Pikmin 3

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 80/100

Pikmin 3 Review
Publisher: Nintendo
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Wii U
Reviewed by:Wencke Schuncken

My little slaves are back! My cute, little, hardworking and colourful Pikmin! It seems ages ago since I ordered them to attack evil monsters in the woods or commanded them to destroy a fence so that we could proceed our way to new challenges, obstacles and monsters. That was on the Gamecube, back in the year 2002. A sequel was released in 2004 with three new Pikmin colors, caves, enemies and an unlimited amount of days allowed in single-player mode. Oh it was a magnificent strategy game, even good enough for a re-release on the Wii. But it’s 2013, time for new strategies with my little ones on the Wii U.

Little ones? Pikmin in varied colors? What are you talking about? Well, Pikmin are little, funny and colorful plant-like creatures which use their unique abilities to explore the in-game world and
uncover treasures within them. Pikmin can be directed to accomplish various tasks, such as building bridges, destroying barriers, and defeating enemies. The Pikmin themselves come in various colours that signify their special abilities or immunities to hazards. For example, red Pikmin are immune to fire and blue Pikmin can enter water without drowning. They are very useful but you need to make strategic pland and attacks, otherwise the Pikmin won’t survive. For example do not send blue Pikmin into a fire, but use them for water related activities such as crossing water to a secret place which reveals a path to move on. Pikmin also can be yellow, purple and white and new in the Wii U version are the rock Pikmin , which are used to smash through tougher barriers and glass, and pink winged Pikmin which can attack airborne enemies and carry items through the air.

Pikmin need leaders to command them to team up and perform an action. In Pikmin 3, the leaders and playable characters are Alph, Charlie and Brittany. They travelled through space to other planets in search of food to save their home planet Koppai from starvation. Unfortunate when they spot a useful planet and investigate closer, the spaceship crashes. The three captains and parts of their spaceship and equipment are shattered over the planet and it seems that it isn’t too easy to travel in order to reunite and collect food to survive. Alph is the first playable character who gets its first encounter with Pikmin. With a step by step instruction and information, the helpful usage of the Pikmin is explained. Although any player wants to make progress there’s an overload of information in the beginning of the game, but later on you all have to figure it out on your own; where to go, how to reach a place, and which Pikmin to use to get the job done. Switching instantly between the leaders is in a later stadium also possible in order to accomplish tasks more quickly or solve certain puzzles.

Puzzles can be solved by choosing the right Pikmin, a correct number of Pikmin and also a good through of Pikmin to the place that requires action. it also needs to be done in a certain timeframe. Only during daytime Pikmin can perform actions. When food is located, but it is hidden after a wall of rocks, order a troop of black Pikmin to that specific wall so that they automatically will turn down that wall. If it is torn down, order a troop of Pikmin and send them to the food you have located. If you have send enough Pikmin they can pick-up the food and bring it to the ship for further inspection and energy boost for the future. One rule, make sure that you and the Pikmin (all of them if possible) are back at the ship before the sun is down, otherwise they won’t survive and that’s the sad part in the whole game. Use them wisely, and take good care of them. Remember, without Pikmin you were already lost after landing on this planet!

If … if Pikmin are not in the ship before “bedtime”, you can only reproduce pikmin up to a maximum of 100 units. If Pikmin are ordered to destroy things such as flowers, and they successfully take it to the ship, seeds will be planted and one of the three captains can pull them out of the ground and use them for future actions. So the loss of Pikmin is emotional hard to cope with, but it doesn’t mean that it’s game over. It’s possible to divide Pikmin in groups, especially lead by each captain. Sometimes that is required to do some multitasking and complete the task to gather the required food to survive and to save the home planet. But with all of the Pikmin, do you even want to leave this planet?
Pikmin 3 offers three control schemes: the Wii U GamePad, the Wii U Pro Controller, or the Wii Remote (Plus) with the Nunchuk accessory. In all cases the Wii U GamePad gives an overhead map of the game environment, visible on its touch screen. The GamePad can be used to view the map and other statistics, and for communication with the other squad members. It’s also fully playable on the GamePad, if preferred, or required due to family discussion what should be on TV. An extra option possible with the GamePad is to make screenshots and to share them via the Miiverse.

I f playing with all of the Pikmin and captains isn’t enough challenging, challenge a friend in a two-player multiplayer mode called "Bingo Battle" in which each player has a 4 by 4 grid of fruit and enemies visualized. The player needs to collect all of them as quickly as possible to get a four-in-a-row on their board to win. Maybe you expected a multiplayer mode “battle of the Pikmin” but this isn’t an aggressive multiplayer mode.

From a female point of view, Brittany is the only playable female character. Brittany is one of the shipmates. It won’t take long before she comes into play as a playable character, but she first needs to be rescued by Alph and pikmin of course. Since she is a botanist, she'll be making reports on the food which is gathered on the planet. She's also in charge of rationing out daily food supply, which is depleting unusually fast. Maybe she is taken some without the notice of her shipmates?

Pikmin on the Wii-U. It seems that the gameplay is a bit harder than this reviewer remembers from the Gamecube version. This certainly is a challenging game which triggers your emotions as well; nervous to find solution to solve a problem in the set timeframe, thrilling when encountering an enemy, sadness when Pikmin are lost in battle or when they arrive too late at their ship, happyness when new Pikmin are created fruit is located and of course the reunion of the captains. Fun and challenging gameplay with great graphics, very detailed Pikmin, items, environments and effects. very impressive and charming Wii-U game that any gamer should give it a try!