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Pikmin 3 Review


In Pikmin 3, players control three astronauts from the planet Koppai, named Alph, Brittany, and Captain Charlie. On a quest to find nourishing fruit for the inhabitants of their starving planet, they crash land on PNF-404 (a planet that curiously resembles earth), losing their all-important cosmic drive key, as well as each other, in the process.

As could be expected, the inclusion of three playable astronauts instead of just the one or two found in previous Pikmin adventures, adds new levels of depth to the game. Players can split their squad of Pikmin into three separate controllable units, assigning different groups to tasks in multiple parts of a level. It’s a great feature, but one that can also make the gameplay frantic and confusing. While the multi-astronaut dynamic allows for increased strategy and unique gameplay, the real stars, of course, are the Pikmin. Pikmin 3 introduces two new species to the colorful plant-animal creatures: rock Pikmin and pink, flying Pikmin. The rock Pikmin can break glass and cannot be killed by being crushed, while the airborne variety excel at fighting winged enemies and can carry objects over water. Returning are the red, blue, and yellow Pikmin, who each possess their own unique abilities that have been carried over from the previous games in the series.

The gameplay is tactical, but also quick and fun for a game typically categorized as a strategy title. Throwing Pikmin to accomplish tasks like breaking down walls or defeating enemies is a fluid, addicting exercise, most easily done by tapping the giant “A” button of the Wiimote + Nunchuck combo, though playing with the gamepad is not a chore as other reviewers have implied. One of the biggest disappointments of the game, however, is a glaring lack of gamepad integration. Yes, maps, menus, and notes can be accessed on the gamepad screen, and players have the option of using it as their controller; but if the player chooses the more optimal Wiimote + Nunchuck, the physical process of viewing maps and memos on the gamepad while waving around the Wiimote can be burdensome. Nintendo’s promise of a gamepad-instigated revolution in gameplay is not yet apparent in Pikmin 3, as its incorporation of the device feels more like a side note than an organic, necessary enhancement.


Perhaps LEAST disappointing of all are the game’s graphics and level design. Each new world is a sight to behold, overflowing with crisp, beautiful foliage and remarkably intricate terrain. But while the landscapes may be beautiful and alluring, Pikmin 3’s time-based narrative may make players feel hard-pressed to enjoy exploring them. Rather than the traditional set-up of a small number of lives that are chipped away at by taking damage, the continuation of gameplay rests on the player’s ability to locate and collect fruit. A timer in the form of a setting sun scrolls across the top of the screen, ticking away each day (one day equaling about 13 minutes of gameplay time). At the end of every day, the Koppaites must return to their spaceship for the night, forfeiting any stray Pikmin to the clutches of nocturnal predators, then consuming one bottle from their inventory of fruit-derived juice. Thus, the player is constantly racing against the clock to round up Pikmin and find more fruit. Without fruit, he or she cannot make juice and advance to the next day. This all results in a gameplay dynamic that can be characterized as ingenious, incredibly rewarding, but also quite stressful.

Despite its cons, the time-oriented gameplay of Pikmin 3 sets it apart from the crowd, making the gameplay experience refreshing and inherently versatile. It also allows the game to recycle only a handful of worlds (there are essentially four in all), forcing players to revisit them multiple times without becoming repetitive. The gorgeous levels and the utterly unique, fruit-collecting-as-sustenance gameplay system, are features that have begun to test the boundaries of the Wii U’s capabilities. Shigeru Miyamoto and his team have delivered another power star of a game that has enough replay value to keep Nintendo fans playing their beloved brand for even more decades to come. The first undeniable reason to pick up a Wii U and fire up a shiny new gamepad is this: Pikmin 3 is only a click away.


119 thoughts on “Pikmin 3 Review”

  1. Definitely deserves the 9/10, I reckon it could’ve gone for longer though, or if Iwata gmhad gone through with his DLC ideas, might’ve got the 10/10 ^^

    1. noise of season wii re4 sux re6 bez gaim mora powar on sp3 then in wii. aim stuipido pliz undartande garammar las risorte

    1. Get it! Like…finished too quickly, but was definitely eorth it if you’ve played the other games :)
      The last 2 bosses are crazy hard though, it was super easy before then…then you realize you just lost over 5000 pikmin -.-

        1. Even the swamp boss before that though, I swear I lost like 300 pikmin, was crazy, had the other two at base waiting, whenever I ran out I auto-walked them over with 100 more haha
          And that last boss…the worst……..made the game though :D

          1. I wish I thought of that because I always made a accident and threw the other 2 at the beast while blitzing my Pikmin..but yeah that swamp boss with that tongue tho tasted all flavors of Pikmin that day.. I did enjoy those challenging bosses tho made the game that much better..

          1. I replayed that swamp beast tho.. first time I lost over 60 than played again lost only about 20..but the last boss almost 200 total I think..

            1. Oh yeah, not counting first plays. The swamp and bee thing I lost 30ish, realised I’d done it wrong, and started the day again.

      1. @FishyXY,
        Man, it sounds crazy to hear people talk about already beating this game, when I haven’t even had the chance to see what it looks like yet. Oh how the times have changed.

      1. Sadly no, too much in the Realm of Reality to afford one right now…

        But I own everything else…

        Nintendo wise…

        1. Just seemed strange that the “Nintendo Commander” would not own one. But bills have to be paid I guess. I sold my Wii U for rent money months ago. I probably won’t by another one unless the new Zelda (the brand new one) looks like the 2011 demo or better.

          Otherwise the only console I will purchase again will be the XBOX One and that is primarily for Killer Instinct. I’ve waited 17 years for this. That’s is literally half of my life. I like everything they are doing with it so far. All the complaining, begging, and pleading I did to get that game back I would be a hypocrite not to play it.

