I always wonder what goes through Shigeru Miyamoto’s mind when he comes up with his game ideas, the same can be said for Pikmin. Was Shigeru Miyamoto a keen gardener, and wondered what it would be like to be very small, in such a stunning, yet dangerous environment or was it something else?
Well, it was not hard to get my answer, back in 2014 Shigeru Miyamoto sat down with The Telegraph and talked about Pikmin and how the concept of Pikmin came to be;
Shigeru Miyamoto said “I was relaxing on my patio and saw a line of ants marching past my feet and off into the grass, carrying leaves towards their nest. Then I imagined for a moment what the scene might look like if they were tiny people.”
“Ants, as you know, always have a leader, and tend to be carrying things, and as they move they create a kind of rail,” Shigeru Miyamoto says. “And I started thinking about a game about lots of small people carrying things in a line, following a leader, with everyone going in the same direction.” The idea struck him as something he’d never explored before in his work. More importantly, it also sounded like fun.
Pikmin 3 was originally released on the Nintendo Wii U back in 2013, which I still play to this day, it is by far my favourite Pikmin game. Now Nintendo has brought the game to the Nintendo Switch with updated visuals for the keen eye, all the games DLC, Story CO-OP mode, all-new side missions and head-to-head Bingo Battles.
The story kicks off with a planet known as Koppai, a planet very much like Earth (Our Future) where the population has outgrown itself and there is a severe lack of food. Their only hope for survival is to find another planet with a food source. So they first sent out unmanned probes into the universe in search of such a planet. For a while, their efforts were not fruitful, until one day one probe sent back news that is had discovered a plant that could help, they named this planet PNF-404. They sent three intrepid explorers Alph, Brittany and Charlie on a 279,000 light-year voyage on their ship known as the S.S Drake. It was not all smooth sailing, as they initiate landing something fails, and the three intrepid explorers Alph, Brittany and Charlie are ejected from their ship find themselves separated from each other.
Can the explorers find each other? Find the S.S Drake? Find Food? What dangers lurk around the corner on the mysterious new planet?
Well, the first Lifeforms you will meet on this planet are the adorable Pikmin, loyal to the core, and are looking for a little leadership. Our good Captain Charlie finds them first and quickly learns they are happy to help and can be controlled with a trusty whistle. We also find out that they are rather easy to pick up and be thrown, so what do we do first, we throw them at some mushrooms and watch then destroy them. It is not long till we lose our dear captain in a cave, the camera darkens, and we move to play Alph.
Alph finds himself exploring his new surroundings and finds Red Pikmin jumping to reach an ‘Onion’ a sort of Pikmin Spacecraft as you find out. These Onions can store Pikmin, combine multiple Pikmin types and even fly off the planet during those dangerous nights when the night predators come out to play. This is something you must do whenever it gets dark, YOU MUST make sure all your new-found friends, The Pikmin are safe in their Onion or else.
You will need to learn to use each type of Pikmin type, use their specialities, like being immune to fire, being able to swim, being able to take a good bashing or having the ability to be thrown further. Here is a list of each type of Pikmin that are in the game and their specialities;
- Strong attack
- Easiest to manage
- Can be thrown further
- Can help drowning Pikmin
- Can Swim
- 10 x strength
- Dense body
- Moves slowly
- Super fast
- Poisonous to consume
- Detects burried things
- Immune to ground-based attacks unless knocked over
- Hovers over obstacles and water
- Cannot be crushed or skewered
- Does the most damage
- Cannot cling to foes
How do you get Pikmin? Some are just hanging around, but some come from Pikmin pellets, that are attached to flowers and have a number on them. The number is the amount of Pikmin they will produce for you. To gain these Pikmin pellets all you have to do is throw a Pikmin at them by targeting the pellet and then making sure you have enough Pikmin available to carry the pellet to the onion once it is on the ground. The onion will suck up the Pikmin pellet and throw out brand new Pikmin for you to pluck from the ground. You can also gain new Pikmin from killing deadly creatures as well as tame creatures like beautiful butterflies, the onion will produce a number Pikmin based on the animal killed. Also, take note, the type of Pikmin you get from the onion is based on what Pikmin take the creatures or pellet to the onion.
As you gain new Pikmin types and your squads get bigger, you can explore new areas, take on bigger and harder enemy types and maybe succeed, maybe lose a few Pikmin on the way, but remember NIGHT-TIME, secure yourselves. One thing has changed from the original on Wii U, you can now target your enemies, this makes taking them on a little easier, but don’t take it for granted, they can sometimes put up a decent fight.
But what else do you do in the game, apart from collect Pikmin and take on enemies? Well, your main priority is to look for fruit, as this is your main source of nourishment, find your shipmates and find the cosmic drive key so you can go home. You will be doing this over and over, each and every day, through a night and day cycle. You might be sitting there thinking, that sounds boring, it is not, as everything comes with a challenge behind it or a puzzle to solve, and of course, there are a multitude of enemy types to take on, all with different attributes.
When the sun sets, the S.S Drake and the Onion will blast off PNF-404 and orbit the planet, this is when you will be given a progress report. A report that provides information on enemy types encountered, items recovered, Pikmin Survived and Pikmin Lost. Your crew will also consume some fruit you have recovered, this is why you must look for as much fruit as possible, so you can bring it back to your home planet of Koppai. After the day is over and you have slept well, it’s time for a new day to start, a new day finding fruit, defeating enemies, growing your Pikmin Tribe and becoming a master of the game’s terrain and ecosystem.
You do not have to do all this alone, you can play with a friend in split screen co-op mode which makes the game even more fun to play. Especially since you have to find over 50 pieces of fruit, explore rather large maps and defeat ever increasingly harder bosses. The fun does not end there end game is here as well, with all-new ‘Side Missions’ features Captain Olimar, new ‘Mission Modes’, like collect treasures, defeat enemies and bosses all with online leaderboards, so you can see how well you are doing against other players, and to make you feel better about yourself there are medals.
If that does not pluck your interested how about a game of ‘Bingo Battle’. It’s a VS game which sees you pitted up against another player in split-screen mayhem. A 4 x 4 Bingo card will be displayed at the bottom of the screen filled with objects, ranging from enemies, fruits and treasures. The players that collect all the objects in a row, vertical, horizontal or diagonal will win the game. You can also use your Pikmin and Items to thwart your opponent attempt to beat you. There is also another way of winning, stealing a macaroon with a flag on it, which is near the opponents’ onion.
There is one thing more you should know about the game, depending on how well you do in the main story will ultimately depend on how the game ends, as there is a multitude of endings to be discovered.
That’s about it and for me, this is the ultimate version of Pikmin 3 and I truly enjoy it. The graphical changes are not exactly stand out, but they are there if you look closely enough. The end game content will keep you in the game for some time, trying your best to get up those leaderboards. Pikmin 3 Deluxe is another game from the legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, a game that is refined and pretty much OK, which is what we expect from Nintendo, and for me, I highly recommend it.
Grab Pikmin 3 Deluxe here for £49.99 exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.
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