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Pikmin secret photo
When we reported on Pikmin 3's mysterious code, earned by collecting all ten of the Secret Memos hidden throughout the world, commenter NovaKnight21 made a prediction: "It's a series of numbers that, once you buy the officia...

Very quick tips for Pikmin 3

Aug 04 // Chris Carter
As a side note, there are a few spoiler related story bits that I'll completely avoid here. Some of the single and multiplayer tips are interchangeable. Solo tips: As a recap, Red Pikmin are immune to fire, and are among the most powerful normal Pikmin in combat. Yellow Pikmin are immune to electricity, can dig faster, and have the ability to be thrown higher. Blue Pikmin can go underwater, and fight in the water as well. Rock Pikmin can't be stomped, and are more powerful when flung, rather than skirmishing. Winged Pikmin can simply carry objects over gaps. Try to divvy up your Pikmin when assigning them to different tasks. For instance, don't just throw out all 10 of your Red Pikmin to take down a wall, or carry a large object. You may need a few Red Pikmin to kill a certain fire based enemy, and they'll all be back at the base, missing in action. Pikmin 3 offers a number of different control schemes: GamePad only, the Wii-mote and a Nunchuk (with Motion Plus support), and the Wii U Pro Controller. Make sure you use the "Go To" function on the GamePad to quickly assign orders to your three playable characters. People will most likely prefer the Wii-mote scheme due to the precision, but personally I play exclusively with the GamePad 100% of the time. You can actually play the game with a control scheme other than the GamePad, and still keep the Pad to your side to use as a map at all times. At the end of each day, you can watch a replay to learn from your potential mistakes. Also, you can re-do that day if you wish. The max amount of Pikmin you can have under your command at once is 100. Leaving Pikmin in the ground or letting them feed on nectar puddles increases their capacity to quickly do pretty much any action, as they "level-up" and have a visibly different head. Boss corpses will still remain the day after defeating them. Feel free to return and harvest their body for an increased troop count. Have one captain start plucking Pikmin, then switch to another character to explore the environment. [Jonathan Holmes] For the last boss, I find it helpful to leave two of your captains around the area so you can switch them as the golden wraith gets closer, in case you need to have them whistle your Pikmin out before it turns solid. [Jonathan Holmes] Multiplayer tips: As a side note, you don't need to play with a friend to try Mission Mode -- that can be played solo. You will need a friend for Bingo Battle, though. The multiplayer-only Purple Pikmin have the strength of 10 regular Pikmin. Additionally, White Pikmin are fast and poisonous, and can locate hidden objects. Learn to precisely throw out only the Pikmin you need for each object. Memorize how many need to carry specific objects -- for example, three Pikmin need to carry a strawberry, no more. Of course, over-committing may be a solid option if the path back is tumultuous, as just one missing Pikmin will result in a failed return, which can be disastrous. After a certain amount of time in Bingo Battle, golden bubbles will appear on the screen (the game will notify you of this). Take advantage of this and lead a search party for them so rapidly increase your chance of winning. Grab cherries with one Pikmin every time you see them -- Pikmin bring these back to base faster than any other object, and they grant you a useful power-up. If you hear a rock shower coming your way from an enemy player, remember that you can press left or right on the d-pad to dodge it. If you hear Pikmin chanting "ho, ha!" -- that means another player has either stolen your macaroon (flag), or they are bringing the very last piece of their bingo puzzle back to base.
Pikmin 3 tips photo
Red, Blue, and Yellow synergy
Miyamoto may have created Pikmin to be a "carefree experience," but that doesn't mean it lacks depth. With the addition of a particularly creative set of local multiplayer modes, Pikmin 3 has a ton of gameplay related nuances that may be lost to the void if you aren't careful. Here are some tips to help you acclimate yourself to the wonderful, cute world of Pikmin.

Pikmin photo

Nintendo bred a new flower to market Pikmin on GameCube!?

Latest Did You Know Gaming? blows my mind
Aug 04
// Tony Ponce
The common refrain these days is that Nintendo doesn't know how to market the Wii U. But I know the creativity is still there, waiting to be tapped. Case in point... The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming? arrives just in...
Pikmin photo

There's a code hidden in Pikmin 3, according to Miyamoto

Okay, fine, I'll go find all of those memos
Aug 01
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto has taken to the Miiverse to tease a code in Pikmin 3 that can be found by collecting Secret Memos scattered throughout the game: "Did you know that once you've collected ten of these Secret...

