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New Play Control! Pikmin (Wii) Review

Review for New Play Control! Pikmin on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Considering the GameCube proved to be a let-down for Nintendo when compared to the successes it had with the NES, SNES and even Nintendo 64 in the past, obviously there were a lot of First Party games that failed to reach the desired audience. Now, though, Nintendo is breathing new life into a batch of its classics from a few years back, adding new features and control methods to certain GameCube games. Japan has seen Mario Power Tennis, Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat and Pikmin, with Metroid Prime coming this month, whilst Europe has just received its first entry into the 'New Play Control!' range, with Shigeru Miyamoto's creation 'Pikmin', inspired by his love for gardening and his wish for little helpers to deal with all his chores. Does this 2009 release still hold the same charm as when originally released back in Europe during June 2002, though?

Captain Olimar is flying his space-craft home one day, after finishing his daily job of transporting goods from planet to planet, when he crash-lands on an unknown world that contains a toxic agent in the air that means he only has 30 days to repair his ship (the Dolphin, named in homage to the early project code given to the GameCube pre-launch) and escape back home or else face certain death. Upon initial inspection of his surroundings, he stumbles on an unusual device that reminds him of an onion, leading him to actually call it an 'Onion'. It then proceeds to shoot a seed into the nearby ground, with it sprouting a small, glowing leaf that waves around without the influence of any wind. Once succumbing to the urge to yank it from the ground, Olimar discovers it is in fact a living creature that resembles the Pikpik brand of carrots that he loves so much…and thus the first Pikmin is born and the adventure commences.

With this Wii version comes a far more intuitive control set-up, with players simply moving the Wii Remote around, directing the cursor towards where their Pikmin are patiently waiting, pointing at the on-screen creatures and pressing 'A' to pick them up one at a time, throwing them with another tap of 'A' in the direction that the on-screen cursor has been pointed with the Wii Remote. Hitting 'B' blows a special whistle that brings them all rushing back to Olimar's side whenever necessary, whilst holding 'C' dismisses the group entirely, leaving them to simply stand stationary until further instruction is doled out. To get their attention once more, point the cursor over a group and tap 'B', then players can hold down on the directional pad and point wherever on the screen to command the obedient little critters to first of all form a line ahead of Olimar, then move around wherever you desire, instantly heading off to demolish a nearby flower or tackle an incoming enemy that is within their reach. The 'Z' button on the Nunchuk rotates the camera around the world, cleverly moving the view to wherever the Wii pointer is aimed, whilst also keeping it behind Olimar's back at all times to prevent disorientation, helping to make it one of the most versatile in-game cameras seen in a long time. Left and right on the D-pad zooms to one of three perspectives and up on the D-pad changes the perspective from a top-down view to a three-quarter angle viewpoint.

Screenshot for New Play Control! Pikmin on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Olimar gets to travel to different sections of the planet, all depending on the status of his ship. So when enough parts have been obtained, his craft becomes stronger and stronger until new areas can be explored. Each area is extremely well designed, with various obstacles and traps placed carefully around to prevent gamers from easily waltzing through to the final credits with all thirty parts recovered, whilst not being too awkward that gamers new to the world would be instantly put off by the difficulty level. To help with survival and ultimate progress, there are various pellets around the world, each with different numbers written on them, each of which requires a set number of Pikmin to lift and carry them back to the incubator Onion device that then promptly responds by producing more Pikmin sprouts, ready for the plucking. The statistics at the lower part of the screen show the likes of the number of Pikmin currently out in the field, as well as how many are actively following Olimar around. Caution must be taken wherever Olimar leads the Pikmin, as you can indeed lose your precious garden friends either by jumping in your ship to hover above any night-time threats, leaving them behind as darkness begins to fall, or by watching as they die before your very eyes at the hands/claws of monsters, or even when the Red and Yellow Pikmin are allowed to fall into watery depths that only Blue Pikmin are immune to.

