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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 July 2013
This game is a must have for any Wii U owner.

It's fun to play, the gameplay is easy and anyone whether experienced or inexperienced can pick it up and play, the environment is beautiful and engrossing, Pikmin 3 shows just how much attention to detail and care has gone into the creation of the third Pikmin installment.

There are three modes, story mode, mission mode and bingo battle. Story mode follows the trials and tribulations of three astronauts who have crashed landed on an unknown planet in search of food for their planet. With the help of Pikmin, the astronauts need to gather enough food to feed their planet.

Mission mode offers the player the chance to improve their Pikmin playing skills with short games i.e. 'gather the fruit' and 'battle the boss'.

Bingo Battle is the multiplayer mode where each player is given a bingo card and must ensure they get a bingo and stop their counterpart getting a bingo.

Not to waffle on but this game is fantastic and if it's any indication of the games coming out on the Wii U then I'll be one very happy gamer.
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on 22 February 2014
It has been nearly nine years since Nintendo put us in control of a space captain, who like his predecessors has been stranded on a very colourful alien planet completely alone, bar the help of the adorable yet ferocious combatants known as the Pikmin. These flower like inhabitants are completely loyal to you (for some reason that is never explained), which is helpful as they are your only chance of survival and completing the game. This time around you are no longer accompanied by the likeable Captain Olimar but are thrust into the control of three different captains, Charlie, Brittany and Alf. These three space trekkers are from the planet of Koppai, which is facing an inevitable doomsday due to a growing population resulting in an ever decreasing food supply. They come to the conclusion that food is out there and the inhabitants decide to explore the cosmos to find salvation. This is where the Pikmin’s home planet PNF 404 comes into play; this is the only planet that reports back positive to signs of life. But this planet is as dangerous as it is beautiful, which our companions are soon to find out.

Players of the original two games on the Game Cube will feel right at home when playing Pikmin 3, with a similar control scheme (You chuck the Pikmin the same but the whistle is now located in a place where it is easier to use) depending on which way you decide to play. I would personally recommend using the Wii U GamePad as I believe it really shows off what the system is capable of doing.

Pikmin 3 is a RTS with a twist. Your goal is not to capture and kill enemies to win, but is to do what is necessary to survive and return fruit back to your ship for food to keep yourselves alive. A limiting factor returns from the original game which gave you only thirty days to complete the game. In Miyamoto’s third instalment of the game your progress depends entirely on fruit juice which you find around each land which is the key to your survival.

This game looks beautiful in HD which is reflected in the models for the fruit which now look really realistic. Also because of the 720p HD the problems from the GameCube don’t resurface for example when marching with Pikmin they don’t become blended but instead keep their physical integrity. Pikmin 3 was originally meant for a release on the Wii but after playing the game you can clearly see it was the right decision to postpone it a generation. The only snag would be some pretty dated ground textures which are just flat and lifeless, but don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t detract you from enjoying the game.

The day system returns and when you have to drink a bottle of juice at the end of each day, managing what you get accomplished in that day is crucial. This is where the GamePad really comes into action. For most Wii U games the pad has served as a load-out screen or a map but in Pikmin 3 it does so much more. What this pad allows you to do is select one of the three captains with a small squad of Pikmin on his/her own and move them to a certain place on the map. They then move to the selected location which allows them to pick up fruit and because all three captains can go their separate ways it allows much more fruit to be collected an adds an extra layer of strategy to the game.

Now let’s discuss the real stars of the show, the Pikmin, the red, blue and yellow Pikmin have returned from the first two games and they keep their original abilities. The red Pikmin are impervious to fire, blue to water and yellow can conduct electricity and can jump higher than the rest. But joining them are two completely new breeds, one is the rock Pikmin, which are similar to the purple Pikmin from the second game in the respect that they act as the heavy’s. These guys’ jobs are to break glass blockages also help when fighting bullborbs or in boss battles as they deal an extra punch. Another newcomer to the franchise are the winged Pikmin which are as they are described by their name in that they have wings, which allows items like fruit or pellets to be taken back to the ship by different routes. These cute little pink Pikmin help you to give you an extra edge when planning your next move. This time around the onions for each class of Pikmin are no longer individual but rather combined which makes the dispersal of the classes easier but with a cap of a hundred Pikmin out in the field at any one time you have to choose carefully.

