Up until recently, my knowledge of Pikmin was very limited. And I know there are people reading this post who have no idea what a Pikmin is, and that’s valid. Pikmin are little plant-like video game characters from a Nintendo franchise by the same name. The first Pikmin game was on GameCube in 2001, and while some Nintendo franchises have had numerous titles over the last few decades, Pikmin only has four main ones. Actually only three, since the fourth is coming out later this summer.
My only points of reference to Pikmin were from Super Smash Bros Brawl where Olimar was a playable character that I almost never played, and from Pikmin Bloom, a Pokemon Go-esque mobile game that encouraged walking. I never played this, but my boyfriend did for a few weeks, so I have seen a fair amount.
But last weekend my boyfriend was coming over, and we knew the weather was going to be crummy, so I suggested borrowing some video games from the library to pass the time. One game we got was Pikmin 3 Deluxe for the Switch. So we booted it up and selected the two-player mode. I expected we’d play it for an hour or two before getting bored and turning to a trusty old favourite like Mario Kart. But instead we found ourselves enthralled by a quaint story and cute gameplay, and it became our obsession over the weekend.
Pikmin 3 tells the story of three space explorers landing on an Earth-like planet where they find little creatures called Pikmin that they can control and use to solve little puzzles. The goal is to collect fruit that will sustain their journey as well as find Captain Olimar, whose ship crash-landed there sometime before. There are several different types of Pikmin that can aid in your exploration in different ways such as breaking down walls or attacking enemies.
One thing that I loved about Pikmin 3 was that it wasn’t just a multiplayer game that had basic second player capabilities, its story mode was full co-op play. With split screens, we were able to go explore on our own and do our own part for the mission without the other one lagging behind. We were forced to communicate as we played and work together to achieve tasks within the time limits. With it being a fairly light-hearted game, we were constantly joking around as we progressed and controlled our little armies of Pikmin. It was very fun, and I highly recommend it to people looking for that kind of gaming experience.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this game. As I said, I was familiar with Pikmin as a concept, but I have never really seen anyone even online praise the franchise or recommend the game, so for it to be so fun for both of us was a great surprise and made for a great weekend.
But one weekend is about all it took for us to reach the credits. I think we’re two somewhat competent gamers, and co-op mode allowed us to divide and conquer when needed, so it only took about 8 hours for us to complete the story and feel satisfied with our experience. For that reason, it’s not a game I recommend spending $80 on, but if you can get it from a library or buy it used, I do suggest giving it a go.
Pikmin 4 comes out later this summer, and though I recall not being at all interested in the game when I saw the trailer in a Nintendo Direct months ago, my newfound enjoyment for Pikmin has changed that. Now my boyfriend and I are eagerly awaiting the day when we can check it out from a library and play the weekend away yet again.
The surprise enjoyment that we got from Pikmin has really opened my eyes to games that I otherwise never would think to try, and I’ll definitely be more open-minded about games. If you know of any Nintendo Switch games that have good co-op modes, let me know!
That’s all for now!
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