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The Story so far. Olimar ia a space explorer from the planet Hocotate. On a holiday jaunt in his spaceship, the "Dolphin", he hits a meteorite and crashlands on an unknown planet. During the crash landing several parts of the Dolphin fall off and are scattered all over the alien worl. Olimars life support unit can only function for another thirty days, and then he will have to leave. Can he find the thirty missing parts to the Dolphin in time ?
The object of the game. After looking around the crash site Olimar finds a red sprout which looks something like a carrott. When he picks it he finds that it is in fact a small creature. He names it a "Pikmin". The Pikmin seem to be loyal, and will happily do a variety of tasks for Olimar. Getting the Pikmin to collect coloured pellets and take them back to their coloured, tripod shaped, home will reward you with more pikmin. This method allows you to grow your population. You can also return the bodies of fallen foes to earn extra Pikmin. Using your Pikmin population you must search the landscape for the missing parts of the spaceship. Along the way you will have to use your pikmin to fight the various monsters who inhabit the area, and break down rock walls in an effort to open up new areas. There are three different coloured Pikmin which are waiting to be found somewhere on the alien planet. These are red, yellow and blue. All of them have different attributes, and so choosing the right colour Pikmin for the job in hand is vital to your success. The red Pikmin are the strongest out of the three, and are impervious to fire. The yellow ones are lightest and can be thrown higher and further than the other two. They can also carry "bomb rocks" which can be used to break down tough walls and defeat enemies. The blue Pikmin have gills and so can traverse water features, whereas the other two colours will drown in water. There is a day meter on the screen at all times which tells you how long before nightfall. You have to decide wisely how much time you should dedicate to fighting enemies, searching new areas and collecting pellets to boost your population.
My opinion. This is a brilliant game! I could stop there but I wont as more needs to be said. Its a very addictive game and it is awfully scary how the hours pass when you are engrossed in this game. It is a family game, with the characters being very cartoony. The enemies are also cartoon based and are still quite sweet. You could easily come to like them if it wasnt for the fact that they are trying to eat you and your Pikmin. The game is rated as a 3+, although I personally dont agree with this rating. It is certainly "suitable" for children above this age, but I have reservations that they would be able to master the control system for sending, calling, throwing and generally controlling the Pikmin. It does take a little while to get used to, dont expect to pick up the controller and be a master instantly because it wont happen. The graphics are amazing, such an effort has been put into the detail of the landscapes and the colours are very vibrant. The sound can get a little annoying at times, but you can always turn the volume down a bit I suppose.
The only down points to this game were that it isnt very long, and it doesnt have any difficulty levels. There is an extra mode called "challenge", where you can try to grow as many Pikmin as you can in one day. I was a bit disappointed with thins mode, because you cant put your initials into the scoreboard. It would have been nice to challenge your mates to get onto your scoreboard, but without the ability to initial your score its impossible to tell whose is whose. To much writing to read is another negative point. You can speed it up if you need to, but its really a bit frustrating.
Summary. Ist simply one of the best Gamecube games out. As it has now gone "Players Choice", cheapy to you and me, you can pick it up in most games shops for under £20. If you are happy to buy a pre-owned copy you might only have to pay £10. I would recommend that if you dont have it you should buy it today, its that good.!