Game Club #3 Roundup — Pikmin


Zebei: My history with Pikmin starts with 2, which was a bit too slow paced for me to bother beating, but it was enough for me to become interested in the series. When I eventually got a Wii U, I was able to get Pikmin 3 free because of the deal with Mario Kart 8. This wound up being a great decision because this game is amazing. Pikmin 3 is easily one of my favorite games on the Wii U. . .maybe even #1 because it is just so good. The game’s flow is very fluid, with the juice system giving you plenty of rewards for playing well, while not feeling like there is 0 rush like Pikmin 2. The ability to use 3 captains at once, while having them walk automatically with the gamepad allows for unparalleled efficiency, and with some proper planning, you can finish many many objectives in a single day. The combat and bosses are fun and the puzzles are pretty neat too. Not to mention the game is gorgeous. My only complaint is it’s a bit too easy sometimes, and the juice limit can be a little too lenient around the mid-game (you can have up to 30 days in reserve or more with little effort).

However, about 2 minutes before writing this article, I beat Pikmin for the first time. Pikmin 3DS was definitely what got me to start Pikmin 1, but Game Club did help a tad. While I have seen a play-through of the game by youtuber Chuggaaconroy, that was more than 6 years ago, so this was essentially a fresh experience. Frankly, I couldn’t help but compare the game to Pikmin 3, which I admit is a bit unfair based on how the sequels build on the past and 2 generations of tech to work with. But I just couldn’t stop myself for the first few “days” of gameplay before I started being able to look at this game in a vacuum. Compared to Pikmin 3 this game is SUPER clunky. You can’t even switch what pikmin you are throwing. The only way to pick a pikmin to throw is to try and muscle your way through the crowd and bump into the right one or dismiss your whole army. It’s awkward to say the least. Neither is very practical in a battle or for when you need split second decisions. Thankfully the game has very few of these split second moments so there isn’t much to worry about there. It’s more of a minor annoyance than a major concern. The pikmin are also very very stupid. Many would just run and drown themselves or get distracted in the middle of running or a battle. They constantly get stuck on walls and aren’t very good at choosing the right target. Sometimes it feels like you are fighting more against your own pikmin than the deadly creatures trying to kill you. But barring that, and a few awkward little map details and way more glitches than I expected (a mamuta, an enemy that is supposed to be only able to bury pikmin, flowering them killing 50 of my pikmin in a single swing, vanishing pikmin etc) the game was extremely fun. Good enough puzzles, neat enemies, very fun combat, and neat little followers. It’s very satisfying to have a little rainbow army following you around.


  What seems to be consistent about the series is it’s fun areas. In all 3 games it is super fun to go out and explore the levels, mentally marking landmarks, fighting off the dangerous creatures, and getting as much progress as you can in a day. It’s extremely satisfying when good planning leads to everything coming together. It feels like genuine exploration of a hostile planet. And while the Pikmin are . . .quirky. . . they are really enjoyable little creatures to interact with and are usually good for a laugh or something to be proud of for their skill when they aren’t drowning again. Overall a quality series I have enjoyed considerably. I am excited for both Pikmin 3DS, and whatever games come to NX and beyond.


Oh and blue Pikmin are the best. :p




DekZek contributed this piece of art for this month’s GameClub! Click the image for the full size!

PushDustIn: Even though September was a pretty busy month, I got to revisit Pikmin 2 for a little bit. I got maybe ⅓ through the game this month. Pikmin 2 offers a lot of improvements over the original. The most noticeable difference is the use of two captains at once — Louie and Olimar. This allows players to better multitask with Pikmin, working on two sections of the map at [almost] at once. The second major improvement is the the cave system. Inside the caves, the day cycle pauses. It seems like a deliberate design choice by the developers. This allowed the level designers to create more “gauntlet” like challenges in Pikmin 2 over the original. Bosses are usually at the end of the caves, and they have their own separate treasure list than their outside levels. Another difference is the lack of a hard deadline. The story involving a broke Hocotate Freight gives players motivation to complete the goal, but the 30 day limit from the first game is gone. This makes the game a little less stressful than the first. Lastly, Pikmin 2 introduce white and purple Pikmin. Both bring unique abilities, and expand the gameplay. Because of this playing the game is less stressful and more enjoyable. If a boss takes out a lot of Pikmin, then players can spend a couple of days regrowing their numbers, being ready to tackle the next challenge. I enjoyed playing Pikmin 2 this month, and was glad I was able to put a little bit of time into it.



