Hey! Pikmin Review

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The Pikmin have finally landed on the Nintendo 3DS for the first time in the 16 year history of the series. Check out what we thought in our Hey! Pikmin Review!

Release Date July 28, 2017
Genre Adventure/Puzzle
Platforms 3DS
Developer Arzest
Price $39.99 US
ESRB Rating Everyone 10+
Players 1 Player

 

Pikmin has always been an interesting series for Nintendo. In the entire existence of the series (which has spanned 16 years), there have only been four games. That’s a weird thing considering the fact that most Nintendo franchises show up at least every few years. A new entry in the series never even made an appearance on the Wii. Even more peculiar is that Pikmin hasn’t shown up on a Nintendo handheld until now. Let’s find out how well this series has transitioned to the small screen!

Hey! Pikmin Review
Hey! Pikmin utilizes both screens on the 3DS.

Hey! Pikmin is not a traditional Pikmin game, this is a spin-off and certain concessions have been made. This game has ditched the 3D open-world concept of the previous games in favour of a 2D stage-based design. There are 8 different sectors like most games of this type with multiple stages in each sector. The thing I find really cool about this is that the 3DS used both screens to show the stage you’re on allowing you to see items and points of interest that would otherwise be out of view.

You play the character of Captain Olimar who has found himself in some trouble as his ship has crash-landed on an unknown planet. The only way for Olimar to repair his ship is to collect enough Sparkium. This is when the adventure begins. Olimar is pretty useless alone. The guy walks pretty slow (which annoyed me a lot because there’s really no reason for him to be that slow) and he doesn’t have any weapons. The only thing he does have is a jetpack that he can use for a few seconds and only carries him to a pre-determined height, and a whistle. This little whistle is your main source of power and allows you to summon Pikmin out of various hiding places like bushes and piles of leaves.

Hey! Pikmin Review
Pikmin are great at weighing things down.

The Pikmin end up being your helpers for various tasks and Olimar doesn’t get very far without them. The interesting part is how you control them. Instead of just using buttons to do put the Pikmin to work, you use the circle pad (or d-pad if you prefer) to move Olimar and the stylus to choose where you want to toss the Pikmin on the screen. it works out surprisingly well. I thought I would hate the control scheme, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way after playing it. It makes everything easy and fast which is important in this game.

Like most 3DS games that have come out lately, this is another one of those games that are accessible to most age groups. The stages are self-contained so most of the strategy that made Pikmin 3 so challenging isn’t present here. Olimar starts off in a stage, find some Pikmin, and works through the level. It’s basically going from point A to point B while keeping most of your Pikmin alive. Sure, there are some optional areas in each level that will allow you to find special items giving you more Sparkium, but you gain an optional map to help you figure those areas out before too long. Most of the time, it’s just as easy to check each route yourself although there are times where you can’t return to the junction point once you commit to a certain direction.

Hey! Pikmin Review
They even build bridges.

For those who are new to the series, the game does a good job of introducing new Pikmin types to the player. Red Pikmin are good in combat and are resistant to fire, Yellow Pikmin resist electricity and can be thrown higher, and Rock Pikmin can break ice. There are a few other types as well and you quickly start to understand how to use each of them to the best of their abilities. I never had too much trouble with the Pikmin, they do what you tell them to and only rarely do they ever get stuck.

After you complete a level, you’re able to put your Pikmin in Pikmin Park. The premise behind this is that you put them in different zones and they find treasures that are worth a certain amount of Sparkium. This end up barely having any point and falling pretty flat because, aside from assigning them, there’s nothing else to manage.

The personality of the Pikmin is certainly part of the charm of this game. They’re adorable little creatures and it’s really enjoyable to see them grab something off a ledge for you or bounce them on an enemy to defeat it. There are even some short cutscenes showing some interactions between these little creatures. The graphics are pretty decent for a 3DS game and I really liked the choice of art style that was a colourful realistic/cartoon hybrid. Strangely enough, there is no autostereoscopic 3D effect at all. That doesn’t bother me, but it’s definitely something to note.

Hey! Pikmin Review
They also grab items.

There is Amiibo support for Hey! Pikmin primarily for the Super Mario characters and some other ones like Splatoon. There’s a Pikmin Amiibo that you can purchase that will summon Pikmin in any stage as well. I never saw the need for anything like that and I can’t see why anyone would. It’s not an incredibly hard game to begin with.

Hey! Pikmin is a good entry in the Pikmin series, but it certainly isn’t what fans of the main games have come to expect. It’s a great way to introduce 3DS gamers to the series if they haven’t played any of the other games before and fantastic for younger gamers. I had a good time with the game and I feel like it fits this platform really well. I’d recommend this game for everyone, but I caution that you shouldn’t expect the fully-fledged Pikmin experience from Pikmin 3. This is a different take on the series and one that can exist alongside those mainline games.

*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Nintendo for review purposes*

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