Review: Pikmin 3

Jul 31 // Jonathan Holmes
Pikmin 3 (Wii U)Developer: NintendoPublisher: NintendoReleased: August 4, 2013 (NA), July 26, 2013 (EU)MSRP: $59.99 Pikmin takes all of the things that Nintendo is most well known for (simple but elegant world building, sweet and surreal scenarios, small but mysterious open worlds teaming with mystery) and uses them to impart a metaphorical expression of being a project director, guiding a team of adorable peons towards the future, scraping by to survive, holding on to hope, and constantly wrestling between the feelings of powerlessness and authority that come with being in charge.  Using the the power of the Wii U, Nintendo has worked to make Pikmin 3 the most effective expression of that idea yet. One thing is for sure, they got the realistic fern graphics down. They look amazing. Pikmin 3 is more an alternate follow-up to Pikmin 1 than a direct sequel to Pikmin 2. A lot of the enemies, items, and design features from the last game in the series are nowhere to be seen here. Where Pikmin 2 contained almost everything that was in Pikmin 1 while expanding in a lot of new directions, Pikmin 3 is a more densely concentrated, harder-hitting blast of the core Pikmin 1 experience. For fans of Pikmin 2, those refinements may be come as a disappointment, as they mean a lot of the more experimental ideas there have been cut. Though I love Pikmin 2, I can say that it's largely for the best that Pikmin 3 goes its own way. The execution of concept here is hard to knock. That's not to say that Pikmin 3 doesn't know how to do its own thing. This time around you won't be collecting parts for a ship or random trinkets for cash. Now the focus is on fruit, as fruit is the only way to stay alive. Use fruit to make juice. It takes one bottle of juice a day to stay alive. Run out of juice and you're dead. Pretty serious stuff for an E-rated game.  Staying alive through effective fruit acquisition isn't just an arbitrary goal. It's intimately tied to the game's overarching narrative, which is surprisingly pronounced. Nintendo wasn't kidding when they said that they were testing the waters for a Pikmin cartoon. Great care was taken to create a sense of character and narrative that works in tandem with Pikmin's themes and gameplay. The story focuses on Alph, Charlie, and Brittany -- three interstellar travelers headed to planets unknown for food to sustain both themselves the people of their home world, as their culture has squandered their own natural resources to the point of apocalypse. Through short cut scenes, mid-gameplay dialogue (spoken in a delightful alien jargon), survivor's journal entries littered throughout the world in the classic Resident Evil-style, and the occasional use of a fixed camera to help set the mood, we're graced with a simple but telling tale of adventure, ambition, betrayal, and disaster. There are so many cute disasters in Pikmin 3. It's like a space Muppet sci-fi nightmare. The social dynamics between the three commanders are just as prevalent in the story as they are in the gameplay. New to the series is the ability to control three characters at once, which greatly expands your multitasking potential. You can have one or two gather a heard of Pikmin and send them walking to a set location while you directly control the third protagonist. On a smaller scale, there are also plenty of puzzles that task you to actual pick up and throw other player characters in order to progress and collect items. These abilities force you to look at your environment in a different way, and take greater risks in managing your time.  But this game is called "Pikmin," right? So what about the Pikmin? What new ideas did Nintendo cook up for us on the Pikmin front? The bad news is, there are some downgrades. Purple and White Pikmin are not a part of campaign mode. The good news is, they've been swapped out for all new breeds. It's more than a fair trade. While I love the Purple and White Pikmin, I can't deny that the Rock and Winged Pikmin outshine them in most every way. They aren't just new-looking keys for old-looking locks. They add both a tactile and strategic dimension to the game that feels significant and satisfying.  Rock Pikmin are the first new type that you encounter. You'll want to bring them along for almost every fight in the game, though unlike the Purple Pikmin, they aren't wildly unbalanced compared to the combat prowess of other breeds. They pack much more concussive force than other Pikmin, able to break armor and dizzy foes, but their chunky body's and little arms and legs permit them from latching onto surfaces. You'll often need to start a fight by cracking an enemy open with your Rock Pikmin, then finishing the job with the face-latching tendencies of other types. There is something indescribably satisfying about this process. It doesn't seem to ever get old. The Winged Pikmin don't offer the same visceral joy that comes for shattering faces with rock friends, but they offer an antithetical take on the Pikmin formula which is just as interesting. For the most part, you only do two things in a game of Pikmin -- walk and throw Pikmin. Both of those actions rely of gravity to work. What happens when you take gravity out of the equation? Winged Pikmin offer up an answer, and the results are surprising. They walk a line between being severely under-powered and almost unfairly privileged compared to their walking brethren. With a sweet lackadaisical attitude, Winged Pikmin will glide over obstacles and environmental hazards as though they aren't a problem for anybody. They'll even follow you above the surface as you travel underwater, finally ending the semi-racist "Blue Pikmin only" segregation that accompanied aqua escapades in prior Pikmin adventures. The downside to all that advanced mobility is a definitive lack of weight. Being resistant to gravity makes it harder to pack a punch, making Winged Pikmin a treasured liability in combat, except for when it comes to bird-bees. Winged Pikmin hate bird-bees, and are great at murdering them.  