In hindsight, Pikmin 3 might actually be my least favorite Pikmin game.

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  3. In hindsight, Pikmin 3 might actually be my least favorite Pikmin game.

User Info: ThatKipp

ThatKipp
4 months ago#1
No, wait, stop typing vitriolic hate comments! Hear me out for a second here. Recently, I went and played through all 3 Pikmin games back to back, and it really gave me a new perspective on all 3 games. Before this summer, Pikmin 3 was my favorite of the bunch, and Pikmin 2 was my least favorite. Now, those two have swapped positions. This is for a couple of reasons, but the biggest is this:

Pikmin 3 is by far the most linear of the Pikmin games. The cause of this can be boiled down to one thing: spreading out the unlocks of new Pikmin across the progression of the game.

The first two Pikmin games frontload your discoveries of new Pikmin species. In Pikmin 1, if you're quick about it, you can unlock red, yellow, and blue Pikmin on each of the first 3 days, respectively. Either way, you're pretty much guaranteed to have blue Pikmin by day 4 or 5, and at that point, you have everything you need to conquer anything the game throws at you. There are no more boundaries you can't cross simply because you haven't progressed through the game enough yet.

Pikmin 2 is the same way, except it's even easier to get one new Pikmin type per day. You're given reds on day 1, and purples on day 2 in the Emergence Cave. On day 3 you can head to the Awakening Wood, picking up whites and the Geographic Projection, on day 4 you hit up the Perplexing Pool for yellows, and then return to the Awakening Wood for blues on day 5. Not too bad at all, considering there are 2 more Pikmin types available than the previous game.

Pikmin 3, however, spreads your Pikmin discoveries out for most of the game. You get red and rock Pikmin on the first 2 days, then yellow Pikmin upon defeating the Armored Mawdad and entering the Distant Tundra (probably around day 5 for a first-time playthrough). But you still only have 2 leaders at this point, which isn't enough to complete many of Pikmin 3's puzzles. You need to defeat a boss for your third leader, and then return to the Tropical Wilds to defeat another boss before you unlock the Twilight River and winged Pikmin with it. Then, to unlock blue Pikmin, you have to defeat yet another boss before a new area of the Garden of Hope opens up. By the time you unlock blue Pikmin, you've already defeated four out of the game's six main bosses, and unlocked every area but the last. Once you unlock blue Pikmin, you're finally able to fully explore every area of the game. But after you defeat the Quaggled Mireclops, there's no reason to return to any of the other areas besides going for 100% completion. After rescuing Louie, all there's left to do is head to the Formidable Oak to take on the final boss, and with all your juice back, there's hardly any reason to return to previously visited areas for more fruit. And even if you're a completionist (which you should be, I mean, this is Pikmin after all), exploring these areas feels hollow, since there's nothing exciting to find, as you've already beaten all the interesting bosses.

Pikmin 2 incentivized exploration in a great way-- by offering suit upgrades that made exploration easier on the player. While not required, these upgrades were extremely helpful, and did things like increasing your walking speed or whistle range. While Pikmin 3 does have suit upgrades, they're all hidden in random places in the field, and not marked on the map, meaning you have to basically come across them while doing something else to know about them at all. And in a game like Pikmin that has a time limit, wandering around aimlessly isn't the best use of your time. But beyond that, the suit upgrades generally aren't good anyway, and are hardly worth seeking out on your own without a guide.
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User Info: ThatKipp

ThatKipp
4 months ago#2
It's true that the game doesn't force you to move on to the next area and pursue the next boss, but when it locks new Pikmin types behind story bosses, I feel no incentive to go off the beaten path, because I know I'm going to encounter an obstacle that I need another Pikmin type to get past. I preferred the approach of earlier games, which was more similar to Zelda BotW, where from the very start, you're given everything you need to fully explore the game world. The first 2 Pikmin games treat the first few days as a tutorial to show players the ropes, and once that's over with, the whole game opens up and you can pursue objectives as you please. By spreading out the Pikmin types and locking them behind bosses, Pikmin 3 actively incentivizes rushing the story bosses while de-incentivizing exploration, which, for me, was a staple of earlier Pikmin games.

The game hasn't technically become more linear, as it's not forcing you to rush to the next boss, but it's become much more structured, and progression has become locked behind these checkpoints of story bosses. It's this element that makes Pikmin 3 my least favorite. Even though I'm free to revisit areas at any time, I don't feel free because I know that without all 5 Pikmin types, I'm going to find things that I can't do until I unlock more Pikmin types. And if I get everything I can in an area and still have time left in the day, that's time wasted that I could've used if I had waited to return to the area until I unlocked more Pikmin. The structure of Pikmin 3 actively discourages the things I enjoyed about the first 2 Pikmin games-- exploration and the like. I want to love this game, but the fact that the Pikmin are so spread out really bogs it down for me.

