Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.
In this explanatory review, we’re covering Pikmin 1 by developer, Nintendo EPD:
Pikmin 1 (The Explanation)
This summer during the non-E3, Nintendo held its own Direct featuring over 30 games. Along with a preview of Pikmin 4, which I am looking forward to playing, Nintendo unveiled remastered upgrades for Pikmin 1 & Pikmin 2. In this EXPlay I will cover a bit of Pikmin 1 and my initial thoughts on the remaster game and what you can look forward to experiencing if you plan on picking up the game.
Pikmin 1, aka Pikmin, was originally released in 2001 on the Gamecube, and later ported to the Wii in 2009 as a “New Play Control!” title. Later the title was rereleased on the WiiU Virtual Console in North America in 2016. Here we are now 22 years later with an HD remastered version of the game for the Nintendo Switch, just in time for the release of Pikmin 4 on July 21st, 2023.
For those of you that have been living under a rock for 22 years, Pikmin is a real-time strategy game that has you fighting off alien-like creatures as you embark on an epic adventure in the first chapter of the beloved but often overlooked Nintendo series.
You step into the shoes of Captain Olimar, who finds himself stranded on an unfamiliar planet. With his spaceship in ruins, he encounters fascinating creatures called Pikmin, which become his loyal companions. Pikmin, for the uninitiated, is the small carrot-like creature that works together to fight enemies you encounter, find and carry back items of your spaceship found scattered across the planet, and hopefully make survive the daytime so as not to be eaten and killed at night.
Your main goal is to help Olimar gather the scattered pieces of his spaceship. Time is of the essence because Olimar’s air supply is running out, and the planet’s oxygen-rich atmosphere is toxic to his species. The game offers three different endings based on how many spaceship parts you manage to reclaim.
Pikmin is unique in that the game has three different endings based on how many parts of the ship you collect in the 30 days. Depending on the number of parts you accumulated, you will see joyful success or harrowing defeat. Each day you need to prepare for encounters with enemies by choosing which Pikmin you will take out of the onion, and their habitat, and carry with you on the battlefield. You can replay days if you want to try again, but any future progress is lost at that point.
The Switch remaster looks better visually, though I do wish that Nintendo would have spent the time to remake the game in either the Pikmin 3 Deluxe visuals and control scheme or in the upcoming Pikmin 4 style. Both Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2 have not aged too well in my opinion and many of the quality of life improvements that Pikmin 3 and the Pikmin 4 demo have in them show that the series has evolved well into the present day.
Overall Pikmin 1 for the Nintendo Switch plays decently well. There are some loading screens that you will see from time to time and if you are familiar with the originals many of the visual upgrades, especially to the UI seem to only be ‘make it bigger/clearer’ kinds of changes and not overhauls you might see in other remasters. If you haven’t played Pikmin 1 previously, playing on the Switch is the best place to play the game. If you manage to snag all three games your Switch home screen will look very nice with icons for Pikmin 1 through 4 gracing the home screen.
Pikmin 1 (The Gameplay)
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Action, Adventure, Strategy
No. of Players: 1 (Single System)
Release Date: NA & EU: June 21, 2023
File Size: 1.1 GB