- This article is about the game. For the zoo, see here.
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First of all, let me say that this is not your ordinary Pikmin game. Far from it. This game will take Pikmin to an incredible new level. This game will take Pikmin where it has never been before. There is something for everyone: the creative artist, the analytical architect, the animal lover, the botanist, the explorer, the original Pikmin fanatic. Everyone has a place in this game. Everyone.
The graphics are the same calmly and mysteriously beautiful graphics of the first two games, but on a more detailed, grander scale. Special care would be put into a system allowing the sun to travel across the sky such that shadows realistically move throughout the day and also allowing for awe-inspiring sunsets. The Pikmin would be totally retooled so that each acts differently. One Pikmin might be clumsier and it would show as he often trips realistically or falls off a bridge. The environments would be the same fantastic nature scenes from a small scale.
The music in this game is a varied as the gameplay. Of course the catchy marching-tune like music of the original games is back in their simplicity. Also, to go along with theme of beauty in nature, there are some truly majestic songs to go along with the setting sun and other great scenes. The sound effects we love are back of course. The little bugle-like marching tune played when you order your Pikmin around.
As Olimar returned with the treasures of Pikmin 2, he became a hero on planet Hocotate. The residents all listened to his fantastic stories of the creatures on the Pikmin planet, when one man mentioned that he would pay to see such marvels, money signs showed in the eyes of the President of Hocotate Freight. And so, Olimar and Louie are sent on one of Hocotate Freight’s largest ships to the Pikmin planet. Aboard the ship was a vast amount of supplies with which Olimar was meant to build a sprawling zoo: Pik-World!
But as Olimar, his son, his daughter, his wife, Louie move in to land, staring down at the legions of majestic creatures in the fields, a rock came flying out from the earth and crashed into the ship. Soon, hundreds of the makeshift cannonballs peppered the ship, sending supplies flying all over the planet. They look down on a herd of Armored Cannon Beetles, bombarding their ship. With a crash, they land in a now hollow freight ship.
Now Olimar is stranded here again, but he knows that his boss would never rescue him unless Pik-World was completed. But how can he build it on his own without any supplies? And how will he capture the zoo animals? As Olimar looks around in dismay, a red onion-shaped pod leaps out of the earth next to him and Olimar looks at it with a knowing gaze. Pikmin.
Some parts of the controls are the same no matter what, but others depend on whether you are building or exploring or whatever. Special controls are explained when the game modes are.
Olimar is moved about the planet by the control stick on the nunchuck. The cursor is aimed via the Wiimote and when Olimar is standing still, he turns to face the cursor. The B button blows his whistle at the cursor to gather Pikmin to follow him. Pressing the Z button on the nunchuck dismisses any following Pikmin. A grabs a Pikmin to throw him (or pluck him). If you hold A, Olimar will aim the Pikmin at the cursor’s position. When standing holding a Pikmin, up and down on the control stick will cycle through the color Pikmin he throws. Replacing the C-stick as the directional orderer (directing the Pikmin toward an enemy or object) is that you hold down the C button and move the nunchuck around to direct them. Up on the D-pad takes you to a different level of zoom. Left and right on the D-pad controls the camera. Down on the D-pad cycles through the list of gadgets for Olimar to use. When he is at the right one, he can pull it out and use it with A. A also punches if he has no following Pikmin. The plus button takes Olimar to his computer screen to see statistics and maps. The minus button switches to his partner in the field.
No matter how you look at it, building a zoo with little to no supplies is a truly daunting task. Pik-World essentially has only a few requirements that you must meet to complete the zoo but lots of room for perfectionists. You must construct each of the required buildings (ticket booth, bathrooms, etc.) and also must find the nine letters of the Pik-World sign as well as the sign to mount it on. These are the only requirements. Other things you can do from then on is try to capture every last creature in the game as well as build a cage for each. For those fung-shui enthusiasts, designing the cages can be great fun. Placing the greenery and rocks and sending in the creatures to see how they like it. The cage for the Pikmin exhibit is the pride and joy of the park and you have absolute creativity. You can make it a very natural region like the wild Pikmin, or you can send them in a technological direction, building huts for them instead of onions and whatnot. Why would you want to do so much in your Pik-World, well one of the many online multiplayer features of the game is the ability to send your park onto the internet once you have finished it. Will you be praised for your creativity or massive creature collection. Will you grow in popularity until everyone who plays the game goes to your park to see how perfection looks? Pik-World is where your adventuring for supplies and creativity must be in perfect balance to make the best park you can.