There are only four areas of the world to visit, bar the final location which has nowhere to explore. But each of the locations are very different to the rest for example the distant tundra has a very different feel to it than the garden of hope. Each location has been carefully designed to reward exploration. When you unlock a new area you are normally rewarded with a new Pikmin type which helps you progress further into that habitat. But if you go back to a previous location with the new type of Pikmin you will find you will access new areas hosting new fruit to be collected.

This game is definitely not to be judged by its cover, if you think it to be a cute and cuddly child’s game then you couldn’t be more wrong as one slip of the hand and you send all your squad into the guzzling pit of a bullborbs stomach. This game makes you feel for your Pikmin so much that you are saddened by their death by a false move or worse, stranding them at night to be alone and then eaten.

Pikmin 3 is a game which will bring much needed attention to the system and shows of the power and the beauty of the console. It is a dangerous planet but one that is needed to visit to not just save the Koppai but to save the Wii U. The only snag when playing with the Gamepad rather than remote and nunchuck is the accuracy when throwing Pikmin can be a little difficult to aim compared to the others, but you can still play the game entirely on only the pad! It is a reasonably sized main story with characters from the first two games appearing, which is greatly appreciated by fans of the previous titles, but with all the exploration possible you won’t want to be leaving PNF 404 any time soon.
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on 24 February 2014
I really love Pikmin and have both games for the Gamecube. Pikmin 3 was one of the games that I was most excited about getting for my Wii U.

The charm is definitely still there. It oozes it, and draws people in. I had friends staying over and they were all entranced by the game. I'm excited to get another wiimote and nunchuck to play multiplayer.

I played the game with the gamepad and thought it adequate but clunky at times, particularly when fighting flying enemies. I'm going to give the wiimote a go soon and I expect it to be a much better way of controlling the game; at least for accuracy in throwing and selecting pikmin. The game is essentially an RTS after all, getting closer to a mouse and keyboard control method is likely to make things much easier.

My biggest complaint is with the length of the game. While the others were more about exploring and had little in the way of plot, Pikmin 3 is very linear with new areas only opening up after plot points have occurred. This isn't a bad thing; I lost interest in Pikmin 2 once I had access to all the Pikmin types because there wasn't much to keep me playing but the puzzles.

Unfortunately Pikmin 3 swings in the opposite direction; there is a lot less to see. I was impressed by how expansive the maps were at first, and I liked that there were no load times (I feel like there may have been waits for the various caves in Pikmin 2). Still, there are only four real areas to explore, and while there is reason to go back once you find new pikmin types there isn't a huge amount of extra space to unlock; just more of this games collectible items, fruit (as opposed to junk and ship parts in the second and first installments).

While there is a definite purpose to what you are doing the puzzles are few and mostly repetitive whilst being very simple. For instance, yellow pikmin can handle electricity. A situation is presented that requires them to be used (and how they should be used is highly telegraphed) and there isn't much further exploration of this mechanic.

The positive is that the game has a focus on cooperative play, both in a battle mode and in standalone missions that provide a scenario and limitations. I haven't played the battles so I'll mention the missions. You start off with pikmin of a few types and have to do various things; gather treasure, eliminate enemies etc. I have only played one but it seemed fun and was set up for cooperative play.

My second major disappointment is with regards to these missions; at the time of writing there have been three DLC packs that must be bought in addition to the base game cost; two for £1.50 and one for £4.50. The first two unlock eight new missions (for a total of 15 enemy-fighting missions and 15 treasure gathering missions) as well as some other settings (I'm not sure how many missions they represent).