Thanks to everyone that contributed for the 3rd Game Club! We are in the process of deciding what theme we will do for October. You can vote here!

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  1. My first Pikmin game was, the first one. I borrowed it from a friend an for the most part enjoyed it. I was a little bit annoyed that I couldn’t get all of the ship pieces so I gave it back to him. I borrowed it again and got a little further but still couldn’t beat it, I still enjoyed it though. I downloaded the Pikmin 3 demo and eventually bought the full game. I loved it very much. So much that I bought all the DLC and replayed it twice. I just recently bought the Wii version of the first game on the eShop and I’ve pretty much beaten it. Funny how that works huh?

  2. I know I said that I’d play through Pikmin 3 for this, but I ended up getting sidetracked by several games I had the itch to play. On the bright side, I finished the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV, which is now the first FF game I’ve completed! Now that I think of it, Final Fantasy would be an interesting choice for Game Club, although I’m not sure due to the games’ length.

    Zebei’s thoughts on Pikmin 3 line up with my own so far (I have yet to progress past the Winged Pikmin), since Pikmin 3 seems to intentionally make itself accessible while simultaneously allowing experienced players enough freedom to be extremely efficient.

    DekZek’s thoughts on Pikmin 2 shows what’s been improved from Pikmin 1. From what I’ve seen in LPs and such, Pikmin 2’s shortcomings only become apparent later in the game, when the dungeons become extremely long and are filled with annoyances such as enemies that only spawn with annoyingly specific criteria. For example, there are certain exploding spiders that only appear out of nowhere when Pikmin pass through while carrying treasure, which means that the player can’t even safely multitask on a floor that’s been apparently cleared of enemies. I’ve barely played my copy of the Wii version of Pikmin 2, so I’d have to play through in order to see just how it is myself, though.

  3. I totally missed out the chance to participate in this game club, but I’ll sum up my experience with the games here:

    Pikmin 1 was the game I started with, and I don’t remember having the most stellar of starts with it. My brother and I took turns playing it, but we only had something like 6 or 7 pieces of the ship by day 10, at which point my brother gave up on the game. I eventually gave it another shot on a fresh save and managed to do much better, eventually beating it. Unfortunately, I can’t remember too much of my experiences with the game.

    Pikmin 2 followed, and I loved the heck out of that one too. The lack of a timer meant I had more freedom to explore and experiment with different kinds of Pikmin and go through the game at my own pace. Being able to control two captains was a great bonus, making multi-tasking a lot more feasible. Challenge Mode was also fun since I’m a fan of co-op, though I don’t remember the battle mode being very balanced. It did give me an idea for what a competitive RTS Pikmin game would look like, but that’s for another day. The caves were a great idea to add to the challenge and give more excuse to fight monsters, but I often remember being scared of them (I’m sorta nyctophobic, and they’re pretty dark before you get the Stellar Orb). Actually, I remember a lot of moments that scared me in this game, as a lot of enemies pop up out of nowhere (can anyone say Water Wraith?). A very memorable moment was when I went back to the Perplexing Pool late in the game and a Beady Long Legs showed up right outside the landing site. I actually screamed and threw my controller -_-

    Pikmin 3 was a great sequel, and a game I’d play again in a heartbeat. I had the controller throughout the game this time around, but my brother still helped micro-manage the other captains through the tablet. The bosses were epic and Winged Pikmin were a nice change of pace, though Rock Pikmin felt like Purple Pikmin that could grab enemies. In general, I don’t have much to add on this one, it was just an overall solid game (I’ve yet to try out the multiplayer modes though).

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