Considering our intrepid traveller can do none of the necessary labour work required to return to himself back to Hocotate, he must rely on collecting as many Pikmin as possible to overcome the various obstacles preventing him from finding all thirty parts for his ship and being able to return to his home planet. And this is where the three different coloured creatures play their main role. It should also be noted that unearthing new Pikmin from the ground too early is not wise, as there are three stages of growth - the leaf, bud and blossom periods, starting with the leaf stage being the weakest/slowest form and ending with the blossoming shoots being the strongest/quickest, and thus the blossoming period is the perfect time to extract them from the ground. Worry not, though, should you prove to be a 'premature plucker', there are certain plants and rock-covered areas around the world that offer up a special nectar that boosts attributes, converting leaf- and bud-Pikmin into mighty, blossoming flower warriors.

Screenshot for New Play Control! Pikmin on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

It has already been mentioned that the Blues can travel underwater, but there are also the Yellow daredevils, the lightest of the bunch, allowing them to float slightly when thrown. This helps them reach heights the Reds and Blues simply cannot, as well as being the only group of the three to be able to handle Bomb Rocks used for demolishing necessary objects such as stone barriers, or dealing massive damage to foes. Finally, the standard Reds are the sheer brutes of the team, with their brawn being far in excess of the others; plus they have the ability to resist threats of fire. With only 100 Pikmin in total available out in open play at any one time, striking the right balance between the three is an integral part of survival when faced with large stretches of water, beasts that spit fire (the Fiery Blowhog, which shakes Pikmin off its back and sprays them with scorching flames) plus massive, seemingly indestructible structures faced on a regular basis.

In order to achieve Olimar's primary objective in the shortest time possible, as many Pikmin are required as possible, and thankfully it is not just the numbered pellets around the world that create more of the creatures, but monsters as well. Therefore, once an enemy has been despatched by your flowery army, they can heave the beast back to the Onion and bolster their numbers further to aide their Captain's plight. Of course, though, this could lead to times of boredom and frustration as there is a need to then go around and pull each new Pikmin from the ground. A pleasing inclusion, however, is that when there are indeed numerous Pikmin ready to be pulled from the ground, simply tapping 'A' repeatedly gets them up and ready as quickly as possible, with Olimar automatically rushing from one to the next, instead of players having the laborious task of meandering over to each one and plucking, then moving to another...repeating ad nauseum.

Screenshot for New Play Control! Pikmin on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

As mentioned earlier, at the end of each in-game day, the Pikmin must be rounded up and sent back into their Onion, therefore a constant eye should be kept on your group. To help matters, as well as the numbered on-screen statistics, after a Pikmin has completed an allotted task it will simply stand around doing nothing, with its colour also draining, so, for instance, the red Pikmin will turn a paler pink shade whilst being unused, meaning they are easier to distinguish from the main crowd and round up safely (later in the game Olimar acquires a Radar that helps making Pikmin location easier, as well as finding further ship parts). Similar to the end-of-day routine, at the start of a new day Olimar must mosey on over to the Onion again, yet this time for the purpose of choosing how many of each type of Pikmin he requires, so as to not have to worry too much about always keeping a close eye on the entirety of the ever burgeoning army under his control. When it comes to controlling all three coloured types, things may well get confusing, yet dismissing the group with the 'C' button splits them into their different groups. In addition, when you hold 'A' to pick one up and throw it, should you wish to change to another type, simply tap 'B' whilst still holding 'A'. Everything is broken down into the simplest possible form so that anyone can jump right in.

The amount of skill involved to obtain all thirty ship items in the allotted time span is extremely high at many times, with players having to determine just how many of each Pikmin type is required on a particular day, with the requirements changing depending on the terrain of the section of world accessible. Luckily, should you ever completely mess up on any one day, there is now the option to go back through the days on Olimar's log and re-start from whatever day you choose. This can certainly prove to be a major relief whilst on the mission to gather the thirty parts for Olimar's ship over the thirty day split. Obviously having a deadline for the Captain's survival means there is obviously a limited lifespan to the game, something that proved to be an issue when first released, especially when the sequel came out and fleshed out the premise much more, developing upon the idea and feeling more like a finished product, as well as scrapping the time limit. However, there is a Challenge Mode on offer that adds some extra longevity to the package. When the player has found all three coloured types of incubating Onion, Olimar can be challenged on how many Pikmin he can produce in one day. This is separate to the one-player main mode and pits players against the clock, as well as various enemies from the main adventure, meaning even if lots of Pikmin are produced, without careful management they could be sent to Pikmin heaven very quickly...This is definitely something to help extend the game further, and with the added Wii controls, and reduced price-point, this is an excellent entry into the series for old fans and newcomers alike.