The cartoony characters of this game haven’t changed a bit but we do see a few new faces here.
Hocotatians are the inhabitants of the planet Hocotate. The main characters are Hocotatians and many Hocotatians are the ones who will come and visit your zoo once it has opened.
The new Pikmin of the game serve new roles. This time, all the Pikmin live in onions and can be bred. The need to enter caves for purple or white Pikmin was a hassle in Pikmin 2.
Along with many of the enemies from the original games, this game will feature a large amount of new enemies.
Much like the first two games, every day in Pikmin is a new day. This time, though, there is much more variety to keep you busy. There is a limit of days before the park is supposed to open and by which time the sign must be up and the park ready to be judged. You will receive your park rating then. If you wish, you may continue to work on perfecting your park once it is opened.
Many different options await you on each new day. To start off, you choose your two characters for the day and where they will go. They can indeed go to separate areas each day. You must then choose which onions you will bring with each character. For classic Pikmin action, you can take your men out into one of the many areas around the map. Once there, you can seek piles of supplies, objects that fell from the ship, treasures to be converted into supplies, boxes of blueprints allowing new buildings to be built, and creatures to capture for the zoo. If you are trying to capture creatures, Pik-tools are your friends and you can see more below.
Another option is to spend the day beautifying or building. Once you begin the game, one of the first things you find is the blueprint for the park layout and some simple buildings (building the ticket booth is the construction tutorial). If you wish, you can accept this blueprint and the paths will be set out ready to be constructed (or left as dirt paths). If you wish to design the park on your own, you may feel free. The first step to designing a personal park is to draw the paths. The blueprint will be set before you and you can hold the Wiimote as a pen like you are drawing right on it to set out the paths. To construct something, simply direct your Pikmin to it and they’ll get to work. This is now your master blueprint. Once you have the blueprints to make a cage or wall, you can go to the blueprint, select the wall you want, and draw it out. Choosing gate will allow you to create a gate where the creatures may be fed by workers. As you find blueprints for different buildings, you can drag them onto the map too, ready to be built. Each building or wall has different levels of beauty and class that may be raised if you send your Pikmin to do it (at a loss of supplies).
If your characters aren’t near each other (say one is at the park and one in the wild) if you go to the one in the wild, the park one will continue building any buildings you have on the blueprint. Leaving your one in the wild alone is just dangerous and should only be done after bringing your Pikmin and you to a safe place.
After a short time on the Pikmin planet, Olimar learns something he’d never seen before about the Pikmin, they have begun to develop simple tools! Materials from the wild can become fantastic aids on your quest! When materials for a new tool are near, the Pikmin will act suspicious, green Pikmin more than the others, until you direct them to it. Some examples might be these:
Pik-ropes: From simple vines or flower stems found on the ground, Pik-vines can be used to lasso up creatures for the zoo. Pikmin will leap from the brush and throw the large ropes to tie down the creature for transport.
Pik-nets: With many Pik-ropes, the Pikmin can fashion a net which a group of them can toss over a particularly stubborn creature.
Pik-juice: From certain flowers, the Pikmin can extract a juice that has a sleeping effect when sprayed on opponents. Or an offensive or defensive aid when sprayed on Pikmin.
Pik-ram: From a stick on the ground a battering ram can be formed to take down tough walls.
Pik-food: Some plants might give off a strong odor that can attract enemies for capture.
Once your time limit is up, you will receive a score of your park based on many attributes such as:
Cleanliness: Have you cleaned up the park? Creature Number: How many animals are there? Creature Variety: Are they all the same thing? Buildings: Do you have the necessary buildings? (bathrooms, food) Beauty: Are your buildings and exhibits lovely? Cost: Do you have any leftover supplies?
