Nintendo does a great job turning fast-action genres into puzzle-type games. In the same way that the Metroid Prime games don’t follow the same gameplay loop as a typical first-person shooter‐despite all the shooting you do in the first-person‐Pikmin doesn’t play like a run-of-the-mill strategy romp.
The Pikmin games revolve around adorable space-people stranded on foreign planets who are forced to balance finding nutritious food with getting back home. The stranded chibi quickly find themselves at the mercy of the land until a colourful array of plant-folk, known as Pikmin, give up their lives to save yours.
The game is ‘kind of’ an RTS. You spend most of your time assigning Pikmin to tasks that match their respective skillset, but more often than not you’re just trying to figure out what combination of the colourful fodder you’re going to need in any given area.
The Pikmin games are bit more complicated than the wide swath of Nintendo titles and the third installment is no exception. In fact, Pikmin 3 takes complicated to a new level, with an ‘it’s so absurd it’s kinda fun’ control setup that asks you to place your wiipad on a desk, and then use a wiimote and nunchuck for manipulating your adorable cohorts. This leaves you interacting with two different control schemes and two separate screens at once ‐ it’s crazy talk, and I love it.
So does Pikmin 3 set itself apart from its predecessors?
Not so much. But with an almost ten year gap between parts two and three that’s fine by me. If there was a Pikmin game to play it’s this one. And that has everything to do with the proliferation of HD television, and the wonky space-ship-crazyperson setup that’s sprung up from Nintendo’s recent controller innovations.
Pikmin 3 is a lot of fun, albeit on the short side of things. It’s not a game that sticks with you, but it’s ripe with love of play and attention to detail ‐ in other words, it’s a Nintendo game. Playing with a wiimote and nunchuck is a vastly superior way to “play, the game,” but if you are adverse to that idea expect to be frustrated. It’s easy to recommend Pikmin 3‐as we said it’s “a lot of fun”‐but if your wallet’s already aching in anticipation for the onslaught of holiday titles it is not a must play.
- The characters are hysterical to look at. The whistles that stick out of their helmets look like a giant tooth popping out of their heads.
- Brittany’s frequent reflections regarding her juice addiction are priceless:
- "Juice smiles"
- “All juiced up for awhile"
- It’s still new and exciting to play Nintendo properties in HD.
- There’s never enough time in a day to use all three characters independently; that’s crazy talk.
- The first Pikmin debuted alongside the Gamecube. Playing Pikmin 3 at the Wii U launch would’ve felt more nostalgic than playing a New Super Mario Bros game -- ‘New’ Mario games leave a bad taste in my mouth.
- Can’t believe Miyamoto first mentioned a sequel to Pikmin 2 as early as ’07 when Metroid Prime 3 was coming out. Nintendo has been talking about this game forever.
- I’d love DLC for Pikmin 3; I don’t wanna wait another hundred years for a proper sequel.
The arbitrary list of games that made it into our Game of the Year deliberations these past three years. The real question: how many have you played?
They came in all shapes and sizes this year (and mostly towards the end).
Come with me! And you'll see! A WORLD FULL OF IMAGINATION!
Engaging with familiar settings and story genres in a game can be pretty exciting; watching a literary or cinematic tradition unfold in the context of a game breathes new life into classic forms of fiction.
You would be hard-pressed to find a more state of the art piece of bubble gum.
There was a time when the internet felt humane.
The Phantom Pain’s literary contemporary is The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde.
Originally, I had a different thesis to the essay: Capturing Mood in Procedurally Generated Worlds.