Review by Volteon
An excellent sequel
The first Pikmin game was released soon after the Gamecube was launched, and arrived in time for Christmas. It was a fun game and you could really get into it, but it had its flaws. A little less than three years later it's sequel Pikmin 2 comes out. Pikmin 2 is a major improvement to Pikmin 1. Basically it's the same thing but better. I actually got this game for Christmas before purchasing Pikmin 1. You actually don't have to play the first Pikmin to help understand this game or anything. So if you're wondering whether you should get Pikmin 1 or 2 first, definitely get this one. After playing through this game I purchased the original Pikmin to see what it was like. After playing for a while I thought, "Wow, Pikmin 2 has improved this game so much." I'm not trying to imply that the first Pikmin was bad or anything. Pikmin 1 was good but this game is near perfect.
So, for those who have never played the Pikmin games before, allow me to briefly explain what they're about. You control tiny, cute creatures called "Pikmin". By themselves, these little guys can't do much on their own. But in numbers, they can do many helpful things. With the help of your Pikmin, you can go exploring, defeat enemy creatures, conquer obstacles, and find treasures!
Now, let's discuss the gameplay. The gameplay is awesome. It can be a little complicated at first for some people, but this game has a good tutorial. There's tons of cool stuff in this game. You can find many treasures, both above ground and hidden in caves. Unlike the first Pikmin game, there are caves in this game. You can go exploring in them, and basically do what you do in the above ground. There are a certain number of sublevels in each cave, I'd say the average is around seven. Each sublevel offers probably 2 treasures on average, and it's filled with enemies, hazards, mazes, and more! Yeah, I forgot to mention about hazards. There are many hazards that make the game more fun. For example there's toxic gas. Normally, Pikmin will get killed by it. But there are white pikmin who have the special ability to resist poison. Each pikmin has it's own unique abilities that the other pikmin don't have. Oh, and at the end of (almost) every cave, you get to fight a boss! There are a total of 14 caves in this game, and 4 big above-ground worlds, so that's plenty of stuff to keep you entertained!
Next, I'll tell about the story. You are Captain Olimar and you return home to planet Hocotate from none other than planet Earth. The story takes off right where the first pikmin's story ended. Back in the first game, Olimar's ship struck a meteor, and he fell down onto Earth, which is a completely unknown planet to him. And that's where he found the pikmin. His ship parts were scattered all over the planet as a result of the crash, and he used the pikmin to help recover them. With his ship back in one piece, he headed back to his home planet, and now that's where this game's story kicks in. He goes to talk to the president of the company he works for, and finds out that his company has lost their valuable pikpik carrots (which are their version of money), and they now suffer an insurmountable debt! Olimar then shows a treasure he found back on planet Earth, which is actually a bottle cap, and it turns out to be quite valuable. By the way, the things they call treasures people on Earth would call garbage. Treasures in this game include crushed soda cans, broken compasses, rubber ducks, and more! Since the item from earth turns out to be so valuable, Olimar and the company's new employee Louie are ordered to return to Earth to go treasure hunting in order to pay back the debt. Overall, I think this story is pretty good.
Now for the sound and music. The music is excellent, and always seems to fit the levels they are on quite well. We get intense sounding music during a boss fight, and relaxing, calm music in a cave level with little enemies and challenges. The sounds are great too. The pikmin make cutesy sounds when thrown, when attacking, etc. They also will hum too, which is pretty neat. The enemies is this game all have unique cries too.
I've mentioned how this game is better than the first Pikmin at the beginning of this review, so let me explain why. First of all, there are more different types of Pikmin. In this game there are five types whereas there were only three in Pikmin 1. Second, there is a lot more to do. As I stated before, this game contains caves unlike Pikmin 1. Without caves Pikmin 1 has about as much stuff to do as Pikmin 2 does, but with caves included there is much more to do. There are also more enemies and boss fight in this game. Another thing that is improved is the number of treasures you can find. In the first pikmin, you could only find 30 treasures. But in this game you can find 201 treasures! Also, in this game there is a challenge mode. There are 25 levels you can go into, and each level is a different cave with enemies to fight and treasures to collect, just like in the main game. They added many good things into this game, and for that I am glad.
Is this game worth replaying? Definitely. I've played through this many times and still enjoy it. The main game probably has about 20 hours worth of gameplay in it. As I said before, there is twice as much to do as in the first pikmin and a challenge mode to play through as well. While playing the game, there are some fun goals you could set for yourself. You could challenge yourself to beat the whole game without losing a single pikmin. You could also try and beat this game in as little days as possible. This would require lots of strategy, this is a strategy game after all! Another thing you can do is try to get a Pink Flower on every level in challenge mode. A pink flower indicates you've beaten that level without losing a single pikmin. There are lots of fun things to do in this game and you should have a lot of fun doing them.
Buy or Rent, you ask? Definitely buy it! It's totally worth it, I've probably spent 100 or so hours playing this game and have yet to get bored of it. Plus, it's family friendly so maybe you could get some family members into this game.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Pikmin 2 (US, 08/30/04)
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