It's well known
that Shigeru Miyamoto is a legend for his ingenuity, design, and
ability to make games that are just plain enjoyable to everyone. I
suppose when you reach "Legend Status" you can try some
really wacky things that a newer developer/designer couldn't try.
Enter a little game called Pikmin. Shigeru Miyamoto's latest
creation upon first look is at the very least...odd. However, once
you get a closer look at what he intended, the concept is pretty
First thing of
note, if you can't figure it out (and I don't blame you), is that Pikmin
is a real-time strategy game. You play the role of Captain Orima...*coughMariocough*
who is the pilot of the Starship Dolphin...hmm. The ship is hit by a
meteor and "you crash land on a strange and mysterious
planet"...don't think I've heard that one before. But
here's the twist, Orima's life suit only has 30 days left before it
runs out of uh...life support ability! So you're going to need to
find all the ship parts within that time or you die! Orima happens
upon a new species (to him anyways). They seem to come from a type
of onion-looking creature that produces seeds which grow into the
little guys known as Pikmin. You start with one but once you find
food pellets, kill a few monsters, and a couple of other surprises,
you can feed them to the onion and he'll produce new Pikmin for you.
There are three colors of Pikmin that are currently known: Red (resistant
to fire), Blue (can move on water), and yellow (can pick up and
throw bombs for mass destruction!). I'm sure there are some special
kinds that are hidden in the game that we just don't know about at
this point. The little guys follow you everywhere you go. Whether
it's crossing a creek, searching for rare items or battling it out
with monsters, the little guys stick with you. There's something to
be said for loyalty.
You can breed as
many as you like, but you can only carry 100 with you in the field.
At the end of each day you'll want to bring the guys in out of the
field to keep them nice and warm. The longer you keep the same ones,
the stronger they'll become. So if you keep getting them killed or
keep leaving them all alone in the field (you heartless so and so)
you'll have to keep breeding new ones that will be weaker and have
fewer abilities than the ones you lost. Seniority of the group can
be told by the top of the little guys heads, as they grow from
little buds to leaves to full flowers. Controls are the game are
simplistic yet intuitive/user friendly as are all Miyamoto games.
The analog stick moves the good captain around, A yanks up objects
and tosses them around *coughMariocough*, B summons the pikmin and X
divides them into a group or let's them go about their own tasks.
The C buttons allow you to quickly control your pikmin and assign
them tasks. The great thing is that the Pikmin can do LOTS of things
and not just simple little tasks. Once strong enough they can build
bridges, carry things back and forth to the ship and fight bosses
for you. It seems incredibly cool.
speaking the game is pretty simplistic in terms of "next
gen". Of course it looks better than games on the older systems
but in terms of wow factor it's not up there...immediately. It's one
of those games that's more visceral than necessarily visual. The
wind blowing the blades of grass, dust kicking up under your feet,
clouds in the sky, sounds of nature, that kind of thing. Completes
the game with a sense of fullness. All in all Pikmin seems like a
very fun title. There's not much more information at hand but once
again, the fact that it's a Miyamoto game should be all the
information you need! Have fun kids and pick this game up on
December 3rd for your shiny new Gamecube!