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Pikmin 3 – Wii U

Pikmin 3 – Wii U

Pikmin 3Platform:  Wii U

Release Date (NA):  August 4th, 2013

Developers:  Nintendo, Monolith Soft

Publisher:  Nintendo

Genre:  RTS

Nerd Rating:  9.5 out of 10

Pikmin 3 has been one of the most anticipated titles for the Wii U, and after finally getting around to putting in some real time into this game, I can only conclude that the hype was well-founded.  Pikmin 3 is without a doubt the finest game in the Pikmin series, a franchise already noted for its originality and extraordinary gameplay.  Those familiar with the previous titles will be excited to explore new worlds, interact with 2 all new types of Pikmin, and will be treated to beautiful graphics courtesy of the Wii U.  Newcomers to the series will experience a little difficulty at first, when it comes to both controls and time management, but with repeated failure comes a more astute understanding of this unique title, and with a little time, this game will sink its hooks into anyone.

Pikmin 3Basic gameplay is the same as before, although in Pikmin 3 the player has a few more ways to use his or her little Pikmin friends, leading to all new challenges.  At the start of the game, 3 crew members of a small spacecraft are separated and must overcome various perils to reunite.  In the process, the crew meets up to 5 different types of Pikmin to help them find their way to other members, as well as to assist them in finding “food” which is necessary to move on to the next day of exploration.  “Food” is found in the form of familiar fruits with unfamiliar names, and the Pikmin must carry this fruit back to the spacecraft in order to produce a sort of life-sustaining juice.  The goal in Pikmin 3 is trifold; players must navigate areas to find their companions, food must be located, and all Pikmin should be under the control of a crew member or within a certain radius of their own spacecraft before night falls and native creatures some out to devour them.

Pikmin 3Levels in Pikmin 3 are divided into days much like in the previous games, and the characters must do their best to complete as much of the mission as possible within the day.  Usually these mission involve destroying barriers, defeating exotic creatures, and building simple structures to facilitate moving into high areas or across water.  At several points, at least two of the characters are physically close, but separated by geography that cannot be crossed, such as a river or a high ledge.  In these cases, the two characters can actually swap Pikmin, provided they can be thrown across the bridge, to the ledge, etc.  The other character can then command these Pikmin, a strategy which is often needed in order to reunite members and overcome certain obstacles.

Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3From Pikimin and Pikmin 2the red, blue, and yellow Pikmin return.  New to this entry are pink and rock Pikmin.  The Rock Pikmin are the toughest of the bunch, being able to shatter materials that others cannot and dealing deadly blows to any enemies encountered.  They are however, a little slower than the rest.  Pink Pikmin have small wings which allow them to fly short distances where they can carry items and lift certain gates.  All of these new obstacles lead to an almost infinite number of combinations in a given level; the real challenge is figuring out how to deal with these obstacles as quickly as possible.

Pikmin 3Also, instead of having 2 characters to control, Pikmin 3 appropriately introduces 3.  Depending on the landing site chosen at the beginning of each day and previous progress, 1, 2 or even all 3 of these characters may be playable.  The player is able to switch between the player with the press of a button, allowing one to completely multiple tasks at once.  When using the Wii U’s GamePad, the player can even “send” a character to a certain area while doing more specific actions with another character.  Although the GamePad is clearly the best option available, players can also make use of a Remote and Nunchuck, or the Wii U Pro Controller.

Pikmin 3All things combined, Pikmin 3 adds up to an extremely complex experience that veterans of the series will have a great time unraveling.  There is so much to see and do and often times it is a puzzle to simply figure out how or in what order certain feats need to be accomplished.  Keeping track of the Pikmin is another necessity.  It’s easy to lose track of those who are busy building a bridge or some other structure once the objective is complete.  There is of course a system in place to spawn additional Pikmin (through flowers and defeated enemies) but once one has a sizable force built up this is the last thing one wants to worry about.

Pikmin 3The graphics are amazing in this title, and might just be the best on the Wii U to date.  Large colorful environments are presented with an incredible realism added to the likes of flowing water and falling snow.  Light and shadow is also handled in a superb way.  The bright flashes when Pikmin are fighting, the fire generated by some foes, and even the light streaming into a dark cave all give Pikmin 3 a level of visual awe which will not soon be matched.

My complaints regarding Pikmin 3 are minor.  At times I feel like almost too much freedom is given to the player, and the amount of trial and error necessary to move forward in some instances can border frustration.  Occasionally there are environmental elements whose purpose or function is difficult to discern, not to mention the number of items clearly visible but just out of reach.  Some parts have gone on to make sense as the game moves along while others remain a mystery.  The game itself offers a plethora of hints and facts as little yellow cards are found, but remembering all the specialized features of each Pikmin can be a bit of a chore.  The near constant struggle for finding food can become tiresome at times, especially as it tends to detract from the mission at hand.

Pikmin 3

Otherwise, Pikmin 3 is an exceptional game that excels in all respects.  Those with a Wii U should add this to their collection as soon as they can; I have no doubt that this will be remembered as one of the most important titles during the early days of the new console.  It’s also another good reason, perhaps the single strongest reason right now, to go out and get a Wii U if you’re on the fence about it.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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  4. Well, here’s what I was able to finally dig up. Looks like he’s loosely involved with the project from a managerial standpoint as he heads up the development division at Nintendo…”The Nintendo EAD Comprehensive Development Group is the managerial group that Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, two Nintendo veteran developers, manage. The group is primarily focused on managing staffs, budgets, and concepts throughout all of Nintendo EAD in Kyoto. The group is rarely involved with the primary development of a game, but it has done so from time to time, most recently in 2004 with Super Mario 64 DS.”

  5. Is this a Shigeru Miyamoto game? Could explain why it’s so damn good!


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