Pikmin fans are in for a treat with the new Nintendo 3DS platformer, Hey! Pikmin, arriving on the system July 28. Nintendo is also releasing amiibo for the game.
The game follows original Pikmin protagonist, Olimar on a side-scrolling adventure. A demo is already available from the Nintendo e-Shop. I spent some time playing the demo and like what I’ve seen so far.
The demo begins with a short intro: Olimar is running out of fuel, can’t make it to warp and does an emergency (crash) landing on a nearby planet. The onboard computer — a UFO sort of thing — informs him he needs to collect fuel. Luckily, their are Pikmin here as well! How fortunate! Now, Olimar is tasked with finding enough fuel to power his ship and leave the planet. I especially enjoyed the introduction scene, as it provides a sense of fun and adventure to the player before the game begins.
The play control is simple: the D-pad or circle is used to move Olimar, and everything else is controlled by the stylus. Olimar can aim Pikmin and tap the screen to throw them in order to accomplish a variety of tasks. Controls for the whistle and Olimar’s jet pack are located on the bottom of the touch screen. This is quite intuitive and will probably make it a bit easier to play for the most part. The graphics are nice, with both Olimar and the Pikmin appearing identical to their GameCube counterparts. The environment is colorful, bright and pleasing to the eye.
The demo offers players three sections to try: the tutorial, the first level and the third level. The tutorial is just that: a basic guide as to how to play the game. Level 1 is pretty simple and gives Olimar the chance to try out what he’s learned through the tutorial. It also shows off some of the beautiful visuals — I like the way the game uses both screens to show the entire level — and has some catchy music. You can listen to the full soundtrack here. Level 3 is a blast to play through and only whets my appetite for more of this game.
The game is not in 3-D … at least, the demo isn’t. As I’ve mentioned before, Nintendo appears to be moving away from 3-D on many of the upcoming 3DS titles. Nintendo Everything reported on this back in April, showing the box art which states the game isn’t in 3-D. They posit the reason for this is that the game uses the bottom screen quite a bit.
After playing the demo, I’m going to have to agree with that assessment, but I also stand firm on my suspicion that 3-D is gradually disappearing from the system
While I loved Pikmin 3 and would like to see a return to the original puzzle-solving aspect of the series, I feel this game is worth a look. Despite this, however, Hey! Pikmin looks like it will be a worthy addition to the series and I’m looking forward to playing through my pre-ordered copy early next month.