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Pikmin 3 review

I see you baby... shakin' that ass!

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A CUT-DOWN VERSION OF THE FULL PIKMIN 3 REVIEW, AVAILABLE IN OFFICIAL NINTENDO MAGAZINE 98, ON SALE 31 JULY

I've found myself coming over all fruity, thanks to Shigeru Miyamoto's latest foray into the world of miniature heroes. Worse still, I've trundled yet further into the realms of the downright strange. On multiple occasions I've found myself entranced by the wobbly sway of a fat enemy behind, marching like a metronomic mistress ahead of me. Geez, I've really got to shake this off. Thanks a bunch, Photo Cam!

Once Upon A Pikmin

The story goes that the people of Koppai are running out of fruit juice and have sent probes out into the ever expanding void of cold space. After years of searching, one probe finally locates the blue planet PNF-404.

Click to view larger image
The prologue movie and even the title screen deliver a sumptuous teaser that will leave you salivating for the main event which, initially at least, is underwhelming. From the glistening tranquillity of a forest glade title screen to the barren and graphically weak opening crash site, you can't help but feel a little bit disheartened.

Your main priority for the first part of the game is finding your colleagues. They will die if they don't get fruit juice, but so will you, of course, so your time is split between exploration and the process of finding fruit.

The daytime dilemmas are nothing compared to the nocturnal nasties, though. Your day consists of sunrise to sundown (roughly 20 minutes of actual gameplay), at which point any Pikmin not under your control will be left on the planet's surface to fend for themselves. Pikmin corralled and safely in their Onion home, you take off, drink your daily ration of fruit juice and plan for the next day. And when we say plan, we do mean plan.

Remote Control

Pikmin 3 is a strange one, in that we recommend you don't use the GamePad as your main control device. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk are the way to go, then, but the map is constantly on display on the GamePad screen and you'll need it propped up on the table in front of you. During the day you can drag the map at any time to explore the map. One touch of the screen pauses the gameplay and the TV mimics your GamePad movements. In this way you can tell members of your team to head off to a certain part of the map while you do something else.

Click to view larger image
Earlier in the review we mentioned that the opening area was somewhat disappointing. It's a testament to the game's charm that you soon forget about it. Before you know it you'll be cooing at the marvel of each new area. One moment of noteworthy splendour occurs when you head out towards a beach and then turn around to look back at the forest behind you. It's a simple scene, but a glorious graphical moment nonetheless, the scope of which was never possible with less powerful consoles.

Pikmin types dictate where you can and can't explore in the game's four continents, but they play a far less significant role in the multiplayer Bingo Battle mode. At its most basic the new mode sees you collecting items from bespoke arenas in an attempt to complete a line on your bingo card. In reality, it's a clever combination of Pikmin and Mario Kart multiplayer and yes, it really is as good as it sounds.

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Comments

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  1. Ursa Minora Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 17:18

    (Deleted because of double post)

  2. Ursa Minora Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 17:19

    Great review! This is by far my most anticipated game this year.

  3. 5OUNDWAVE Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 17:45

    this reveiw just got me more excited than i thought possible !

  4. Bootler Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 19:09

    Screw you, The Last of Us!

    Suck it, Bioshock!

    All I need is Pikmin.

  5. Time-Bomb Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 19:15

    So is the majority of the gameplay dictated by time limits in this day and night cycle? I don't tend to get on well when fighting against the clock!

  6. Waldy565 Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 19:15

    90%? That's a bit shocking. Yeah, it's a good score, but what is a essentially a mini-game compilation (Nintendo Land) scored more than this?! I dunno, I'm a nature man and a strategy guy, so maybe it's just me. Good, fair review though Chandra. I just expected more because of the reputation the game has
    On a completey unrelated topic - 10.37pm, 22nd July - FINALLY got enough funds for my fountain on New Leaf!

  7. Mr Roboto Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 19:21

    This game is getting great reviews!

    Hopefully Nintendo's UK summer tour will make people aware of this Wii U gem!

