We got a chance to preview Wii U title Pikmin 3

Pikmin fans have waited nearly eight years for the next installment in the series. When Shigeru Miyamoto came on stage during the Nintendo press conference with one of the creatures hiding in his pocket, we knew the wait was nearly over. Pikmin 3 is coming to the Wii U.

Those unfamiliar with Pikmin should know that the gameplay is kind of like a real time strategy game with puzzle elements and combat.  The player will control a tiny space captain (strangely not Olimar this time) whose role is to control little creatures known as Pikmin.  There are different Pikmin types, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

The Pikmin 3 demo only featured two types of Pikmin, Red and the new Rock type.  Red Pikmin are immune to fire and are stronger than most Pikmin.  The new Rock Pikmin can break certain objects that they are hurled at.

Pikmin 3 will have two options of control, the Wii U GamePad or the Wii Remote + Nunchuck combo.  Unfortunately, Nintendo wasn’t letting people use the Wii U GamePad to play, so my experience is based solely with the Wii Remote + Nunchuck combo.  It should be noted that when playing with the Wii Remote + Nunchuck combo that an overhead view of the map was shown on the Wii U GamePad, but I rarely ever glanced at it.

The controls while using the Wii Remote + Nunchuck were fantastic.  It was easy to quickly aim where I wanted to throw my Pikmin thanks to the Wii Remote.  I haven’t played the New Play Control Pikmin titles on the Wii, but apparently those that have will be familiar with the setup.  Off the top of my head, here was the general control scheme:

Control Sick – Move
A – Throw Pikmin
B – Call Pikmin
C- Swap Pikmin Types
Z – Bring Camera To Back Of Character
D-Pad – Dodge

The only thing I couldn’t figure out how to do with this setup was to move the entire bunch of Pikmin around the Captain.  This was typically done via the C-Stick on the GameCube but may not be possible with this control scheme.  If it’s not included in some way I’ll be disappointed since I loved moving a ton of Pikmin into foes to get them all to jump on quickly rather than throwing them.  Hopefully I am mistaken and I just couldn’t figure it out.

I’ve been told that shaking the Wii Remote or Nunchuck, not sure which, will lead the player’s group of Pikmin into a charge, but I sadly forgot to try this in the demo (doh!).  After thinking about it, though, the charge could be an easy fix for my previously stated issue.

There were two modes in the demo, a partial stage and a boss battle.  The goal in the former was to have Pikmin bring a certain amount of fruit back to the ship.  Along the way, I fought enemies, upgraded my Pikmin and discovered the new Rock type Pikmin. As stated before, this new Pikmin type is used for breaking special objects and enemies.  The demo stage had a few parts where using specific Pikmin types were necessary or greatly beneficial.

The Boss battle also showcased Red and Rock Pikmin in a way that would teach players the benefits of switching it up in order to accomplish a task.  The giant insect boss, as seen in the above trailer, was incased in a hard shell.  The player had to smash pieces of that shell off to expose its soft core.  At that point it was a good idea for the more aggressive Red Pikmin to strike.

Both demo stages left me craving more!  It was awesome seeing Pikmin in HD as the graphics were truly great.  The trailer also teases a new flying type Pikmin.  Pikmin 3 has moved to my number one most wanted Wii U title and I can’t wait to get my hands on it again in the future.

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