Review by DistantSpring54

"Olimar has returned... and this time he's got company."

The first GameCube game I ever played was Pikmin. The game that prompted me to register on the GameFAQs message boards was Pikmin. The game from which my username was based on, was Pikmin. I played Pikmin for several months after the game had no longer been popular. I then branched off into various other games, but nothing would prevent me from getting its sequel—Pikmin 2. Oh, it was delayed several times, making everyone who was anxiously awaiting it (including me) very exasperated, but it DID come out, and the delays were worth it.

Story: 6/10
Okay, so the story kind of stinks in comparison to the first game—instead of a daring survival mission in which you need the Pikmin's help to stay alive and get home, you basically enslave the Pikmin into getting money for you—but it's still pretty good nonetheless. During Olimar's absence from Hocotate (the events of Pikmin 1), his company has gone in debt and they need 10,000 pokos to pay it off. As luck would have it, the planet on which the Pikmin reside is full of these rather, umm… familiar treasures. You have to collect these treasures to pay off the debt—but never fear, you are not without help. In addition to the always-helpful subservient Pikmin, you have a partner, Louie, to assist in your work.

Controls: 10/10
The game's controls are simple yet effective. Pikmin veterans should remember most of the controls because they are similar to Pikmin 1's, but some of them have additional effects due to the presence of another controllable character. For example, when the captains are split, you can press B to whistle your captain back into your control as you would Pikmin. The X button separates the captains as well as the Pikmin, and the Y button, instead of accessing the radar screen (which is done through the Start menu here), switches between captains. L, R, and Z still control the camera the same way as they did in Pikmin 1 (centering behind your character, zooming, and changing from top-view to normal-view, respectively). The A button still sprouts and throws Pikmin.

Being able to control two different captains in separate areas is also convenient for the multi-tasking the game requires, as you can teleport from one side of a massive level to the other.

Gameplay: 12/10
My brother watches me play Pikmin 2. I think that can explain the gameplay factor satisfactorily.

Olimar and Louie start off in a snowy valley, and meet the red Pikmin. Gameplay continues as normal (except that instead of pushing boxes forward, you have to push down paper bags). And then you run into your first dungeon.

Yes, Pikmin has dungeons now. Dungeons are every bit as difficult as they seem. The main purpose behind them is to collect additional treasure, which you need. You can leave the dungeon anytime, but unless you escape by a geyser, you will lose all the treasure you've collected there. So it's not a good thing to do that. Of course, there is a downside to being in the dungeons: you can't respawn Pikmin in them. This is a relatively bad thing, considering that each dungeon has several enemies in it (some of them fairly difficult) and ends with a boss. Oh, just by the way, the final boss from Pikmin 1 is among the first few in this game.

However, don't worry about that, because you'll soon come across an item that is even more perplexing than the bosses because it requires 101 Pikmin to carry. How, you ask, can you get 101 Pikmin to carry something if you can only have 100 Pikmin out on the field?! Ah, this is where the new Pikmin colors come in.

Pikmin 2 has two new colors of Pikmin: purple and white. Purple Pikmin are heavier and stronger (although slower), able to lift 10 times as much as a regular Pikmin. So, 101 Pikmin to lift something? No problem. White Pikmin are only as strong as the rest of the Pikmin, but they are resistant to poison and have the ability to poison enemies who swallow them. So that final boss from Pikmin 1? Again, no problem. Red and blue Pikmin are the same as in Pikmin 1—they are resistant to fire and water, respectively, but yellow Pikmin have lost the ability to use bomb-rocks. However, they can still jump high and are now immune to electricity.

The increase in colors also makes the still-necessary multi-tasking more difficult, as you are still under the 100-Pikmin-outside-of-onion limit. And even getting purple and white Pikmin is somewhat difficult (you can only get them through candypop buds in the dungeons).

But the increased difficulty in multi-tasking is counteracted by the single fact that YOU DON'T HAVE A TIME LIMIT TO COMPLETE THE GAME! In Pikmin 1, you had 30 Pikmin-days to finish. In this game you have as much time as you need. So feel free to spend until day 31, 41, 101—whatever it takes for you to finish. This alone is enough to bump the gameplay up to beyond 10/10.

Graphics: 9/10
Of course, just like in Pikmin 1, the graphics rock. Of course, just like in Pikmin 1, the memory needed for all of these graphics stinks. However, by this time in your gaming career you should probably be using a Memory Card 1019 or at least a 251, so the high memory needed (something along the lines of 27 or 28 blocks) should not present that much of a problem. Besides, most sports games (at least those with season saves) take up a lot more memory. The large amount of memory blocks, therefore, only drops this to a 9/10 instead of an 8/10 as it did with Pikmin 1 (when most people, when they bought the game, were using Memory Card 59s).

Music: 10/10
I am a video game music fanatic—if I don't like the music in a game, this may cause me to dislike the game. However, just like its predecessor, Pikmin 2 has very good music. It integrates seamlessly into the game, and you hardly even know it's playing.

The Pikmin also sometimes hum a little chant which sounds remarkably like something from Luigi's Mansion. Creepy, isn't it?

Replayability: 9/10
You will probably want to replay this game. More than likely, the first time around you will lose dozens upon dozens of Pikmin in the dungeons, and you will want to do something to stop that. Or you want to see how fast you can rack up 10,000 pokos (I think the minimum is 6 days). Or for some other reason. Either way, there are plenty of reasons to keep playing this game after you've beaten it.

Oh, just FYI… Challenge Mode is back, although different.

Multiplayer: 10/10
A while back on the Pikmin message board, there were a series of topics called "Pikmin Wars" in which you had control over a group of Pikmin. Well, they're actually in Pikmin 2. You are engaged in a type of "battle" where you essentially have to beat out your opponent to his treasure before he gets yours. Getting cherries along the way allows you to do various things like throw enemies on your opponent's Pikmin.

There's also a 2-player cooperative mode within Challenge Mode, where you and a friend team up to get as many pokos as you can within the time limit.

Rent or Buy:
BUY! Definitely! You will regret it if you don't.

Final Score: 66/70
When converted to a 10-point scale, this comes to 9.4/10.

I round .4 up.

P.S. Watch out for a little product placement... you'll know what I mean.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/05/04

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