Advantages Super Cute, Great Fun, Nice Sound Effects, I could go on and on...
Disadvantages I could go on and on!
|Difficulty & Complexity|
|Longevity||Almost limitless longevity: ongoing|
I first played Pikmin, (a super cute Gamecube game), at a close friends house years ago, (it must have been 2002ish). I really loved it at the time and I've wanted a Gamecube ever since but for one reason or another I never got one. So imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I one of my presents and it's a Gamecube. The same friends who first introduced me to it had given me it for Christmas along with Pikmin.Needless to say I couldn't wait to set it up so Boxing Day morning I was up with the larks, (or maybe robins), and playing Pikmin.
******Now for those of you who don't know the Gamecube was a little cubic games console, (aprox. 7"x7"x5"), made by Nintendo. The Gamecube first hit British shops in May 2002. I suppose it was the big-brother of the N64 and the predecessor to the new Wii console. The main attraction for me is the tiny size of the console and the purple colour, (you can get other colours but I love the purple), and also the size of the discs, they are only about 3" in diameter. According to the other half an "interesting" fact about Gamecube discs is that they are read like old vinyl discs, that is from the outside in as opposed to CDs and DVDs which are read from the inside out.
I feel that the Gamecube was definitely aimed either at younger kids or indeed at people who were kids when the Gameboy was around the first time. Most of the games are super cute like Pikmin, Donkey Kong and Monkey Ball. Let's face it - cute is what Nintendo do best; that said though you can get other games like Call of Duty, Tony Hawks and Resident Evil for the Gamecube too.Well that's enough about the Gamecube anyway, (I've almost wrote a review there, lol), this is meant to be about Pikmin.
******Pikmin was released in Europe by Nintendo in June 2002 and is regarded by many as one of the best Gamecube games ever released. Nintendo were clever to bring out games themselves for their own console, (meaning you couldn't buy them for a console you already owned), as playing Pikmin REALLY made me want a Gamecube!
In Pikmin you play the part of Olimar, an astronaut who has crashed on a strange planet with an atmosphere of poisonous oxygen. His space suit can only sustain him for a short while so he needs to find the missing ship parts and repair his ship ASAP. Very shortly after you begin you will spot a strange looking red thing that looks a bit like a giant red onion with legs which throws out a seed. Before long a curious looking sprout will emerge from the ground and Olimar, (being prone to curiosity), will pluck this sprout from the earth, (as long as you press A, which is the Gamecube equivalent of the Playstation's X button), and lo and behold you've got yourself a Pikmin!The Pikmin are small creatures, (a bit smaller than Olimar who is apparently 4cm tall), which are either red, yellow or blue. Each colour of Pikmin has it's own special abilities, (for instance you can throw yellow Pikmin higher, blue can survive in water and red are more aggressive), and each colour has it's own "onion". You find the red onion straight away but you have to search for the other two colours further afield.
As soon as Olimar plucks a Pikmin from the ground they follow his orders, which he give via a kind of musical command, (you use one of the analogue sticks). They will follow Olimar and do many things for him such as defeating the enemies, (things like Ladybugs, strange pig-like things which blow fire at you and many other hideous beasties), build bridges, carry ship parts etc.In order to create more Pikmin, (they are essential as it takes many Pikmin to carry ship parts back to Olimar's ship), you must take food back to the "onions". Food comes in the form of "pellets" which look like bottle caps and can be found growing as flowers or dropped by baddies as well as the bodies of defeated enemies. Once the Pikmin have carried the food back to the onion which will sprout new Pikmin.
I love how diverse the enemies are, you really have to get to know them to work out the most efficient way of defeating them. Each enemy will have a slightly different way of finishing off your Pikmin, like eating them or setting them alight. You will quickly come to love your little Pikmin and feel responsible for them so their little cries as they die are quite an effective way of making you want to save them! Some enemies have a distinct weakness like only one colour of Pikmin can harm them or throwing Pikmin at them kills them faster and is quite good fun to work all this out.The main aim is get all 30 ship parts in 30 days so you are against the clock. You get a "sundown" warning across the top of the screen so you can keep an eye on the time and you also get an "alarm" just before sundown. You will need to have rounded up all your little fellas or the baddies will devour them! Some of the ship parts require quite a lot of strategy in order to get to them and get them back to the ship all in one day and while this makes the game challenging and stops you getting bored it can also be quite frustrating and has had me swearing at the TV a fair few times!
Reading back through that it sounds kind of gory but it really isn't. The sound effects and animations are so cute that it doesn't seem scary or gross but is just great fun, (even if you do get upset when the little guys die)!******
I really think this game is fantastic and so playable. Even if you have to play the same day over and over again because you just can't get a certain part it doesn't become boring at all and is always a great way to waste a few hours.The graphics are Nintendo at their cutesy best; with loads of detail even on the backgrounds. It isn't really surprising that so much effort has gone into Pikmin when you consider that Shigeru Miyamoto, (the man behind Zelda, Donkey Kong and Mario), created this game.
The special effects that are included, (such as explosions and fire), look really good and fit in perfectly with the game. The sound effects are one of the best aspects of Pikmin as the noises and music just finish everything off so nicely. This is the only game that I don't instantly turn the music off! You will almost defiantly find yourself copying the noises the Pikmin make, well I do anyway!There are little details which make your Pikmin seem more life-like, like the fact that if you move them around too fast some of them will fall over letting out a woohoooo noise as they do so and if they get hurt they let out a little cry. It's hard to explain just how "realistic" they seem.
You can only save your game at the end of each day which is fine for me as the days are reasonably short and you can always just reset if you mess up too badly. The controls are really easy to pick up and the start of the game is set up in such a way that it teaches you what you need to know and let's you pick up the rest at your own pace. Having said that though, the manual is really good and covers most things in depth, so much so that I would probably advise that you only use it if you are stuck on something because it could give a little too much away.******
You can get copies of Pikmin on Amazon from £6.89 and you can also pick them up second hand in game shops. Obviously they don't make these games anymore so you can only buy them second hand.******
I strongly recommend this to anyone who owns a Gamecube and for fans of Nintendo or cutesy games.******
May appear on other sites under the name Donnabroom.
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As Pikmin 's stranded, miniature spaceperson Olimar, you must find the missing 30 parts your spaceship needs to get you back home; these parts are...
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