Fans have been waiting eagerly for the past ten years for the third entry into the Pikmin franchise. Pikmin 3 begins with a crash landing on a foreign planet. You take the role of Captain Charlie, Alph and Brittany who become stranded on a planet with no means of escaping. Their only hope of survival is finding fruit to keep them alive. Alph stumbles upon the Pikmin race and learns to master them in order to uncover the hidden fruit of the planet. Olimar and Louie make a few surprise appearances and will be sure to put a smile on the face of series veterans.
Pikmin 3 does a great job in continuing the story of the franchise. Nothing feels forced and I felt a genuine excitement to explore the planet to uncover all of it’s surprises. The three new characters really help keep things fresh and having them all be so different in personality really made for an interesting dynamic that had me entertained from start to finish.
Presentation is always where Nintendo excel and Pikmin 3 is no exception. This is easily the best looking game on the Wii U and the first time that i’ve been excited for what Nintendo can achieve in the High Definition space. The game is beautiful in every way. There is so much detail put into the environments, Pikmin and even the fruit. I found myself stopping to take in the environments on multiple occasions and Nintendo even gave you an inbuilt first-person camera to take your breath taking snaps and share them around.
The boss battles are easily some of the most creative art that i’ve seen in a video game. They amount of detail that Nintendo put into each and every one is absolutely jaw dropping. I felt like I was apart of the universe whenever I came across one. Sure, there are a few left over Wii textures that tagged along from the development process however I found myself too busy looking at the beautiful planet to care.
Pikmin 3 is a very simple game in theory. You use different coloured Pikmin to get to different various areas to get through cleverly placed puzzles. You have a 15 minute time limit collect fruit in each of the 5 levels and you MUST collect fruit to stay alive in the game. You can only access a certain part of the level in the allotted time which means that you’ll be going into each level multiple times until you eventually get to the boss area. The boss battles are where the game truly shines. Never have I seen such innovative enemy design. The boss battles and enemy designs in general really give you a sense that you’re on a believable foreign planet.
The game really shines in the later level due to the micro management of your Pikmin. You can separate your armies with the use of your 3 characters in order to have three Pikmin armies going on the fly. This allows you to have your Pikmin spread all over the map and have them working on defeating different enemies or carrying fruit at different times. This is where the challenge comes from as you can do a lot more in the 15 minute time limit if you us your time wisely.
Pikmin 3 has 5 ways to control the game. You can play with the Tablet as your map & aimer, using just Wii remote to aim and the Nunchuk to move (Definitely the most accurate way to play), The Wii U Pro controller, Using the gamepad and off TV play or you can use the Gamepad as your map whilst aiming with the Wii remote and Nunchuk. This is definitely the best way to play. Being able to still see the map whilst having the accuracy of the Wii remote really combines the features of the control schemes nicely. It feels really natural to play this way and i’d recommend that you test out the various control schemes to find out what works for you.
Pikmin 3 is quite a long adventure despite only having 5 levels. Even after finishing you’re faced with the challenge of completing a ton of various missions which will really test the skills that you’ve built up whilst taking the main adventure. Even more impressive is the multiplayer mode which is called Bingo Battle. Bingo Battle sees you going against another play in order to obtain bingo cards of fruit and enemies to make a winning combination. This multiplayer mode involves a lot of strategy and throws a lot of curveballs your way in the use of power ups. All of these things combined really make it for a challenging multiplayer mode that is completely different each and every time that you play it.
Pikmin 3 is a must own for any Wii U owner. The game is absolutely gorgeous and the sound is incredible. With a whopping 5 different control methods everyone will feel like a master of the Pikmin in no time. The game is perfect in length and a genuine pleasure to play through from start to finish. The multiplayer and missions add even more depth. All of these things make Pikmin 3 the game that you should buy a Wii U for.