By Spencer . June 5, 2012 . 3:15pm
Nintendo revealed Pikmin 3 at their E3 media briefing this morning, and there were two hands-on demos on the show floor for attendees to try out. In the first demo, I started with a boss battle and a giant Pikmin-eating bug crawled out. Its body was protected by a glossy exoskeleton that only the new rock Pikmin can shatter.
The A button on the Wii Remote lobs Pikmin, but the red Pikmin were deflected by its shell. Ah, maybe the new rock Pikmin would come in handy here, I thought to myself. I rapidly chucked the rock Pikmin at the boss, and sure enough, its shell started to crack. I kept a steady hand and shattered one part of its exoskeleton. You can hit this spot with the rock Pikmin, but they bounce off. Once a weak point is exposed, that’s when you want to throw the red Pikmin, which latch on to the boss.
Meanwhile, the boss crawls on-screen and tries to trap you and other Pikmin in its mandibles by pushing you into a wall. I threw a few more rock Pikmin and broke more spots on the bug before breaking the clear shell around its head. Once its crown was exposed, the boss was easy to finish. Yeah, I saved some Pikmin!
The other demo was an open-world affair, and I got to run around an area and earn money. I started with a small group of red Pikmin, which I used to grab nearby strawberries and cherries. I ventured forward and grabbed more red Pikmin on the way, hiding in the bushes. With a small army at my command, I ordered my Pikmin to break a wall, this time using the Wii U GamePad instead of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
My first impression was that the new controller is lighter than last year’s model. The second analog stick controls where you point the whistle and the R button uses the whistle to call Pikmin over to you. Throwing Pikmin is a lot easier with the Wii Remote/Nunchuk combo, but the Wii U GamePad gives players a mini-map to locate other passages on.
After I broke down the door, I saw a floating jellyfish-like enemy with… Stones inside. I tossed red Pikmin at it and—tada!—it dropped Rock pikmin! There were more rock Pikmin tucked away behind, which I added to my growing army. Now with a real force behind me, I had my Pikmin move 70 stones to build a bridge back to my saucer. Bridge-building is one of Pikmin 3’s new features.
The only thing missing from the demo was formations. Remember how you could make Pikmin line up in a narrow line so they avoid falling into water? That wasn’t included in the demo and a Nintendo representative said it wasn’t confirmed if formations will be in the final game or not.