Pikmin 3 has quickly become an essential open-world action game on the Nintendo Wii U console with colorful visuals, fun multi-tasking gameplay, and satisfying challenges. Developed and published by Nintendo, Pikmin 3 combines adventure, combat, and resource management mix into an emotional story where three stranded space explorers make new friends and take on new challenges.
The multi-colored and multi-talented Pikmin live on the planet PNF-404, where different environmental elements factor into the gameplay. Just find the best strategy with the ideal Pikmin for the best results.
Take command of three explorers and a legion of adorable Pikmin in a fight for survival. Enlist the help of tiny Pikmin with unique abilities to solve puzzles, battle monstrous enemies, and retrieve food needed to save your depleted home planet. Explore an alien world from a pint-sized perspective, and experience the charming personality of Pikmin.
Discover a new adventure in the critically acclaimed Pikmin series, known for its mass-action gameplay and adorable Pikmin characters. With three explorers at your command, split Pikmin into multiple squads to maximize your strategy. The five Pikmin types, including Rock Pikmin and Winged Pikmin, offer unique abilities to help you overcome enormous obstacles. Can you defeat massive bosses and gather enough food to save your depleted home planet? With additional challenge modes and a frenetic multiplayer battle mode*, the world of Pikmin has never been more alive and fun!
*Additional accessories required for multiplayer mode. Sold separately.
It has been nine years since the previous Pikmin game installment, Pikmin 2 on GameCube. Pikmin 3 is definitely worth the wait with an overall mantra of “the better the player strategy, the better the rewards”. Once players really delve into this Pikmin world and understand the controller schemes plus the properties/characteristics of each character/element, then the already satisfying gameplay increases dramatically – an important incentive and challenge. This immersive game focuses on the different Pikmin types among massive environments. Young players might need help reading vital information since all the character only make conversation-type sounds during dialogue cutscenes.
New Pikmin to the game series include the black rock Pikmin and pink flying winged that follow the player and can carry items in the air over hazards. The intuitive coloring and textures help players easily determine the characteristics of each Pikmin group. Red Pikmin are fireproof and aggressive while yellow Pikmin cannot get electrocuted.
The main storyline is mainly driven by basic survival as visitors Alph, Brittany, and Charlie get first-hand experiences with these unique creatures. These visitors from the planet Koppai are looking for resources for their home planet and create a nice symbiosis-like relationship where they can protect and expand the Pikmin civilization. This storyline advances in day increments, which last about 15 minutes in real-time gameplay, and eventually conclude with different endings.
This trio eventually learns they can give their new friends orders to build, search, destroy and other activities. The trio also discovers that native fruit convert into replenishing juice on their ship, so gathering the enormous edibles also factor into the adventure. The trio does not have many defining characteristics beyond their clothing color and personality, but their actions great a nice depth to the story since players can complete each mission/scenario in open-ended ways.
The impressive in-depth strategy begins when players split the Pikmin into special squads (100 maximum for each). With any large group there is always a down side. When rival Pikmin groups get close together, they will start attacking each other and killing each other off, so players have more multitasking challenges to conquer within their own party of allies.
Players of every age can overcome challenges with quick reactions, constant learning, and experimentation. Any downside is usually offset with a positive action/option. For example, players might try a certain Pikmin type against a certain enemy type and lose a few, but players can always regenerate these Pikmin, so the only thing lost is time, which is a factor because of the time limit within the gameplay.
The game makes this process easy with very helpful sound cues, experimentation allowances, and tutorials that do not interrupt game progress. Pikmin can build bridges and other structures and/or destroy enemies and predators while solving special puzzles. Players can always find satisfying rewards after completing considerable challenges.
The controls choices are the Wii U GamePad, the Wii U Pro Controller or the Wii Remote (Plus) with nunchuk. The GamePad is great for the direct touch screen interaction, overhead tracking map and camera/view/map control plus players can take pictures, add captions and post in Miiverse at any time. Players can enjoy the game exclusively using the GamePad (Off-TV play view), but the controls are not as easy.
Choose control schemes wisely because the Pikmin needs constant management along with the multitasking gameplay. Each control method has positive and negatives, but overall, the remote/nunchuk method worked best for throwing Pikmin characters in unreachable areas and the precise aiming functions.
Combat is based on survival with many formidable adversaries. The only creature beyond the Pikmin’s collective powers are the night creatures, which cause the trio characters to wrangle all the Pikmin back on their ship before the sun sets.
The Mission mode showcases special treasure gathering and enemy fighting challenges. The multiplayer, competitive Bingo Battle mode is a great experience where competition involves gathers four fruit pieces in a row on the board to win.
The downloadable content already includes one free stage for mission mode (in collect treasure) plus four stages available at $1.99. The numerous open slots suggest much more to come.
It’s easy to explore and discover on the Pikmin planet with such strong visuals. The terrain levels are distinct and the water animation is especially impressive. The light-hearted gameplay, clever titles, and humor charms in genuine ways while alleviating occasional AI missteps like chasing after stray Pikmin, which actually can make players care more about the Pikmin…like looking for a lost child in a supermarket. Overall the game entertains, challenges, and enthralls amid genuine feelings of excitement, care, and consideration.
A highly recommended mass action strategy game for the Wii U. I can see future Pikmin game installments adding helpful multitasking options like assigning Pikmin with certain general duties (e.g. security patrol, gather food, etc.) instead of certain tasks on the fly.
MSRP: $59.99 (Amazon and other stores)
What I Like: great unlockables/secrets; real-time strategy challenges; colorful/highly detailed visuals; smooth controls; engaging gameplay; multiplayer mode; deep single player mode; music; high replay value; helpful sound cues; intuitive design; genuine emotional experience; innovative improvements to an already recognizable game series
What Needs Improvement: character AI; no co-op in main story mode; adding jumps and other powerful character movements
Source: Personal copy