A great game with some minor but easily pushed aside issues - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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A great game with some minor but easily pushed aside issues

I never played Pikmin 1 or 2, only 3. And as of this review I haven't beaten it, I am on day 17.
Synopsis:

Your crew are stranded on a planet and you have to find fruit in order to save your planet from dieing of starvation. In order to do so you enlist the assistance of the local Plant-Animals called Pikmin and command them in squads to do your bidding. At it's core it's a simple concept but it can get tricky!

Controls:

The gamepad controls are not so great. I can't recommend them for any logical reason. The only way to aim is by moving your character as well, if you ask me the right joystick should have been aim, the left should have been move. Unfortunately this is not the case, the right stick moves the camera which is OK, but really not needed in a game like this. Instead, I'm recommending the Wii-Mote + nunchuck, it is infinitely better, more accurate, and easier to aim and use properly. The only think you sacrifice is direct control of the camera and as of yet I have never needed that Camera to change it does pretty well on it's own, specially with the new lock-on feature. The gamepad does have some useful functions, it shows the map, pikmin info, help files, etc... and i keep it on a stand on a side table next to where i am playing so I can see it. The map is only semi-useful though. you can scroll around but you can't zoom in or out, you also can't focus it on a specific point. But it will show any stranded pikmin or where the pikmin who are carrying something back to the ship are. Later in the game it will also show you where fruit is so you will be able to collect it all, provided you have the correct pikmin.

Graphics:

An astonishingly beautiful game. The planet has a life all it's own, the dirt and grass look like dirt and grass, the water moves like water should and everything is just alive. The only thing I felt that fell short was the 3 Characters you play as. They felt... less alive than the environment and I can't quite fully explain why. Part of it is they don't really have emotion or any other facial expressions apart from big open eyes and a shocked face. All in all though Pikmin is complemented amazingly well by the HD upgrade and not once have I seen even a hint of Frame rate loss or lag, even with a screen full of pikmin and enemies.

Gameplay:

The meat and potatoes of any game. The gameplay has not changed that much from Previous Pikmin games, or at least what i have seen of them. I haven't played Pikmin 1 and 2 so I came fresh into this game with 0 expectations on that front. The game doesn't disappoint. You control 3 crew members, Alph, Brittany, and Charlies (The pun hurts, moving on). And as you explore this new world you gather different types of Pikmin, there are 5 types I believe: Red, Yellow, Blue, Rock, Flying. Each has their own special properties:

Red - Immune to Fire and has higher attack
Blue - Won't die in water
Yellow - Conducts Electrical Currents as well as can be thrown higher than any other pikmin
Rock - Heavy and deal a ton of damage when thrown, can also break glass and crystals when thrown
Pink - Flying, can move over obstacles. (I think, I don't have pink yet)

You can only carry up to 100 Pikmin with you at any time, so you have to chose how much of each type of pikmin to bring with you, do you bring 20 of each? 30 of 2 and 12 or so of the others? or do you bring 100 Rocks! It's up to you, and a lot of the fruit requires a specific amount of certain types of pikmin along with you. For instance you may need 10 yellow Pikmin and 10 Blue pikmin, Yellow to complete a circuit, and blue to go across water. That kinda thing. You also need a certain amount of pikmin to carry an object, fruit requires anywhere between 1 and 20 pikmin (Of any type) to carry back to your ship. When you tell your pikmin to bring it back to the ship they will do so, taking the quickest path there, however they will ignore enemies and if they are attacked and aren't protected they will die so be warned. Once they get back to the ship, unless you told them to bring back grapes (More on that in a second) They will stay at the ship, and as long as they are there they will be safe. This of course is already something Pikmin players are used to so lets go over what is new.

You are given about 15 minutes a day in order to do whatever it is you needed on the planets surface. The amount of days you have is limited to how much fruit you bring back, as long as you haev 1 jar of juice left you can move onto the next day. There is a limited number of fruit however so I would Estimate the total number of days at around 100ish. Give or take.

