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
  @CaseyDtoid

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 *.disqus.com 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!


Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Review (Vita)

Waifu Wars: Loyalty-Tier

The Wii U's fate is not (entirely) Nintendo's fault

Musings on Firewatch (Spoilers)

My Gaming Landscape [February 9th, 2016]

The sexiest Senran Kagura character has been found!!

Room to Share: Why More People Playing Games Is a Good Thing

OVERWATCH SONG - This World Needs Heroes

Cblogs of 2/8/2016 + Face Petting in FE is a TERRIBLE Mechanic

Calendula: Is this the start of the cynical "meta" games?

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Streaming some Unravel then perhaps some Firewatch. Don't not come. [url]http://twitch.tv/Jed05[/url]
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Just got my Wind up Ifrit minion. I couldn't sell it, it was too adorable.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Just got my Wind up Ifrit minion. I couldn't sell it, it was too adorable.
Parismio avatarParismio
I was playing Third Strike on PS3 with my PS4 controller and I tried using the dpad for the first and noticed that it doesnt take corner directional inputs. Is this normal for ps4 controllers on ps3?
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
I swear, it makes sense in context..... Kinda. Hmmm. Okay, not so much. [img]http://i.imgur.com/YhIzmYN.png[/img]
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Almost done with my Waifu wars blog. pretty happy with how it turned out.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Time to scream and shout. It's Nanako cosplaying as her big bro! <3
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump is like Gandalf the White vs. Handsome Jack.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Skellige is so cool! It's like the land of Valhalla Rising.
Torchman avatarTorchman
http://gonintendo.com/stories/251840-fire-emblem-fates-petting-mini-game-is-in-game-but-only-availa I THOUGHT THIS WAS GONE. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS PEOPLE
Shinta avatarShinta
God damn, Bernie Sanders is just killing it with this speech. Hitting basically every point. He even used the word "oligarchy." Probably the first time I've ever heard that word uttered on CNN. I think a lot of people in power are shitting their pants
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
In my haste to finally factory reset my tablet, I erased a blog I had worked on. Thankfully, it's fresh in my mind. It's another MGS blog, but it goes the opposite way of my last MGS blog. Pray this guy is not your husbando, for he is shit.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Just ate a disgusting amount of sugary wonders in a Fat Tuesday blowout. Chocolate (birthday) cake, Oreos, brownies, cookie dough, and some creme brule thing. Satiation by way of eat-'til-you-puke is what Shenanigans says!
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
Is there any real difference between the PS3 and the PS4 versions of Valkyria Chronicles?
Shinta avatarShinta
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Say whaaaaaat?
Gundy avatarGundy
Voting for Broforce made me think of the most American person that could ever exist. President Michael Wilson!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
By the way, that IGPX collection is a new release. It's the first time the show is available in a complete package, and the first time it's been available in any format in about 10 years. [url]http://amzn.to/20JSMCd[/url]
gajknight avatargajknight
This is your daily reminder that Taxi Driver is the best movie ever and if you disagree then all I can say is: God, you're square.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
I love when someone at work tries to claim you screwed up on something and it completely backfires on them. I try to help them save face afterwards, but secretly I'm like...
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

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 -