The heavy and hard Rock Pikmin paired with soft and light Winged Pikmin cover the extremes of the Pikmin world, but there are a fair amount of new ideas found in the colors in between. Reds remain largely unchanged, working as your fireproof mainstay combatants, but the Yellows and Blues have gotten a few tweaks to make them feel fresh. Yellows still soar higher than the reds, but their ability to work with electricity have been enhanced to illuminating proportions. Blues have finally learned how to swim, making underwater fights a lot less stagnant. It's great to see these old dogs learn new tricks while staying true to their breeds. Now for my favorite part of the game: the boss fights. They bring out everything that makes Pikmin 3 fantastic and turn the volume up full blast. The first two are designed expand the player's understanding of how to use the various Pikmin types they've acquired up until then; the third is more of a set-piece spectacle that plays on the always exciting risk/reward relationship that comes along with playing with explosives; the fourth and fifth again work to expand your understanding of even more Pikmin you've partnered with; and the last tasks you to prove your mastery of all five Pikmin types in rapid succession. These are the kinds of boss fights you want to replay immediately after finishing them. As soon as you take one of them down, you're left thinking that with a little smarter tactics and a little more nimble reflexes, you could have maybe lost a few less Pikmin or gotten through the ordeal just a tad bit faster. The hint of depth drawing you into deeper pursuit of superior strategy and execution is always there, which makes the game's Boss Rush mode (featuring co-op!) ridiculously compelling. Boss Rush is the first of the game's four co-op enabled, off-campaign modes, including five treasure hunting stages, five monster-hunting modes, and twenty multiplayer "Bingo Battle" versus maps (allowing for one-on-one and two-on-two matches). While most of the themes and monsters here are recycled from the campaign mode, there are a few unique creatures, bosses, and locations that make each extra required playing. These off-campaign sections are also the only places you'll find the White and Purple Pikmin from Pikmin 2, which is fitting, as these modes most closely recreate the experience of Pikmin 2's survival-focused dungeon segments. That brings us to the small list of other aspects of Pikmin 2 that have largely gone AWOL. You can no longer move Pikmin manually as they line up behind you. I really missed that feature at first, but in retrospect, it was always always sort of a cheat. Instead, you now can lock on to a target and command your horde to rush it down in one massive push, or command your crew to swiftly dodge left or right en mass with quick hit of the control pad. These new moves feel more fair, instilling the feeling that you can only command your army and never fully control them. The ability to zoom in or switch to an overhead view are also gone. It's not much of an issue, though -- the camera height and position is almost always perfect as is, and if need be, you can still swing the camera behind your back at any time. If you really need an overhead view of the action, you can always resort to the GamePad map, which constantly comes in handy. It can be easy to become disoriented in the game's organically structured, secret-packed environments, and a map is just the thing to help you keep it all sorted. Though I played the majority of the game with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck (for their superior pointer aiming controls), I kept the GamePad by my side during 99% of my time with Pikmin 3 (the other 1% was with the GamePad's Off-TV play, which holds up very well).  Pausing to use the GamePad as a map and to manually direct my other commanders around the field was essential while controlling my on-screen actions with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. This setup felt surprisingly natural and convenient -- like looking at a GPS while driving. A quick glace was all I needed to keep things straight.  There are a few other omissions that left me scratching my head a bit. It's strange that there is no option to aim with the second analog stick on the GamePad, or use touch-screen aiming like in the Pikmin Adventure portion of Nintendo Land. The game also feels a lot less populated than I expected. There's no arguing that Pikmin 2 had more content, with a larger (sometimes heavily armed) bestiary, 30 challenge levels, and more overall ground to cover. I'm guessing that it was cheaper to include all that content in Pikmin 2, as many of the assets were recycled from the first game.  Pikmin 3 had to start over with all new HD textures and character models, which must have taken a lot more time and money. Either way, I'd never judge a game by what it isn't, but it's still worth noting that Pikmin 2 fans may be surprised by some of the stuff that didn't carry over to this sequel. I think I'll miss you most of all, Bulbmin. Pikmin 3 isn't everything that Pikmin has ever been before, but it's still the best representation of the concept to date. It feels like a full replacement of Pikmin 1, and a perfect companion to the different-but-equal Pikmin 2. The series' signature creepy, cartoon-like take on real trials of life is there in full force, bolstered by incredibly beautiful graphics, an unexpectedly involving story, tons of secrets, and new ways to play, all while never straying from the spirit of the original game. I still haven't found all the baubles that Pikmin 3 has to offer (gosh darn secret files are so elusive!), and I can't wait to dig back into the game over the coming days, months, and even years to try to find them all. The Pikmin series does things that no other games do, and Pikmin 3 does those things better than ever before.
Pikmin 3 review photo
Not a minuscule pick
When Nintendo saw what "realistic polygon-powered graphics" were possible on the GameCube/Xbox/PS2, their first instinct wasn't to make a game about human beings doing crimes, saving the world, or even talking to each other. ...

