Pikmin 3: WiiU Game Review
Manage three alien explorers, grow an army and explore the strange planet, PNF-404, in Nintendo WiiUs new strategy game, Pikmin 3! Want to know more? Read Kidzworlds Pikmin 3 Game Review!
Gather as much fruit as you can! Courtesy of Nintendo
Battle scary monsters. Courtesy of Nintendo
Don't get licked! Courtesy of Nintendo
Times are a changing
It's no secret that the Nintendo WiiU has been in desperate need of new, compelling software. While the WiiU had a decent launch with a solid line-up of games, things quickly dried up and early adopters were left without much to play. It's been too far and long between quality Nintendo releases and it was beginning to look like our new consoles would continue to collect dust.
Thankfully, that's all about to change. I'm happy to report that Pikmin 3 is not only a great game but the first of many that are about to roll out on an almost monthly schedule. Pikmin 3 simply could not have come soon enough.
Six hands are better than two
Pikmin 3, at its heart, is a strategy game. Players take control of three alien explorers, Alph, Charlie and Brittany, who have accidentally crashed on the foreign planet, PNF-404, a planet which suspiciously looks a lot like earth. Our threesome's main quest is to save their home world, Koppai, by gathering enough food to feed its starving citizens. But since Alph and crew were separated during the crash, it's up to you to reunite them first! Luckily you'll stumble across a strange plant-like creature that may be able to help with your adventure: a Pikmin.
These interesting little Pikmin are grown, plucked from the ground, then become your loyal followers with a quick blow of your whistle. There are five types of Pikmin to use in unison: Red Pikmin, Blue Pikmin and Yellow Pikmin, plus the new Rock Pikmin and Winged Pikmin. Each of these Pikmin come with their own special abilities and up to 100 of them can be assigned to your crew at a time. It may seem like a lot, but trust me, you're going to need them.
Send Alph off with some Yellow Pikmin to take down an electrical wall, while Brittany is elsewhere with some Rock Pikmin destroying a glass shell holding ripe fruit. At the same time, Charlie can be growing and replenishing your Pikmin army. When you get the hang of it, it all works wonderfully and is incredibly rewarding, especially after taking down one of the many creative enemies you'll face off against.
Players will need to switch between the three explorers on the fly, but the game is never intimidating in this area. Even beginner players will catch on quickly. After a few disastrous days of misused time on my part, I quickly got into the swing of things. Everything is presented to you in a manner that makes sense and is easy to replicate.
Check out this great introduction video to Pikmin 3, straight from Nintendo.
Okay, I know all the WiiU games have been in HD. They've all looked pretty solid, but Pikmin 3 is the first time we're seeing Nintendo's first party developers really test themselves with this new hardware. Pikmin 3 is without a doubt a beautiful game. Sure, it won't blow you away upon first sight, but there is a lot to appreciate, from the gorgeous lighting that shimmers through the foliage or bounces off the characters shiny surfaces to the delightfully animated Pikmin and the predators that hunt them.
Everything looks great and it's an encouraging sign of things to come for those worried that WiiU is lacking in graphical prowess.
The game is simply charming from the get go and is classic Nintendo through and though, instantly making you feel comfortable. Menus are all simple, yet colorful and beautiful, no more or less than you need. They are easy to navigate and understand. Sound effects follow suit providing a delightful assortment of character and environmental effects.
Play how you choose
Pikmin 3 supports all the WiiU's controllers, including the WiiU Gamepad, Wii-Mote and Nun-chuk, or the Pro Controller. I played the game with the Gamepad and while the control scheme is enjoyable and for the most part acceptable, it is clear that the best way to control your Pikmin army is with the Wii-Mote and Nun-chuk. There are areas that are unaccessible with the Gamepad due to its aiming constraints and it's a little frustrating when you simply can't reach a piece of fruit due to the game design. It's my one big issue with the game overall. If you do indeed play with the Wii-Mote and Nun-chuk combo, you can use the Gamepad as a designated map and prop it up in front of you, which is handy. I can't stress this enough: play with the Wii-Mote and Nun-chuk for the most enjoyable game experience.
Regardless of your choice of controller, though, Pikmin 3 is a delight from start to finish and I fully recommend it to those looking for a great game to add to their thin but soon to be strong WiiU games library.
Pikmin 3 is available now, only on the Nintendo WiiU
ESRB Rating: 'E' for Everyone
Have Your Say!
How do you think Pikmin 3 looks? Have you had a chance to play it yet? Let's talk games in the comments below!