    Wii U hardware sales should increase through August thanks o this game!

  8. Dpad Lad Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 20:05

    90%? That's a bit shocking. Yeah, it's a good score, but what is a essentially a mini-game compilation (Nintendo Land) scored more than this?! I dunno, I'm a nature man and a strategy guy, so maybe it's just me. Good, fair review though Chandra. I just expected more because of the reputation the game has

    I thought the exact same thing! I was expecting something like 95...

  9. Version10 Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 20:26

    That is such an odd subtitle

  10. kingdra king Monday 22nd Jul 2013 at 21:04

    Well I've already seen an advert for it during rugby

  11. DragonEleven Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 00:12

    I've seen a few different reviews for this now... all say it's good but many of them seem to score it lower for stupid things, and some contradict one another with a few of their points.
    The main thing is the length... it doesn't sound all that long when you just look at the story mode completion time, but some people have pointed out that the mission mode adds at least a couple of hours of gameplay, considerably more if you take the online score comparison into account, as you'd want to play it again and again in order to improve your score. Plus there's the replayability of the story mode itself... either single days as you go or the whole thing from the start, beating your own time or just minimising losses.
    I've also heard a rumour that Nintendo are planning to make improvements to the scoreboards, with the addition of one for the story mode, so that should further improve the replay value.

    Adding additional missions for mission mode as DLC is also a possibility (should only take a menu update to make them work)... I think that would be great and would further lengthen the game... they could even do packs with revamped versions of some of the areas from the first two games, including some of the old enemies that are absent from this game, or even just bring back some of the old bosses... plus, they could have you play as the old captains instead of the new ones to give them more of a presence... Pikmin Adventure style levels and enemies could be added to mix it up a bit as well... I'd be interested to see how well they'd work with the normal gameplay style (some could be pretty challenging).

  12. ultimatebuffalo Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 02:11

    Online scoreboards but no online Co-Op ? o ok.

    terrible gamepad support, whilst the map is fine its virtually unplayable, and whilst the wii mote is the most viable control method, but you get the cluttered screen.

    it looks good however 2 major oversights which should have been standard practice (making highly anticipated games actually compatible with the control scheme that is supposed to be selling the console in the first place ) and online Co Op in which literally Thousands of games have is just so Resolutely Backwards.

    but game looks decent despite the glaring problems of length controls and online support.

  13. redeye Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 05:41

    Lovely looking game, but I still don't get it! :?

  14. SuperNintyFan333 Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 08:30

    Online scoreboards but no online Co-Op ? o ok.

    terrible gamepad support, whilst the map is fine its virtually unplayable, and whilst the wii mote is the most viable control method, but you get the cluttered screen.

    it looks good however 2 major oversights which should have been standard practice (making highly anticipated games actually compatible with the control scheme that is supposed to be selling the console in the first place ) and online Co Op in which literally Thousands of games have is just so Resolutely Backwards.

    but game looks decent despite the glaring problems of length controls and online support.

    Yeah 12 hours is a bit short but look at gears of war, cod. god of war etc and they are short too. But yes online play would have helped lengthen the game. Hopefully story mode is very addictive like resi revelations which i played campaign mode 4 times and that isn't mentioning raid mode.

  15. OXM Joe Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 08:31

    Yeah, it's a good score, but what is a essentially a mini-game compilation (Nintendo Land) scored more than this?!

    Er, nope. Nintendo Land got 90% as well.

  16. ChandraONM Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 08:59

    Yeah, it's a good score, but what is a essentially a mini-game compilation (Nintendo Land) scored more than this?!

    Er, nope. Nintendo Land got 90% as well.

    Also, they're completely different games.
    Nintendo Land is an ambassador for the Wii U functionality and its backwards compatibility with peripherals. It's also the perfect example of how groups of people can play together and work together to genuinely enjoy games.
    Pikmin is a relatively core offering that does what it does extremely well. It excels in different areas and is absolutely a must purchase despite its shortcomings. It doesn't use the GamePad well and has no proper online functionality.