New releases photo
New releases

New releases: Force adorable Pikmin to kill, you monster

Plus, Rise of the Triad
Jul 29
// Fraser Brown
We're bidding farewell to an extremely hot July with a bang: Pikmin 3 is here, or it will be come Sunday. Of course, if you have the good fortune to be living in the UK or other, less important parts of Europe, then this is ...

Nintendo PR actively promoting playable female characters

Pikmin 3 hailed as the start of many
Jul 25
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo is generally thought to exist in its own fancy little bubble, protected from the outside world and faintly out of touch with the rest of us. However, Nintendo of America's marketing department may be a bit more savvy...
Nintendo Download Europe photo
Nintendo Download Europe

Nintendo Download Europe: Pikmin 3!

Also, Kirby's Dream Land 3
Jul 22
// Chris Carter
After years of waiting for a sequel, Pikmin 3 is almost here for you Europeans -- specifically, on July 26th in both physical and digital form. Remember, if you're buying it in the EU eShop you'll earn a 30% discount on the d...
Nintendo photo

Pikmin 3 and New Super Luigi U spur Wii U sales in Japan

Software selling hardware, imagine that
Jul 17
// Kyle MacGregor
The sun came up this morning, birds chirped, the tides continued their eternal ebb and flow, and a Nintendo product topped Japanese software charts. Some things never change. Pikmin 3 launched last week in Japan, reigning sup...
Pikmin 3 photo
Pikmin 3

Play Pikmin 3 at GameStop July 20-21, get it a day early

Reggie will be watching
Jul 12
// Darren Nakamura
How long has it been since the last time we've been able to control inch-high spacefarer Captain Olimar and his army of sentient plants? Almost ten years? It's almost surreal that the third game in the Pikmin series is final...
Pikmin 3 preview photo
Pikmin 3 preview

Pikmin 3 is so adorably gruesome

Killing innocent creatures has never been this cute
Jul 11
// Casey Baker
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 pl...
Wii U eShop discount photo
Wii U eShop discount

Select Wii U eShop games to launch at a discount in Japan

Pikmin 3, Lego City Undercover, and Wonderful 101 headline
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
No matter how much the press and fans clamor for a reduced digital pricing scheme, publishers ignore it as much as possible. Although PlayStation Plus helps alleviate the burn a bit with $5 discounts here and there, the indus...
Ma-Ma-myyyyy! photo

Did Peach just orgasm?

Nintendo starts airing Wii U commercials again in Japan
Jun 27
// Tony Ponce
Oh my God... what is happening in those first 10 seconds!? Nintendo suddenly realized that it forgot to advertise the Wii U and has scrambled to put together a set of TV commercials. But the one for New Super Luigi U is just...
Nintendo Direct Pikmin photo
Nintendo Direct Pikmin

Watch the entire Nintendo Direct Pikmin presentation here

20-minute Pikmin presentation shows off footage
Jun 26
// Chris Carter
This morning, Nintendo put on a special Japan-only Nintendo Direct specifically for Pikmin 3. It's basically a "Let's Play" for the game starring Miyamoto, as he leads someone through a demonstration of a typical level. For ...
Pikmin 3 photo
Pikmin 3

Video: Check out Pikmin 3's bingo battle mode

Bro, do you even lift?
Jun 20
// Papa Niero
A Nintendo representative walks us through the two-player versus mode "Bingo Battle" in Pikmin 3, where you must command your troops to mine resources to match pieces on a bingo board. Resources are limited, so you can block...
Pikmin 3 photo
Pikmin 3

Miyamoto explains Pikmin 3's Bingo Battle mode

His enthuiasm is infectious
Jun 14
// Chris Carter
After some confusion about whether or not Pikmin 3 was going to be a Wii U launch title, it feels like we've been waiting forever to play the game. But finally, we're down to the last few months, and Shigeru Miyamoto is here...
Pikmin photo

Miyamoto talks about attacking eyeballs in Pikmin 3

He speaks English and is adorable
Jun 12
// Jonathan Holmes
Nintendo continues to show that they don't give a rat's ass about following trends, and I think it's fantastic. While Capcom is working to make the next Dead Rising appeal to the Call of Duty fanbase and Namco Bandai wants t...

Ogle some Nintendo's finest E3 titles, and cat people!

There's that trademark Nintendo flair!
Jun 11
// Jason Cabral
Nintendo sure has been sharing a lot on the great titles they have on the table for this year! From the return of Super Smash Bros. to the nostalgic feeling The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo is really hitti...

Pikmin 3 is content complete

The long-awaited sequel is almost ready to ship
Jun 11
// Jonathan Holmes
There is yet another E3 Nintendo event going behind closed doors as we speak, with more exclusive news that wasn't mentioned in Nintendo's all too brief E3 Direct. Straight from the twitter of our own Hamza Aziz comes the new...
Pikmin 3 photo
Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3 to feature Alph, Brittany, and Captain Charlie

It'll also launch with lots of control options
May 17
// Chris Carter
Nintendo let loose a ton of new info on Pikmin 3 today, like the fact that the new cast consists of characters named Alph, Brittany, and Captain Charlie. These adorable creatures have crash landed on a planet while in search ...
Nintendo photo
Wii U Mario will be released by October
A source told CVG that Wii U releases are slim this spring due to an initiative at Nintendo to stop most first-party releases until the summer patch is out, which will further improve the system. This follows April's patch wh...

Pikmin 3 photo
Pikmin 3

Nintendo Direct: Pikmin 3 set to release in August

Look! Up in the sky! It's a Winged Pikmin!
Apr 17
// Tony Ponce
Pikmin 3. August 4. Wii U, both retail and eShop. Seems like so far away, right? Wasn't it pretty much finished? Wasn't it close to being a launch window title? Why push it back so far? Makes me worry about other games in a s...
Pikmin cartoon photo
Pikmin cartoon

Nintendo is working on Pikmin animated shorts

You'll need a 3DS to watch them
Mar 11
// Jordan Devore
In an effort to "give more life to the Pikmin characters," Nintendo has plans for original animated shorts that are being created alongside an external animation studio and overseen by designer Shigeru Miyamoto, reports Polyg...

