Hello everyone, I'm a stupid manchild and I love the Pikmin series.
What's that, that weird ant game for the Gamecube?
Pikmin is a strategy(and later, a strategy/action and most recently a puzzle/platformer) game for the Gamecube and Wii (Pikmin 1 and 2), Wii U and Switch(Pikmin 3 and Pikmin 3 Deluxe) and 3DS (Hey! Pikmin!). It is a charming series about being stranded on a planet and using the indigenous inhabitants to either repair your ship, make you rich, or gather food for your dying planet. I think you collect sparkly poo poo in Hey! Pikmin but I don't know, I don't own a 3DS.
It's a series of mostly very short, very charming games that have enormous wait times between each game and generally feature a fun juxtaposition of cartoony monsters in a realistically rendered earth that looks both very familiar but also is full to the brim of mutated bug like creatures out of a six year old's nightmare. Snake with a seagull's head anyone? Most monsters look weird as gently caress the first time you see them and sometimes it'll be just "oh look a fluffy sheep" and then it electrocutes your entire party and kills all your pikmin in half a second. This game series doesn't gently caress around.
You get 13 minutes/day to gather whatever you need to gather and then you have to run back to your ship and any pikmin left out in the wild perish. You get more pikmin by using them as minions to kill whatever horrible monsters you see and bringing them back to the Pikmin's homes, known as "onions" which spray out Pikmin seeds you need to manually pluck (you just mash A and he does it really quick). Leaving the seeds in longer causes them to grow buds or even flowers which means better Pikmin (yay!!!) but also wastes time (boo!) but you can find honey in various parts of each level that causes an instant flower transformation. Pikmin are usually enviromentally coded. Yellow pikmin can be thrown farther and can carry bombs. Red Pikmin do the most damage and are immune to fire, Blue Pikmin are waterbreathers.
You can and will at the start lose entire legions of pikmin from loving up but that's pretty okay you can just go find more pikkies to feed the machine. If you gently caress up and lose everything the game will throw one (1) pity Pikmin seed at you.
Sounds cool! Where should I start?
That depends on what you have available to you. Pikmin 1/2 are for the gamecube and Wii, and don't listen to any bullshit about the Wii version being better for its pointer controls, Pikmin 1/2 are really great games with a traditional controller. If you don't have the coins and cash to make that work, Pikmin 3/3DX is really easy to find on amazon and the Switch version (with added co-op, extra campaigns, and other stuff) is coming out October 30, 2020. As with most Nintendo ports, it will be full price. (If you don't like this but you're one of the people that made MK8DX/HWDX/Captain ToadDX/ million+ sellers, then you are part of the problem. If not, proudly shake your fists in righteous indignation).
Don't I need to know the story? Give me the deets.
There's no real story in the Pikmin games, Pikmin 3 is probably the closest to a western style story with multiple characters, major plot twists, etc, but anyway:
Pikmin is a 2001 gamecube game and it's the shortest and probably the worst bang for your buck if you're spending more than 10-20 bucks on it. It's 6.5 hours long (30 in-game days) and you have no co-op, extra challenges, anything. It's a very "basic" and boring package if you really care about replay value. There's no real twists or much of a story: you crash land on the planet, need to get spaceship parts, gather them within the 30 day time limit and fly away. That's all. If you fail to gather them you die. I poo poo you not, you lose horribly.
Pikmin 2 listened to criticism over the length and somewhat over-corrected...Pikmin 2 is massively long, has no time limit (the days are still 13 minutes long) and the goal is to make a shitload of money by gathering various garbage left behind on the planet by humans. I dunno. The game also introduces Dungeon Crawling where there is no time limit, but the dungeons have no theme music, are procedurally generated and somewhat tedious. This is an infinitely longer pikmin game but you will spend the vast majority of that time in the dungeons, so if that sounds good then hooray. They also introduce white pikmin (can dig, and are poisonois) and purple Pikmin (much stronger than normal pikmin, can stun enemies they're thrown onto and splatter you). This also features some of the weirdest bosses and many of the series most intense fights. There's a literal boss that's just "easy enemy from Pikmin 1 but it has a laser-guided machine gun now" and many other fun surprises. Easily the hardest for both good and bullshit reasons (pikmin 2's dungeons like invincible enemies and also randomly dropping bombs on your party, so thats fun). It has the best feature of the game, the Pikopedia that functions as a pretty good bestiary that allows you to look at the behaviour of any enemy you've killed and feed them pikpik carrots to see their attack patterns. Olimar provides fun notes and I think Louie talks about how to eat them. Maybe. It's been awhile.
Pikmin 3 turns back to Pikmin 1 style, but also adds more playable levels, quite a few pretty good bosses and removes the purples and whites for the rock pikmin (they're like purples but far less OP) and the flying pikmin (new niche, but flying Pikmin are awesome). There's co-op challenges on the Wii U, and the Switch one makes the entire game co-op, adds in a couple mini-campaigns and the new Piklopedia and difficulty options. No idea on how those will work, but you know.
It has the most complex story, with characters that actually talk to each other outside of one or two cutscenes, banter, etc. There's plot twists and weird lore and crazy boss fights. This is the strategy action because while tossing pikmin is there still, they added a "rush the motherfucker" button to make up for mapping the camera to the "swarm pikmin around" stick. Pikmin also just trace your footsteps in a congaline and they don't trip nonstop like they do in 1 and 2. They also added a "everyone does a dodge roll" button to make the fights a bit more action packed and dynamic, there's use of a cinematic camera during cutscenes. It's the "AAA" Pikmin game, and there's a shitload of content to get through.
Now that that is all said and done, please no spoilers, are you getting Pikmin 3 deluxe? Do you hope and pray for a Pikmin 4?
hey! you didnt talk about the 3DS one!
As it's a spinoff in the vein of animal crossing amiibo festival and Chibi Robo: Zip-Lash, I have no interest.
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