Pikmin is an enigma in itself, when first announced most people went, what? Then that what turned into, wow, and now it has turned into, wow so cute!
Pikmins story revolves around a small space man, named Captain Olimar, Captain of the Dolphin. On a routine transportation mission Olimars ship his hit by an astroid and is sent hurtling down to the surface of a nearby planet, while hurtling through the atmosphere the ship breaks up scattering pieces all over the surface of planet. When Olimar awakes from the crash he discovers that he is alone, but then he runs into a strange creature, which he names Pikmin, after a famous dish on his home planet.
The creatures take a liking to Olimar so he decides that he will use them to help retrieve the pieces of his space ship. Oh and Olimar only has a few days of life support before he runs out and dies from the poisonous oxygen of the planets surface.
The basic premise of the game is to control various Pikmin to get your spaceship parts and ultimately allow you to return to home. Controlling the Pikmin may feel a little strange at first but after a while it will become very easy, the Pikmin are controlled via using the C-stick while using the Analogue stick to control Olimar.
You will use the Pikmin to knock down walls and knock out wood to create bridges and ramps, and to swamp enemies. Pikmin brings a new home the old adage, strength in numbers, as chances are there is going to be few enemies in the game that will fall to Olimar and 10 Pikmin, most of the time you will have to attack in large numbers and expect causalities, but there are a number of ways to restrict the amount of casualties by attacking an enemy from behind and hopefully getting enough Pikmin on his back to weigh him down allowing the Pikmin to kill him. Once the Pikmin have killed the enemy the enemy will sometimes drop colored counters, the counters can then be carried back to the Pikmin Onions to grow more Pikmin, also if you take a yellow counter back to a yellow Onion you will get more Sprouts from it than if you took it to a Blue Onion.
The levels in Pikmin are all pretty nice, the only level I didn't like was an Underground level, but that was mainly because I never really liked Underground levels. But outside of that all the levels are steaming with life, no wonder as the game was thought up as Shigeru Miyamoto was sitting in his garden. Flowers hold counters that can be used to grow more Pikmin, and if it walks it usually means its going to eat your Pikmin if you walk to close, but that's to be expected when your controlling the bottom of the food chain.
It all sounds very basic, and it is, that is one of the games main features, simplified fun, I am unsure if this was intentional but knowing Nintendo is most likely was. Although the game is simple it does take a little bit getting used to, but an avid gamer shouldn't have too much trouble completing the game the first time.
One thing that is quite annoying is that the game has a time limit, I would of like to just sit around cultivating my army of Pikmin, but because the game has a time limit of thirty days, and there are thirty spaceship parts to collect then you wont find yourself sitting still for more than a few moments.
The games graphics are quite stunning, especially for a launch title. The Pikmin themselves look great when there are loads running back and forth on the screen, everything looks crisp and clear.
The only major gripe is that when you are zoomed straight in is that the ground textures look a little blurred, but since you will most likely be playing from a zoomed out view that isn't too big a deal.
Did I mention that all the Pikmin swaying back and forth is enough to make a grown man think about someone else crying? Because it is, it's simply wonderful
Sound, it seems to be a Nintendo tradition not to bother adding voices to there games, and Pikmin is just the same, you wont hear Olimar say a single word, but that's alright. I didn't particulary like the games sound effects, namely the Pikmin sounds when they die, it was most likely because I liked my Pikmin and I didn't like to heart he little sound that signified that one had met his maker.
Overall the sounds effects are quite nice, the background music in the Underground level is a bit annoying and somewhat dreary but aside from that most of the music is quite nice as are the sound effects in the game.
When you blow a bunch of Pikmin into water, blue ones mind you, the sound is very good, maybe the best running into water sound around.
The game is short, too short, your first time play through will only be a few hours, usually less than 6 because of the time limit. After that there's not much reason to play, there is a challenge mode in which you play to see how many Pikmin you can grow in a day on the different levels, it's a nice addition but one that will most likely not get used.
It's a shame that a game as great as this is so short, I would of loved a non-time limit level where I could make so many Pikmin it would crash my GameCubeâ€¦but alas no luck.