Nintendo had already come to our rescue earlier this year, when in March they released Animal Crossing: New Horizons, gracing us with a pleasant escapade on a desert island during the lockdown. Once again they offer us a remote journey, but this time even further away. Pikmin 3 Deluxe will take you to a distant planet that looks set to once again receive visitors looking for food. Here is my Pikmin 3 Deluxe review on Nintendo Switch.
DIGGING UP THE PAST
In 2013, the Wii U had been out for a year, accompanied by a heavy dose of confusion to dazzle its excellent catalog of games. Given the low diffusion of the console, at the end of its life cycle, many users could not try some of its best titles. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 2, and Mario Kart 8 are just some of the games that Nintendo has saved from oblivion by bringing them to the Nintendo Switch.
They have updated all these games with additional features, new content, and even small graphic improvements. There are very few Wii U first party titles missing from the Nintendo Switch catalog, and with the release of Pikmin 3 Deluxe the list is running out completely. This is a title that seems to have been released a bit on the sly, but that comes full of improvements.
MAYDAY MAYDAY… WE’VE CRASHED!
The leaders of the planet Koppai, following a severe famine caused by rapid population growth, sent many space explorers in search of food. Many of them have returned empty-handed, the only ones not returning are a team of three space explorers. Their spacecraft was headed for planet PNF-404, but an unknown failure of the Drake spacecraft caused the explorers to crash to three different locations on the surface.
Alph, Brittany, and Captain Charlie are destined to reunite with the help of the small inhabitants of the planet: the Pikmin. These are creatures that look like something between a plant and an animal, extremely willing to help others. The planet without them would be an inhospitable place because of the presence of an aggressive and large endemic fauna.
The story of Pikmin 3 Deluxe will lead your heroes to search the planet for an old acquaintance, necessary to be able to return home. Also based on the resources got in the game, it will be possible to unlock several different endings. Pikmin 3 is a type of game that leaves narrative secondary, but for those looking for more insight, this Deluxe version offers some really interesting tools.
The Piklopedia is in fact an encyclopedia full of information about the creatures of PNF-404. Even more interesting are the two additional stories, present only in this Deluxe version, which act as a prologue and epilogue to the game starring Olimar and Louie. However, what makes this video game series really interesting is the unique gameplay component, suitable for everyone.
THE PIKMIN VARIETIES
Alph, Brittany, and Captain Charlie are the explorers who are responsible for finding new resources to save their home planet. But doing it on an empty stomach would be next to impossible, so your primary purpose is to find fruits, vegetables, and all sorts of nourishment the planet has to offer. The docile Pikmin will follow you wherever you go, providing you with the help you need.
There are 7 types of Pikmin in Pikmin 3 Deluxe: red, blue, yellow, purple, white, rock, and winged. Everyone has unique skills and resistances. The blue ones, for example, breathe underwater, while all the others would panic and die quickly. Winged ones, on the other hand, can traverse inaccessible areas and attack other winged creatures, but are extremely weak against terrestrial fauna.
The particular characteristics of the Pikmin also make them useful for removing obstacles. For example, the yellow Pikmin are resistant to electricity, so they can tear down electrified fences. The Pikmin, however, are not fully independent, the explorer must first throw them against the target and only then will they work automatically like real ants.
If there is fruit to be harvested they will bring it to the Drake to increase supplies. If they carry pellets or an enemy, they will take it to the Onion, which is their home, which will create new Pikmin. They decide the path to take by themselves and it will always be as short as possible, they will stop only in case of impassable obstacles.
Take note that you must pay attention to the passage of time, because at night the most ravenous creatures will begin to wander. When midnight arrives, the mission will automatically stop and the explorers will temporarily return to space. Any Pikmin left out of the group or away from the Drake is sure to come to an awful end.
What Pikmin 3 Deluxe manages to do is create a great gameplay loop, especially for those craving completeness. Each level has its own goal, whether it is to reach a specific place, or to collect enough fruit, but what gives pleasure is being able to find the right sequence of actions to make the process ever closer to perfection.
This is an approach encouraged by the ability to replay the main storyline on higher difficulty and by the brand new trophies added in the Deluxe version of Pikmin 3. The additional missions are real timed missions, in which it is necessary to collect resources as soon as possible. This won’t even come close to the complexity of Satisfactory’s factories, but will still give you satisfaction.
If a friend of yours joins the game, they can do so at any time. The screen will split in two in split screen and you can play together using different explorers. The gameplay will not change much, in fact even in single player it is necessary to use all three characters by launching them in remote areas or to manage the base yourself. A second player can only make it more fun and fluid.
FORWARDS OR BACKWARDS?
Pikmin 3 Deluxe contains a lot of new content such as extra missions, improved controls, online leaderboards, and additional stories. It also comes with some extra options: hide the radar or change its orientation, activate the controls with the gyro, reverse the controls, and hide the aids. There have been no steps backwards, but it is under the graphic aspect that I was a bit disappointed.
Usually a great encouragement to buy these revamped versions of Wii U titles is the ability to play them in full 1080p or with more stable frame rates. From this point of view the Deluxe version contains no improvements at all, therefore it remains playable only at 720p and 30 FPS even when in docked mode.
On the small, portable screen this won’t be an enormous problem, but on a monitor or TV, the serrations around the models are quite visible. Plus, the semi-realistic graphics haven’t aged very well, but are still nice thanks to the pleasant play of light and different atmospheric agents (and the Pikmin are always adorable).
Do you want to try Nintendo’s Pikmin 3 Deluxe? What do you think of my Pikmin 3 Deluxe review on Nintendo Switch? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more games? Check out our reviews for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, and Ghostrunner.
[…] your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more games? Check out our reviews for Pikmin 3 Deluxe, Kosmokrats, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, […]