Review by ghangiskhan1

"Just what you can expect from Nintendo."

If you remember the 2001 launch title for Gamecube-Pikmin, and if you liked Pikmin then you're going to love Pikmin 2. It improves upon the original in every concievable way. The graphics are more crisp and all around better, the music is better, the gameplay is better. Everything is better. I'm not forcing you to go by this game but I am seriously suggesting this amazing title to you. You won't go wrong with Pikmin 2.

Captain Olimar, the tiny little man from the first Pikmin returns, but with a buddy named Louie. This gives the definition for the term 'two heads are better than one', half the trouble and tripple the fun because Louie can help you out in tight spots and you can easily switch between the to, literally with the press of a button. So the storyline goes as Captain Olimar's business has gone backrupt! So his boss sends him and his friend Louie up to the planet of Pikmin so he can get the Pikmin's help and find treasures to get the company's money back.

The game has the same intuitive controls as did the first one but being able to switch to Louie on the go is just so much help! You move around with the analog stick so it sort of strays away from classic strategy game formula but it is still considered a strategy game and I'll get to telling you why later on in this review. To get Pikmin, you go up to the little plants sticking out of the ground and tug on them to release the Pikmin from the ground. From then on they will instantely follow you and your command. You can throw your Pikmin to attack enemies by tapping the A button and you can get a lot of Pikmin.

You can also use your Pikmin to group up and carry large objects that are normally two heavy for one. For huge objects you are going to need to get a lot of Pikmin to do the job for you. Once your Pikmin have picked up the object, they will take it back to the ship. You want to keep them alive and safe.

Pikmin 2 cycles through day and night. At night, a message will appear saying that it is too dangerous to go out at night and you will go back to your spaceship for the night so you have to do everything at day. If you've played Pikmin 2 than you would remember that you were timed throughout the game. You are not times in Pikmin 2 making it one of the strong points over the original game.

This may not be Zelda but still expect dungeons to explore. There are even boss battles at the end and some familar boss faces from the original Pikmin. The only problem is that these dungeons tend to drag on and get repetitive. There are some really neat dungeons and enemies to fight in them though. In these dungeons you can't bring all of your Pikmin in so you have to decide the best ones to bring in with you.

The graphics are beautiful and for a number of reasons. Nintendo added some CG cutscenes that just look great and the game overall just looks fantastic. The visuals are crisp and very lush and the game runs very smoothly. You won't find any framerate slowdowns in Pikmin 2. As with the dungeons getting a bit repetitive so does the level design but the visuals are very impressive none the less and some of the best in a strategy game.

The sound in Pikmin 2 is also great because the new music score is amazingly well done and the sound effects are pretty good themselves. The Pikmin makes funny noises when you toss them and when they answer commands and when they die. There is some voice acting but don't expect English and there really isn't too much of it. The music in this game is worthwhile and the sound effects are something too.

Pikmin 2's single player mode will take you about 30 hours to complete. It is a rather long game and packs some replay value there too. There is a brand new multiplayer mode which is a blast to play. You go head to head with your friend and it's very fun. Too bad it doesn't go online.

All of these polished features make Pikmin 2 a worthwhile experience and a definite improvement over its predecessor.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/22/06

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