Sorry that this was a bit of a wall of text; my thoughts on this game are kinda complex but I wanted to get them out. Here's a tl;dr:

Pikmin 1 and 2 give you all the Pikmin types right off the bat, which means the whole game world is pretty much open to you for most of the game. Pikmin 3 spreads it out over the course of the game, which is nice because you're always getting new Pikmin, but it also discourages exploring anything until you unlock all Pikmin types, but by the time you unlock all Pikmin types, you're right at the end of the game so there's no point in exploring besides going for 100%.

There. I'm done. That's my opinion. What's yours? I'd like to hear some responses.
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User Info: DiogenesKC

DiogenesKC
4 months ago#3
Pikmin 2 is my least favorite, and I don't expect that to change. It's a fun enough experience, sure, but I think the caves and the huge focus on them go against a lot of what makes the other two games so good. The lack of a time limit, the randomized layouts, and the general deadliness of the caves encourage really slow and careful gameplay, compared to the other games challenging you to accomplish as much as you can as fast as you can. They also put a lot of focus on combat over puzzles, which kind of gets short circuited by how brokenly powerful purple pikmin are against anything non-elemental (and some things that are, if you're willing to take the risk). And having the game save after every floor and the difficulty of regrowing any pikmin you lose encourages savescumming for a "perfect" run, rather than accepting some losses over the course of a day because of how much you've accomplished.

Pikmin 1 sits squarely in the middle. It lacks the major flaws of Pikmin 2 but it's not as polished and developed as Pikmin 3. A good game and one I definitely respect for establishing the series, but a game I feel falls a bit short of "great".

So thus far Pikmin 3 is my favorite. It ditches the caves and keeps the focus on the daylight time limit and better puzzle/combat balance of the first game. It refines the multi-captain gameplay from Pikmin 2, adding the ability to throw captains and order them around the map. The new pikmin are more balanced than 2's combat-breaking purples and too-niche whites; rock pikmin fill a similar "high throwing damage" role as purples without being overpowered, and pinks are more generally useful than whites since saving time (by taking shorter paths) actually matters aboveground and I feel there's more things in general that they have an advantage in dealing with. And shockingly it took this long for them to allow you to explicitly pick which kind of pikmin you're going to throw, instead of just grabbing the nearest one and, even if you try to pick a specific type, having to rely on them standing in the right order as you're throwing.
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User Info: ThatKipp

ThatKipp
4 months ago#4
^You make interesting points, and, quite frankly, I agree with you on basically all of them. I tend to like the more slow and careful gameplay of caves, though not any more or less than the normal efficiency-based gameplay. And you're 100% correct about Pikmin 3 being better balanced. The addition of having a set Pikmin type for throwing is also great-- I hated how I would sometimes end up picking yellows to throw onto an electrical hazard, but then accidentally getting other Pikmin mixed in there.

I love Pikmin 1 as well, but what really bogs it down for me is just how buggy it is-- in particular I'm thinking of how Pikmin could be crushed by larger enemy corpses like those of Bulbears. Those pesky bugs might make 1 my least favorite, actually.



And now, I'm going to reiterate the opinion I expressed earlier, by talking about replayability.

For me, Pikmin 3 kinda falls apart on subsequent playthroughs in a way that the first 2 games didn't. In the first two games, you had the freedom to approach the game in any way you wanted, planning your day out to see what your best options were to get the most done. And because you had every Pikmin type, all options were open to you-- the only thing limiting your strategies was your own imagination. In Pikmin 3, I find myself just rushing to do the exact same thing I did in every other playthrough-- get as many fruits as possible while rushing toward the boss encounters. And then when I'm at the end of the game and have all Pikmin types, clean up the areas I haven't completed yet. You're not encouraged to try new things; instead, you're encouraged to do the exact same thing you did last time, but faster and more efficiently. To me, that's not fun. I prefer having more freedom to try a different approach from my last playthrough.

I've played Pikmin 1 and 2 three times now, and even though I played both this past summer, I'm tempted to go back to them if only because I want to try and accomplish things in a different sequence than last time to see if I can improve upon previous runs. And even though I'm currently on my third Pikmin 3 playthrough, I'm struggling to even continue with the game. I think there's something to be said for that. For me, Pikmin 3 just doesn't have the replayability of previous entries. I hope Nintendo takes the BotW approach with future Pikmin games and gives us back the freedom of the first two games.
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User Info: piranhapete

piranhapete
4 months ago#5
It's so hard for me to pick a favorite. I would like to say Pikmin 3, but you raise good points.

Since May I've gone through story mode of Pikmin 3 seven times. I'm not kidding. The game is just that fun. But in all my playthroughs, I've noticed that each run is pretty much the same. That's because the game really does sort of force you to do things in a certain order. I made different challenges for myself to push me to play the game in different ways, but was a bit disappointed by the limitations the game's lengthy sequence presented.

For example, you can do crazy things and, say, leave Brittany in the Distant Tundra and explore Tropical Wilds with just Alph and actually get some decent work done if you throw the Pikmin over the bridge and loop around to meet them. But no matter how creatively you order your days, the limitations due to lack of Pikmin types is just too great. I've also noticed the game just seems to have less exploration than the other games--the areas aren't as fleshed out. The processes of the areas getting harder, different enemies as time goes on is reduced to gone as well. While Pikmin 3 is possibly the most fun, it also feels streamlined in some ways. While I like Challenge Mode, it doesn't encourage exploration either like Pikmin 2's did--just rushing.

