Pikmin 3 - Three Characters, One Gamepad, No Waiting

Written by on June 18, 2013 in [, , , , , ]

The Pikmin games have always been Nintendo’s very curious take on real time strategy. The player controls a character who has at their command an army of these little Pikmin creatures of various colors. The goal is simply to make use of the colored Pikmin’s special abilities to search an alien planet for food and a variety of other items and defeat creatures bent on your destruction along the way. Pikmin 3, coming to Wii U this summer, will bring with it many of the elements from the first two games while also introducing some new, more complicated, mechanics.

Three new characters are being introduced in Pikmin 3; Alph, Brittany, and Charlie. All three of these characters will be able to control a set of Pikmin. What this opens up is the ability for the player to divide up the captains, assigning different Pikmin to each, and send them to different areas to explore. This opens up a whole new set of management options for the player in terms of what character goes where or which Pikmin to assign to each character depending on where they are headed off to explore. There’s a lot to manage here and a lot of different ways to approach exploring the alien planet.

With three characters to send out into the world it becomes a blessing that this game is to be released on the Wii U. The system gives players the ability to use the second screen on the Wii U Gamepad to view an overall map of the area with indications of where all of your characters and Pikmin are. Touching the map on the Gamepad gives you real time scroll control so you can fly around to different areas to see the action. In a real time strategy game this feature seems almost necessary especially when multiple different groups are off doing their own thing.

The Wii U Gamepad can also double as a controller of the game for those of us who played the original two Pikmin games on the GameCube. If a player is adverse to using the Gamepad or doesn’t find the two stick control comfortable for a game like this there are a slew of other options. For those players who played Pikmin or Pikmin 2 on the Wii using New Play Control, there are Wiimote Plus and Nunchuk options as well as the option to use the Wii U Pro Controller. Off TV Play is also an option here which is a welcome addition to any Wii U game because no one wants to wait for the baseball game to end to get their Pikmin on.  Bottom line, any way you might want to control this game, you probably can.

Nintendo went a little bit further during E3 showing off Pikmin 3′s funky enemies and describing the two player challenge mode in a new trailer. That mode is a mad rush to grab fruit in an effort to fill out a Collect 4 style game board. It provides a multiplayer experience that is a bit different from the usual hunt down and destroy format common in RTS games.

Miyamoto also took to video for a Wii U Developer Direct specifically about Pikmin 3. His love of these creatures and this franchise really shines through during the video and he says specifically that he feels the Wii U was “made for Pikmin.” Considering my personal attachment to this franchise I couldn’t agree with Miyamoto more. The Wii U strikes me as the perfect platform for this franchise to grow onto.

I’m personally incredibly excited to dive into the world of Pikmin 3 on August 4. The Pikmin games have held a special charm for me and I played both on the GameCube when they released. I revisited both games again on the Wii and they hadn’t lost their charm despite time passing. I’m excited grab my Gamepad, meet some new Pikmin, and hunt for some treasure on a crazy planet.


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Author: Elaine View all posts by
Electrical Engineer, podcaster, writer, gamer, tech lover, mother of two children (who are often trying to kill me) and lover of rum, vodka and wine from a box.

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