Shigeru Miyamoto feels creatively satisfied

Mar 07 // Tony Ponce
Of course there's no escaping the image problem currently facing the Wii U, so Miyamoto took a moment once again to talk about communicating Wii U's value to customers. But when asked how he plans on doing that, he impishly points to the PR and marketing folks in the room and says, "Ask these guys." Oh, you scamp! The interview winds down with the topic of retirement, which we already know Miyamoto isn't planning on entering just yet. In fact, at 60 years old, he has the same volume of work as ever. With his presence felt in so many projects, there is the tendency for younger staff to rely too much on his guidance. Thus, "[W]hat we're doing internally is, on the assumption that there may someday be a time when I'm no longer there, and in order for the company to prepare for that, what I'm doing is pretending like I'm not working on half the projects that I would normally be working on to try to get the younger staff to be more involved." He later adds, "[A]s I like to say, I try to duck out of the way, so that instead of them looking at me, they're looking at the consumer and trying to develop their games with the consumer in mind rather than me in mind." It's good to see that Miyamoto is still bursting with postive energy and passing that raw, gung-ho spirit on to future generations. Saw whatever you will about Nintendo's struggles, but here is a guy with a good head on his shoulders. Miyamoto: 'I'm Creatively Satisfied' [GameSpot]
We <3 Miyamoto photo
Nintendo's top think-tank talks about upcoming software and Wii U happenings
Perennial star child Shigeru Miyamoto has had an illustrious career, no doubt about that. From creating Donkey Kong to busting on stage with Link's sword and shield equipped, he has cemented himself as one of the most influen...

Animal Crossing / Pikmin photo
Animal Crossing / Pikmin

Nintendo on Animal Crossing success, Pikmin 3 Off-TV Play

Two cute old men talk about Twitter and HD graphics
Feb 05
// Jonathan Holmes
For those of you that haven't been keeping track, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the most successful game in Japan right now. It's closing in on three million sold across both digital and physical sales in Japan alone, and it's...
Magical Game Time photo
Magical Game Time

Pikmin's Olimar leads a sad, lonely existence

Artist Zac Gorman has collected all his wistful game comics into a digial book
Feb 02
// Tony Ponce
I'm convinced that artist Zac Gorman is an Emotion Lord. How else can he play with our hearts and minds if not through the power of fifth-dimensional manipulation? Consider his recent Pikmin comic, in which he turns a bright ...
Pikmin 3 photo
Pikmin 3

Lookin' good there, Pikmin 3!

Screens taken with Pikmin 3's in-game camera
Jan 23
// Tony Ponce
During this morning's Nintendo Direct, Iwata explained how Pikmin 3 would feature an in-game camera that allowed you to take photos from the Pikmins' point of view and share them on Miiverse. Meanwhile, some sample photos wer...

Nintendo Direct: Iwata details new Miiverse functionality

Sharing direct screenshots with Pikmin 3
Jan 23
// Chris Carter
Iwata went on to further detail some new Wii U Miiverse functionality today at the Nintendo Direct event. The first big bombshell is the ability to take pictures directly from Pikmin 3 in-game, close up, and share them over M...

