February 5, 2006

I bought [i]Pikmin[/i] thinking it would be an interesting new game by Shigeru Miyamoto. The man is a god when coming up with original ideas for video games and this is no different. You play as Captain Olimar who went on a vacation to ease the stresses of work. He goes on a little space vacation on his own and sets his ship, The Dolphin, on autopilot. He ends up being struck by an asteroid and blacks out during the impact. He then awakens to find himself on an earth-like planet. His ship is in bad shape and 30 parts of the ship are missing. He discovers that the planet he landed on is full of oxygen which is toxic and deadly to his people. His life support will only last him 30 days. Since there are 30 parts and you have 30 days, it’s good to have an average of one part per day in order to win this game. He can’t carry the parts alone, but he discovers an interesting creature that he calls a [i]Pikmin[/i].

[i]Pikmin[/i] are tiny little humanoid creatures that are generally known as common prey on this planet. Olimar is the size of a quarter and Pikmin are about the size of a dime. Olimar may have up to 100 pikmin on the field at the same time, and there is NO slowdown in the game at all from there being so many characters on the screen. There are 3 different types of pikmin and each have their own special abilities. While a couple of pikmin are near useless except for in the first area of the game, 25 or more is sufficient for most battles and chores, and 100 can take out most any enemy, even boss type enemies with ease.

[i]Pikmin[/i] is a great game. It is easy to learn, and the game pretty much teaches you how to play, but the difficulty in the game is the lack of time you have to accomplish your mission. Now, Olimar hints to you as the game goes that he may not need all the pieces to make it home, which may very well be true, but I got them all, so it really didn’t matter in my case. I did have to play through twice to get all the pieces though.

Now, overall the game is rather easy and simple, but there are points where you’ll do something stupid and lose 100 pikmin at once(like drowning them for instance). It CAN be a pain at some points, and a few of the parts do take a little thinking to get to, and that’s half the fun. Overall I think this is a great original game, and even if you fail to complete your mission at the end, there is a top 5 scoreboard that you get added to if you make the grade. This helps keep it from being such a disappointment if you lose. Overall, this game looks great and I have enjoyed it quite a bit. I find it rather addicting, and it has a neat little storyline to go along with it.

The biggest downside to [i]Pikmin[/i] is the days are short, and so is the game itself. The game can be beaten in just a few hours if you know what you’re doing. That’s why it’s probably better to rent this game, but it does have a top 5 chart that is good inspiration to play through again and again to try to beat your best high scores.

Still, even though the game is short, it’s a solid title. It’s quite unique and is the first great real time strategy game I’ve seen on a console. It looks great, there are no slowdowns, and there is virtually no learning curve.

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.