In one of the many online multiplayer features, your park data will be recorded under your name online. People can visit your park and if you play through the game again, you can see how much you’ve improved. You can compare scores with other players as well. This is your Basic Score. If you continue to add onto the same park after the time limit is up, you can have it rescored over and over as a Continued Score.
As in the other Pikmin games, there are many fantastic areas to be explored in this game.
Vast Meadow: This is where you had your crash landing and after you rid the meadow of its creature herds, it is where you will build your park. The Red Pikmin meet you here.
Watchful Wood: This quiet forest area is the first place you will explore. Here, you meet the Yellow Pikmin. It is simply a quiet wood area. With a bubbling brook.
Grand Stream: As you move farther into the woods, you see the bubbling brook feeds into a large river. Here, you will meet the Blue Pikmin and the Orange Pikmin (who can build bridges over the water quickly.
Woodbluff Hill: A rolling hill rises over the trees in this area. Around it are strange rock formations that almost look like ruins. On this flowery hill you find the Pink Pikmin and the White Pikmin.
Mystic Willow: An enormous tree rises up from the wood with astounding majesty. As you scale it you find many supplies and surprises. Deep in the caves below its roots the Purple Pikmin await you and high in the treetops, the Green Pikmin use their tools to move among the branches.
Many more areas await intrepid explorers!
Also, as the seasons change in real life, so do they in the game. Playing in the winter will leave fresh fallen snow on the ground in the game.
This game benefits greatly from the WiiConnect24 feature. Some of its functions are discussed later but it has many, many possibilities. The game seems to never end as new regions are added for exploration. New creatures may migrate in and new Pik-tools developed. New plantlife may grow and new blueprints could be hidden to be found. The world is always changing.
With Pikmin 2, the Pikmin world saw a small multiplayer feature. With this game, the multiplayer aspect expands tremendously. Competitive, cooperative, online, offline, tours, and contests. Olimar isn’t alone anymore and neither are you.
In an astounding new feature, the story mode may be played by up to four people, online or off. If you are playing offline, your friends would sign in at the games start (if only two begin, others may join later in the adventure). From here, each would choose a character, you would discuss what each was doing then set off separately with each of their onions to separate areas for the day. If you have yet to discover another onion, you must go to the same area. If you are playing online, whoever is going to play the day must be present at its start. Once again, only four people may work on a game. Your friend might have sent you a message (via Connect24) asking you to play a day or two at six o’clock. So you would arrive, sign in, play the same way, speaking over a headset or mic. As you can get more done this way, your score would indicate how many people played as would your park.
The competitive play is very much the same. Four players are now allowed to take part and would begin by choosing your character and your Pikmin (each gets two different kinds). New features would be the ability to build walls to protect your area. To win the game this time, you would either destroy the opponent’s rocket, destroy all of their Pikmin, or collect a (previously set up) point amount. Points are gained by defeating Pikmin and monsters (more gained by capturing them) and by gathering supplies.
The Online Community
The online community would be vast. By going to its home when you choose to go online, you may choose one of many things.
Cooperative Play: As described above, it is only available to those on your friends list.
Competitive Play: As described above, you can play with a random opponent or with your friends.
Pik-World Tours: From here, you would choose 1-player, 2-player, 3-player, or 4-player based on how many people worked on the park. From there, you could sort by your friends, people you recently battled, best or worst Basic Score, or best or worst Continued Score. After choosing a park, you could choose a character and walk around that person’s park whether to check out the park of a recent enemy, see one of the highest scoring parks ever within the time limit or otherwise, or laugh at a simply pitiful park. Voice chat is available with friends.
And so, Pikmin takes a leap in a radical new direction, while still holding on to its roots. You can have fun with friends, challenge strangers to battle, capture enemies, build beautiful parks for the world to see, constantly be on the lookout for new blueprints, areas, or creatures downloaded to your game, and bask in the graphics and sound that keeps you constantly curious about the Pikmin world.