          1. That’s pretty frustrating, but reality always comes first no matter how much of a fan you are…

            And of course is not stupid enough blowing all your money away before paying and buying the necessary things you have to…

            I myself start college tomorrow, there will be even less time to play games…

          2. I’m in no position of telling you what to buy but please a Xbox one for killer instinct is such a rip off. Get dead rising 3 instead.

            1. rare good shitendo supit sell away rare. xbox eno moar pawe garammer no understuud killer insect goods rare xbox pliz understande

            2. Yeah. Getting a full game, custom skins (including skins from the original KI,) and the original Killer Instinct Arcade for $40 bucks, what a rip-off.


              Pardon me if I don’t complain about not getting exactly what I want in life. The original KI only had 10 characters and KI2 had 13 so this one only having 8 to start with (more characters coming later) is fine with me. The first Street Fighter only had 8 and the first Mortal Kombat only had 7.

              I only use two or three characters max on any fighting game away no matter how many characters it has. Double-Helix (under the guidance of Ken Lobb) has spent an exorbitant amount of time working on the gameplay mechanics to make ti the most robust fighting-engine ever designed. A close friend of mine whom is a GameStop manager just came back from their manager’s conference and he played Killer Instinct there. He said it’s incredible. That is pretty much the reaction I’ve seen and heard from everyone that has played it so far. Double-Helix also has an open dialogue with the fighting-game community and is tweaking things on the fly at the request of the fans. That is just something that doesn’t happen with developers today.

              By holiday next season all the characters will be done and the next character pack will be $20. So altogether for the full game you will have 16-20 playable characters, custom skins, and Killer Instinct Arcade for $60 dollars.

              I guess it was wrong for them to do us a favor by making an extended demo as a show of goodwill while the game is being completed. I guess the people complaining about this must know something I don’t about game development. Somehow they think a QUALITY NEXT-GENERATION FIGHTING GAME being built from scratch should be able to be completed in less than a year. Double-Helix just started on this game last holiday. If you feel like this is nickel and diming then I have a few suggestions.

              1. Wait until next year and buy the hard-copy which will have all characters, skins, and KI1 for $60 dollars.

              2. Don’t by it at all.

              I’m not interested in zombie-games BTW so I will not be getting Dead Rising 3. Titanfall is the only other XBOX One game I am targeting.

          3. Aw man, I loved Killer Instinct and KI Gold, but I just can’t bring myself to believe that Rare has any capacity to do anything well any more. I’ve been hurt too many times.

            …Lousy Starfox Zelda rip off…

              1. I always think of soldier of fortune when someone says double helix, those were the good old days of online gaming.

                @ N-Commander: I don’t think you’re missing out yet, even if you buy your wii u next year, the games are not there yet and the few that are can be played later, nothing really special except rayman. (And cloudberry kingdom, get it on pc, ps3, xbox whatever as long as everyone buys it, it is multiplayer MADNESS. Am playing it on wii u with friends and it is one of the best offline multi games.

                  1. Word of advice. Stay Away from the Community of Trolls( Smash bros. community) unless you’re going to see the wonderful pics of the day or make a quick post. Wouldn’t want to been there during the Mr. Right incident. it was a mess.

          1. Well, I guess they weren’t the SAME mistakes. The mistake on the 3DS was having no significant first party titles anywhere near launch (I think Nintendogs and Cats and Steel Diver was all). At least the Wii U had NSMBU. Having a game with Marios face on the cover should move consoles. But the marketing was horrible, a lot of people didn’t know it was a new console.

              1. True, I too expect this next year as earliest to be announced…

                People seem to want High Command revealing all their cards in one year…

                What would they have to announce all other years then?…


      1. oh no cant be 2gb ram power 8gb ram moar powa. rare 64 bit power no more shitendo no wii underpower no moare pwer sheep hc fan gamer mature blood power behind times rare good nintendo stupid sells away im retarded fanboy with icy brains.

          1. Clive pmeral no ad, sheep wrong. deku neku yo biz pliis aim stupid. brain froze morapoaw garammar las risorte

                  1. Im pissing that emo loser off. Im tired of his stupid comments that no one understands. And the fact that he always say the same thing.

                    1. Yeah im glad im not the only one. Die iceazeama. Grab a gun so you shoot yourself and do the world a favor. We dont need scum like you around the world.You guys cant tell me that your not sick of that annoying hater too.

                      stupid autistic.

        1. Well 2GB (if it’s not shared with graphics memory) is 8 times what xbox360 and ps3 have, so it is sufficient, the programming should be better on wii u, I still feel it’s kind of slow when it shouldn’t be.

      2. I never got stressed from not having enough fruit. lol. Here is the secret: You pick up fruit when you see it. Its brilliant!

      3. I got Shin Megami Tensei IV a few days ago….I am officially obsessed with the game! Never played Shin Megami before, but I can’t put my 3DS DOWN!!!! UGHHH!

        1. oh yeah….and this is a great review. Pikmin deserves the 9/10. The story was short, but I loved playing every second of it! :D

        2. WHAT? never? GTHO!

          just kidding, ps2 has a ton of great shin megami games(many in completely different gameplay styles from each other). And persona games are the best imo.

      4. This is a great game but the only complain that I have is the lack of coop multiplayer, it could even be online coop for 3 players and make it even more awesome

      5. Off topic: it seems that the lego city bundle contains the game on disc instead of a download code, just saw the box on zavvi.

        1. The way Louie fell out the rocket during the credits(that’s most likely him, read the final log in the selection screen. it hints at it), we might get 3.5 as DLC or 4.

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