Pikmin 3

Save Planet Koppai from Famine with the Help of the Pikmin
SeriousGamer - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Mild Violence:
Pikmin Can Be Killed in a Variety of Ways (Eaten, Burned, Drowned, Crushed, etc.) and Pikmin also Attack Enemies. Fallen Enemies Leave a Body Behind, While Pikmin Disappear
Spiritual Implications
Fate Is Briefly Alluded to

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be small? Suppose you were shrunk down to the size of a quarter. Do you ever wonder how the world would look from that size? A single crumb would probably look like a full meal. A tiny gnat would seem like the size of a bird. And I’d imagine that your backyard would probably feel like a jungle.

Aren’t you glad you’re not a Pikmin?

I guess I should be a bit clearer. Pikmin aren’t the size of a quarter…they’re smaller than that. Usually, the person leading them is the size of a quarter.

In 2001, Nintendo offered players just such a miniaturized version of the world with Pikmin. In that game, you assisted a little fellow by the name of Captain Olimar in his life-or-death quest to escape a strange planet with the aid of tiny, carrot-like creatures called Pikmin. Three years later, players returned to the planet to lead Olimar and new companion Louie in the hunt for trash that was really treasure. Well, it seems that people just can’t get enough of the little guys (and the littler guys) because in 2013, Nintendo brought a new Pikmin game to their equally new Wii U.

So, do we have a flower or a weed?

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Plot

Pikmin 3 begins very much how you would NOT envision it. After two games, Olimar takes a back-seat as three new explorers take on a new mission.

The planet Koppai is currently expanding a bit too much. The population is booming, and that equates to a lot of mouths. Naturally, that many mouths need feeding. Now, to a normal civilization, this might not be a problem, but the inhabitants of Koppai aren’t really normal. It seems they never learned one critical life skill – how to plan ahead. As a result, Koppai is on the brink of starvation. Hoping to find more food, space pods are sent out, but only one returns with readings of cultivatable food.

With the survival of Koppai at stake, three explorers, Alph, Brittany, and Charlie, set off to this new planet, dubbed, PNF-404. However, their mission starts off hitting a rough patch, as their ship crash-lands, separating them. Looks like they need a bit of help.

Send in the Pikmin.

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Gameplay

Pikmin 3 is very much like the other two titles in this series, although I will tell you that the new Wii U gamepad does take some getting used to. Players can use the gamepad screen as a mini-map or play the game directly on the gamepad itself as they command up to 100 Pikmin to defeat enemies, overcome obstacles, and search for fruits. Besides, the all-too-familiar red, yellow, and blue Pikmin, our three explorers get some more help from the super durable rock Pikmin and flying winged Pikmin.

As you probably can recall, each day on the Pikmin planet is about 13 minutes long. So, you have to work quickly and often use all three captains at once to ensure your work gets done before the end of the day. And on top of that, unlike in Pikmin 2, you don’t have forever. At the end of each day, you will consume juice rations, and you can only stay as long as you have some in reserve. You can increase your reserves by finding fruit, but fruit will not replenish.

All in a day’s work, right?

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Offensive Content

Mild Violence

None of the Pikmin games have ever been particularly bloody or violent, what with the cartoony visuals. Still, the saying survival of the fittest seems most applicable here. Both you and your Pikmin are in constant peril, although the Pikmin certainly take the brunt of it as predators are always on the prowl to eat, crush, drown, electrocute, and incinerate your troops. When a Pikmin dies, it disappears, although a small blue ghost does float away.

Of course, the Pikmin do their fair share of damage as well, attacking with only sheer force or employing explosive rocks. Defeated enemies will usually leave behind a body that can be carried back to the Pikmin’s Onion (a nest if you will) to be processed into Pikmin seeds. It’s pretty obvious those enemies are dead too.

Mild Spiritual Implications

Nothing really of note here, just a simple suggestion that fate might have had a role in our three captains’ adventure.

Noteworthy Elements

As I said, the people of Koppai really don’t know anything about how to plan ahead. If they had, they might not have gotten into this mess (of course we wouldn’t end up with a game, otherwise). But luckily, Brittany,  Alph, and Charlie end up learning how to work together and plan for the future, both in terms of their own survival and the survival of their planet. You might say they learn what it means to be a good steward.

Players might also be able to learn some of the same, as recklessness almost always leads to disaster. Planning both short-term and long-term is always a positive thing, and this game kind of shows that.

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Conclusion

I’ll admit, this game is more fun than anything. If you’re looking for some deep subjects to ponder while the console is off, you’re going to be a bit disappointed. Pikmin 3 just seems to be some good ol’ fun, even when dealing with a planet-wide famine. This was the game I wanted most to begin my Wii U collection, and I’m glad I got the chance.

Now, that’s not to say it’s entirely flawless. Global hunger aside, death is a constant threat for the Pikmin, and believe me, you’ll hate knowing that you pretty much caused the casualties. But even so, there’s very little to point out as negatives here. So, for the discerning gamer, I think you’ll find Pikmin 3 more a flower than a weed. If anything, the fact that the game is so addicting is more of a negative than the content.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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