models, which really add a lot of character to this title. Overall, Pikmin 3 is a stunner and it really puts the Wii U’s graphical capabilities to use rather well.
In the sound department your main characters don’t speak English; thankfully, their rather obscure language is translated via text on the screen. This was a nice touch as it strengthens the games creative side.
Pikmin 3 is a beautiful title that deserves a spot in any Wii U owner’s video game library. The gameplay is fantastic, even though it is frustrating at times, but truth be told there is nothing like it at the moment, which makes it worth playing. Furthermore, if you are looking for a title that will test your skills as well as offer up strategic gameplay then Pikmin 3 is for you.
As much as I have graced this title I did however find the 15-minute long days a bit of an annoyance. Granted, this is a strategy title; however, a few more minutes each day would make it a little less frustrating.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Wii U.