Pikmin 3 Review

Trying to quantify Nintendo’s magic is a thankless task, but the fact I can’t stop thinking about Pikmin 3 is testament to its power. After all, this is the third game about dragging an army of cuddly toys/plant creatures around small worlds solving fairly simple puzzles. It shouldn’t be this good.

But it is. Pikmin 3 captures everything that was great about its predecessors and streamlines it further. There’s no dead weight – just hours of beautiful-looking and beautiful-playing video game, with that same sadistic streak that underpinned it previously.

As before, the action takes place over a series of days, commanding an army of up to 100 creatures to explore, collect and accomplish different tasks, all under the guise of RTS-rules. Thankfully, the 30-day limit from the original is now a distant memory. This forced structure lends Pikmin 3 a sense of urgency and also acts as an anti-grind mechanic. If you could take everything at a snail’s pace, you’d amass a giant colourful army and there'd be no challenge.

In many ways, this is like a Nintendo greatest hits: the appeal of Mario and the structure of Zelda and Metroid flipped on its head. You’ll break down environments bit by bit as you gain new knowledge, skills and Pikmin. You’ll systematically figure out bosses as both puzzles and tests of skill. You’ll be made to feel like the smartest guy in the world and a complete idiot all in one half-hour in-game ‘day’.

Perhaps only a tighter control scheme could improve Pikmin 3 (although you can switch to Wiimote for more precision) as the infrequent boss battles can prove trickier than they need to, especially when your army is under duress. Nevertheless, this is a sumptuous, intelligent, witty and oddly cruel piece of work from a company that has no equal. Shouldn’t be this good? No one told Nintendo.

Played for 12 hours. Click here to read about VideoGamer.com's new review policy.

9 / 10

  • Genuinely beautiful to look at
  • Has a wicked sadistic streak
  • Smart, engaging and witty
  • Occasionally fiddly controls on Gamepad

Click above for enlarged Pikmin 3 Screenshots

9 Comments

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User Comments

dameo1980's Avatar

dameo1980@ Evenon

This comment is ridiculous and to think you are smarter than the guys who designed the game and say that is why u broke up with nintendo, i dont think u will be missed, the game is not designed to just be played on the gamepad. The game should always be played on the wiimote, nunchuck and gamepad. Chris is playing the game wrong, the gamepad should only be used as a map and for multi tasking, just prop it up in front of you on the stand that comes with the premium bundle then realise that this is one of the greatest games to come out in a long time and it oozes nintendo.
Posted 14:32 on 18 August 2013
CoffeeJezus's Avatar

CoffeeJezus

I've not played Pikmin before, so watched with interest last night whilst having my dinner.

I'd agree with Chris in that my misconceptions about what the game is differ greatly from the gameplay I watched. The game looks quirky, fun - and from the David Turner's review over at Spong, quite dark with it.

I'm not sure i'm going to jump straight in and buy it, but I am really, really tempted. It looks a bit different, and that's quite the slow burn of a draw.
Posted 12:16 on 23 July 2013
VGSteve's Avatar

VGSteve

Thanks for the comments guys. Nice to be able to actually show people what we meant.
Posted 09:48 on 23 July 2013
Evenon's Avatar

Evenon

The controls are the weirdest part. The game is the most twin-stick RTS style console game ever, except they don't use twin sticks. Everything it mapped to the left stick, I guess so players could play with the Wiimote. Which means they hamstrung the primary control scheme of their new next gen console so as not to sideline the control scheme of their last gen controller. Nintendo, this is why I broke up with you. Figure it out.
Posted 21:04 on 22 July 2013
tvr77's Avatar

tvr77

Not really into to Pikmin, i only clicked the link to check out the new review style and what i'm seeing is really good well done guys, excellent idea.
Posted 20:44 on 22 July 2013
yellowsapphire's Avatar

yellowsapphire@ SimonSiThornton

I too will be looking with interest at what'll happen when a new IP comes out. Saying that, there's still some bits you could cut down on, this review manages it with a good number of transitions and the like intact. Plenty of space to cut stuff down even further if needed.

Either way, I like. To-the-point and nice to read, and it doesn't feel like there's anything missing. A selection of canap├ęs as opposed to a full-course dinner - nothing wrong with that.
Posted 19:55 on 22 July 2013
Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella

My favourite thing about pikmin is that Olimar is "the size of a fifty pence piece"

I like the new format guys. Good show.
Posted 19:19 on 22 July 2013
SimonSiThornton's Avatar

SimonSiThornton

I still don't know how the WiiU's BrickPad functions with the game. So I guess I'll have to watch the other content you guys have put up - which is what I'm supposed to do.
But I am interested to see how this format will work when the game being reviewed isn't a sequel. It might be harder to fit everything you need to say about a game into this few words when it's a new IP.
Posted 18:22 on 22 July 2013
MrSmileyFace's Avatar

MrSmileyFace

This is completely the right move guys. Best thing you guys have done!
Posted 18:07 on 22 July 2013

Game Stats

Pikmin 3
9
Out of 10
Pikmin 3
  • Genuinely beautiful to look at
  • Has a wicked sadistic streak
  • Smart, engaging and witty
  • Occasionally fiddly controls on Gamepad
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 26/07/2013
Platform: Wii U
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Unknown
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 1,706 25
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