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AusGamers Games
Pikmin 3
Pikmin 3

Nintendo Wii U
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Pikmin 3 Review
Review By @ 03:31pm 06/08/13
WIIU
When Nintendo moved their games into 3D spaces, one of the first things their internal development teams started playing around with was the pull of the horizon. This pull is perhaps best realised in their Zelda games, which are often about the discoveries made while one journeys towards a distant landmark, although the thrill of exploration and arrival was a reoccurring theme even when the technology wasn’t there to support this vision quite so fully. Think back to the earlier Metroid games for instance – you’d see a path, or an object, and you’d know that if you preserved that scene in the back of your mind the game would eventually reward you.

That’s what Pikmin is all about too, exploring the world at a micro-level and eventually finding your way to those distant objects you spied some time ago. If Zelda is about the adventures Miyamoto imagined having when he played as a child, Pikmin is closer to the adventures he would have actually had, dealing with creepy-crawlies and making sure you get done as much as possible before the sun goes down.



The set-up is the same as the previous two games, except with three heroes leading your army of Pikmin instead of ol’ Olimar. You explore a world that, while alien to the protagonists, is very familiar to the player, collecting Pikmin to help you traverse through the world’s obstacles, and this time you can split them off into smaller groups to tackle multiple areas on the map at once.

Pikmin 3’s puzzles and battles rarely amount to much more than throwing the right Pikmin at the right places or enemies, but it manages to keep things exciting by demanding exploration and constant revisitation of old areas. The level design will constantly alert you to areas you can’t access yet, drawing your eyes towards Nintendo’s beloved horizons, to try and get you thinking about possible pathways. By the end of the game you’ll feel like a conqueror who has mastered the game’s harsh ecosystem.

There’s a wonderful sense of tension to proceedings too. The first Pikmin took things a bit far, giving you a time limit to finish the game within, and the second abolished it, but the third gets the balance right. You need to collect fruit, lest your three heroes starve to death, but even if you build up a huge backlog the fear of returning to the ship without anything new to eat is palpable.

More troublesome still is the sun setting – any Pikmin not under your control at the end of the day will die, and since the game rather traumatically makes you watch them get eaten, so it’s in your best interests to keep them alive. This all means that you always need a plan, and that plan needs to be adjusting constantly, which makes the map displayed on the GamePad come in very handy. I found that the game was best controlled with a Wii remote and nunchuk, the GamePad in my lap or on the floor in front of me; this limits your camera control rather significantly but also allows you to hurl Pikmin with better precision, which helps a lot during boss fights..



Pikmin 3 is the fourth game Nintendo has developed and published for the Wii U, but in many ways it feels like the first real ‘big’ Wii U game from them. Great as New Super Mario Bros U was, it wasn’t a title that many people got excited about – it was more of the same, but better looking. Pikmin 2 was nine years ago, and 3 comes with the bells and whistles that the new console has afforded, although it is also held back, visually, by the developer’s inexperience with high definition. Environments are lovely and the Pikmin themselves are as delightful as ever, but textures are muddy and generally lacking in detail. Still, there’s a giddy excitement to playing a Nintendo game in HD that doesn’t dissipate.

Pikmin 3 is quintessential, classic Nintendo, the Nintendo we know and love, the one that makes us buy every console regardless of our doubts and hang-ups. It’s not the killer app the system is begging for, but if you have shelled out for Nintendo’s new console it’s the best exclusive currently available.
WHAT WE LIKED
Really captures the ‘Nintendo’ spirit
Exploring and finding new items is a joy
Level design is great
The GamePad map genuinely enhances the experience
WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE
Some weak textures
Pikmin A.I. can be a little dim
Controls aren’t perfect, no matter what method you use
MORE...
WE GAVE IT:
8.6
OUT OF 10
AusGamers
Latest Comments
Audi
Posted 04:36pm 06/8/13
Is there a demo?
Eorl
Posted 07:51pm 06/8/13
Might be, haven't actually checked. I just grabbed the game today and played for about 30 minutes and by god does it look amazing. Never thought fruit could look so good.
TicMan
Posted 07:53pm 06/8/13
It's so much fun. I got it on Saturday and have spent bucket loads of time on it.
Eorl
Posted 07:57pm 06/8/13
It's so much fun. I got it on Saturday and have spent bucket loads of time on it.

What controller setup you using Tic? Tried with GamePad acting as map and using the pro controller for input and it seems alright. Apparently Wiimote and Nunchuck works the best but I don't have one lying around to try.
TicMan
Posted 08:05pm 06/8/13
Just going with the game pad for now, haven't tried to use the Wiimote at all. Doesn't seem too bad to be honest.
trillion
Posted 08:32pm 06/8/13
tl;dr

it's a fruit ninja isometric sandboxy, looks cool for cat's too. (whatever that means)
glynd
Posted 09:03am 07/8/13
Just going with the game pad for now, haven't tried to use the Wiimote at all. Doesn't seem too bad to be honest.


I gave the gamepad controls a test after using the Wii mote but found myself going back pretty quick smart. with combat, is it just a matter of locking on?

loving the game though. I know the pikmin are expendable but always feel like the worst bloke when some die especially if i accidentally leave a couple behind after the days end.
Zapo
Posted 09:20am 07/8/13
My copy arrived today from OZgameshop, I'm going to try out the wiimote + nunchuck control method first, will see how I go.
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