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Pikmin 2 (GameCube)
- Strategy game
- Alternately control Olimar and his assistant as they herd Pikmin
- Different coloured Pikmin have different skills
- Defeat enemies, propagate more Pikmin, collect stuff, and solve puzzles
- More than 60 different species of enemy characters
- Randomly generated dungeons that span the planet
- Unlimited time
- Play cooperatively with a friend
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- Platform: GameCube
- PEGI Rating: Ages 3 and Over
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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In Pikmin 2, the feature-packed sequel to Nintendo's original Pikmin adventure (famously inspired by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto's back garden), players can once more enjoy the earthly delights of germination. Captain Olimar, the astronaut hero of the original game, makes a welcome return and sets about clearing some bad debts with the aid of the titular Pikmin, which grow from the soil when planted. In microcosm, this is a strategy game, but there's more to it than that: although there are strategic and puzzle elements, the overriding theme is one of action, which makes for an equally exciting and challenging game. Two-player modes are new additions in Pikmin 2, and these arrive in both cooperative and versus varieties. The use of a split-screen here works particularly well. Throw in a few extra flavours of Pikmin (white and purple complement the original's spectrum of characters) and Olimar's new, playable sidekick Louie, and you have a complete and thorough sequel to a modern classic. --Jonti Davies
Captain Olimar returns in Pikmin 2 to marshal new Pikmin in a wild, open-ended adventure--and this time he brought help. The company he works for is going bankrupt, so to save it, Olimar must salvage the treasure buried all over the planet. His company's debt is a whopping 10,000 pokos--but if Olimar and his assistant can delegate their work well, they should be able to erase that debt in no time. Of course, they'll need the help of the Pikmin to do that. Alternately control Olimar and his assistant as you command your Pikmin to defeat enemies, propagate more Pikmin, collect precious doodads and solve puzzles. With no time limit, new colours of Pikmin and two-player cooperative play, Pikmin 2 improves on the original in every way.
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Pikmin 2 has no time limits however, allowing more freedom to explore the gorgeous, seasonal landscapes; inhabited by swarms of beasties. The creature design of Pikmin was a definite highlight of that experience, so its good to see that the artists pulled out all the stops. There must be thrice as many enemy types this time around, all of them hellbent on making the pikmin's lives as hard as possible. The graphics are also more polished, and the new cave-exploration mechanics are fantastic, as they allow you to test your survival skills without worrying about the time limits of the surface world; usually ending on an epic bossfight (though some are just scaled-down versions of Pikmin enemies).
The main goal here is to collect waste (you know what they say about trash and treasure), including branded items like Duracell batteries, Danone yogurt pots and even old Nintendo gadgets, to make 10,000 pokos of cash. The main campaign is over in about 8-12 hours, but there's a whole other area to explore once the credits have rolled, and even the other places should have stuff left to find in them.
Overall, I didn't like Pikmin 2 as much as the first, but as sequels go it's still a fantastic game. The stuff it adds to the existing lore (2 pikmin types, the aforementioned caves, and a 2-player mode) makes it worth doing the whole collectathon thing a second go around, and I'm sure I'll love Pikmin 3 just as much.
Pikmin 2 sees you returning to the Pikmin planet to search for 'treasure' to help repay your shipping company's debt. This time you are not alone. Captain Olimar is helped by a fellow employee called Louie. After one of the finest introductory videos sequences ever (honest), Olimar and Louie begin their treasure hunt. For those unfamiliar with the 1st game, the main game flow is as follows: to help you on your treasure hunt, you must grow and manage a group of tiny plant/animal style creatures called 'Pikmin'. Pikmin can be used to carry treasure back to your ship, attack enemies, build bridges, knock down walls etc. In Pikmin 2, there are 5 different colours of Pikmin (2 more than the previous game) and you'll need to work out which colours to use when to advance in the game.
The graphics in Pikmin 2 are absolutely astounding. Every level has a unique charm- and an unbelievable level of detail. For example, in the forest-style level, 'Awakening Wood', leaves gently fall from the trees and cover the ground, the water glistens in the sunlight, the plants sway in the wind and animals go about their everyday business. As all this happens, the gentle morning light changes into a bright afternoon and then to a beautiful sunset. In fact, the world in Pikmin 2, even though you are pint-sized in comparison- is totally believable. One fantastic new addition to the game that adds to this feeling is the fact that its creators have used some real-world objects as treasure. For example, your 1st item of treasure is a large 'Duracell' battery.
Okay, graphics aren't important in a game. The main point is the gameplay. Pikmin 2 is pure Nintendo magic. Growing Pikmin and hunting for treasure may not sound like fun but Pikmin sucks you in like all classic Nintendo games (Mario, Zelda, Metroid etc.). Now that there is no time limit, you really get a chance to explore every inch of the landscape. Some days, you'll maybe just want to grow some Pikmin. In other days, you may be striving to get as much treasure as you can. The lack of time limit is a godsend- and now you control 2 characters, you can delegate work to manage your days more efficiently.
Underground regions are another fantastic new addition to the game. They are split up into a number of floors which (usually)get harder as you progress. At any floor, you can choose to pull out (and leave your treasure) or delve even deeper. Its down in these regions where the real treasure is. There are no time limits when you are underground- which is useful since most of these areas require much more thinking.
Pikmin 2 is an astonishing game. The screenshots just don't do it justice. Pikmin 2 is a joy to play. The fact you are actually moving a central character with the analogue stick and dishing out orders separates it from most strategy games. This game is suitable for everyone. Its cutesy enough to appeal to kids but has a good difficulty level which is likely to challenge the most able gamers. Pikmin is a marvellous addition to the Nintendo franchise. Here's hoping for more Pikmin games in the future.
Pikmin 2 is an admirably accomplished sequel. Changes have been made, but the fundamentals have been left untouched. The game still feels 'right'; the character design is effortlessly charming, and the game environments are so well laid out that Pikmin 2 is just a joy to play.
In the original you were limited to 30 'days' to reconstruct Olimar's spaceship. And that was it. The problem here was that this didn't allow you much scope in terms of exploration, and it flew in the face of the game's mellow atmosphere.
I am pleased to say that this limited day structure has been dropped. There is no cut off point, and this really allows you to savour the game. This is more of a radical change than you might expect. There is a totally different aspect to Pikmin 2, and this is a change for the better.
Also, the concept of 'caves' have been introduced; these are subterranean levels that are not affected by the passing of time. Again, you can spend as much time as you like in these sections of the game.
If these fundamental improvments weren't enough, there is also the addition of two new sorts of Pikmin, purple (strong) and white (impervious to poison etc.)
Oh, and there's the two player option too.
Nintendo need to make more games like Pikmin 2... simple and addictive, without being disposable or superficial. There's plenty here for everyone.
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