Destructoid's most wanted games of 2013

Jan 04 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
DmC: Devil May Cry (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)Release: January 15, 2013 It's been a long and bumpy road, but Ninja Theory and Capcom's new take on the much loved Devil May Cry series is right around the corner. After the now infamous debut trailer and the immense fallout from series loyalists, DmC's chances seemed tenuous from the outset. Though the series was already known for changes in direction and tone, this new game from a Western studio seemed hard to swallow for many. As time went on and with every trailer and gameplay footage released thereafter, the game began to look better and better. Now, the game flaunts style and attitude that will even make classic Dante blush. Who would've thought? A reboot and an origin story -- DmC looks to be a familiar, but also a more mature and exuberant take on the old, while seeking to shape a new identity of its own. Though a number of skeptics still scoff and revile this reboot, it's hard to deny Ninja Theory's gumption and tenacity in the face of mounting pressure from fans. Speaking as a fan of the series who was a bit put off by Capcom's last entry, I'm more than happy to see a fresh take on the old. The recent demo has not only helped affirm my confidence in the developers, but has also won over people on the fence, and helped introduce new players to the stylish action the series is known for. With its release approaching, and the PC version (60FPS!) following the week after, only one question remains: will this reboot be able live up to the series' name? Well, you can be the judge of that. Dead Space 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)Release: February 5, 2013 Co-op? Human enemies? Dodge-rolls? A cover system? It's almost as if EA and Visceral wanted us to doubt Dead Space 3's creds when the news started pouring in. And yet, in spite of all its unnecessary gameplay "advancements," I still find myself rock-frickin'-hard for this game. Tau Volantis -- the icy planet we've been shown since the early gameplay videos -- wisely channels John Carpenter's The Thing with its harrowing, limited visibility and Necromorph-friendly piles of dusty snow, and the game's oft-touted weapon-crafting system should add a new level of variety to Isaac Clarke's classic arsenal. Who knows, maybe we'll even find a reason not to use the Plasma Cutter 100% of the time! Likewise, the addition of dungeons should make subsequent playthroughs all the more enjoyable, and, believe it or not, I'm actually excited for the optional co-op mode. At the very least, it should be fun to see the campaign through a whole new lens; but only after we finish our solo playthroughs, of course. So yeah, critics be damned! I cannot wait to revisit the Dead Space universe. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) Release: February 19, 2013 There's a big part of me that wants to say I'm utterly sick of Metal Gear. The overblown story, picking through minutiae to try and find the next secret that Kojima teases out interminably, slowly creeping my way from one plot twist to another; these elements and their persistence within his games have made me feel like Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2 upon the realization that all of it has been done before. That's why I'm so keen for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Granted, some of those elements are going to appear because that's just who Kojima is. It just wouldn't be Metal Gear otherwise. But with the introduction of the Platinum Games team to handle the gameplay mechanics, I'm hoping that what we see feels fresh and frantic and encourages combat instead of sneaking. That could be just enough of a palate cleanser to prepare us for Ground Zeroes (and, presumably, The Phantom Pain). Rayman Legends (Wii U)Release: February 26, 2013 If Rayman Origins saw the return of the armless and legless hero to the hearts of all true gamers, Rayman Legends looks to be the experience that puts him into the limelight. This is especially true in relation to offering Wii U fans what will surely be am amazing cooperative platformer to the new system's still paltry exclusives library. After getting some time in with Rayman Legends at PAX Prime and then being even further blown away by the awesome demo level Castle Rock, my excitement for the next Rayman game is more than palpable. It offers some really neat touchscreen implementation with Murphy, from cutting ropes to release bridges to collecting special lums for Rayman throughout certain levels. The art style is still as beautiful as ever, and even sharper thanks to 1080p output on the ol' HDTV. Rayman Legends already seems to promise the same level of difficulty and addictiveness as Origins did, just with those beautiful graphics notched up to 11. If there has been any singular reason for me to invest in a Wii U, it's because Legends will be available for it soon enough. South Park: The Stick of Truth (PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)Release: March 5, 2013 Once again, South Park makes my shortlist of most anticipated games, one season and one terrible, terrible game later. One is a reminder of South Park’s legacy on TV; the other, a reminder of its history of abysmal attempts at translating the show’s topical, scatologically-minded humor to videogames. One thing stands as true in 2013 as it did the year before: Videogames could use some more poop jokes, especially in a lengthy RPG developed by Obsidian. An E3 and two trailers later, not much is known on how Stick of Truth’s design or narrative is structured. Despite Obsidian’s hit-and-miss history, I remain optimistic about this one. As long as mechanics and faulty programming don’t get in the way of the world and story, Stick of Truth should be an obscene adventure full of literal shit storms, politically incorrect jokes that you can’t help but laugh at, and commentary on role-playing games and their ridiculous tropes. South Park always manages to walk a thin line between making fun of the things we love while still celebrating them in its own twisted way. The show has focused on videogames a couple times, but an entire uncensored game focused on parodying the role-playing genre may lead to a high as memorable as the classic Bigger, Longer & Uncut. I look forward to beating the hell out of kids with a stop sign while leveling up my “High Jew Elf.” BioShock Infinite (PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)Release: March 26, 2013 I always wanted BioShock to adopt the Final Fantasy approach to sequels (because Square Enix got stupid) and have a series of games set in new worlds, with new stories, with shared themes. BioShock 2, in its avarice, spoiled that idea, but BioShock Infinite has come to set things right, and I couldn't be more excited. Set in a new sky city, the huge bright environments couldn't be more different from BioShock's murky Rapture, yet the core aesthetic of the series is unmistakable. Add to that a range of outstandingly freaky enemies and inventive weaponry, and you've got a game that's looking set to turn heads. Mixed in with what's sure to be solid gameplay is a narrative that lays the political commentary on a bit more blatantly than