This immersive game focuses on the different Pikmin types among massive environments. The multi-colored and multi-talented Pikmin live on the planet PNF-404 where different environmental elements factor into the gameplay.
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 trio eventually learns they can give their new friends orders to build, search, destroy and other activities. 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 each mission/scenario can be completed in open ended ways.
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 alleaviating occassional 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. Highly recommended (***1/2).
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler