| The Good
Excellently realized world
Easy to pick up real-time strategy
Great learning curve
| The Bad
In-game camera is challenging to use
Pikmin is an unusual blend that works magnificently:
the characters and even the enemies have a certain "cuteness"
to them, but the fatalistic struggle is placed in a realistical
environment and pulled of with a deepening strategy that will
make any gamer glad they played it. In Pikmin, you
play as Captain Olimar, whose starship is struck by a meteor
and crashes. He soon discovers that he needs to piece his
ship back together before his thirty days of life-support
is up. He finds an onion-shaped pod that produces his first
Pikmin, a flower-like worker that does whatever you tell it
to do. From that point, you must use your Pikmin to take down
barriers, destroy enemies and solve environmental puzzles
in a real-time strategy.
Graphically, Pikmin is a wonderful amalgam of style.
On the one hand, you have the simple, gleefully designed space
captain, Pikmin and their ships. On the other hand, you have
a well detailed environment that is covered in excellent,
believable textures. Except for the pods you pick up to gain
new Pikmin, you would think that the world was taken straight
out of real life. Every aspect of the games graphics are well
thought-out and fully realized. You won't find a rough edge
or unfinished surface in the game.
The gameplay for Pikmin is based on multitasking your
Pikmin to find pods to make new Pikmin, so you can break down
barriers and remove potentially dangerous enemies. Each new
aspect of the game is introduced with a pace that makes getting
into the game easy. You won't have to sit around wondering
how to do things for too long. But, this doesn't say that
there is no challenge to the game. In fact, the environmental
puzzles do take a bit of intellect to figure out. At first,
you'll need to just gather enough Pikmin to move or knock
down a barrier, but later on you'll need to manage your various
types (red are strong in combat, yellow can carry stuff, and
blue can travel across water) to locate the missing pieces
of your ship.
With so much going for it, Pikmin does manage to suffer
from a case of shortness. With a thirty-day time limit, the
game does seem to finish a little soon (at around 15 hours),
but those who like keeping score can replay the game to try
and get better stats than before. The only other problem I
found with the game was the challenge that the in-game camera
presents. Often, you will find yourself using the camera buttons
a lot to move the camera so you can see everything in the
environment, and since the camera views are limited (the L-button
only puts the camera behind the player and the R-button only
scrolls through a handful of pre-set distances).
Pikmin has a wonderful quality that everyone should
play at least once. Much like ICO for
the PS2, the game's short lifespan may turn away some gamers,
but the quality by which the title is brought to the public
should warrant a play by most everyone.