Pikmin - GameCube

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB/GB)
Released: 14 Jun 2002 (GB)
11 Apr 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 3+, ESRB Everyone
Accessories: Memory Card


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Commonly regarded as one of the most innovative minds in the industry, Shigeru Miyamoto often uses everyday experiences as a basis for his creations at Nintendo HQ. And it was only through enjoying a little weekend gardening that he came up with a bizarre little game called Pikmin.

After being struck in his spacecraft by a stray comet, intrepid explorer Olimar was forced to crash-land on an unknown planet. During his frightful descent, many valuable parts of his space ship broke free and, after waking on this strange world, Olimar must set out to find his missing ship parts so he can return home before his 30 days of life support expire. But his explorer’s curiosity gets the better of him after he discovers a plant-like creature plucked from the ground. It soon becomes apparent that these strange beings, named ‘Pikmin’, are very intelligent and Olimar realises they will be crucial in his mission to salvage the remains of the spacecraft. And so the game begins... you have 30 days to collect 30 missing pieces of space ship.

On first glance, Pikmin does appear similar to Psygnosis’ Lemmings, at least in concept, but within the first hour of play, any hardcore gamer worth his salt will see how thoroughly creative this title is.

Using the skill of Pikmin to gather seeds, you can increase your walking-plant population, which will help you accomplish the tasks set in the game. There are three different colours of Pikmin to breed, each born with their own talents. Red Pikmin can withstand extreme temperatures, blue Pikmin can swim, and yellow Pikmin can be thrown great heights. Using the Pikmin as a team, you should be able to accomplish any tasks given to you and overcome any obstacles that stand in your way. But be warned, there are Pikmin-hungry beasts lurking around every corner, just waiting for their favourite meal to brush past them.

Five massive areas, filled with Pikmin-killing creatures stand between you and your ultimate goal, and with each day lasting only 15 minutes in the game world, time is tight. You should aim to recover at least one missing ship part each day if you are to succeed. But do take a few minutes to admire the visual brilliance affored by the GameCube hardware. The environments are lush, and demonstrate the finest example of anti-aliasing seen in a game for many years.

The game may be short, but Pikmin offers great replay value and motivates the player to begin a second, third and even fourth game to improve on previous scores. We’ve finished Pikmin but we can’t stop playing it, and we look forward to future innovations from Nintendo’s R&D guru. Nice one, Shigsy.