Pikmin New Play Control Review
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Back in 2001, shortly after the GameCube released, the gaming world was blessed with a new idea from Nintendo. Pikmin became a fan favorite almost instantly, despite the slowly staggering sales numbers. However, when the controller was in your hand as Pikmin was being loaded, sales figures didn’t matter anymore. Between the unique gameplay and the intuitive controls, it was easy back then to see why Pikmin was such a success with audiences.
Years later, Nintendo released the Wii. This opened up a new floodgate of innovative ideas, one of them being the idea of resurrecting GameCube titles with all-new motion functionality. From this reviewer’s perspective, the idea of bringing Pikmin to Wii was a complete success.
For those unfamiliar with Pikmin, the story goes like this: You take on the role of Captain Olimar, a diminutive astronaut who just wants to go back home. However, after colliding with a comet you go down in your ship to an unknown planet–while pieces of your ship scatter about across the land. Upon awakening, Olimar discovers the atmosphere contains high levels of oxygen–which while important to us, is bad for Olimar, because his emergency air supply only lasts for 30 days. Your main mission in Pikmin is to obtain all 30 of the parts for your ship within that 30-day time frame, before you face an untimely fate on an unknown planet.
You don’t have to do it by yourself though. Early on in the game, you encounter an even smaller group of life-forms that take a great liking to you. The Pikmin themselves are tiny little plant-creatures that help Olimar carry more pellets to create more Pikmin, destroy enemy life (such as giant bug-creatures that swallow Pikmin whole) that can once again be turned into more Pikmin, and more importantly they are required in order to retrieve parts for your ship.
Aside from the quirky story, I believe the new Wii controls actually add to–rather than taking away from–the game. Sure, a regular GameCube controller worked just fine back then, but now (especially since the game isn’t compatible with GameCube controllers) the Wii remote and nunchuck controls work just fine. The controls are very simple; move Olimar with the control stick, use the other nunchuck buttons to change camera angles or control your Pikmin, point-and-click to fling your Pikmin towards your objective, and that’s just about the basics.
The one question most people will have though is, “Are there any major differences between the two versions?”
I feel confident in saying that while they are somewhat mild differences, yes there are a few. The game is now formatted for 16:9, but more importantly, there’s an added feature to saves; players now have the ability to revisit previous days in the Captains Log to improve yourself, or maybe attempt to reach that ship object you missed last time around. This feature is nearly tantamount for first-time players because you will most likely have to play through once or twice to get all the objects. While you’re not required to get ALL 30 parts, your performance in the game ultimately determines the ending, which there are three of.
The ‘wii-make’ of Pikmin is an absolute necessity for anyone looking for a turbo-charged throwback. It substitutes an intuitive play style for one that was already intuitive, which by today’s standards is never an easy feat. Pikmin is most likely my favorite RTS game ever, and I look forward to checking out Pikmin 2 like this as well.