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Pikmin 3 Review

Pikmin 3 Review

It feels like it’s been an age since Pikmin was first introduced back on the Gamecube. At the time it was a completely new IP that introduced many new gameplay mechanics to the scene - something which Nintendo has gained quite a reputation for. Now, many years later and after a tease as part of Nintendo Land, owners of the Nintendo Wii U are able to get their mitts on Pikmin 3 and boy has it been worth the wait.

Let’s jump right in to the story as you won’t be playing as Olimar any more. Instead, you’re following the story of three intrepid explorers called Captain Charlie, Alph and Brittany. Their mission is to seek out food for their home world where supplies have dwindled to the point that their race from planet Koppai is on the verge of extinction. However, on their way to their next mission they crash on a planet, and the three of them are split up from one another. Shortly after the player meets the Pikmin and thus their adventure starts.

The Pikmin are essentially your army. You can lead them around the map and send them to attack dangerous foes, retrieve items (usually fruit) to bring back to base and to increase their number among other things. The key to the success in each mission comes down to two factors: finding the cosmic drive key which is their only way to return home and collecting fruit so that they can turn it into daily rations in order to keep searching. The Pikmin are key to doing all these things and as you progress through each area you'll uncover new types of Pikmin, unlocking routes on each of the four main areas on the planet.

Each of these Pikmin has specific traits making them more suited to each environment, be it water, electricity, fire or just being squashed (a task for the Rock Type Pikmin). Enemies will usually give a hint as to what they can do before engagement, but using the incorrect type will result in many more Pikmin being lost. But doing it correctly can make a battle completely one sided, this is even more apparent in the boss battles that surface throughout the story of the game, and many different types of Pikmin are required to beat these.

However, the game isn't just about strategy and tactical use of the Pikmin at your disposal. Each time a you start exploring an area you are presented with a timer. This goes through various stages and warnings throughout the day to help you keep track of the time, but when that Sun goes down, the Pikmin and the three explorers must leave. This means that those Pikmin not at the base will be left to fend for themselves (or rather you'll be forced to watch them perish). It's a mechanic that has been in the game since the series started, but it introduces a time management challenge aspect which can really dictate just how badly or well you can do.

If you've got it in you, multi-tasking is extremely possible. You essentially have the ability to have each team member control their own squad of Pikmin and for people who love micro-management this could be quite easy to do. However, for those of us who can't focus on two many aspects at once it can become extremely demanding even with the ability to auto-tell each squad member to move to a certain point.

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