Thursday, 5 November 2020

Pikmin 3 Deluxe ★★★★★


When people look back at the Nintendo Switch, we’re sure it’ll be rightly celebrated for a number of reasons. But one thing the console did that flew under the radar, was given a second life to the graveyard that was the Wii U games library. From the likes of Donkey Kong to Mario, excellent titles that would’ve otherwise been missed by a generation of gamers have been given the platform to shine.

The latest game to be given this treatment is Pikmin 3, rereleased now as Pikmin 3 Deluxe. The third entry in the delightfully quirky series, Pikmin 3 is an RTS, in which you control three interplanetary explorers looking for food to sustain their starving world. They, in turn, control plant-like beings called Pikmin, who help you as you search for items and avoid being eaten by native beasties. But whether you’ve played it before or are discovering it for the first time, should you play Pikmin 3 Deluxe? Read on to find out…



Firstly, let’s take a look at the updates made for this release. The more noticeable is the addition of two-player co-op multiplayer, which is hugely welcomed given you have to control each of the three main characters simultaneously. This adds a new sense of collaboration, which can be really satisfying when everything comes together, and makes the thought of constant multitasking a bit less arduous. 

There’s also brand new prologue and epilogue missions, as well as all available DLC, making this the most complete version of the game to date. The new missions don’t change things up massively, but it’s nice for long time players to experience something new for the first time. You can also expect to find new difficulty options, an enhanced lock-on targeting system and your very own Piklopedia, which serves as Pikmin’s answer to a Pokedex. 

Aside from these upgrades, it’s pretty much the same offering as the Wii U release, which isn’t a bad thing by any means. The strategic gameplay is still fantastic, striking the perfect balance between a serious challenge, as you solve puzzles and try to stop your Pikmins from being eaten, and a relaxing experience, with the strict time limits of earlier games in the franchise no longer present. The game works on a day cycle, during which you’ll determine which part of the map you want to explore and guide your army of Pikmin friends to help you gather food, before returning to the safety of your craft before the dangers of the night creep in.

It has a nice, gentle difficulty curve as you unlock more of the map with further exploration. This means even if you’ve never played a Pikmin title before, you’ll quickly learn the ropes. Beyond the main story campaign, there’s the return of the excellent Bingo Battle mode, a multiplayer game in which you race to find a list of items. It’s super intense, scavenger hunt fun and will keep you entertained long after you’ve wrapped up the main portion of the game. There’s also a bevvy of mission modes, in which you have to accomplish tasks in a given amount of time. 



It’s also worth noting how Pikmin 3 has a surprisingly heartfelt story. Whereas the earlier games had you searching for pieces of your ship in order to return home, this time the search for resources for your ailing planet has a real humanitarian message that parallels real life. It’s told with grace and nuance, without ever getting overly preachy. It’s truly an example of Nintendo at their storytelling best. 

What’s more, everything still looks equally fantastic. The natural environment is instantly charming, the animated art style looking luscious and verdant. There have been some minor texture alterations, but it looks largely identical to the Wii U version, which again is no bad thing at all. 

To wrap up, Pikmin 3 Deluxe doesn’t overhaul its original release, and we’re very thankful that it didn’t. The base game was such a delight, and it would be a shame to tarnish it with unnecessary changes. Instead, this upgrade adds some equally fantastic content and small quality of life updates to ensure there’s enough to please new and old fans alike. If you’re looking for the perfect balance between action, strategy, pressure and fun, look no further.

★★★★★
Tom Baker




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