BioShock did. This could come across as tacky or bold, depending on how well it's done, but I trust the folk at Irrational Games enough to believe their story of jingoism gone wrong can entertain without having to brow-beat. In any case, its themes are certainly pertinent in an era where even the slightest disagreement with certain people can earn accusations of being "un-American." In fact, this game itself could infuriate certain members of that certain demographic. Certainly! BioShock Infinite has been a long time coming, and has seen its fair share of trouble in the development process, but it speaks of Irrational's pedigree that nobody's seriously called the game's future into doubt yet. It's almost assured this will be a good one, and I can't wait to see whether or not Irrational's able to match our expectations. The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)Release: May 7, 2013 It's been exactly one year since Naughty Dog revealed their first teaser trailer for The Last of Us at Spike's VGA broadcast, but I still remember how it immediately captured my imagination. While their games always look and sound fantastic, this seemed like it could have a story that would be much deeper than any Uncharted game we've seen. An unlikely pair of survivors from a disease outbreak sent endlessly running for their lives at the end of the world -- even from the first tease I knew that this game was going to suck me in. Over the past year I've seen much more of The Last of Us, and it's sure to kick down genre walls with its mix of action-adventure and survival horror, as characters Joel and Ellie have nearly nothing in the way of supplies and even less in the way of places to hide. And Naughty Dog promises that it's done away scripted events in favor of a balance-of-power system that has enemies dynamically reacting to the way that the duo is armed. And that incredible setting -- the world is desolate, gritty, and often violent, but at the same time so beautiful that it's almost unbelievable. We already know that Naughty Dog can do graphically impressive, cinematic action games, but the star this time around is story and characters. We're in for a treat this spring. Total War: Rome II (PC)Release: October 2013 The original Rome: Total War (Yes, they did change the naming format) is arguably Creative Assembly's best game, and one of the greatest strategy games of all time. Well, it would be had they not made Total War: Shogun 2. I'm incredibly hyped-up to see the studio's planned changes, which involve a dramatic increase in scope for both its turn-based strategic and real-time tactical aspects, while reducing the amount of late-game micromanagement overload. And let's not forget that Total War games have consistently been gorgeous graphical powerhouses, matching even the AAA shooter market in scale and fidelity. Creative Assembly has even promised to finally merge naval and ground combat, allowing for real-time amphibious invasions and even more units on screen than ever before. I'm totally looking forward to finding out just how Total Rome II will get. Pikmin 3 (Wii U) Release: Spring 2013 Fans of the Pikmin series have been waiting a long time for this sequel, and from what I can tell, the wait has been worth it. With new four-player co-op, new enemies, new modes of transportation, a new evocative camera system, and of course, new Pikmin, Pikmin 3 appears to be the greatest expression of the Pikmin concept to date. I was once bitter that the game was put on hold until the release of the Wii U in order to capitalize on the console's capacity for HD output. But now that I've played the game, I see that it was worth it. Pikmin has always been about a place where the cute, iconic surrealism of the Pikmin meets the harsh but beautiful "real" world that they live in, and the HD display does a lot to make that idea hit home. Though many may not see it on the surface, the Pikmin series is some of the most horrific, heart-wrenching survival games ever made. Your time, control, resources, and more are all limited. Only through managing all these limitations and making the most of every opportunity can you come out on top, which makes that feeling of victory that skilled Pikmin players have grown to love feel all sweeter when it finally comes. Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)Release: TBA 2013 Realistic open-world sandbox games are some of my favorites to play, and of course that means the Grand Theft Auto series is high up on my list of favorites. GTA paved the way for the genre, and I've immersed myself in every experience ever since the original. In the downtime since GTA IV, titles such as Saints Row and Sleeping Dogs have been capturing the spirit of the last-gen Grand Theft Autos. Grand Theft Auto V is looking to come back on top, though. The new game looks to be delightfully more lighthearted, promising a mix of serious and offbeat, much to the pleasure of old-school fans. What's really got me wanting to get my hands-on GTA V is the fact that you are in control of three main protagonists. Each will feature their own fleshed-out story, and certain missions will allow you to swap between characters on the fly, each offering a unique and different perspective. It's an exciting new mechanic that won't be easy to pull off, but if anyone can it's Rockstar. The Elder Scrolls Online (PC) Release: TBA 2013 I know a lot of people aren't that excited for an MMO Elder Scrolls, but hear me out. Although the term "MMO" may turn people off immediately, I think there's a lot of potential here to maximize the enjoyment of the franchise. Simply put, exploring the entire continent of Tamriel wouldn't be possible in this current era unless it was a project as massively scaled as an MMO.  Being able to set foot in Morrowind at any time will be an amazing experience, rich with lore built up in previous games. If Skyrim is your fancy, you'll be able to enjoy that, as well as treasured locations such as the Summerset Isles, which haven't been seen since the very first Elder Scrolls game -- Arena. The Elder Scrolls Online already has five years of development behind it, and a lot of ideas, like the design concept of a more "single-player MMO" intrigue me. There will be more instanced play and story-based sequences than pretty much every other MMO before it, which may be a huge hit if it actually works out playing like a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game. SpyParty (PC) Release: TBA 2013 I am no stranger to competitive games, with many hours poured into games like Team Fortress 2, Street Fighter IV, and Dota 2. When I play SpyParty, however, something is different. There's a feeling of intense anxiety that permeates my being. You see, one player plays as a Spy at a party, while the other plays the Sniper. The Spy must accomplish a set amount of goals like swapping statues or bugging the Ambassador without getting caught by the Sniper. In other words, acting just like an AI while simultaneously accomplishing objectives. The Sniper has one bullet to take out the Spy before time runs out. Here are some examples of what runs through my head in just about every three-minute match of SpyParty: "Oh god. Did they notice that slip up?""Their laser hasn't left my skull for 10 seconds, THEY KNOW!!" "Do I have enough