Pikmin, a Nintendo franchise that came to be on GameCube is back with a new formula on the Nintendo 3DS family. No longer will you search for forgotten items in an open world. Hey! Pikmin offers a more traditional 2D approach but managed to keep the Pikmin spirit. It’s a game I’ve been playing for the last couple of days and to be honest, it really got me by surprise!
First things first, the game looks stunning on the New Nintendo 2DS XL and basically on any system in the 3DS family. The game is extremely colorful, bright and filled with fun little details. What I liked the most was the fact that both screens really are used together as one. We saw games like these back in the beginning days of the Nintendo DS but they have become rarer in modern games. It’s good to see Nintendo bringing back the idea to create one massive screen instead of two separate ones.
The graphics on this game were also surprisingly great, sporting a really nice and vibrant feeling to this game, adding a real surplus to this game! I am certain that when you get to play it as well, that you will really notice how beautiful this game really is. The gameplay and navigation both really got lifted to a higher level because of it!
Because of the powerful engine behind this game, the Pikmin and Captain Olimar truly come alive. For the first time ever, the developers really paid attention to the different emotions of the small creatures. From time to time you’ll witness a short scene featuring the Pikmin running away from enemies or other small scenes bringing some humor to the game. It’s fun to have these small intermissions between the regular levels.
Taking control over Olimar and his Pikmin is extremely easy to learn. The reason why is perhaps the touchscreen, every input is done on the touchscreen. By tapping a location, Captain Olimar will throw his Pikmin towards that location. You’ll also have the whistle icon on the touchscreen to lure new Pikmin to your group and a jetpack to reach higher grounds while being forced to leave your Pikmin behind. The game supports the touch interface really well, the control stick is only used for walking and climbing. The controls are really intuitive and bringing the Pikmin franchise to a side-scrolling environment really works out surprisingly good. It reminded me of the Chibi-Robo game and that’s something good for sure!
Talking about the game itself, this has Pikmin written all over it. You collect a few little guys and set out on an adventure. The red Pikmin are the all-rounders and are capable of bringing down the enemies with ease while they won’t break a sweat building bridges either. The yellow ones are a little lighter and can be used to reach higher places on the top screen. Later on, I’ve encountered blue Pikmin that were able to swim around, transforming my game into a classic underwater level like the ones that can be found in games like Super Mario. Things don’t stop there. The more you advance in the game, the more Pikmin you learn to use. The Pikmin you collect are joined in the Pikmin Park, which basically is another game within the main story.
In the Pikmin Park, you’re able to give tasks to the Pikmin that you rescued in the regular levels. The Park is divided into serval smaller areas where you can send over some Pikmin to. The color of the Pikmin is also important since the Red ones are able to investigate things that are on fire while the Yellow ones can investigate electricity. It’s a fun mini-game where you’ll be able to collect extra fuel for your spaceship or even discover new objects. It’s also the place where you can upgrade your amiibo for it to have more effect in the game itself. It’s great to have this kind of micro-management game included next to the main story.
My early conclusion is a very positive one. Hey! Pikmin takes a new direction but it’s one I can really appreciate. It still has the familiar Pikmin gameplay but with an extra twist. The game seems to offer a lot of different content and a lot of objects to collect. This might become the best fit to go with your New Nintendo 2DS XL once it hits stores. Of course, we haven’t seen it all yet so stayed tuned for our final verdict in the review later on!