First you control 3 different characters this time. They can travel together or separately, splitting your pikmin squad up from 100 to whatever you want to give them. They aren't AI controlled though, you have to tell them what to do. The only thing you can give them is an order to move to a location and they wander off on auto-pilot. They will also ignore enemies and if attacks can lose pikmin. You switch between the three pilots but using the - button. There are also times when you will need to throw other pilots because they are all incapable of walking over a tiny root in their way or up a tiiiny ledge, and yet are perfectly capable of throwing their friends over it. This can actually be a bit annoying as This means they can't be off gathering fruit at another location, and... kind of defeats the purpose, you will have to bring them back to your location or come back on a later day.

Speaking of time, once your time in that day runs out that is it. Any pikmin that are not in your squad, or are not near your ship will die. This is inevitable and at the same time not entirely important. You have plenty of pikmin to chose from and some have to be sacrificed either by accident or carelessness. One of the reasons I will lose pikmin besides enemies is because of one of the new features. There will be piles of glass or pot fragments that you need to use to make bridges. you tell your pikmin to gather from it and they will bring it like ants to the bridge, and then instead of staying at the bridge will return to the gather point, which is sometimes far away. I have made the mistake of telling them to gather and then forgetting about them. This goes the same for Grapes, it is the only fruit so far I have seen that they return tot he fruit's spawning point after delivering it tot he ship.

So far I have lost over 120 pikmin in 15 days, but by the same token, I also have over 150 of each color stored away. Every enemy you kill including bosses can be brought back to your ship to make more pikmin. The color created is determined by the pikmin carrying the object. Whichever there are more of will be the color made. So if you tell 5 rock and 2 blue to carry something back, Rock pikmin will be created. The color will be displayed on the number above the item as they carry it.

The Pikmin AI in general, isn't bad. When they are following you or bringing an item somewhere they will follow a smart path and won't walk into water or something. however when they are called by the whistle to you, they for some reason forget everything intelligent. They will walk through water (Which kills all but blue) to get to you, the will walk against the wall instead of up a ramp etc... it's weird. But once you know they will do that it's easy to plan around it. There are a few other functions you have, the spray you get increases their attack power for a short time, and the dodge whistle allows you and your squad to roll to the left or the right to avoid an attack. I did however roll into water once.... it wasn't pretty.

The boss fights are awesome, big things want to kill you and it's fun and challenging to fight them. The normal enemies are also well done, each has their own life and behavior, strengths and weaknesses etc... that you have to find in order to defeat them. A new feature in the game is the ability to lock on to a target, and tell your pikmin to attack it all at once. There is a slight issue with this though as the button for all out attack while locked on is the same for split up, meaning all your pikmin split into colored groups and stand there. Make SURE you are locked on before doing so... I lost a boss fight cause I hit the button by accident and all of my rock pikmin died, and I needed them.

Multiplayer:

I haven't played them yet but there are other modes apart from story. There is Mission mode which features mini-missions to collect all the items by a certain time. This can be done alone or in co-op mode (split screen only).

There is another mode I believe it's called Bingo Bananza or something like that, it's a competitive split screen multiplayer mode to see who can get the most fruit. I imagine they play very similarly to the main game in controls and function though.

Summary:

All in all I think it's a great game, simple, relaxing, and fun. It is my first Pikmin game and I am not Disappointed.

+ Lots of fruit to collect and not always easy to get either
+ Collecting Different types of Pikmin is fun
+ The Wii-Mote controls are perfect and is IMO the way to go
+ Beautiful HD Landscape with no Framerate loss, always a plus in my book
+ The time per day may be limiting but at the same time it adds a sense of urgency without being stressful
+ Music and sound effects are cute and they work perfectly for a game like this
+ Fun and challenging boss fights
- Bad Gamepad controls are bad, if you don't have a Wii-Mote you would have to buy one and they aren't cheap sadly.
- The 3 Pilots are less alive than the rest of the game
- Hardcore gamers will most likely want to stay away from this game
- Pikmin are sometimes intelligent, then other times not so much
- Why can't the pilots step over a root or climb up a ledge shorter than they are. If they can throw their friends they certainly have the strength for a tiny climb

Is it worth 60$? I would say yes, if you like this kind of game. It's about 12 hours long for a story play through, at least 40 hours to 100% the game not including multiplayer anything
Is it worth buying a Wii-U? I say probably not, however my friend is buying a Wii-U for this game so it is to some!

I'm sure I missed some things here but, in the end...

I give the game 8.5 out of 10. Great game, but not perfect.

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