time to even do these objectives anymore? IF I LOOK AT MY WATCH THEY'LL KNOW WHO I AM!" And that's the pure beauty of SpyParty. One versus one. You against them. You have no team to fall back on, no one but yourself to depend on, and no one else to, eventually, blame. I've spent hours studying the mechanics behind the game, yet all the planning in the world cannot prepare you for the sensation and tension that fills each game of SpyParty. Dark Souls II (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)Release: TBA 2013 I don't know if From Software itself could have foreseen the remarkable journey the Souls games would take. From humble beginnings to cult status to genuine success story, there's no stopping the franchise now. With a new director on board for Dark Souls II, there is some cause for concern, even if series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki is serving as a supervisor for the sequel. While it's unclear how exactly the studio will balance staying true to its roots and simultaneously reaching entirely new types of players, chances are that even if not everything is executed flawlessly, the game will still be an instant hit. There's simply nothing else like Dark Souls out on the market today, and the number of people who want to partake in its particular brand of gameplay is only growing. Forget in-game screenshots or videos -- we're hanging on every translated word when it comes to the game. Whether it ultimately fails or succeeds to meet expectations, Dark souls II will be an exciting one to watch, and hopefully play when it finally releases. Star Wars 1313 (Platforms to be announced)Release: TBA 2013 Star Wars 1313 was announced right before E3 2012, and was shown off during the show with a promise of a more adult and gritty Star Wars than we're used to. Well, the demo showed us that and a whole lot more. Simply put, 1313 has some of the best-looking lighting, shadows, and particle effects I have ever seen. It looked suspiciously next-gen, even. That, mixed with the fact no targeted platforms have been announced and the game has been shown running on DirectX 11 has me thinking this might be launching on the heavily rumored next Xbox and/or PlayStation this year. Either way, 1313 is already looking like the most interesting original Star Wars game since the first Knights of the Old Republic. It's the bounty hunter game we've always wanted, and never got even when, well, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter happened. The clearly Uncharted-inspired gameplay looks fun as hell with a focus on gadgets, tools, traditional weapons, and quick-thinking. Those are things I've truly always wanted to see in a Star Wars title, and that easily makes Star Wars 1313 my most anticipated game of 2013. The Wonderful 101 (Wii U) Release: TBA 2013 I wasn't too thrilled by the Wii U's teaser reveal at E3 2011, and the full reveal this past year did little to sway me. For the first time ever, I wasn't totally on board with the idea of owning a new Nintendo console. Of course, all it takes is that one game to catch a person's interest. And the Wonderful 101 was that game. It's basically Viewtiful Joe meets Pikmin. You are a superhero who recruits other heroes then leads the throng against alien invaders. Simply issue a command and watch as the heroes link their bodies together to form giant fists and swords. But even though in the demo you could only manipulate the crowd with the analog sticks, I see great potential in using the stylus to draw the appropriate forms for battle. This is the kind of colorful whimsy that made fall in love with the late Clover Studio, and I'm so glad Platinum Games has recaptured that ol' spark. I only hope other companies pay heed of Platinum's creative initiative and find ever more creative ways to use the Wii U's GamePad. Watch_Dogs (PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) Release: TBA 2013 As someone who loves cyberpunk and gadgets, that first trailer for Watch_Dogs really intrigued me. A man armed with nothing (for the first part at least) but a cellphone taking advantage of the interconnected strands of our digital lives, to take revenge on an unsuspecting criminal. Whilst the combat looked fairly standard, the idea of taking some of the elements of Deus Ex and Dishonored and putting them into a contemporary setting was really appealing. What's even more interesting is the tease of co-op, a second player in the E3 demo appeared to be given the role of an escort or protector. The idea of executing these sting operations as a team is really exciting. I have some concerns, though; the idea of an urban-based surveillance game seems like it might be really similar to parts of Assassin's Creed. The combat elements in Ubisoft games seems to have become fairly homogeneous, where games like Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon have ended up so similar. Will Ubisoft's "all hands on deck" approach to game development stifle any individual vision? Despite my concerns, Watch_Dogs is one of the games I'm really looking forward to in 2013. Killzone: Mercenary (PlayStation Vita)Release: TBA 2013 It's been nearly a year since the PlayStation Vita first hit shelves. For all its potential, support for Sony's little machine has been pretty dire to date. That sentiment applies especially to first-person shooters. A pair of marquee franchises have made appearances on the system, but they've been dreadful. And now Guerrilla Cambridge has stepped up to the plate with Killzone: Mercenary. As a fan of the series and someone who'd like the Vita to succeed, I dearly hope they're swinging for the fences with this one. Now I'd be excited for this if it were just another Killzone game, but Mercenaries at least partially fulfills my greatest desire for the series. For the first time ever, players will have the opportunity to play as the iconic Helghast in the title's main campaign. Granted, the Helghast are almost certain to still be painted as the villains of the tale, rather than the heroes that they truly are. I'm not going to bemoan progress, though. I'm incredibly stoked to see how this turns out. ---------------------------------------------------------- Like I said before, these are just our one most wanted game. There's obviously a ton more games we can't wait for, such as Tomb Raider, Ni No Kuni, SimCity, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, Fortnite, Metro: Last Light, ARMA 3, LocoCycle, Starforge, Monaco, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Guacamelee, and so much more! What game are YOU looking forward to the most in 2013?
Games of 2013 photo
The staff picks their most wanted game!
Everyone basically says this at the beginning of every year, but I'm going to say it anyway: 2013 is going to be the best year in gaming! That statement turns out to be a hit or miss depending on a number of circumstances, bu...


Miyamoto going back to basics for Pikmin 3

Less Pikmin 2, more Pikmin 1
Jan 02
// Chris Carter
In a rather interesting interview, legendary game producer Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that Pikmin 3 will be more in-line with the "stressful" nature of the first game than the relaxing second. Miyamoto states that he didn't ...

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