Screenshot for New Play Control! Pikmin on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

What was already a very impressive take on the Real-Time Strategy genre just got a whole new lease of life and highlights how there should be far more games of this ilk on the system. Perfectly suited!

Graphics

We have seen how well the better end of the GameCube graphics spectrum holds up today already with Capcom's Resident Evil ports/remakes, and Pikmin is another fine example of how Nintendo's visual efforts still trump many Third Party Wii games.

Sound

A very calm, relaxing soundtrack is present throughout, whilst never quite hitting the spot like other Nintendo efforts.

Value

As with the original release back in 2001, Pikmin is limited by the 30-day window and does not offer much in the way of replayability. Definitely a short-but-sweet adventure.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

Pikmin proved to be quite a revelation when first released, and its charm is not only still there today, but magnified by the inclusion of some very intuitive Wii Remote motion controls and a few other extras to keep fans happy. It might not be the longest adventure ever, but it definitely still remains a very impressive introduction to the series.

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09.02.2009

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Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (4 Votes)

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

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Excellent - glad they managed to implement the controls properly and prove that RTS does work on Wii. Looking forward to seeing the third one to see how it can improve even more over this, and it bodes well for games with minions like Overlord: Dark Legend coming soon.

Cheers Adam!

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The game only entered the Wii Full Price Top 40 at No.17 in this evening's update, but I saw in-store promotions for it in Gamestation, so perhaps it'll rise next week (Mystery Case Files is a massive hit, surprisingly!).

This is definitely a great little update to what was already a brilliant concept. Hopefully more people will jump on-board the game this time round. BTW, for those wondering, it does have a reversible cover, with the original art on...

Nintendo probably could have added much more to this, but it still works really well and I can't wait to see what changes are made to the fantastic Pikmin 2!!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Nice review, but since I already have the GCN version I'll wait for the Pikmin 2 remake Smilie


.:Zelda Adventures:.
u guys are DNA.

Zephyr said:
Nice review, but since I already have the GCN version I'll wait for the Pikmin 2 remake Smilie

why not wait for a new pikmin itself?


Mario, Mega Man and Rayman FTW!!!

2001. Bloody hell.

I know everyone wants 70 hours worth of game from every purchase, but I am beginning to move sharply away from massive games. There's too many and I don't have the time (correction: I can usually swindle the time, but other important things get sacrificed). Fable is famously a breeze - well yes, if you don't explore Albion or do any side-quests or anything other than peg-it after the golden breadcrumbs. I've been playing it for at least 30 hours. 30 brilliant enchanting hours, but still, a long time.

Pikmin's a lovely little nugget.

Less posty, more gamey.

SuperShyGuy said:
Zephyr said:
Nice review, but since I already have the GCN version I'll wait for the Pikmin 2 remake Smilie

why not wait for a new pikmin itself?


I've never played Pikmin 2, and since the Wiimake will be out before 3, I might as well get it instead of the GCN version.


.:Zelda Adventures:.
u guys are DNA.

I saw NPC! Pikmin at Gamestation for £29.99. Was surprised because i thought it was meant to be full retail price.

Decent review (better than the Wii Fit and Super Paper Mario one) though i think the sound rating should at least be a 7. I hope people pick up these gamecube re-releases, they deserve more credit then what they got.
Oh and, this isn't Europe's (or anyone's) first NPC! game, that title goes to Twilight Princess Smilie

Bowser. You Booz, you lose.

I know everyone here hates me, I know you don't care what I think and I know I said I wouldn't post again... but I just cannot resist... I appologize.

I think my last message was a bit misunderstood, I completely agree that AC:CF was an extremely lazy effort by Nintendo, I just don't think that makes it a bad game... I was taking out my frustration at Nintendo and this new casual gaming trend on you guys, my bad.
For what its worth, I'm sorry... but I don't expect or want forgiveness... I just came back to moan again! XD

Anyway, after everyone ranting at how lazy Nintendo were for porting a gamecube game to the Wii the other day I really just couldn't help but point out the incredible levels of hypocrisy here...
Wow... just wow. Is it the same person reviewing AC:CF and this? If not ignore what Im saying, but if it is...
Seriously, is this a joke? did you deliberatly give this a good review just for ironys sake?
Do not even try to argue that this adds more to the game than City Folk does to the Gamecube version, that would just be lying.

