Pikmin Play On Wii Review
Nintendo have released Pikmin on the Wii, sadly not a new game, but instead the first Gamecube game with Wii controls, as part of their "Play on Wii" range. Many have long made the assumption that Pikmin on Wii would work very well, given Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls...
Ok, so the controls work very well, even if not entirely seamless at first - the camera sensitivity takes a little getting use to, but you do get used to it with time. It's speedy and I think it needs to be, because of the gameplay later in the game. Despite that tiny hurdle, the game is a joy to control from the start, everything feels great, I've actually found myself approaching situations in a new way at times, and that for me is the mark of it's quality when I've played so much Pikmin in the past.
The B button acts as the gather Pikmin whistle, this means you will enjoy using it often, finding pleasure in a little chit chat with your Pikmin from time to time. It does feel very natural on the B button. The IR pointer can direct the sound anywhere on screen so it's easy to round up strays, and to also direct your Pikmin when throwing them. You can be a lot more accurate now and this really helps the gameplay move along more freely.
Olimar is controlled via the control stick, while the Z button on the Nunchuk is the camera button when held down.The control stick forces the direction of the camera movement rotating around Olimar in the direction you choose. Up, down left and right on the Dpad effect the zoom and camera elevation. The primary A button is used to punch and to pick Pikmin from the ground and throw them. Repeated presses lift them out of the ground quicker, as you would expect. The C(ancel) button is used to dismiss Pikmin whenever needed.
The graphics look very impressive at times, some things have definitely been cleaned up. When you move out to the furthest zoom setting, this looks like a top quality new Wii game. However, when zoomed in, some textures, not all, do show their true colours and shoddiness. I do think that the other effects make up for this though. Some elemental effects look much improved, and there are some nice transparency effects - these are used well for improving camera issues that naturally occur.
Widescreen format is great for the game, it's makes for a much improved feel for the game on Wii. I think the originals 4:3 sometimes meant you lost that reference of scale. which I think is very much needed. I would say playing this in 480p is absolutely essential, it looks awesome, with colours livened up and greater clarity. Sound design is excellent, drum sounds are great on Pro Logic 2 and it really shows in this game. The presentation has also been improved over the Gamecube version, as you would expect. The instruction booklet has some cool little images and is nicely laid out. It's also yellow...
For those playing this for the first time they are going to be blown away how awesome this game is, because this is undoubtedly the best version. I cannot wait for the second, that one will certainly be better with two player battles and improved graphics and gameplay design.
This game was released so that new players could be brought to the series merits so far, to form a fanbase for the third, both this and the second game will certainly do that I think. By the time Pikmin 3 hits. there will be a legion of new fans ready to savour it. I don't think this game deserves to be docked points for improving notably on a great formula, a game which sees far better controls providing a better all round experience. Roll on Pikmin 2 and the inevitable 3rd. A match made in heaven I hope on the evidence of this.
It's the great original, notably improved.
9.0 (new players) 8.0 (fans)