Review by Gridogn
"Pik it up!"
Hello, I am Gridogn, I am an avid fan of the Pikmin franchise and really enjoy playing the games. Let's shove aside the clich'e intro and move on into the review. Pikmin 2 Piks off from where number 1 ended. Captain Olimar recovered from his crash landing on a planet shrowded in mystery (It is assumed to be Earth in game 1, but you know it is in number 2. More on that later!). He collected the 30 rocket parts and set off for his home planet of Hocotate. Assuming he would be re-united happily with his family upon his arrival, he is summoned by his boss to be notified that the company has plundred into debt after a bunch of space Rabbits ambushed Louie's ship carrying cargo of Pik Pik carrots. (What would you expect from an un-experienced employee or anyone who isn't captain Olimar?) Well, the company pawns their only asset... THE DOLPHIN, YOUR SHIP! Well, there goes all the time wasted to recover your rocket parts! (Oh well, at least Olimar is alive!). The one fortunate thing that happens though, is that in his astonishment, Olimar drops a souveneir bottle cap that he brought from Earth. It rolls in the Debt Pod (the ship in this game) which evaluates the object of being worth 100 pokos. This reduces the debt from 10100 to 10000. You know where your boss is going to send you!...
You and Louie are now sent on Earth to recover treasures which would compensate for the debt. Golly, how are you gonna gather the treasures? PIKMIN! On your first day you will en-counter the Red Pikmin and transverse a hazardous cavern. In the cave you'll meet the new compadres the Purple Pikmin. From then on, you will explore 3 other areas, encountering the Blue, Yellow and White Pikmon to help you gather the numerous treasures to repay your debt! Good Luck!
Game Play: This will be the bulk of this section of this review. Pikmin really can't be calssified into a genre, rather it is a genre on it's own. If you must, call it an RTS. You directly control Olimar or Louie. You can swith between the two making multi-tasking easier. (You could keep the two leaders in one group, this allows them to Pik Pikmin swifter). However, you do not control the Pikmin! The great part is that you can march them around, throw them on enemies to defeat them, have them gather treasures and so on. This is why you can't classify this game as an RTS, you can't send a group of Pikmin somewhere by clicking on the Mini-Map, rather you MUST accompany them.
If you have ever Piked up Pikmin 1, you would be aware of the 30-day Time Limit. Many players just hated the limitations of having only 30 days to gather 30 parts. It may not be daunting, (well, it was to me, it took me almost 5 YEARS TO MUSTER UP THE COURAGE TO BEAT IT!), but it is never the less an in-convenience if you want to go on and explore every Nook and Cranny of the diverse planet. If you are a fan of urgent gameplay, it isn't completely absent from Pikmin 2. You still have a limit of 15 minutes to complete a day. This means that all Pikmin return to there pods (more on that later), and stop working. To avoid any Pikmin left behind you will have to whistle your Pikmin, (pressing B to gather them. You will do this frequently in the game to round them up after you throw them or have them finishing an obstacle), or make sure that they are in the area which your ship lands in at the start of the day. If not, they are left behind and are eaten by predators.
You may be thinking, okay, this ounds cool, but how do I get Pikmin. Well, to get Blue, Red or Yellow min, you will have to gather either defeated enemies or pellets to the Pikmins Onion. The Onion is like a UFO, the Pikmin not being used will be stored inside it. Plus, all the things I listed that are used to produce Pikmin will be sucked up by it and spit out seeds which you Pik. Purple and White Pikmin are produced by throwing Pikmin into flowers in underground caverns (these are called candypop buds). These will then transform them into the Pikmin of the corresponding color on the flower.
