Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Pikmin 3 is so adorably gruesome

2:30 PM on 07.11.2013 // Casey B

Killing innocent creatures has never been this cute

I don't know about you folks, but I don't think I could possibly be more excited for Pikmin 3 right now. Yesterday I had a chance to get a full hands-on with the game at the Nintendo of America offices for an hour-and-half playthrough of the single-player campaign -- or "Story Mode," as it's called -- and I came away laughing heartily with a big dumb smile on my face.

Pikmin 3 is gorgeous, adorable, strategic, fun, and surprisingly ... quite gruesome. But what really makes it such a charming game are the excellent little touches that Nintendo has included to both gameplay mechanics and graphical sheen.

Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Released:  August 4, 2013 (NA) /July 26, 2013 (EU) / July 13, 2013 (JP)
MSRP: $59.99

Pikmin 3 starts with a horrible accident, as often happens in the Pikmin series. In 20XX, the planet Kopai is on the brink of extinction, with dwindling food supplies due to a lack of planning. In an effort to find another planet with the necessary resources, the inhabitants send out unmanned scouts to neighboring regions of space. When they receive a signal of another planet with possible resources (PNF404), they send out three intrepid explorers. Unfortunately, just as the ship is finally about to land, it crashes and shoots Charlie, Brittany, and Alph to different sections of the planet.

Your quest begins as Charlie awakens on a snowy tundra filled with giant mushrooms. Your first encounter with Pikmin are those of the yellow variety, and through humorous dialogue and adorable cutscenes, Charlie is acquainted with the little guys who he will lead further into the planet's darker regions.

The beginning section with Charlie serves as a tutorial of sorts, and it teaches you how to use your controls to whistle for the Pikmin to follow you, to throw them at things, and to disperse them. I was told that Nintendo has really stressed and encouraged the use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck with the GamePad acting as a supplementary device, and after remembering the excellent controls in Pikmin 2, I could immediately see why this was still the preferred control method. Of course, both GamePad with TV and off-screen GamePad control methods are available, and the off-screen mode seems to work just as intuitively as expected.

Pretty soon I was busy taking down mushrooms until I was urged to keep moving further in the interest of time. I went through a little cave area where enemy creatures hid in the dark until Charlie threw some Pikmin at the glowing mushrooms nearby, activating their glow and causing damage to the enemy creatures.

After this, Charlie rounds a corner and comes upon something ominous that surprises him, at which point the game switches to the next character. You are then introduced to the young Alph, who has landed in a more tropical setting.

Without spoiling too much, this area is filled with flowers, butterflies, and plenty of Bulborbs. This is also near where you acquire Brittany, and the game really begins to open up.

With two or even three commanders, the puzzle-solving elements of each level become ever more complex. Just as in earlier Pikmin games, you switch between your Pikmin with different elemental powers to solve area puzzles, but now you also switch between two or three commanders, who can help by getting tossed up to hard-to-reach areas and then tossing their Pikmin even further, or else just splitting off and allowing the player to multitask and collect objects and fruit for further propagation and survival before the day ends.

Early on, you are introduced to the rock Pikmin. These guys are pretty great, as they cause a lot of damage when thrown -- especially to crystalline or glass objects and walls. Curiously, rock Pikmin are not immune to fire, as I learned pretty quickly when battling a certain kind of fire-breathing enemy type. However, when they do become flammable, their suffering is absolutely adorable. Fortunately, a quick whistle gets them back in order.

While progressing through the days and collecting fruit, I learned that one of the most important tasks in the Story Mode is to simply collect fruit for survival, and that as long as you've collected enough fruit to make another bottle of juice to drink, you'll have another day of survival. This is Nintendo's way of making the game both accessible to newcomers to the series yet still challenging enough for more veteran players.

Just as in previous iterations, the game progresses by days rather than strictly by levels, and even boss battles may get interrupted by the end of a given day. Fortunately, the damage you do to a boss carries over to the next day, where you can recall what Pikmin you have left and even find a way to propagate more before heading back out to battle again.

Speaking of boss battles, that first battle with the armored centipede creature is both epic and incredibly challenging. The boss charges you and your Pikmin and causes them to go flying every which way. If the huge creature captures a flock of the little guys in his huge pincers, you need to move quick with some rock Pikmin to cause him to knock them all away.

