August 2000. Visitors to Spaceworld discover the first technological demos of Nintendo's new console, the Gamecube. Among these, the presentation of Super Mario 128 makes its small effect with its hundred mustaches sticking together and moving on a board similar to a Monopoly. While making his speech that day, Shigeru Miyamoto does not know it yet but he is laying the foundations for his future franchise: Pikmin! Since then, the license has hosted three episodes and while waiting to learn more about Pikmin 4 (which was announced in 2015), the Switch is getting an improved version of the third installment. A good little reminder! Yes, the Pikmin! With their protruding eyes and frozen expression, you'd think the light was shining on their little heads but not shining on the back of the yard. Big mistake: these little creatures are infinitely smarter than Lemmings, another short-legged concept that caused a sensation in the 1980s. When it comes to going charcoal, Nintendo's cute entities don't hesitate to get together to wear a large fruit or launch an assault on a wall, an electrical barrier, or a terrible plant "monster". And that's good because the Pikmin will, once again, have a lot to do to help Brittany, Alph, and Captain Charlie. Like Olimar (the anagram of Mario), the trio has crashed on a hostile planet and has no choice but to seek out a superluminal key, an artifact that allows them to propel the Drake, the ship that will bring all these beautiful people home. And in order to survive, the crew will need the juice from the fruits they collect along the way. A hell of a program!
In principle, Pikmin 3 takes over the basics of the series as it is always about guiding your "kawaii" squad towards different objectives. Collecting fruit, attacking enemies, destroying obstacles ... all means are good to progress! But unlike previous episodes, the title features no less than three playable protagonists and relies on this trio to enrich the puzzles. You will also regularly switch from one character to another (Brittany, Alph, or Charlie) to reach a previously inaccessible area, without forgetting to send a few Pikmin to your companion so that he does not end up as a Robinson Crusoe facing hostile creatures. Pikmin, on the other hand, has different abilities depending on their color. The reds are awesome fighters and are flame resistant, the yellows are lighter (and can be sent higher), do not fear electricity, and can act as real generators, the blues have the gift of being perfect swimmers, blacks are rock solid and can shatter crystal, and finally, pink hover above the ground and can also use very handy shortcuts (like hovering over a body of water). Compared to these predecessors, Pikmin 3 is richer, more diverse and we take great pleasure in coordinating the skills of the Pikmin while separating our small group of astronauts. Of course, in the event of too much loss, it is possible to return to Onion - a sort of hub bringing together the Pikmin - to recreate a few little beings ready to help you.
AN ANTH OF IDEAS
What is exciting is that Shigeru Miyamoto and his team have managed, starting from the concept of Super Mario 128, to create a whole ecosystem. Using the Pikmin, it will be necessary to break down walls, use water lilies in a stream, rub your butt for a slide on a natural slide or even use a geyser to be propelled into the air. Pikmin 3 is full of great finds and we find this ingenuity in the clashes against the bosses. They do not hesitate to use their environment and their (natural) weapons available to surprise you. Moreover, speaking of the environment, it will sometimes be recommended that you hide under a flower bed to avoid the rather sharp gaze of an enemy. Here again, despite a bestiary that is not huge, we smile at the means deployed by the creatures to munch on Pikmin. Despite the naturalness of the surroundings and the presence of long missions in settings that end up looking alike, the charm still works. But what about the game's arrival on Switch?
BETTER CONTROLLED AND MORE ADAPTED
Obviously, leaving his favorite console, we could fear that Pikmin 3 would lose a little of its soul by having to settle for one screen. In the end, it isn't, but it's true that the lack of tactile gameplay is a quirk. It could have been very convenient to use the Switch as a tablet, but unfortunately, the KopPad is limited to a simple menu and classic commands. Too bad, it tends to break the rhythm of the adventure. Fortunately, Pikmin 3 Deluxe offers refined gameplay that makes the whole thing much more flexible. Aiming is more pleasant, you can lock your target while switching from one type of Pikmin to another with a simple press of the L or R keys. Similarly, if you turn in circles after a while, the game - in its standard difficulty - will indicate a path to follow and give clues. As we progress through this adventure, we appreciate these changes, especially as the pathfinding (the tracking action of Pikmin) now seems more stable. They don't get stuck in the background and this development is very appreciable in the last level (those who made the original will understand what we are referring to).
The demo is available
To get a feel for the game, you can download the demo from the Nintendo Switch eShop. You can start the download by following this link or by going directly to your console. The demo weighs 2.8 GB and offers to discover the first part of the adventure with the boss as well as the highest difficulty mode (with a limited number of Pikmin). At a time when demos are dying out, it would be a shame not to take advantage of them, especially since the save is transferable to the full game.
THE FULL OF PIKMIN
Just like on Wii U, Pikmin 3 Deluxe isn't a champion of longevity. The adventure ends fairly quickly, so the developers have incorporated a hard mode (available at game launch) to which is added a "Super Spicy" mode that unlocks after the main quest is completed on hard mode. Pretty cool for lovers of devious games. Content level, it is now possible to extend the pleasure thanks to two side stories featuring Olimar, the hero of Pikmin first of the name, and Louis, who appeared in Pikmin 2. Well, as much to say it now, they are more small missions than a real side adventure - with a ranking system - but it has the merit of existing. In fact, the best feature of this Switch version is undoubtedly the possibility of finally experiencing the main story while cooperating with another player. The screen is now split and a friend can join you to help you on your journey. And if the competition is your thing, Duel Bingo is still here. The concept is simple, it involves filling a grid by bringing enemies, objects, or even fruit to the destination. Since it is possible to send your Pikmin to attack the opponent, it promises a lot of fun. Missions, on the other hand, allow you to go in search of fruit, enemies, or even challenge enemies spotted in the main quest. Finally, know that there is a system of badges (trophies what) that reward your achievements as well as a piklopedic to study the creatures encountered.
As for the previous episodes, Pikmin 3, here in its Deluxe version, offers magnificent natural panoramas. Greenery, small streams (which become rivers for our tiny characters), caves, snowy slopes… the game flatters the retina with pretty effects. The details on each of the elements (stump, leaves, water lilies ...) are appreciable and the general appearance appears finer than on Wii U, whether docked or portable. The visual gap is not huge, but it cannot be denied that the original had an already successful photo-realistic touch. The creatures have a unique look and it is difficult not to fall in love with the ultra endearing approach of the protagonists. Pikmin is still Pikmin and we're not going to complain.
It may be a few years old, Pikmin 3 remains an endearing game. Not having been a great success on Wii U, Nintendo's title will benefit as it should from this revival on Switch and should give itself a second youth. Even if this reissue does not offer anything stunning, it does have the merit of improving sensitive points of the original while offering its extensions. The main quest can be completed quite quickly, but you will still have plenty to do with its multi (coop or versus) and its different difficulty modes. I would not have been against a little more marked new features but it is a game that has the merit of passing the test of time. So make sure you check this game, you can get more information by visiting the Pikmin 3 Deluxe official website. If you wish to leave your comment, please use the form below to do so. Thank you for reading this Pikmin 3 Deluxe review.
Watch the latest Pikmin 3 Deluxe trailer video down below for even more details. Enjoy!