I wish that Pikmin 3 had a Master Mode where you had a highly accelerated, rearranged, or even randomized sequence of getting Pikmin. Or just starting you off with all of them. Would make the game more interesting. More difficult enemies too--I found the challenge lacking compared to some of the enemy chaos of the past games. It's silly, for example, that you only ever encounter a Crushblat in water-surrounded territory, and that Watery Blowhogs and Shearwigs only appear in the Forbidden Oak.

Contrarily, it would be nice if there was a zen Challenge Mode, where you just got to explore an area without a time limit (or with an extremely lenient one). Maybe enemies and treasures could be slightly randomized.
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User Info: Lagochocobo13

Lagochocobo13
4 months ago#6
Here's my take on it.

Pikmin 1 took a focus on time management. 30 days and 30 parts. So it tried to give you as much as quickly as possible.

Pikmin 2 took a focus on population management. Long caves with limited Pikmin.

Pikmin 3 took a focus on captain management. 3 captains and multiple puzzles to solve.


They each address a different take on the same kind of game. There is reasons to like each one but none are perfect.
I think something big Pikmin could increase is challenge. Pikmin 1 I felt there are many challenges, even replaying it. The other 2 didn't have that feeling for me.
I loved Pikmin 3 and it's probably my favorite but it is almost the same every time. I feel it balanced this out with challenge mode which was a blast to play both singularly and co-op.

Hopefully the next game is a mix. Give me an extra mode with caves. Make the main story limited for a time then open it up to exploration and puzzle management.
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User Info: Lagochocobo13

Lagochocobo13
4 months ago#7
piranhapete posted...
Contrarily, it would be nice if there was a zen Challenge Mode, where you just got to explore an area without a time limit (or with an extremely lenient one). Maybe enemies and treasures could be slightly randomized.

Also be nice to get a build your own stage mode but I doubt that will happen.
FC: 3007-9486-8232 IGN: Lucas
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User Info: SunshineMusic

SunshineMusic
4 months ago#8
wow I really want to play Pikmin 2 now.

I agree with you OP, and you articulated my own reasons very well, thanks for that. Whenever I have a Pikmin craving, 3 never does it for me, even though artistically it is clearly the best. I love that feeling of being on edge that I get in Pikmin 2. Wondering how many floors are left in the cave. Wondering what lies at the far edges of the map and the commitment of getting there. Sure the controls are getting a bit aged as of nowadays but I still find myself enthralled with Pikmin 2 more than anything.
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User Info: fireflydrake

fireflydrake
4 months ago#9
I never noticed the linearity (although looking back, I replayed it recently and got bored by the time I hit the final boss, so that might be saying something). Pikmin 3 was still my least favorite, though--but for a different exploration aspect reason, namely, character depth.

Hear me out on this. The first game had Olimar stranded all alone on a hostile planet, struggling to survive, writing forlorn entries reflecting both on the world's beauty and the seeming hopelessness of success. Pikmin 2 took that away, but what it gave in return was very fun--oodles of world building and good times hidden in the hundreds of monster and treasure evaluations, from Olimar's interesting biology speculations and reactions to finds to the ship's crazy money making pitches and Louie's questionable cooking. It made finding new monsters and treasures extremely rewarding even beyond just, you know, collecting them to progress. In comparison, Pikmin 3 dropped that for three fairly bland characters, removed the bestiary and made only a super limited treasure log, and gave us a story that didn't really do anything for me. Yes, it's as urgent as Pikmin 1, but when you're not as attached to the characters, you don't feel it.

And I also miss caves. I loved them, that sense of discovery and wonder and what cool new monsters you might come across. I also felt that, weaker graphics aside, many of the old areas (forest of hope, forest naval, the place with all the water I can't remember the name of sorry, the weird underground levels...) had a lot more character and beauty to them then the new ones.

Last but not least, CURSE THE CHARGE / DISMISS BUTTON! What a horrible placement, the amount of times I've meant to send them charging only to have them dismiss instead and die is... awful.

So yah tl;dr Pikmin 3 is my least favorite as well, but for different reasons--although I see your point clearly now that you've made me think about it. Another bummer.

Golly I hope they remake Pikmin 1 and 2 with new graphics someday...
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User Info: MrCookieman24

MrCookieman24
4 months ago#10
Nintendo needs to make a Pikmin game that has all of the elements that made each one great.
The urgency Pikmin 1 had, with a limited number of days so you have to learn to manage your time wisely in order to be efficient.
The exploration of Pikmin 2, where you had to explore caves, never knowing what you would find because of the randomly generated caves. Also the piklopedia (or however you spell it) needs to come back.
The captain management of Pikmin 3, where you had to use your captains to solve puzzles and have them work on different tasks by making them go to a certain area you've explored.
All of these elements would hopefully make the ultimate Pikmin game.
The time management of Pikmin 1
The exploration of Pikmin 2 (and the piklopedia)
The captain management of Pikmin 3
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