Review: Pikmin 2
October 15, 2006
EAD / Gamecube / Everyone
The Pikmin series has been a pet project of Shigeru Miyamoto, the famed creator of Mario, so it’s well known he wouldn’t put his name on anything bad. Indeed the concept driving Pikmin continues to be top notch. The player commands pikmin, little animal plant mixes that come in different varieties. Red are immune to fire, yellow can handle bomb-rocks, and blue can swim. They group up to fight other creatures, demolish obstacles, and carry earth trash that earns the player money towards the ten thousand point goal.
The only problem with this sequel is that it fails to deliver much of anything new. The game starts with our hero Captain Olimar returning after the end of the first game’s story. He returns to find his company bankrupt and his ship is repossessed immediately. The president of the company then introduces the slightly dim Louie who will become Olimar’s assistant. They return to earth where our trash (bottle caps, pop cans, playing cards, ect.) becomes their treasure. Several changes from the first game are notable. First the thirty-day time limit has been scrapped and the player now has free reign in the environments for as long as they want. Also, Louie has been added as a second playable character. This change seems fairly useless, as none of the puzzles require both characters. Two new types of pikmin have been added: purple ones are stocky and have the strength of ten other pikmin, and white ones are resistant to poison. Both of these types are specifically needed for puzzles but have no ship of their own which makes maintaining them tougher. These white and purple pikmin can be found in the new subterranean levels that seem cramped and nondescript. As with the first game the environments are huge, well rendered, and colorful, but none of the music has changed. Overall this is more like an expansion pack than a sequel. This is worth buying for pikmin fans that want more puzzles or anyone who is curious about the series and wants to start playing it.
By Zack Rovinsky