I have never been a huge fan of DLC but in this case I do feel ripped off. The first pikmin was short and sweet and I appreciated it. I really expect more since then though, and to find that this game has a very short campaign and a significant amount of extra content, but which requires even more money to be spent really winds me up. The first two DLC packs add very little (from what I can tell) other than some more level design. There isn't a huge amount of that in the base game so I'm disappointed that I need to pay another £3; not a lot I know, but if I want the complete game it is almost £10 more than the base.

In conclusion, the lack of content is the biggest issue I have with the game. There seems to be an emphasis on replaying the campaign to better your score (finish more quickly with fewer dead pikmin and more fruit collected) but really, that isn't enough for me. I finished the game in 2 days, and that was whilst entertaining guests and going out in the evenings. The game is very charming but also very easy. The challenge and longevity seem to be expected to come as a result of trying to beat your high score (which doesn't interest me) and coop play, which I am excited to explore.

As a single played game it only gets three stars though. Were all the DLC missions included in the base game it would likely be a four/five. There isn't enough to the base game for that score though.
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on 23 August 2013
Pikmin 3 is an amazing game, I have been waiting a veeeery long time for this game since I finished 2 when I was still in school, now I'm about to start university so I've had many years of waiting for this and hyping it up and it makes me glad that I can say it was very much worth the wait.

The gameplay controls like a dream with the Wii Remote + Nunchuck, the graphics (apart from some textures) are amazing, especially the Venomous Phosmoth and all of the foliage (especially in the rain).

The music is much like Pikmin 1 and 2, very relaxing and surreal like the environments themselves and great to listen to.

The games only real issue is the length of the story, being much shorter than Pikmin 2 but probably longer than 1 (I can't quite recall), it is entirely replayable however and you will probably want to go through it again at the end.

Mission mode is the challenge mode from the previous games, it has three modes in it which are Collect Treasure, Defeat Enemies and Boss Battle, each mode has five missions in it which you can get either a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum medal depending on how well you do.

I was pleasantly surprised by this mode as it took me a good while to get platinum medals on everything, I assumed since modern Nintendo didn't make things all too difficult anymore it would be a cakewalk but it certainly wasn't as I had to learn the intricacies of each mission map to finally, after many, MANY tries to get my hands on a Platinum medal.

All in all this is unquestionably the best game the Wii U has on it right now and I sincerely hope this is an indicator of the quality of future Wii U titles.
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on 27 July 2013
I have not played this game. I got it for the Mrs who enjoyed playing the pikmin game on the wii u compilation game thing... Here is an email I got this morning at half 3...

"What have you done?!

I came to bed at half 11 after Big Brother and decided that I might just try Pikmin out for half an hour before I went to sleep, 4 hours later and I've only just turned it off and that was only because the controller battery died!

I knew this would happen!

Love it!"

So it cant be a bad game.
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on 23 August 2013
I remember sitting down playing the original Pikmin game on my GameCube and was in awe at how something so simple became instantly addictive.

Jump forward to the current day and I have been playing Pikmin 3 since launch. The game continues the trend of having a day structure that while initially seems an odd choice allows for quick play sessions which is a massive addition.

So for those new to Pikmin, the game sees you find a odd species of plant life called Pikmin. They have a variety of styles and each has a strength and weakness. As you explore the land you will encounter the various pikmin and with a blow of your whistle or a plucking session you will soon be commanding an army of 100 of your bulb like friends.

As you commence the game you are limited to using just one explorer, the idea being to locate your lost team mates. This shouldn't take too long but it introduces you perfectly to the new play style (using a Wii Remote and Nunchuck is really the default option and best play experience). Pointing your wii remote at the screen you can target and select enermies or objects to send the Pikmin at all by simple tap of the A button. Want to send them all in then shake the nunchuck, it's simple and very effective. You can use the gamepad it just takes a while to adjust but it's up to you, if you choose the Wii remote option then the Gamepad becomes a very effective map, so make sure you keep it close by!!!

Once you've located your team mates the game opens up even more, some individuals will play the game as one giant 100 strong army, or you will devide your team up working on different objectives for example one bunch of Pikmin collecting Spice (Which makes your Pikmin stronger and faster) while your other Pikmin are attacking a boss.

