With each passing month, the Wii U is getting less and less important, as most of the first-party library continues to be lifted, piece by piece, and moved to the Switch. Why, it’s similar to what Pikmin does – Are you getting to where we’re going with this?
Bikmen 3 Deluxe It’s Nintendo’s attempt to reach a final port for a game that deserves a lot more love than it got the first time around. Pikmin 3 has sold just over a million copies, which by the standards of many games is great, but not necessarily a first-party Nintendo IP. Nintendo is supposed to be hoping this time switch success will give the game a new audience, and it really deserves one audience.
If you don’t play it the first time, Pikmin 3 follows the adventures of three explorers named Alph, Brittany and Charlie, who land on PNF-404 while searching for food to return to their famine-stricken home planet. The Trio have to search the planet for sustenance – using local Pikmin residents to help them – while also trying to locate the missing Cosmic Drive Key they need to leave PNF-404 and head home.
the first Pickmen It had a strict time limit, which frustrated some players who wanted more freedom to explore without constant fear that all of that would be lost in the end when the last and 30th day ended and they got the game. Bikmen 2 It went the exact opposite direction, and perhaps granted a great deal of freedom as a result: With unlimited days and great caves where time hadn’t passed, any sense of tension was completely gone.
Pikmin 3 is the perfect compromise similar to Goldilocks. You have a limit, but it depends on the fruit. Every time you collect some fruit and send it to your ship, you will make some juice: Each juice bowl lets you survive another day, and there are about 100 jars in the game, which means there is still a final endpoint you need. You beat the match, But it is much more lenient than the first game.
At first, your three heroes are separated, but before too long they are reunited and can then be divided into different groups. Although there are puzzles that take advantage of this mechanism, these puzzles are fairly straightforward, and for the most part you will find yourself preferring to keep everyone together in one huge group when you can. In theory, you can save time by splitting up groups and sending them to do separate things, but it’s often more difficult than it’s worth as one group can be attacked while you focus on another. There is one big exception to this and it’s the collaborative mode, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Those who played Pikmin 3 on the Wii U will notice a number of changes to the controls in order to make things less stressful. Before, you would lock enemies and things by hovering the cursor over them and holding down “ZL” for half a second, at which point it would lock. You can then cancel it by pressing “ZL” again. This worked fine for the most part, but in departments where there is so much it can sometimes make it difficult to pin down the exact target you have in mind.
This time you lock by simply clicking “ZR”, and clicking on it again allows you to switch between other close targets. This means that if you want to attack an enemy but end up trapping the fruit they are standing right next to, you can just tap “ZR” to shift your focus to the enemy instead. The “Charge” action is no longer associated with the lock, either: Now you can just press “X”, and indicate the direction in which you want to charge it and leave it.
There is also a new menu that you can view by pressing the “Y” button. This allows you to switch between leaders or exclude your Pikmin and divide them into groups. All of these changes lead to a better control system than it was before, but better doesn’t mean perfection, and it can be a bit difficult to get used to at first, especially for those who may not be used to reality. Time strategy type (or more commonly used mouse in PC formulas).
There’s also one major addition that will alarm some die-hard genres, but it’s not designed for them: the ability to show hints by pressing the D-Pad. If you have no idea where to go next, a simple click will bring up a text box that tells you what next step to be, along with arrows on the ground to lead the way and help you find your directions. No, this is not necessary, and most players will be able to perform well without it. But for people who might be less interested in exploring and more interested in making progress (or those who are really stuck, of course), this is a useful feature.
Finally, there’s a co-op that was added to the main story mode for the first time which is a really cool addition to the package. You have three captains to control simultaneously and only one pair of hands to do so, so why not share the load with a friend, family member, or (when paying) a well-trained monkey? Execution isn’t 100% smooth – there are moments when both of you are walking around with the same character and appearing to each other as ghosts – but it’s okay and it doesn’t spoil the deal in any way. When you’re not completely ghostly, this is an absolute delight. The initial impulse is moving around as a group, but in reality, you’ll need to split up to make the most of your limited time each day.
Functionally, it works exactly the same way as it did in Mission Mode on the Wii U, but it’s now for the whole story. Sometimes you might find yourself in a situation where only one person has things to do, but these situations are few and far between, and the second player can act as a supporting character, building Pikmin numbers and grabbing the fruit while the first player tries to do so. Continue the story. You’ll need to get together sometimes, of course, but if anything makes the struggle sweeter.
The story mode accompanies missions – this includes all of the paid DLC missions released for the Wii U version – and a new option called Side Stories. Captain Olimar and Louie appear in the main game, and the side stories are divided into two parts: an introduction explaining what happened to them before the events of Pikmin 3, and a finale explaining what happened after the final credits.
Nintendo asked us not to spoil the finale, but the introduction consists of a number of tasks that often fit into a similar routine: You have a time limit to bring as much fruit as possible to your ship, in order to score enough points to earn a medal. Get at least a bronze medal and you’ll unlock the next quest, but the fun is to repeat quests and try to clear them as quickly as possible to improve your ranking in the online leaderboards.
So, this is Pikmin 3 Deluxe in one form or another: Story mode has improved controls and can be made easier or more difficult depending on your taste, missions include all previous DLC and side stories add up to a long life even if you are not necessarily pioneering. It would be a default of us not to mention the game’s performance: if only to anticipate negative comments in the usual places.
The game still appears to be running at 720p and 30fps, as it did on the Wii U. Now, this obviously will lead to instant “lazy Nintendo” feedback but it’s worth taking a few things in mind: First, there’s a lot going on. In this game, with a lot of characters appearing on the screen at once and a number of transparency and reflection effects at times. While it’s easy to just ask for improvements to the Wii U version, it’s impossible to tell how realistic this request is without knowing exactly how the game was put together.
But the most important thing to keep in mind is that the game doesn’t really suffer from this, other than the slightly soft look. This is a slow-paced game that doesn’t need 60 frames per second play, and there’s still enough detail for you to see what’s going on well. There are many games that might struggle with a 720p and 30fps rendering, but that’s not one of them: It was a great game on the Wii U with that specs, and it’s still a great game on the Switch even though the internet has decided that this is the game. The next big scandal to focus on.
Was it nice to see the resolution or the increased frame rate? Of course it would have happened – we’re a little disappointed, too. But that’s all we are: a little disappointed. The way some people behave online looks like Nintendo sent an army of Pikmin to their home and got them to carry their cat outside and release it in a litter box. The visual improvements could have been great, but it’s been improved in other areas and remains quite entertaining.
“Devoted organizer. Incurable thinker. Explorer. Tv junkie. Travel buff. Troublemaker.”