Pikmin 2 also includes a new feature to the game. The majority of the game will occur in undergroung caverns. This is pretty different from the conventional above ground play in the first game. You gather Pikmin which are listed in the cavern requirements bar when opening the option to enter it. In the cavern, only the suction part of your pod, which intakes treasures, will accompany you, so the storage for the White and Purple Pikmin can not be accessed. The catch is, you can not access the storage or theonions in the caverns. If a Pikmin dies, you can't replace it. Usualy, it is recommended you have 100 Pikmin accompany you. Anotehr element of the cave is that you are no longer confined to the time system of the above ground areas. You will progress by going down holes untill you reach the bottom where you usually batlle a boss. If it is ever necessary, you can retreat from the cave with all the surviving Pikmin.
Graphics:The Braphics are really nice. They are pretty good texture wise. If you'd like to, and if you have a memory card in the Game Cube (or Wii), you could turn off the de-flicker for sharper graphics. The ponds are beutiful, the falling percipitation adds an exploration-like sense to the game. The only short-comings are when you zoom in and see the blockyness. Not much more to say here.
Sound: The sound is good. Repetitive but good. Each area has it's own tune, and nice ones if I might add. The first game had good areas of music, 1 being dissappointing. This one has all four regions with good tunes. Whenever you engage in a fight, the music alters to match the situation. The underground music is great. I especially like the tune the Pikmin sing when all the treasures have been harvested in the sub-level of a cave.
Nick Knacks: This game is full of them! For the single player adventure, you have the Pikilopedia, and encyclopedia of all the monsters or plants you have killed. It also list the ammount of them defeated, Pikmin lost in battle to them. You can also solidify the creature in rock or throw Pik-Pik carrots at it! The Tresure Guide is also very nice, listing all the treasures you have collected. Both of the galleries feature comprehensive journal entries by Olimar about either the creature, flower or Treasure. This is basically an advanced Super Smash Bros. Melee Tresure collection, and you can spend hours in it! The other Knick Nack is challenge mode. You attmpt to go through Sub-levels to collect as many treasures as possible in the allocated time. You can go forth alone or with a friend in co-op mode. I just love trying to whistle as many Pikmin when playing with a friend, leaving them only 3 opposed to 47 :P! The last notable Kinick Knack is 2P battle. I personally think this is good enough to be a game on it's own! You battle in this mode as either blue or red Pikmin (the reds no longer have a fighting bonus like in normal mode, I think?) You either try to gather four yellow marbles of the numerous ones scattered across the stage, or collect your opponents. You can also gather cherries to summon creatures by you enemies base, or to have other abilities. My favourite part in this mode is when your men swarm the other captain and he can't chake them off! :D
Notes:The game has very funny little things like a 7-up bottle cap, or a Duracell battery as collectible treasures. Some others are D-Pads or Rob :P!
Review: Gameplay 8: It lacks the excitement of collecting rocket parts and many of the nice above ground puzzles. But it does have the treasure gallery to view the treasures, opposed to seeing them gloriously equiping onto your ship. I'm not to keen on the caves, but they are okay. The bosses are the pinnacle of that experience!
Graphics 9.5: Beutiful. Great for a game that's all the way back from the Archaic ages of 2004. It's also great as a Nintendo game in this department.
Sound 7.9: It's good, but it's not orchestrated, and it is repetitive. The best part is the Pikmin chanting!
Knich-Nacks 10: These could make there own game. The two galleries for treasures and creatures are comprhensive, and you can spen hours skimming them! 2P battle is the best thing! Challenge mode is roughly the size of a 1/4 of the single player game. It also uses all of the games caves.
Negatives -1: I would rate this 9, but the thing it lacks is the emotion of build up when you discover a new ship part. The sense of 30 day urgeny just was good for me in particular. I also liked how most of the gathered parts would appear on you ship, however the treasure gallery replaces that nicely. It further betters it with journal entries of hundreds of treasures. I just don't think the treasures compare to the uniqueness of the cool parts, which were designed better.
Rent or Buy: If you want to complete the single mode in little detail, rent it. It will last you a bout 8 hours. If you like the Knick-Nacks, which are a game in there own, Buy it. It makes the games replay value infinite!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 03/27/07
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