As the days last only 15 minutes it's utilising the teams in the best way to make your harvest all the more effective and I have spent several hours replaying the same day (Optional) just to ensure that I am getting everything I can in the limited time frame.

One of the core strengths of the gameplay for Pikmin 3 is it rewards you for just figuring things out for yourself, if however you need some assistance you can find various hints dotted about the place as well.
What does need to be commended is that watching or playing Pikmin is a stunning experience, the view of watching a garden coming to life in such an intimate way is beautiful. Pikmin have a very unique personality and each one seems very individual.

Also those who like to play with friends (no online) will be happy to play the missions and bingo battle games which I've been playing extensively (probably more than the actual game) but regardless this is an excellent addition for the Wii U and for folk who like a more relaxing gaming session. Bingo Battle sets up a split screen mode where you have a bingo board of various items that you need to go and hunt, along the way you may pick up various power ups which will cause pain to the other player, the levels are varied and the Bingo Boards are always randomly generated so makes playing the same map a different experience. For missions you are tasked with various objectives, which in split screen mode you and a friend will go and complete together, it's straight forward and very effective, I found this the best way to introduce someone of less experience to the game.

UPDATE

5 months have now passed and Nintendo has managed to release several amazing games in short succession of each other. I purchased Pikmin on the day of release and am still playing the game! The various mission modes and downloadable content continue to add to the experience and has kept me entertained for a staggering 153 Hours!!! That's some serious play time. The game just continues to be a joy to play and a pleasure to watch with some of the most beautiful creature design.
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on 29 July 2013
One of the few essential Wii U purchases. It's taken a while for Nintendo to get out their first truly next gen title but it has been worth the wait. It looks gorgeous. The great Pikmin gameplay returns with quite a few new features. Wii Remote and Nunchuck are the better control option but gamepad is sufficent.
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on 27 July 2013
This game is excellent. It's a real puzzler and time management game. I love all the different Pikmins that you can use with their different abilities. I am really enjoying the selection of games on the wii u and this is a great game to add to your collection. Although I have never played a Pikmin game before it doesn't seem to matter as you soon get used to how to play this game and it makes good use of the game pad. The only problem is that it is very addictive and hard to put down, but I don't think I mind that much :). Enjoy!
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on 24 February 2015
I have never had the experience of playing the game's predecessors but I must say it it brilliant. These are the sort of games I like and sort of reminded me of the Sims in that you have objectives to carry out and goals to achieve but the gameplay is a lot different.

I just dived in and bought the game not knowing what to expect. Its about these 'aliens' who crash land on a planet and use little guys called 'Pikmin' to help them explore the world, forage for food etc in order to help them survive and learn more about this new world. You have many objectives throughout the game and I found the controls easy to grasp. I like the added use of the wii's gamepad in this game as it acted as your map.

To be honest I have had to replay the game twice since I have had it because of the fact that I spent hours at a time on it and then had ditch it in order to catch up on the things I had neglected to do. So up until now I still haven't completed the game. Hours will fly by as you say to yourself 'just one more day' (you'll understand what I mean when you play). I tried to review it so I didnt give to much away. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do
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It's been a long time coming, but the Wii U finally has a first party title that offers something radically different from it's current catalogue. If you're asking what 'Pikmin' even is, then fear not; I've gone from being a complete newcomer in this series to already anticipating a sequel.

The premise to this game, in typical Nintendo fashion, paves a way for what would appear to sound completely ridiculous on paper, yet borderline genius in action. Three intrepid explorers - Captain Charlie, Alph and Brittany - find themselves on a mission to gather vital food stock for their planet Koppai, which has exhausted all its resources through overpopulation and miss-use. (Sound familiar?) However, the intergalactic crew get find themselves in trouble after crash landing on planet PNF-404, home to a species of creature called 'Pikmin'.