Sorry for breaking my promise and yet again posting something positive. But the way Nintendo are acting at the moment, there really isn't anything positive to post about... The Conduit looks amazing!!!

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Look you numpty - games get different scores, people have different opinions.

The Wii version of AC is being marketed and sold as a new product, where as this is clearly sold as a GC port with added Wii controls. My dispute is the price for both, as they should be sold at budget (£19.99) or player's choice levels.

As for AC itself, in my review of it (I didn't review this Pikmin) I did mention its positives, but there's not enough of them IN MY OPINION for it to deserve a higher score.

That's the thing about reviews, its down to the reviewer. I didn't review this game, nor the DS Animal Crossing - it's our opinions.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Jorge reviewed AC: LGttC, whilst I reviewed Pikmin. And anyway, both games are completely different situations. AC is pawned off as a 'brand new' game, whilst it's in fact a mix of the N64/GC and DS games...Pikmin, though, is clearly stated as being part of a revival series that includes nice extras to make it appeal more to Wii owners that never played it before and don't realise you can play GC games on Wii.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Good review. Although I actually quite liked the music in pikmin and found it to be surprisingly memorable.

I'd still recommend people doing a quick search for a cheap Cube version before getting this, seen as it's basically the same thing. It's not like there was any problem using the Cube controller either, although no using the Wii-mote is more intuitive.

Now on twitter, predicting celebrity death headlines! @thedaytheydie
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The cheese. said:
Good review. Although I actually quite liked the music in pikmin and found it to be surprisingly memorable.

I'd still recommend people doing a quick search for a cheap Cube version before getting this, seen as it's basically the same thing. It's not like there was any problem using the Cube controller either, although no using the Wii-mote is more intuitive.


That's true - if people want the GC version without any of the upgrades (the Wii pointer controls are far smoother than the analogue ones IMO) then it's dirt cheap, unlike its sequel. The music never really hit me the first time round, and it certainly didn't grow on me any more with this Wii version...but opinions differ, of course Smilie

Apparently there have been lots of adverts in the UK. Anyone seen them?

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I love the soundtrack too, good to hear I'm not the only one Smilie

And auroreon, the problem here is that Animal Crossing was promoted and sold as a new full price Wii game, when it was just like the DS game which isn't even that old at all! Some may see handheld as an even bigger improvement, so it's like they actually took a step BACK.

Pikmin is branded as a Gamecube title being ported to Wii with new controls, which is what it is, even if it's too expensive, it's still £10 cheaper than Animal Crossing, which shouldn't be called "Animal Crossing: City Folk" it should be called "Animal Crossing: Wild World Wii Edition"

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Yeah why did they call it a different name when it is basicaly Wild World?



SuperYoshi6 PSN name
3DS friend code 2878-9581-8999

I'll probably end up picking it up...but it is a bit irksome that Nintendo are filling the void for 'proper' games on the Wii with what is essentially re-hashed classics. I can see why it warrants the score, Pikmin is an awesome game, but why didn't Nintendo take the time to bring us something more? Quick cash in hand leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Well, you say 'filling the void', but if you compare the Wii's line-up to what Nintendo actually did put out on the GameCube, so far Wii owners have had a much better deal, with heaps of new 1st Party games coming this year (Pikmin 3 included, as well Punch Out, Kirby, Sin & Punishment 2, and some new titles revealed at the October conference).

So I see this New Play Control! line-up as a nice little bonus. I can't wait for Jungle Beat and Chibi-robo.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

And auroreon, the problem here is that Animal Crossing was promoted and sold as a new full price Wii game, when it was just like the DS game which isn't even that old at all! Some may see handheld as an even bigger improvement, so it's like they actually took a step BACK.

For christ sake. For. Christ. Sake. Here we are, back at square one! Regardless, totally regardless of everything you are complaining about, it is still a good game. Same as the GC title, with more collectibles and a few other minor additions. I don't care if this isn't the NES days anymore, the difference between Super Mario Bros. and SMB: The Lost Levels are extremely minute, but nobody's complained have they!

