Review by Galactus21

"Command and Conquer"

Pikmin 2 is a unique game that was developed and published by Nintendo themselves. I never had the chance to play the first Pikmin. I heard great things about it, but never got around to buying it. I decided to give Pikmin 2 a try and I am sure glad I did. Pikmin 2 is sort of like an RTS, but with puzzles to be solved and strategy to be used. The story is about Olimar who returns home and finds that his boss has went bankrupt. His boss owes a large amount of money. In your return you brought something back, something that was worth a bit of money. Your boss sees this opportunity as a way to pay off his debt, so he sends you back to the planet of the Pikmin hoping you would find more treasures to help pay off his debt. You take your ship back to the Pikmin planet to collect treasures and you also have an aid known as Louie. You also have a ship that gives you info that is quite helpful. In addition to collecting treasures, you also fight bad guys, solve some puzzles and take charge of the Pikmin. Now that you are more familiar about the story on with my review.

Pikmin 2 offers a beautiful environment with many nice looking effects. The Pikmin planet is gorgeous and the backgrounds look extremely nice. I also like the little effects that they did, like the snowflakes or leaves falling out of the sky. Those are some nice little touches that make the environment in this game so beautiful. The characters and Pikmin are very detailed and look gorgeous. I am not too fond of the artwork of the Pikmin, but they look very good nonetheless. Character animations are crisp and very nice looking. I especially like it when I have a bunch of Pikmin and have them swarm on an enemy, the animations are just a pleasant sight to look at. The game runs at a smooth pace and there were absolutely no slow downs at all. The game has a cartoon look to it and I really like it. Overall Pikmin 2 offers a rich and beautiful environment with great animation and beautiful looking character models.

Pikmin 2 is unique and one of the most innovative games I have played in recent memory. Quite frankly Pikmin 2 shines the brightest in terms of gameplay. The game plays a lot like an RTS, but with a unique feel to it. Pikmin 2 has many brilliant ideas and many bright spots in the mechanics. You can control up to a hundred Pikmin in this game. You have five types of Pikmin that you can control in this game. There are red, blue, purple, yellow and white pikmin and each have their own unique ability. The red Pikmin are fireproof, the purple are slow, but powerful, the blue can go in the water, the yellow are not affected by electricity and the white are immune to poison. The red, yellow and blue can be breed through their onions. The white and purple can be breed by tossing other kinds of Pikmin into a purple or white flower that are found in caves. To breed Pikmin from their onions you must collect caps that have numbers on them and bring them back to your onion. However there are other items that will let you breed Pikmin. Some caps have a one or a ten and the bigger it is the more Pikmin will be breed. To collect items you must first throw your Pikmin onto the item and then your Pikmin will do their work. If you want to take an enemy's body back to your onion your Pikmin must first defeat that enemy. When throwing your Pikmin you have a cursor that sort of guides where you throw them. When carrying items back to your onions numbers come up. These numbers signify how many Pikmin are needed to carry the item and it also shows how many you have so far carrying it. The Purple Pikmin who has more strength gives them higher stats to carry items. I really like this idea because it's real fun to just mess around. I like to just take out enemies and carry them back to my onion and breed more Pikmin. So you can just go about and mess around for a while and build an enormous army. However large though you must still remember that you can only control a hundred Pikmin at a time.

Now that I have gone over the types of Pikmin and what you could do with them I will now go over the gameplay mechanics. Your main attack will be throwing your Pikmin on your enemies and letting them attack. However if you decided to wander off with just Louie and Olimar then the A button allows them to attack, but beware their attacks are rather weak. You can split up your Pikmin into squads, you can give them commands on which way to move, you can gather them by whistling. Your whistle grows in range when you hold the button down. There are many items to collect and bring them back to your onions that breed your Pikmin. There will also be obstacles along your way when you are exploring. For example there are paper bags where you have to toss a certain amount of Pikmin on them in order to squash them and make it possible to walk pass. There are also gates that require certain types of Pikmin to knock down. There will be caves where you enter and there will be items to collect that will pay your debt off, you will fight enemies and there will be bosses also. The caves are a blast too play, you go from level to level until you reach the final floor. There are some caves that are real unique and it would be wise to use certain types of Pikmin in these caves. There is one minor grip and that is the bosses in these caves are extremely easy. However it is a blast to just toss a bunch of Pikmin on them and watch your minions work. At the end of each day a report will come up that shows your earnings and it will also show how many Pikmin you have lost. At the end of your report you will get a letter or mail that informs you about the people back home. Even though the mail in a sense tells you a bit about the story, I still find the story a bit lacking. In a game like this a great story isn't necessary, however I wouldn't have mind it. There are just many things that you can do in this game and the amount of fun you get from doing them makes this game an incredible experience.

The controls are smooth and intuitive. It's easy to learn and it feels like second nature once you get use to it. The A button allows you to throw your Pikmin, the B button is your whistle, The C stick gives command to your Pikmin, Y button switches squad and the X button separates the Pikmin by color. You can also set the camera to your choosing. The control layouts allow you to control your Pikmin with ease. The game is well polished and plays really well. Overall the game shines in this area. There are tons of things to do and the game is fairly long and it is just a pleasure to play.

Pikmin 2 has an old school feel to it. There isn't any voice acting, but the noises the characters make give them an old school feel. The noises that the Pikmin make is hysterical, it was unique. The soundtrack was fairly good. It was soothing and a joy to listen too. Even though Pikmin 2 has a very good soundtrack, I can't help and wonder how voice acting would make it a bit better. Overall Pikmin 2 has great music and it offers an old school feel to it.

Pikmin 2 is game that will hold your attention for a while. It's got fun and addictive gameplay that will surely keep you occupied. The game is fairly long, however you can take your time like me and keep building your minions. And what joy it was to build your army of Pikmin. You might also want to beat it a few times just because this game is so much fun. Pikmin 2 also offers multi-player aspects, which adds to the longevity of the game. One minor gripe is that towards the end of the game it felt like a chore to play and that surely knocks some of Pikmin 2's value down. Overall with an amazing single player campaign and multi-player aspects Pikmin 2 will surely keep you coming back for more.

With the uniqueness and overall fresh feeling Pikmin 2 has a lot to offer. The game plays a bit like an RTS, but with its own unique twist. Pikmin 2 is definitely a fresh experience from what we have played in a while. The whole look also gives Pikmin 2 a rather unique look. I really like how PIkmin 2 seems to have a light hearted feel and still play really well. While there are some issues that could be better the overall presentation is very good.

Pikmin 2 offers innovative and addictive gameplay. Nintendo did an incredible job with this game. Nintendo once again makes a game that is unique and can only be found on a Nintendo console. There were so many great things about this game that you must try for yourself. Although there were a few minor flaws such as the difficulty being too easy and the story lacking a bit, Pikmin 2 is still an awesome experience. Pikmin 2 is not only one of the best Gamecube games out, but it is also one of the best games this generation. If you own a Gamecube then do yourself a favor and pick this game up. If you don't own a Gamecube then I would suggest getting one to play this game. Overall Pikmin 2 is just an incredible game that is extremely well polished and a joy to play.

Pros
+ Beautiful environments
+ Innovative gameplay
+ Smooth controls
+ Fairly long quest
+ Enjoyable multi-player
+ Controlling a vast number of Pikmins

Cons
- Lacking story
- Too easy
- Single player gets a bit repetitive towards the end

Graphics - 9/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Sound - 8/10
Value - 8/10
Presentation - 8.5/10
Overall - 8.5/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/06/04, Updated 03/07/05


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