    They're both great games in different ways, hence the scores.

  17. debris Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 09:00

    Well I love the Pikmin games so will be getting this for sure, after all it's one of the games I got the WiiU at launch to play its just a shame we had to wait so long for it, never mind it's here now, however the lack of online multiplayer and co op is very disappointing, I am sure a strong online multiplayer mode would of got players who would not of normally bought Pikmin to pick a copy up so they could join in on what would of been a great addition to the world of Pikmin, it seems crazy not to include it and in this day and age it should really be a certainty.

  18. ChandraONM Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 09:41

    Well I love the Pikmin games so will be getting this for sure, after all it's one of the games I got the WiiU at launch to play its just a shame we had to wait so long for it, never mind it's here now, however the lack of online multiplayer and co op is very disappointing, I am sure a strong online multiplayer mode would of got players who would not of normally bought Pikmin to pick a copy up so they could join in on what would of been a great addition to the world of Pikmin, it seems crazy not to include it and in this day and age it should really be a certainty.

    Agreed. It would've been a great way to draw new players in.
    We've asked Miyamoto-san these questions for our Making Of Pikmin feature so we'll see what he says!

  19. DragonEleven Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 10:27

    I'm pretty sure the lack of online multiplayer has already been covered in past interviews... it's to do with all of the Pikmin... as each would need to be tracked individually... other online games just have one character per person, but in this case it would have up to 51 each for versus alone (assuming they keep the maximum Pikmin total at 100), with co-op presenting even more of a problem as control of the Pikmin switches between players... the demand this would place on the connection would be too high for it to be done reliably at the moment... people would just end up complaining about lag rather than appreciating that the online multiplayer was there to begin with.

    Out of curiosity, did the subject of DLC come up in the in the making of feature as well?

  20. ChandraONM Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 10:52

    I'm pretty sure the lack of online multiplayer has already been covered in past interviews... it's to do with all of the Pikmin... as each would need to be tracked individually... other online games just have one character per person, but in this case it would have up to 51 each for versus alone (assuming they keep the maximum Pikmin total at 100), with co-op presenting even more of a problem as control of the Pikmin switches between players... the demand this would place on the connection would be too high for it to be done reliably at the moment... people would just end up complaining about lag rather than appreciating that the online multiplayer was there to begin with.

    Out of curiosity, did the subject of DLC come up in the in the making of feature as well?

    Yeah, you couldn't track that many characters but I'm sure some kind of solution could be found.
    Yup, we certainly did ask about DLC

  21. toffeeman30 Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 12:07

    whats the best way to play? wii remote and nunchuck or gamepad?

  22. ChandraONM Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 12:40

    whats the best way to play? wii remote and nunchuck or gamepad?

    Both. As the reviews says, use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk for main controls and have GamePad propped up nearby so you can look at the map, plan your day and send your team to other locations.

  23. Crackerjack Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 12:45

    I see you pikmin... shakein' that ass!!!

  24. ivorfran Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 12:48

    All I need to know is .....is it as good as the original Pikmin?

    As for the score, if it was given four out of five stars, people would be happy, but thats only 80% !!!

  25. Ghostly_Shadeon Tuesday 23rd Jul 2013 at 15:50

    It's a bit of a shame to hear that Bingo Battle lacks online multiplayer and that the Story Mode will only last around 10-15 hours (given that Pikmin 2 offers 20 at the least...)

    But hopefully, the game will still play as brilliant as it looks and fun while it lasts; hopefully, the Mission Mode will keep me occupied for quite a while if I do finish Story Mode.

  26. NintendanGX Wednesday 24th Jul 2013 at 00:31

    This review is almost as ridiculous as IGN's...

  27. DragonEleven Wednesday 24th Jul 2013 at 10:44

    This review is almost as ridiculous as IGN's...