Why are you people complaining about the wrong things, Wii Fit is the enemy here, going for £70 when it's absolute crap. GO TO THE GYM, YOU FAT BITCH! I haven't seen anyone complain about the price of Wii Fit yet!

Bowser. You Booz, you lose.
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

IxisNaugus said:
For christ sake. For. Christ. Sake. Here we are, back at square one! Regardless, totally regardless of everything you are complaining about, it is still a good game. Same as the GC title, with more collectibles and a few other minor additions. I don't care if this isn't the NES days anymore, the difference between Super Mario Bros. and SMB: The Lost Levels are extremely minute, but nobody's complained have they!

Well I dunno about a lot of hypocrites in the gaming community, but I'm fine if a sequel comes out with different stages. Unfortunately, ACWii and ACDS are pretty much the same game and don't have different stages either.

Why are you people complaining about the wrong things, Wii Fit is the enemy here, going for £70 when it's absolute crap. GO TO THE GYM, YOU FAT BITCH! I haven't seen anyone complain about the price of Wii Fit yet!

Actually I hate the Wii series so I like to pretend Wii Fit doesn't exist, wheras I previously loved Animal Crossing to bits and feel a bit betrayed now.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I've got both for GC so won't be getting the Play Control! games. I still havn't completed the 2nd game due to my Pikmin being eaten all the time. Smilie

IxisNaugus said:
Why are you people complaining about the wrong things, Wii Fit is the enemy here, going for £70 when it's absolute crap. GO TO THE GYM, YOU FAT BITCH! I haven't seen anyone complain about the price of Wii Fit yet!

What's crap to you is amazing to someone else. Paying for gym membership and not having the confidence to go to a gym are just a couple of reasons why people don't feel motivated to go. What WiiFit does is provide people with something that is made to encourage and motivate people to get fit and keep tabs on their health which is much better than doing nothing is it not?

The WiiFit board is obviously the thing that's responsible for the high price but compared to not going to the gym at all or paying for membership, WiiFit to many is a great alternative and well worth the price.

It might not make a great 'game' but it fulfills it's purpose almost perfectly. Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

So, has anyone here actually tried NPC! Pikmin yet? I'm enjoying it far more than before, mainly thanks to the fact you can back-track not just one day, but as many as you want and start from that point again. The perfectionist in me loves that feature...

wAyNe - sTaRT said:
It might not make a great 'game' but it fulfills it's purpose almost perfectly. Smilie

Which is why I still firmly stand by my 9/10 review for it.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Staff Member

This post is a little late, but I thought I'd make my proper return in this post (Yes, i'm back Smilie ) ACWii is a brilliant game imo, however I haven't played the first two so... yeah. But I know people who have owned all three and still aren't disappointed with the series. Oh, and DLC is a great addition. Smilie

As some of you may know, I LOVE Nintendo. I practically buttsecks them, but I never played the original Pikmins on the GC, and played very little of MP1&2 (Melee took up most of my time Smilie) So I think this is a great idea for Nintendo to re-release titles that some people haven't played, and with new extras and innovative controls it almost makes them seem like new games.

So, yeah. That's pretty much it. Reason for me not being here so much: Why the delightful Animal Crossing has been taking up most of my time. You may see me a little more around here, you may not. 8)

Oh and I've given up on Brawl, my bloody Wii takes about 30 attempts for it to read the disc. :-x
That is all. I shall see you when I see you Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The DS game had dlc too O:

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Staff Member

Mush123 said:
Oh and I've given up on Brawl, my bloody Wii takes about 30 attempts for it to read the disc. :-x
That is all. I shall see you when I see you Smilie

Good to see ya back Mush. Smilie

I'd advise you to send your Wii to Nintendo for a clean, it's all free (minus the cost of the box), and it'll work like a dream when it gets back, trust me on that one. Smilie


Staff Member

It did? Oh..
I never realized, my bad Smilie

Staff Member

Phoenixus said:
Mush123 said:
Oh and I've given up on Brawl, my bloody Wii takes about 30 attempts for it to read the disc. :-x
That is all. I shall see you when I see you Smilie

Good to see ya back Mush. Smilie

I'd advise you to send your Wii to Nintendo for a clean, it's all free (minus the cost of the box), and it'll work like a dream when it gets back, trust me on that one. Smilie

Don't think that's a good idea... as I have homebrew on it Smilie

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