Pros: Open ended gameplay, more pikmin, e-reader support increases game
Cons: Doesn't feel as fresh, minor graphical upgrade
The original Pikmin game was a surprise hit for the Gamecube. When
Pikmin came out few people understood the innovative concept which is
something like a mix of lemmings and a brain teaser. The goal of the
original Pikmin was to control the little buggers to help repair Captain
Olimar's broken ship so he can return home. Pikmin 2 picks off right
where Pikmin left off. After Captain Olimar returned home from a long
trip he finds out this his company is in some serious debt. His company,
Hocotate Shipping, is in debt for 10,000 pokos. The only way that this
can be paid off is by collecting valuable treasure (like bottle caps,
cans, and other "rare" treasures) from the planet that Olimar just left
from. To save his company and his job he sets off to the planet of the
Pikmin to find more treasure.
This time Olimar knows better than to go
alone and he brings Louie around to help him out. Louie just isn't a
character that follows Olimar around, but he is an essential part of the
gameplay. In the original game you were able to control Pikmin to do
various tasks such as build bridges, destroy walls, battle enemies and
recover pieces of your ship. Normally, you would have to assign a task
to a group of Pikmin then assign another task to a different group of
Pikmin. This way you can achieve two things at once. The one catch with
this strategy is that you wouldn't have to physically run over to
control each group of Pikmin. With Louie around you can micromanage your
Pikmin's tasks even more since he has all of the same abilities as
Olimar. Besides micromanagement Nintendo made sure there are specific
puzzles that require using both characters. An example of this is at the
start of the game where Olimar and Louie are separated by a bag wall.
Louie has a few Pikmin and Olimar has a few Pikmin, but neither of them
have enough Pikmin to break the wall down. If they each throw their
Pikmin on the wall they'll have just enough to bring it down so they can
have a happy reunion.
Louie is just one of the gameplay tweaks found in Pikmin 2. Gone from
the original Pikmin is an absolute time limit. You don't have to leave
in thirty "days" or within in any amount of time. This gives the player
more freedom to explore the world at their own leisure. Even though
there is no time limit until the game is over day and night still exist.
Every time you land your ship you begin with a full day to go item
searching. You have to finish before nightfall or you and your Pikmin
will be eaten by the inhospitable inhabitants. Just like in the original
Pikmin any stray Pikmin (ones that aren't in your control or Louie's
control) will become dinner for a monster at the end of the night. So if
you want to keep all of your Pikmin alive you'll have to have a watchful
eye. Another change is the addition of underground areas. These areas
not only expand the size of the levels, but add a new dimension in
gameplay. In the underground areas you don't have the ability to make
more Pikmin. To make matters worse the underground areas are typically
filled with more and at times stronger enemies. This makes players think
about how to do battles tactfully to not lose any of their precious
Perhaps the biggest addition to the game are two new types of Pikmin.
The fat purple Pikmin are the strongest of the bunch. They can carry ten
times their weight and weigh ten times as much. There are new objects in
the game that require the strength of over 100 Pikmin and since you can
only have 100 Pikmin out on the field at any given time you have to have
them carry stuff. The other new addition to the Pikmin family are the
white Pikmin. These guys are immune to a new threat, poison. They also
have the ability to attack enemies with their own poison for some extra
damage. This makes the white Pikmin useful for fighting large enemies.
The familiar red, blue and yellow Pikmin all return to make a total of
five different types of Pikmin. If you haven't played the original know
that the red are immune to fire and are good fighters, the blue are the
only ones that can go underwater and that the yellow are immune to
electricity and can be thrown the highest.
The presentation of Pikmin 2 is similar to the original game. The
music is soothing and subtle. The first Pikmin game focused on outdoor
backyard areas. In Pikmin 2 the environments are more diverse such as a
snow level. Like the music, the background graphics have an organic feel
to them. The scenery is lush. Its filled with plenty of green bushes and
reflective water. There is even a nice graphical touch of having sakura
petals blow on the ground or a gentle amount of falling snow. While the
graphics are generally eye pleasing the style isn't as fresh as the
original game. Also compared to other Gamecube games Pikmin 2 doesn't
look nearly as great.
Nintendo may have not spent their time improving the graphics in the
game, but they spent plenty of time on how to increase the game's replay
value. The game itself gets points already because it is open ended. You
can spend plenty of time searching the world to collect all of the items
hidden in the game. If you need a break from that you can bring along a
friend and play a two player game to see who can use their Pikmin and
find five yellow marbles the fastest. If you still want more you can use
the e-reader to bring in new mini games. Pikmin 2 is sure to please
gamers for sometime.
Pikmin 2 expands upon the Pikmin series. It adds new elements of
gameplay and multiplayer support, which is sure to please fans of the
series. Even though Pikmin 2 may not feel as fresh as the original game
Pikmin 2 is still novel compared to the slew of first person shooters
and 3D platformers out there.
If you've played the first Pikmin you won't need to worry about
understanding how to play the game. Otherwise Pikmin 2 is pretty
Japanese heavy. Rumor has it that if you use Datel's Action replay you
can enter in the code on the bottom, which translates the game into
Pikmin 2 is going to have its North American debut on August 30th.
The tiny and cute Pikmin return for a game that is better than the
original in many ways and the original was already a great game.