I’ve never been the biggest Pikmin fan but thoroughly enjoyed the game on the Wii U. Looking back though, the game definitely had issues largely due to the Wii U gamepad. The game has a brand new lock-on system on Switch, which allows you to quickly lock onto enemies and move between them without fumbling around. It can still feel a bit awkward at times, but it’s a huge improvement over what it was and will make the game more accessible to so many more players.
If you feel like you can’t play Pikmin 3 without a Wiimote, you’re in luck, kind of. You can use the motion controls in the Nintendo Switch to act as a pointer. It’s nowhere near as accurate or easy to use as a Wiimote, but it definitely gets the job done.
There’s a brand new hint system in the game, which I would have really appreciated when I was playing the game on Wii U (without a lot of prior experience in the first two games). Nintendo obviously knows that with the recent boom of the Switch, there’s going to be a lot of newcomers to the series, so this is hugely appreciated.
In terms of new features, there’s local co-op for the entire main story, which is definitely a fun and frustrating experience and there’s also a series of side missions that see you take the role of either Olimar or Louie. They don’t add a huge amount to the game, but it’s nice to have some new content given this is a full-priced release.
Another reason to grab the game on Switch for those that played the original is the new Ultra-Spicy mode. The original version of the game was on the easier side, but Ultra-Spicy takes it up a notch, leaving you with less Pikmin, meaning that you’ll need to strategise a lot more than you do in the regular mode.
Another really cool addition is the Piklomedia, which tells you a bit of information about all of the creatures that you come across and gives you some pretty nifty stats. Again it’s a nice to have for fans that may have played the game on Wii U, or newcomers to the series who want to get sucked into the world.
PIKMIN 3 REVIEW ON WII U
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.
THE NINTENDO SWITCH VERSION OF THIS GAME WAS PLAYED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS REVIEW. A DIGITAL REVIEW CODE WAS PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER.
When it comes to Wii U ports that have made their way over to the Nintendo Switch, Pikmin 3 has probably received the most love, care and new content of any of them. The game is much more accessible than it was before, making it perfect for newcomers to the series with enough new content to give fans of the series a reason to come back.