Pikmin 3 Review

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Pikmin 3
Genre: Strategy  
Players: 1-2    Online: No    Off-TV Play: Yes

Trophieswhat are these?
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Pikmin is back after a 9 year absense. The core gameplay mechanics haven’t changed, but the overall experience has been fine-tuned.

Pikmin 3

Having completed the first Pikmin game and got through most of the second game, I have enjoyed the series and was quite looking forward to this new entry into the series.

The story sets controlling 3 explorers. On their home planet, Koppai, food supplies are running low. Drones are sent out into space to search other planets for possible food, only one planet shows signs of a food source, so our three characters are sent to investigate and try ensure the survival of the people of Koppai, but crash while landing on this new planet.

You encounter the Pikmin who help you build up your food supplies. At the end of each day, the fruit you collect is turned into juice and you need to use one container each day to avoid your characters starving. Although the fruit is not that difficult to stock up on, so rarely does this feel an issue. As you progress in your story you pick up clues to tracking down Captain Olimar who has picked a part of your ship you’ll need to be able to return back to the home planet of Koppai.

Pikmin 3

As in the first Pikmin game, you have a limited amount of time each day to collect fruit, build up your Pikmin numbers and go about your daily tasks. However, if you effectively manage your 3 characters, you can get much more done. One of features in Pikmin 3; you can use the Wii U gamepad as an overhead map, helping you plan out your day, them you can command one of your explorers to go to a certain point on the map, while you control another explorer. When they get there a message will pop up telling you they’ve arrived. A simple but highly useful feature.

Speaking of control methods, you can play using just the gamepad (also off-TV play), using a wiimote and nunchuc or using the pro controller.

Pikmin 3

In the story mode, there are 5 types of Pikmin to encounter and control. Red Pikmin can resist fire, yellow can conduct electricity without being harmed and can be thrown higher, blue Pikmin can walk through water, rock Pikmin pack a punch when brown and can destroy glass barriers and flying Pikmin, who are superior in flying combat and can transport objects over various barriers with no difficulty. Naturally, you use different Pikmin strategically to access and fight different enemies. The Pikmin are so charming, it can feel very guilty when they die you are left behind at the end of the day.

Anyone familiar with previous Pikmin games, should very easily pick up what to do in this game. The mechanics have not changed, but this isn’t a bad thing. It works well and with it being only the third Pikmin game in 13 years, it has not been overdone.

View from camera mode.

Graphics are worth a special mention. This has to be the most graphically beautiful game so far on the Wii U. There are a few details that could be better; ground details can be pretty repetitive, but on the whole, this game is stunning, with a lot of small details. There is also a feature where you can use the gyroscopic feature on the gamepad as if you were holding up a camera from your explorer’s perspective – can make for some beautiful shots.

Pikmin Creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Bill Trinnen play Bingo Battle

The main story is quite short with just 4 areas (and one boss area) to explore, although, there is quite a bit to do in each area. On average, the main story should last you 15-20 hours. There is also a mission mode, tasking you with various short tasks (which a second play can help with). There is also a highly addictive competitive mode called Battle Bingo. In this mode, each player has a bingo card, with a selection of items thy need to collect in order to complete a row on their bingo card. You can focus on completing your card, trying to prevent the other player from completing their card, by going for the items they need, or obtaining a “Cupid Grenade” (Cherry), you unlock a roulette wheel which gives you an edge in battle – it might be dropping rocks on your opponent or switching up their bingo wheel. There is a lot of strategy, how far items are from you, how well your opponent is doing will effect how you play. The big downside, is that it is not online. So, if you don’t know anyone in real life to play Pikmin with, you won’t get to experience this mode.

In summary, Pikmin 3 provides a beautiful, strategic and charming experience. To anyone new to the franchise, it is worth a try, it may seem too strategic at first, but the learning curve really isn’t that steep. For anyone familiar with the series, you can expect a more polished version of what you’re already familiar with. It’s just a shame the main story was not just a bit longer.

Head Heart
4 Areas
Around 15 Hours Story Play
Right Level of Difficulty
No Online Clever Level Design
  Great 86%

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David Lee
David is the founder of Heart Gaming. Regular writer, reviewer and editor. Has a strong passion for gaming; particularly the Legend of Zelda series.