From Nintendo Direct, President Iwata of Nintendo announced a slew of new details regarding the highly anticipated Pikmin 3. These details covered many aspects of the game including the story, new main characters, and uses of the Wii U's gamepad.
To start off, instead of controlling Oliver as in the previous titles, your protagonists are Captain Charlie, Brittany, and Alph. Similar to Oliver, they have crashed landed on the Pikmin's planet. What makes this different is that they are tasked with saving their planet from a doomsday brought on by food shortage. They will use the Pikmin to find many fruits to both gather the seeds and to provide juice to keep them going on their mission. Though Iwata did not completely clarify, he stated that the ultimate goal is to bring the "seas" back to the trio's home planet.
Moving into gameplay, Iwata explained that unlike other games with multiple protagonists, you can swap from any of the three characters during the game. In fact, you will need to do this to gather the many resources and find new areas in the game. The provided gameplay footage showed the player move one character and his Pikmin to one location, then switch to another character to fight an enflamed enemy.
The Wii U gamepad will play an important role in the Pikmin 3 experience. The gamepad, called KopPad in Pikmin 3, can act as a map similar to those in other Real-Time Strategy games. The map starts out covered in dark blue, but as you explore the blue is replaced with an actual map of the area you are in. It will also show where your characters and Pikmin are using icons. Using you finger, you can scroll through the entire map. The KopPad also serves as an alternative to quickly move the protagonists to specific locations on the map.
Using the KopPad, you can actually revisit and replay days that you have already completed. If you wish, you can also use the KopPad to watch replays of each day you played. You can rewind, fast-forward, and pause the gameplay. As you watch replays, the TV screen will show your stats throughout that particular day, such as what time it was, number if items, and amount of Pikmin.
As an alternative to the Wii U gamepad, you can switch to using the classic WiiMote and Nunchuk or Wii U Controller Pro to play the game.
The third entry of the popular Pikmin series will be released August 9 exclusively on the Nintendo Wii U.
Source: Nintendo Direct