What a noob, there is so much depth in this game once you get the rotation down, it's a thing of beauty-go play some cod or some other noob friendly game..
Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 at 9:00 AM by Joseph Butler-Hartley
Never have I craved a smoothie more in my entire life than whilst playing Wii U exclusive Pikmin 3. Damn that’s some tasty looking fruit.
I’ve had my Wii U some six months now, and in all of that time I’ve played a scant four games on the innovative console. Why? Because there are no games out for the thing or at least none that I’d touch with a ten-foot barge pole. No, I do not want Disney Infinity for £59.99. When Pikmin 3 came onto shelves, even though the subject matter seemed rather alien to me, I convinced myself to go buy a copy just so I could wipe the gathering dust off of my vast Wii U controller once again. Upon playing the game, I find myself pleased that I’ve managed to spend some quality time with the Wii U, but slightly disappointed with the game itself.
I’m disappointed with the game because it began so promisingly. I bought the game with the idea that I’d probably not like it, but within half an hour of game play I was hooked. You play as three space explorers from Koppai, a planet stricken with food deficiency. The brave astronauts were travelling through the galaxy looking for food when they crash landed on a lush, earth-like planet that happened to be rife with huge, delicious fruit and inhabited by incredibly submissive plant-things. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what the eponymous pikmin are, but they are incredibly helpful for no particular reason. The game begins with the explorers separated from each other, and for a while the story focuses solely on re-uniting them. Then, once they are united, the story focuses on finding a couple of other explorers who were apparently in the previous games which I never played. Then, it ends. So, if story isn’t Pikmin 3’s strong point, then what is?
Well it certainly isn’t the gameplay, which frustrated me to no end. For the first ten hours, I found Pikmin 3 to be relaxing and charming. You control up to three explorers at once who control up to 100 pikmin between them. The player has to use the pikmin to solve puzzles, cross terrain, fight predators and collect fruit, amongst other things. The main goal of the game is to collect fruit, which is needed to feed the explorers and to feed the starved planet of Koppai. The player has to command the pikmin to carry the fruit back to the spaceship where it is juiced, and the satisfaction of watching a hard days fruit collecting turn into several jars of delicious looking liquid is almost erotic. However, as the game progresses, the pure, unadulterated joy of grafting for fruit juice becomes a frustrating grind.
There is a heavy-emphasis on multi-tasking, as to be efficient and gather as much fruit as possible, the player has to split up the three explorers, taking a group of pikmin with each of them to complete multiple tasks at once or to solve certain puzzles. This would be fine and dandy if you could trust the pikmin to complete the task allocated to them without fault, but you can’t. You’ll give one explorer and his bunch of pikmin the job of bringing a bunch of grapes back to the ship, you’ll leave another bunch with the job of building a bridge, and with the third you’ll explore for more fruit. However, when you flick back to the first bunch, you’ll find that they’ve wandered into a puddle and are in the process of drowning. You’ll flick back onto the second and they’ll be scattered through-out the map after being terrorised by a small frog-like creature. It wouldn’t be so bad if they had any survival instinct at all, but they will literally stand there gormlessly whilst they get eaten one at a time.
The game progresses in days, giving the player an allotted amount of time to explore before they have to return to the ship, and the pikmin can’t survive at night. The result is that if you haven’t gathered all your pikmin around your ship when the sun goes down, they get mauled to death by predators. This wouldn’t be such a problem if the pikmin didn’t constantly get stuck on terrain, or behind one foot rises. It’ll come to the end of the day and you’ll realise you’re missing five pikmin, who happen to be stuck in different places on the map. At first I felt bad about leaving them to their doom, but by the end of the game I was glad. As far as I was concerned, it was their fault being such morons. Again, it wouldn’t be such a problem if the explorers had some way of calling all the pikmin on the map at once, but no. The only way the player can call pikmin is by blowing a whistle, which calls all the pikmin around the player. This is useless when your pikmin are stuck behind a mushroom half a mile away. So if gameplay isn’t Pikmin 3’s strong point, then what is?
It’s the visuals. It is such an utterly beautiful game that for the most part, the faults and annoyances didn’t bother me so much. It’s certainly one of the prettiest games I’ve ever played. The environments are lush and green and the pikmin are colourful and endearing (at first, anyway). When it rains, the fruit glisten around the pikmin as they waddle to and from the spaceship to the pitter patter of the weather. Nintendo really excel themselves when it comes to world building, because each environment is delightful to explore. You’ll wander around the gorgeous levels looking for fruit or puzzles, and you’ll come to a gate you’ve never seen before that you can’t get past. A couple of hours later, you’ll be introduced to a new type of pikmin that can get past that gate, and all you’ll want to do is revisit the level and see what’s behind it.
For the most part, the exploration and fruit collecting was enough me. I genuinely felt like a child again exploring the larger than life environments to find the tasty-looking fruit. It’s just such a shame that the frustrating path-finding of the pikmin and the unreliable gameplay ruined my experience. As the difficulty ramped up and multitasking became more essential, the game just stopped being fun. I found myself getting angry where I had once been relaxed and enthralled. I’m not sorry I bought the game, because it’s such a joy to be in the world of giant fruit and because I got some use out of my Wii U. However, I’m not sure I could recommend this game to a friend, unless they had a serious vitamin C deficiency.
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