It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new Pikmin game. Nintendo rereleased the first two games on Wii in 2009 and 2012, but it’s understandable if some of you out there are a little rusty. Don’t fret – I’ve played through the game for review, and while I can’t get post my final thoughts yet, I’m able to pass along some tips that will help you and your tiny crew out.
Nintendo is giving players several different control options with Pikmin 3 – the standard GamePad input, the pro controller, and the Wii remote and nunchuk combo. You’re going to want to go with the latter option here, since it’s superior in nearly every possible way. Chucking pikmin at airborne enemies is easier, and bosses are much more manageable with the precision that the Wii remote adds.
Manage your squad
On the subject of management, learn to juggle your three tiny astronauts’ schedules as quickly as you can. Alph, Brittany, and Charlie can each lead their own share of pikmin, and success comes in doing so efficiently. If two of your partners are sitting idle, you’re doing it wrong. Switch between them often, scope out their surroundings, and work on clearing paths or gathering resources. There’s almost always something to do, so get cracking. Some areas are otherwise inaccessible without throwing your astronauts across gaps or onto ledges, so pay attention to those opportunities as well.
One of the best ways to manage your squad comes with the GamePad. Even if you’re using the Wii remote, you should still keep the GamePad close at hand. You can drag across the map and command your squadmates to head toward waypoints. It’s an invaluable way to keep everyone moving. For instance, if you know there’s an electrified barrier on one end of the map, select Alph and have him command a group of yellow pikmin in that direction. Then you can manage your other two while he heads toward the obstacle. Keep in mind that enemies and other hazards can still take out your buddies, so it’s not a bad idea to take a quick peek every once in a while. The game pauses while you’re moving around in the map mode, so take your time and strategize.
Pikmin games have encouraged players to go back to previous levels, and Pikmin 3 is no different. When you encounter fruit that seems impossible to get, there’s probably a good reason for that: It’s impossible to get. You’ll often need to head back with pikmin you acquire later in the game, which have a variety of different abilities. You’re certainly free to mindlessly throw your red pikmin into a pool of water to retrieve a strawberry, but don’t expect positive results. In that example, wait until you get some of the water-resistant blues.
Take your time
You have plenty of time. The first Pikmin game in particular put players under a tight time limit. Now you have almost more time than you’d ever want. As long as you have a vial of juice to sustain your crew each day, you can stick around planet PNF-404 indefinitely. That gives you more than enough breathing room to fully explore the world, scour it for fruit, and haul that fruit back to your ship to create more juice. And since you’re doing a good job of managing your squad (hint hint hint), when you aren’t carrying fruit you’re building up your pikmin reserves.
Look for Pikmin 3 on Wii U in North America on August 4.