Pikmin 2

October 15, 2004

Pikmin 2 is the second game in a series of games that could only have come from one of the most imaginative designers in our industry, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto. This time around you Captain Olimar has returned to the home planet of the Pikmin, but his intentions are anything buy accidental. The company Olimar works for is in severe debt and his assistant Louie has come along to help Olimar collect items which will help repay the companies debt.

Fans of the previous game will rejoice at the returning red, blue, and yellow Pikmin and be happy to know that they will be joined by purple and white Pikmin with powers of strength and resistance to poisons, respectively. New game modes such as the head-to-head Vs mode and a cooperative mode open this release up to even more fun.

The characters in Pikmin 2 just ooze fun and that should make the game appeal to gamers of all ages. I can be rather hard to please and I found myself really enjoying Pikmin 2 even though it seems like it might appeal to a younger crowd.

The graphics in Pikmin 2 were very well done and you are given the ability to rotate the camera and zoom in on the characters. I think Nintendo did a nice job allowing the engine to scale in and out while still maintain a good level of detail in the characters and the surrounding environments. The sound effects in the game were good and didn’t make any huge impressions on me and didn’t seem to really add or detract from the gameplay experience.

While the Gamecube handles modern games and their high tech graphics engines just fine, Nintendo always keeps one thing in mind and that is that gameplay is king. A game can look good, but if it isn’t fun then you have nothing. Pikmin 2 is no exception. Mixing and matching any number of different colored Pikmin in an effort to conquer the challenges at hand was a blast. To create a level of difficulty, each day you have to load your Pikmin back into the space craft to avoid being devoured by native animals. It can create a time crunch if you find yourself too far from home with not enough time to get back, so keep your eyes on the sun.

To help you out with managing your Pikmin, you can split them up into 2 groups with a group being led by Olimar and one led by Louie. Switching between the 2 main characters is a single button press away. This allows you to complete multiple tasks at one time and increase your productivity.

While I mentioned that you have to head home at the end of each day, there is no limit on the number of times you can visit a given landing space so you can feel free to explore the areas many times or return to certain areas to transform your standard red Pikmin into powerhouse purple ones or invulnerable white ones. Should you complete your tasks for the day and want to call it quits at noon, simply enter the menu and end the current day.

If Pikmin 2 sounds like it is a very simple game that is because it is. Running around with your Pikmin army collecting items and solving puzzles is quite simple, but don’t mistake it for easy. The game will rack your brain and make you work for the success you hope to achieve.

Pikmin 2 is a well designed highly entertaining game that pulls in aspects of real time strategy games with elements of puzzle games that makes it a wonderful lighthearted game for everyone. It packs the same high quality gameplay that Nintendo is known for and brings with it a unique creativity that is refreshing in this time of rehashed concepts. Pikmin 2 is definitely game I am glad to have in my library and Gamecube owners should definitely give it a try.

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.