After years of being one of Nintendo’s top console titles, Pikmin finally makes its way to their portable systems. Unlike past titles, Hey Pikmin takes away the elements that made the series famous to instead create a platformer. Does the change in direction bode well for Captain Olimar and his crew of Pikmin?
While the original title was created as an RTS style game for the Gamecube, Hey Pikmin changes the formula now becoming a platformer. Now before you denounce the Pikmin name for changing gameplay styles, it’s not as bad as it sounds; and actually it’s pretty good. Hey Pikmin focuses of offering a platforming experience in the Pikmin universe, without the stresses of being restricted by a time limit. Now you can fully take in the Pikmin worlds, and admire the hilarious details you may have missed before as you quickly rushed to get everything done within the short time limit in past titles in the series.
While it is a 2d-platformer, Hey Pikmin retains most of the core gameplay mechanics from prior titles. The plot focuses on Captain Olimar who must once again repair his ship so he can return home. To do so, players must collect Sparkium to repair his aspect of his shuttle. Captain Olimar must team up with the Pikmin he finds across the game to solve puzzles, and defeat the various foes that threaten you and your colorful pals. The controls are simple as they only require the use of the analog stick, and the touch screen. The touch screen is used to round up Pikmin, throw Pikmin, and engage Olimar’s jetpack. The puzzles that Olimar faces are rather simple, and require little thought to solve. This is a positive for younger players to pick up and play, but far too simple for experienced players. The same goes for various enemies, including the bosses, that Olimar and the crew faces. Unlike foes in past titles that required a bit of strategy to defeat, almost all of the enemies can be defeated by just unleashing an onslaught of Pikmin.
When you’re not completing levels of the game, you can send your Pikmin to Pikmin Park to collect extra Sparkium. Initially, the idea of Pikmin Park sounds like it would provide a good amount of Sparkium that would help you reach the goal of the 30,000 Sparkium needed. Sadly, Pikmin Park feels useless as you regularly only collect about 10-300 Sparkium every few missions. Add in the fact that you don’t control anything about Pikmin Park, and it feels beyond useless.
One aspect that Hey Pikmin really shines is providing an adorable, and funny experience. As you progress through the levels, you’ll come across various Pikmin that will join your party. Each of the Pikmin you meet are introduced with mini-cutscenes showing the Pikmin in humorous situations that are hard not to laugh at. Much like past Pikmin titles, there are items that you can collect that that “resemble” items that we use everyday. As you read through Olimar’s journal, his understanding of what the items are is just glorious. Add in the amiibo support, and his description of the amiibo characters are even better!
Presentation wise, Hey Pikmin provides a solid look that could be better. Much of Hey Pikmin looks pretty good, but feels like it could have been better. While the characters, and foreground environments look great, the background images look completely overlooked compared to the quality in the foreground. Luckily, the audio in Hey Pikmin is a redeeming factor. The soundtrack is upbeat, and enjoyable to listen to.
While Hey Pikmin provides a fun, and fresh new approach to the series, the game loses its luster pretty fast. As you progress through the game, it starts to become stale halfway through as it does little to keep you engaged throughout. This isn’t helped by the lack of difficulty as you’ll pass through most of the game with minimal effort. Contrary to our initial thoughts, the 2d platformer style gameplay did feel like a nice change that we openly welcome.
- Gameplay is a fun change from the Pikmin norm
- Incredibly Accessible for all players
- The humor, and adorable elements, from past Pikmin games return
- Easily becomes dull before you even finish the game
- Pikmin Park feels incredibly useless
- Lack of challenge for experienced players
- Background images can take away from the game’s presentation
*Complementary copy of the game was provided by the developed for review purposes.