Pikmin 3 Hands On Preview

By John Wippersteg on July 4, 2012, 6:09PM EDT
Wii U

Pikmin is an anomaly as a Nintendo franchise in that it is relatively new, with the first game coming out shortly after the release of the GameCube. The game was, at the time, a fun new take on RTS style games with typically cute Nintendo characters and a fun story. Since Pikmin came out several games have tried their own take on the Pikmin style; the most popular of which was Overlord, which had a dark and evil side compared to Pikmin's light and fun atmosphere.

Unfortunately they were only allowing us to play with the Wii Remote controller and Nunchuk at E3, so I can't comment on how the game feels with the Wii U controller. However the map system was somewhat awkward as looking down at the Wii U pad was difficult and I could see it being a lot worse in a regular house that doesn't have a holder that tilts the screen correctly.

This type of system might end up working out as all the games we played at E3 on the Wii U had this feature in some way, however I do not have much faith in that being the case. Using the Wii Remote was not ideal as even though it is compared to a mouse the action of holding and aiming would get tiring. This is due to the somewhat precise nature required for some of the manoeuvres. The other problem with this system is that it was a little too easy to lose your reticule off the top of the screen, although that may have been more so due to the demoing environment or my own mistakes.

They were showing two different situations at E3, a timed event where you collect as much fruit as possible and a Boss fight. The timed event is a mode that will be in the final game based around score chasing and if there is enough level variety I can see it being extremely fun. It felt in every way like classic Pikmin, starting with very few and collecting more to complete more tasks as you go deeper into the level. All the familiar mechanics were there from throwing Pikmin at walls to break them down and tossing them at objects you want to collect.

The boss fight was a more interesting demonstration of what Pikmin 3 has to offer. They showed a new Rock type Pikmin, that was particularly effective at knocking off the shell of the centipede like boss. The fight takes place in an enclosed area and begins with you having an equal number of rock and regular red Pikmin. As the centipede walks all over the entire dome shaped area, the goal is to hit it with the rock Pikmin to remove the shell and then hit it with the red Pikmin which latch on and pick at the soft parts underneath. This is all complicated by the centipede trying to catch you in its claws which will kill some of your Pikmin.

This game is a showpiece for great cartoon graphics on the Wii U and based on my experience playing the game at E3, I can't wait for the game to come out. The game will come out during the launch window on the Wii U.

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