The 'Shroom:Issue XXXII/Non-Mario Review
I apologize for my absence last month; hopefully, I'll be able to make it up this month. For November I will be reviewing Pikmin, a GameCube classic released in 2001.
Miyamoto is easily one of the biggest names in gaming history; his creative ingenuity has lent us big-name franchises such as Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Legend of Zelda, etc. And it just so happens that Pikmin is next in line.
The game's approach is very different from that of Mario or Zelda: you are a captain named Olimar piloting the S.S. Dolphin who finds himself off-chart when a meteor hits his ship, causing him to land on an alien planet inhabited by tiny creatures called Pikmin. There are three kinds of Pikmin: Red Pikmin, which are immune to fire and can walk through flames unharmed; Blue Pikmin, the only Pikmin that can touch water; Yellow Pikmin, which can be thrown higher than the other Pikmin and are immune to electricity. With their unique abiliies and strengths, Olimar will have to put his Pikmin to good use to put his spaceship back together.
In Pikmin, it's a race against the clock, as you only have 30 days to search the planet for ship parts until your spacesuit gives out. Luckily, not every single part is vital to make it back home, though the player will get the best ending if he or she does.
The world is surrounded by terrifying beasts, creatures that will swallow your Pikmin one-by-one. The enemies serve as a testimony to the player's strategy; there are many ways to tackle the monsters. Some prefer using force (rushing all Pikmin in to defeat the beast) or by planning their attack. The variety of monsters adds to the replay value and make it an exciting game to explore.
While there is a bit of a learning curve to the process, commanding your Pikmin squad, which can consist of up to 100 Pikmin at a time, is never frustrating or confusing; the use of the C-stick as a guide works quite well.
The music of Pikmin is very impressive, returning to the classic orchestrations Miyamoto's games are known for. Some songs are peaceful, silly, or haunting; "The Final Challenge", for instance, is a seemingly lighthearted piece, but has a deeply creepy tone to it.
Despite being rather short, Pikmin is a game you’ll savour, and with that I conclude this review with a score of 8.9/10.
Recently, this game has been re-released on the Wii system under the New Play Control brand. I strongly recommend you give this unique game a try!
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