Pikmin 3 Review – Pluckin’ Away

Written by Matt Curione

[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”Pikmin 3″ developers=”Nintendo” publishers=”Nintendo” platforms=”Wii U” genres=”Real-Time Strategy” release_date=”August 4th, 2013″]

It’s been eight years since players were invited to visit the world of the Pikmin, an eternity in the world of gaming. Now with the long-promised Pikmin 3 on shelves, fans of those little fighting plant people can rejoice because this game is everything you could want and more from a AAA Nintendo game.

Following the adventures of Charlie, Alph, and Brittany, a crash-landed crew from the planet Koppai, you’re tasked with finding enough fruit to save your starving home planet and your crew. Unlike in past games, there is no time limit to be found here, instead you can explore and fight bugs to your heart’s content as long as you retain a fresh supply of juice in order to keep going. The game offers the option of splitting the team into three groups but honestly you can achieve the same result with one big squad and the “murderous horde” approach.SassyPikmin

A game in the purest sense of the word, Pikmin 3 is so enjoyable and charming that it could be considered unfair to other games on the market. When low on juice you truly feel the pressure because once gone it’s Game Over. The need for smart strategy quickly becomes apparent as you need to decide how to divvy up your squad of 100 Pikmin and use them as economically as possible. Choose too few of a certain kind and you’ll find your team decimated in short order since not all Pikmin are created equal.

Returning from previous installments are the tried and true Red, Yellow, and Blue Pikmin who are resistant to fire, electricity, and water respectively. Joining the expedition this time around are the new Rock and Flying Pikmin who can be used to get around some interesting obstacles that come up. Need to connect some wires to power a light bulb? Toss some Yellow Pikmin. Find a kiwi encased in crystal? Throw some hefty Rock Pikmin and shatter it! Come across a bamboo gate blocking the way? Pitch a few Flying Pikmin and let them clear the way. The myriad uses of the Pikmin at your disposal are fantastic and add some great challenges to effective squad management.


Pikmin 3 is deserving of all the hype that surrounds it. Pikmin 3 is not only the prettiest Wii U game that I’ve played thus far, it’s also the most fun I’ve had all year. The presentation here is off the charts from the opening cinematic to the conversations the astronauts have between levels, this release grabs you from the very start. This is a series that has always begged for an HD presentation with its colorful garden environments and character design, the game just pops off your television with some of the best visuals currently on display.

 Featuring four worlds to explore with your Pikmin army in addition to the final boss stage, the game may seem short at first glance. Collecting the 60 different fruits and hidden data files will take quite a bit of time however, thus lending the game quite a bit of replay value. I could’ve rushed through the entertaining story mode, filled with cameos from past characters, and gone right to the endgame but that would’ve been a disservice to the game and myself. The designers have created a rich world, teeming with life and if you don’t stop to smell the flowers , so to speak, you’ll really miss out on one of the best releases by Nintendo in recent years.

Using the combination of the Wiimote & Nunchuk is the most accurate way to traverse the Pikmin planet, offering a great range of motion and control. When using this control scheme, which is highly recommended, the Wii U GamePad acts as your World Map, allowing you to plan your day and plot your course accordingly. Though you can play using just the GamePad, you’ll lose the accuracy of the Wiimote that’s imperative for some of the challenging boss fights at the end of each world.


Though lacking an online mode and only offering offline co-op and and competitive modes, Pikmin 3’s multiplayer is a blast. The best is the head to head Bingo Battle mode which is some of the best local “death match” you’re likely to play this year and the most hilarious. Two players battle each other for fruit with their own Pikmin armies and the first person to complete a row of fruit, in classic Bingo fashion, is the winner. Don’t overlook the multiplayer in this, it’s a great way to get together with friends and just have the time of your life.

The gaming landscape has changed vastly since 2004 and the last time we saw the Pikmin; Gamecube has become a relic of a bygone era, Nintendo’s fortunes blossomed with the Wii and their current console, Wii U, is floundering due to poor sales and a lack of games. As of now, the Wii U has its first must-have game, a true “Killer App” that shows off what the console is capable of and a strong selling point for the Big N’s latest home console.

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About the author

Matt Curione

Lifelong gamer from the Garden State. From Atari 2600 to the Wii U...He's seen some things and had some radical adventures along the way. You can follow him on Twitter @TheRealMattC or e-mail him directly via Matt@LevelSave.com.

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