    It seems to me that IGN were doing whatever they could to avoid appearing biased like in past reviews of Nintendo games... the score they gave seems a little low for such a positive review, and many of the negative points they gave were more due to the way they were paying it than the game itself.

  28. ChandraONM Wednesday 24th Jul 2013 at 12:10

    This review is almost as ridiculous as IGN's...

    What an utterly worthless comment.
    Either substantiate your comments or just shut up.

  29. ThePsychicExtrem Thursday 25th Jul 2013 at 08:07

    Was expecting a higher score, but the game seems good :P Still not getting it immediately though, rayman legends looks better

  30. monsteroushunter Friday 26th Jul 2013 at 06:46

    Got this game yesterday and it is one of the best games I have ever played. Would recommend it to anyone. The way it is split in to days is clever, gives you more time to explore than if it was split in to missions.

    Did this get 90%, because on the banner around the page with the text box on it says you gave it 92%.

  31. Pyron12 Friday 26th Jul 2013 at 08:07

    Got this game yesterday and it is one of the best games I have ever played. Would recommend it to anyone. The way it is split in to days is clever, gives you more time to explore than if it was split in to missions.

    Did this get 90%, because on the banner around the page with the text box on it says you gave it 92%.


    Thank you! That's my thought exactly.

  32. bigterence Sunday 28th Jul 2013 at 14:36

    Playing this now.Stunning looking game,superb control using wii and nunchuck.Check out Miiverse comments.Superb.

  33. ThePsychicExtrem Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 14:46

    the promotional deal is great, the amount of detail's great, the music's awesome and the bosses are tough!

  34. E123-Fawful Wednesday 7th Aug 2013 at 16:44

    This review is almost as ridiculous as IGN's...

    How? I see nothing wrong here. IGN have started nitpicking in reviews I see now.
    Earthbound - Negative point - Too Hard. Because every game has to be as simple and easy as CoD even when it's an RPG which are meant to get harder as you go along and punish for being unprepared.
    Elysium - Negative Point - Too Serious. Because I like comedy in my serious sci-fi action film to do with a guy going to a ring world only for the uber rich to get a cure for cancer and fighting authorities in a powered exoskeleton. Go watch Grown Ups 2 if you want comedy (Though that is terrible comedy).
    To be honest both reviews on this game are good though one thing that stood out on IGN's review was that a negative was it being too short or something. So why didn't every other non-rpg get a downgrade for that then? Pikmin 3 took me about 10 hours to get through without 100% and CoD takes about 4 hours.

  35. Ben Lord Saturday 24th Aug 2013 at 16:29

    Yeah 12 hours is a bit short but look at gears of war, cod. god of war etc and they are short too. But yes online play would have helped lengthen the game. Hopefully story mode is very addictive like resi revelations which i played campaign mode 4 times and that isn't mentioning raid mode.

    12 Hours is a bit short? A bit? Are we forgetting the epic level of play in Zelda games? When was the last time you cleared every world in a Mario game in 12 hours? AND that's without side quests, going back to get all the star coins etc. This is a Nintendo published title and, for the money, 12 hours is poor. Very poor. Lego City Undecover - Much more than 12 hours (nearer 40).

    Yes, the game is beautiful. The game play is excellent (although a little unimaginative on the Gamepad use, nice to see the Wii Remotes working in "Off-Screen" play).

    BUT 12 hours is offensive.

    Great game, wait for it to be reduced!

  36. blackwhitesoul Monday 26th Aug 2013 at 01:54

    I enjoyed the game but I have 2 complaints

    1. there just did not seem to be as many different animals as there where in pikmin 2 and there where defently a lot less mini bosses

    2. there where no caves I can under stand some people did not like them but they where a real challenge going in with 100 pikmin going threw level after level keeping the right colours alive! was intense

  37. RSE III Monday 21st Oct 2013 at 12:57

    This is a great game, well worth 90%, although I would have liked another continent to explore. I haven't yet had the chance to try out the Bingo Battle mode, but the missions are fun.

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