What at first seems like an impossible task of even regrouping the crew becomes a steady, almost surprising adventure for the bumbling Alph and Britanny. They befriend an intriguing Pikmin population, and soon realise that far from being dangerous, they can actually help the crew retrieve food sources scattered across the planet. But with Captain Charlie lost and obstacles to overcome, collecting fruit whilst requiring it to stay alive is not a leisurely task.

Pikmin 3 is based almost entirely around strategy, but it's executed in a delightfully addictive way. Whereas other games of this genre may leave you feeling worser off after the repeated "just five more minutes" period, this title gives a sense of ownership over the characters. It may be down to the fact that you're overseeing a familiar Earth-like environment, but the Pikmin themselves are not just expendable weapons or tools - they're living creatures that you genuinely want to keep alive at all costs. And this is all despite the fact that you can 'pluck' new ones at any time.

In fact, it's this scaling down of the characters within a realistic scenery that makes the game so imaginative. What may appear as giant boulders to the Pikmin are, in fact, small pebbles to you or I! The game is truly larger than life, and this will no doubt be welcome by fans of the classic 'Lemmings' series.

The general challenge of this game isn't discovering fruit, but having the skills to overwhelm very funny looking 'beasts' that block your path, and to balance your fruit collection with consumption. Pikmin 3 features no levels - its events occur as 'days' that set a time limit, and when the day is up, you're required to drink some of your fruit juice.

Since the story in Pikmin 3 unfolds at a surprisingly rapid pace, the gamer is expected to pick up all the essential controls in lots and lots of small chunks. For such a brilliantly executed game, it may well be that the only sour note is how long it takes to learn all the different commands across different Wii controllers - especially if you have never played a Pikmin title before. For simplicities sake, I found it easier to spend a couple of days using only the Game Pad, and then I tried out the Wii Remote & Nunchuk alternatives.

The point take away from all this information is that each control scheme offers benefits and drawbacks; the Game Pad presents your Map (which also arrives in paper form in the disc case) and communicator right in front of you, whereas the Wii Remote & Nunchuk pairing offer greater accuracy when moving Pikmin around. The beauty of the Wii U, however, is that these options are there in the first place, and will suit a variety of needs. You can even combine these two methods.

The Game Pad comes into its own as Alph or Brittany's Koppad, which is a fancy communicator. It give you access to information on fruit (each one lovingly described in adventurer terms, such as a 'Pimpled Refresher'), your map and lots more. You even have the ability to use your Koppad as a camera, which lets you take pictures at ground level (by holding up the Game Pad) and then save or post them to Miiverse.

Visually, Pikmin 3 is the Wii U's best looking game yet. It is as much a delight to play as it is to look at, such is the sheer depth of field, lighting effects and textures that recreate lush environments. Colours pop at an incredible range, too. Equally impressive is the soundtrack, which again reeks of that typical immersive Nintendo feel at just about every stage of the gameplay, suturing you into a specific mood almost effortlessly (and, needless to say, forcing you to Humm the melodies around the house).

Despite this visual and aural beauty, I'm pretty certain that Pikmin's biggest attraction is its innocence. We're living in an age that glorifies quite graphic conflict (and most worryingly, it's accessible to children), but this has allowed Nintendo's IP to become all the more refreshing and relevant in the video games industry. There are no guns here, or bloodshed. No violence, swearing or overtly patriotic warfare. Pikmin 3 is probably the most optimistic game you could wish to approach, and yet it manages to combine very clever drama with good morals about teamwork and friendship. This makes it very suitable for both families and single players.

Some have argued that the Story Mode is too short, but I feel that for a game of this genre, it's a very subjective statement to make. Any strategy game is "what you make of it" per-se, leaving the player to work entirely at their own pace. Gamers have different choices, and I'm not even a third of the way through the story after two weeks.

Nintendo will no doubt be pleased that so many newcomers are playing a Pikmin game for the very first time, and that proves just how accessible this title is. The Wii U hasn't been able to follow the momentum of the original Wii (so far), but Pikmin 3 is simply the best demonstration of this console's unique traits. Along with interesting controls, it offers a heartwarming story, loveable characters and exceptional graphics.

The only problem now is how I get my Game Pad back...
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