I lost a ton of my poor little red and rock Pikmin during the battle, but there was some consolation in watching the hilarity of it all in the overhead map replay mode on the GamePad that shows Pikmin represented as colored dots going wild around the equally manic boss with his own iconic representation. Eventually, I was able to smash enough of the boss' armored shell and throw my red Pikmin on his fleshy bits to take him down. His death was both satisfying and daintily terrible. I took a picture.

Beyond the actual gameplay, Pikmin 3 is rich with features that can be accessed via the Wii U GamePad. The in-game camera had to be one of the features that  I had the most fun with during my playthrough. As you might remember, this camera function was featured on a Nintendo Direct at the beginning of the year. This camera is controlled entirely by the GamePad, and allows you to capture photos of your Pikmin in their natural environment (or anything else from your captain's perspective) and post and caption those photos in Miiverse.

After taking several hilarious photos of the Pikmin acting quite smug in front of frightening creatures or just falling over in various precious poses, I could already see how much fun I'll be having with posting and captioning goofy photos to Miiverse when the game launches. Part of what makes taking pictures such a fun side diversion is the HD sheen and graphical capabilities that give the Pikmin so much more life and expression than they've ever had before. They lay around lazily, stand at attention, or just generally look like the cuddly little sentient plant beings they are.

As my allotted playthrough time of Pikmin 3 neared its end, I wanted nothing more than to jump right back into my game and further explore the Story Mode. I wanted to attack harmless creatures like butterflies and larvae to further expand my species, aim for the whites of the eyes of my enemies, destroy as many mushrooms as possible, and send my Pikmin army before me to ravage the land.

August 4th cannot come soon enough.

Casey B, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure CaseyDtoid Tips
Casey Baker is passionate about all things video game, and has been this way since very young. His earliest memories involve trying to get E.T. out of a hole. Casey plays nearly all genres of g... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Pikmin 3

  Aug 04

Very quick tips for Pikmin 3

Red, Blue, and Yellow synergy

  Jul 31

Review: Pikmin 3

Not a minuscule pick

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

DS REVIEWS: Trace Memory

Sharp cut Digital Flatbed Cutter | Sharpcut Flatbed Cutters

Things I'm Thankful For

Cblogs of 11/25/15 + Turkey N Stuff

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 73: Stay Classy

NVGR: Updated Album "ADBC" (No longer an EP)

Fun2Play: Downwell

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Mission complete![IMG][/IMG]
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Black Friday slowly seems to creep its way onto Continental Europe, but I'm not complaining! I managed to get my grubby little paws on a new physical copy of The Wonderful 101 for €20! Thanks, America!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Since I missed yesterday, I am going to do something a little different today. Are there any questions you would like to ask me for a change? If so, please feel free. I may add a second Community Question later today, as well.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Isn't PES 2016 Free-to-Play model just the demo with extra crap thrown in?
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Damn Gumo, you cold as fuck. [img][/img]
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
While partially responsible for one of the biggest jokes in the metal, Cold Lake by Celtic Frost, Curt Bryant is doing the soundtrack to the game Slain!. I'm digging the shitty garage band vibe.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
How is the Lightening thread STILL GETTING COMMENTS!?!?!? P.S. I am trying to make Chex Mix, but we lost my special recipe I custom designed. sucks man.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Got a deal on a Surface Pro 3 model that I wanted. Now I just need a deal on a PS TV in Canada and I'm golden.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you in the UK, don't have a PS4 and don't mind buying used/display goods there's a few reconditioned PS4 (12 month warranty) on amazon for £199.
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
my dilemma this black friday is a PS4 for bloodborne and little else or like half the games on my steam wishlist. I know in my heart which one I'm going to pick.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
"You had all the lasagna you could ever eat, yet you kept going!" "This isn't about the lasagna anymore, Jon, and I didn't come this far just to quit! Tonight, I'm making sure my name will go down in history!"
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Got DeSu2 Break Record from GS' Black Friday sale ($29.99). Love the Arrange CD. It's been far too long since I heard Meguro do something that wasn't tied to Persona. Also grabbed an extra copy of Freedom Wars since they were $5.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Haven't been around a few days. Getting over a cold and working on a review for Superbeat: Xonic on Vita. Starting to feel better, I think / hope.
inspavo avatarinspavo
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will help
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.
Parismio avatarParismio
Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -