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GameCube Reviews: Pikmin


Pikmin Screenshots

The Final Say!

Pikmin - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 23 July 2002
Review Score: 9.2/10 
Distributor: Nintendo

This would have to be the most original and innovative titles to yet grace the GameCube console. The game's rating is G8+, however I would not recommend this title to anyone under 14 years. Not that there is anything untoward in the game, it's just that the puzzles and strategies might be a bit more than younger players can handle.

You play the role of Astronaut Captain Olimar and your ship, The Dolphin was struck by a meteor whilst in space. You have survived the crash but your ship is in pieces and to make matters worse you only have 30 days worth of power in your life support suit.

Whilst exploring your new environment, you come across a strange object. When touched, it pops up out of the ground and a seed shoots out and embeds itself in to the ground. When plucked you will come face to face with your ally, the Pikmin! Pikmin are extremely small and almost appear to be bipedal plants. They are intelligent and most anxious to help you for reasons not altogether obvious.

The control system on the title is very easy to master which is always a plus when it comes to thinking games. There is nothing worse than having to remember complex moves whilst also solving puzzles. Everything is laid out and very accessible.

In your search for the parts of your ship, the Pikmin that you encounter will be able to assist you in things that you could not achieve yourself. Working as a team they can carry things that you could not or break down barriers that impede your progress.

There are also more than one type of Pikmin, and they have various abilities and colours. Your different types of Pikmin are red, blue and yellow. Red are your main fighters, yellow can be thrown the furthest, and blue are your water friendly variety.

Probably the only complaint about this brilliant game is the fact that it will only take you about 12-13 hours to finish the entire thing from start to finish. The game is time limited to a single day in which you are required to have completed your objectives and escorted your Pikmin back to their ship, known as 'Onions' before the nocturnal predators come out and eat them.

Graphically, this game is one of the most stunning on the GameCube and is based on creator Miyamoto's own backyard which is apparent once you get into the game. Not that it's his backyard but that it's someone's garden.

With regard to sound, the game is an absolute treat. Ambient sound accompanies all activities and greatly adds to the feeling of truly being a part of the environment. Trickling streams, crunching sand and even rustling plants are all audible as you make your way through the game world. The Pikmin also make their own peculiar little noises when performing tasks.

Control of your game world is reasonably easy and by the end of the first level you should be adept at controlling both Olimar and the Pikmin. It's almost a shame that you have to be so aware of time passing as it is so much fun controlling the Pikmin that you don't truly have time to just relax and enjoy it.

Essentially the Pikmin are there to do all the things that you are not able to. Olimar is tiny and the Pikmin are even smaller again. In the manual there is a picture of a GameCube game disc and Olimar is not as tall as that. Once you realise that, the perspective of your playing environment will be even more appreciated.

Pikmin is designed perfectly in a truly living and breathing environment, but beware of the creatures that lurk in this beautiful place. Only your brave Pikmin, in particular the red ones, have the power to defeat them. Be careful to utilise your Pikmin sensibly and harvest as many as possible by taking the coloured tablets that are scattered throughout the game world and depositing them under the onions. This will create more Pikmin seeds. You can only have 100 Pikmin in the game area at any time so be sure to select the types that will serve you best.

Pikmin is a thinking game and not the little kids cutesy game that it has been inaccurately depicted as on the television. It is a game that will have you amazed at what your GameCube can do for you and is a must own title for everyone!

- Tory Favro

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