|Nintendo Reviews Rating:
|Posted: October 22nd, 2004
|Pikmin was one of the first GCN games released, and it was also the start of a new series. Shigeru Miyamoto's second trip
to a 'mysterious' planet brings a new face, new places and a new multiplayer mode. Does he improve on an already good
franchise, or does this just flop?
Pikmin had some pretty good sounds, but if you liked the first game's sounds, you'll love this. Let's start with the Pikmin.
The old classic throwing sounds are here, but when you start to get the Pikmin moving, you'll hear some Pikmin
humming. And since all Pikmin are different, the humming turns out to be off tune, or maybe a little off rhythm. It's an
intentional little thing that the Pikmin do, and even that already gets players just starting the game into the mood of
things. The music is very catchy, but probably not anymore so than the first. It is just what I expected from Hajime
Wakai, and it satisfies. There's no redundancy because you can move to different parts of the level to hear a slight
variation of the main tune.
The music stays true to the mood, even underground. In fact there are tons of underground music. Although some is a
little overused, most of the time you will be thrilled by hearing something different. And it's not like these are major
compositions like the main level, but the simplicity suits those areas. The 2P Battle mode also has its own tune that I am
impressed with. It's the same tune for all 10 levels, but it still doesn't get annoying.
Wrapping up with sound effects, you always seem to hear little random noises, but you'll discover that these are not
random. There's a little more sound to hear in this game, and that's good to know that there wasn't a lack of it. Examples
would be the leaves you hear as you brush past some, and a slight difference when passing the skitter leaf enemy. Like
before, there's many sounds that are original and worth hearing. They also let off of the annoying sounds! Dolby Surround
really shows its effect in this game. 5.1 was the way to go here, and it's done superbly. So overall, the sound is nothing
short of pleasing, and has hardly any negative factors!
The control from the previous game carries over to this one, with some minor changes. Now that we have two characters,
the Y button is used to switch characters. It was before used for the map, but now the map is conveniently placed on the
start screen. The control pad is used for using sprays, and it was smart to use Up and Down versus Left and Right. It
seems a lot more appropriate. Dismissing Pikmin has become somewhat better and worse. Because you may have five
types of Pikmin with you at once, dismissing them and then calling a specific color back can be difficult. The game does
have a little more intelligence though. It figures that if you call one, than it will almost always include that whole color
group. What does get annoying is trying to do this in tight spaces, which is recurrent in underground areas.
That said, the Pikmin are a little smarter and usually they won't run off and attack something. Basically, the game thinks
more like you do. If you throw a Pikmin between two parts, it will usually go for the one you want. It's actually quite
The camera angles are still something that needs to be worked on. They can be annoying as before, and throwing Pikmin
can be frustrating as before. However, gamers who have played the first game can easily pick this up. The concept of
switching leaders and spraying is not difficult, and you'll learn to use that effectively. Kudos to the developers for those
extra features. So as a whole, the control is only slightly flawed as before.
The moment I got into this game, I was amazed! I am talking
about the graphics, of course, but I really was amazed at the
quality that I was seeing. This is almost as real as Star Fox
Adventures, but of course that game still holds the honor of
best graphics ever, in my mind. I am always looking for
realism, in the sense that you're there, but also for a sense
that this fantasy isn't real at the same time. I love the feel of
both, and I am just aroused when I play this game. The
amount of artwork is great, and the 3D look of everything is
real. I also love how they've stayed true to the old levels, and
still added enough effects to get it a new and unique touch. If
there's one disappointment is that the art efforts underground
could have been better, but I really can't complain. The
lighting effects are so real in the Piklopedia, and even in some
parts of levels that I just stood in shock! This is the best
graphics I've seen this year, and I can say that probably until
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes comes out.
Here it is-the one aspect that I was personally looking forward to. Did they actually consider a replay value this time
around? Yes, definitely! In fact, I would go as far to say that this is one of the best replay values of a game that I've seen
in a long while. I'm serious, this game packs a lot into just four levels and some underground areas. The underground
areas practically triple the game's size. Those areas are randomly generated, although the formula is the same. If you turn
off the game and come back, you won't see the exact same area twice. The amount of programming and debugging that
alone was a lot, but it truly shows the effort because I've yet to find any glitches.
The Piklopedia is surprisingly addictive. It displays 81 enemies, and 200 items...well at least the ones that you've found.
Then for the enemies, you can throw an unlimited amount of carrots at them and see how the interact. Players can spend
hours here just seeing what each creature does. You can then check detailed notes on each enemy. For items, you can
check only detailed info, but you can also view the item. The amount of flexibility in this program makes it well worth
looking at from time to time.
The 2P Battle Mode provides endless hours of fun. The Challenge Mode is revamped to allow for 2P cooperation, which is
almost as good as if they had included a full 2P cooperation mode based off of the Story Mode. The hours in Story Mode is
easily 30 hours, which is an excellent amount for an adventure game. The Challenge Mode is about 10 hours, and more if
you're trying for a Perfect rating on every single one. This came as staggering, because the replay was kind of bad in the
first game. Nintendo did not let us down, and this is probably the best $50 you'll spend this year, except for maybe Metroid
Prime 2: Echoes later this year.
Pikmin was a very innovative game; probably one of the most innovative I've seen in a long while. I can't say the same for
this sequel. This game borrows traits of the first game and builds off of them. However, the originality of the first is lost
until you've played the 2P Battle Mode, which is the most fun multiplayer game I've played since Mario Kart: Double
Dash! It's up in the level of Super Smash Bros. Melee, even. If the Battle Mode wasn't enough, the developers added a
Challenge Mode. The game gives you a score mostly based on items collected, but partially based on Pikmin and time
remaining. The 'high score' aspect is good for replay, but the rating system is only based on whether or not you have saved
all your Pikmin form death, which means the only two ratings are a white flower and a pink flower. A pink flower signifies
a Perfect rating, which counts for either 1P or 2P completion.
You'll get the most out of the multiplayer modes, which is the highlight of this game. There's also the 1P mode which is
filled with the usual aspects of collecting items and growing Pikmin all in a day. Since there are underground areas and a
new plot, time is no longer a major pressure. The underground areas and the new character are somewhat innovations, but
not as much as Pikmin was in general. I also like the underground areas, but I would have preferred more above ground
areas since that's where the game shines. Adding underground areas makes me wonder what they were aiming at.
Although I think the underground areas are cool, it would have been better to see more above ground regions. I feel a lot
of what made the original Pikmin so much fun is lost. The gates are too easy to break down, and a lot is not here.
However, the new ideas pretty much make up for this loss. It could have been worse. The developers simply decided to use
their ingenuity on these areas than elsewhere. That only hurts a little bit, because in the long run, Pikmin 2 is fun. And I
haven't mentioned it, but the two new Pikmin colors add a bit more variation, sprucing the game up. I still appreciate the
value of this game, even if it's not exactly like before. The design isn't better, but it's still great!
Shigeru Miyamoto has brought gamers his special touch once again, and overall, this is an extraordinary game. I've been
waiting a long time for a game like this, thus, I am extremely satisfied. I had a big smile while playing through every bit of
this game. There can still be improvements, which is why I look forward to any future games in this series. For those who
are looking for a great multiplayer game, this is one of the best; and I have played a lot! I would highly recommend this
game. Fans of the Pikmin series, and even those who have yet to play either games, owe it to themselves to buy this game!