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Reviewed: Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Pikmin 3 Deluxe review
Title: Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Genre: Adventure, Action, Strategy
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: October 2020

Overall Score 10/10

Nintendo fans have plenty of reasons this year to be nostalgic. With so many of the company’s game franchises offering remastered or new content, it’s exciting to see older games in a new light. On October 30th, Pikmin 3 Deluxe is one of the titles to join the roster of remastered giants, like Mario.

Nintendo’s new game, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, takes a player on a journey to the bountiful world of PNF-404, an uncolonized planet filled with beautiful landscapes and lush juicy fruit. A place one could call home. What’s the catch? Some monsters might need to be eradicated first. But don’t worry, this planet is home to helpful sprout-like creatures called Pikmin that will help with any task.

Pikmin 3, the most popular release from the franchise, originally came out on the Wii U in 2013. At the time, a large majority of Nintendo fans missed the game’s original release. Pikmin 3 Deluxe is a port of the Wii U game for the Switch, giving those who missed out a second chance to play the game. With new added features and updated controls, plus bonus story content, it’s no wonder the game was titled “deluxe”

Little Characters, Big Planet

Pikmin 3 Deluxe review

In past Pikmin games, players followed the story of Captain Olimar and his crewmate Louie in their search for treasure. However, Pikmin 3 Deluxe introduces three new faces: Alph, Brittany, and Captain Charlie, who leave their famine-stricken planet Koppai in search of a resource-rich new world. The three come across planet PNF-404 which seems to be the perfect place, filled with fruit. But when they crash land and become separated, their impressions change.

Players begin the game by switching between the three characters, who search for one another; control Alph, Brittany, and Captain Charlie to discover their positions and how they fare while facing the elements, alone. As the characters try to find each other, they notice that Pikmin are following them around, helping them survive on the planet that they find is filled with monsters. The three soon reunite and embark on their next quest: getting their ship’s Cosmic Drive Key—literally their key to getting home.

The Cosmic Drive Key is also the key to bridging the storylines between the three new characters and the two original characters, Olimar and Louie. Olimar and Louie are still on planet PNF-404 in search of treasure and have found the new characters’ missing key. As the old storyline crosses with the new, players experience what happened to Olimar before and after the new characters of this game arrive (but players will have to play for to find out what that is).

Friends, Foes, and Fruit

Pikmin 3 Deluxe review

As a third-person real-time strategy (RTS), the game is played during daytime where the player manages tasks to progress through the storyline. Players can chose what to do during their daytime (collect fruit, battle monsters, progress through story, etc.) before time runs out when they and the Pikmin must return to the ship or perish at the hands of large monsters. The sad sound of a Pikmin soul leaving its body will have players herding their Pikmin up before nighttime. With three characters, managing tasks also becomes a breeze. Players can easily switch between crewmates and divide their Pikmin into squads.

Exploring a world full of monsters alone can sound scary, but a player can have an army of up to 100 Pikmin to help take down foes and collect fruit.

The game brings back familiar Pikmin like the yellow electrical Pikmin and the iconic red fireproof Pikmin. Get ready to welcome new allies with the rock and flying Pikmin that can crash down walls and reach new heights. Strategize how to use the various types of Pikmin to take down different foes, overcome different terrains, and complete puzzles. The new Pikmin allow different ways to explore the game’s environments by using each of their special traits to advantage. From forests to marshes and even a new tundra area, Pikmin 3 Deluxe gives a player a lot of ground to cover.

A Legacy Left Behind?

Pikmin 3 Deluxe review

Just like the many remastered games that came before it, Pikmin 3 Deluxe shines on a new screen. The remaster has all the content of the Wii U game, with updated features for better gameplay on the Switch. The game includes the DLC from Wii U game (an extra cost at the time, now free).

Although the Deluxe title suggests new features have been added, the game wasn’t changed much from the Wii U version. Instead of focusing on adding new features, Nintendo expanded the storyline with a prologue and epilogue for Olimar and Louie and by fixing flaws in the control system. The major improvements to the game’s controls makes for smoother gameplay and a much more enjoyable experience on the Switch, both handheld and docked.

Nintendo decided to include better handheld controls in lieu of a touch screen. . The Joy-Con’s motion sensors moves targets around like a makeshift Wii Remote, making for a fun docked experience. The lock-on system was revamped making it easier to target enemies and toggle between them using the ZR button. For newer players, a hint system was introduced to the game, which allows players to get info on what should be done next, along with blue arrows pointing in the right direction.

For those looking for some co-op fun, the entire story mode and all 36 of the DLC missions can be played with a friend in split screen co-op, for the first time. There’s even a Bingo Battle mode that lets two players face off to collect fruit or defeat monsters in order to make a line on their “bingo card.”

Overall Gameplay

Pikmin 3 Deluxe review

Pikmin 3 Deluxe is an example of how, with the right blend of action, puzzles, and strategy, games can work and be hits on consoles. Whether players need a warm-up into RTS games, or are veterans looking for a challenge, this game experience can be customized. Choose a playstyle with an ultra-spicy, difficulty mode or a relaxing, explore-at-your-own-pace mode.

So Players, get ready to direct, toss, and collect Pikmin to build up your squad and gather all the fruit you can carry. Playing the game will leave you in awe of its beauty as you immerse yourself in luscious and vibrant environments. And with over 60 fruits to discover and dozens of foes to fight, you’ll quickly find yourself saying “let’s play just one more day.”

Take a journey with tiny intergalactic explorers in the new Pikmin 3 Deluxe. Try a preview of the game today with a free demo of Pikmin 3 Deluxe in the Switch eshop, until the crew from Koppai make a landing on a planet near you on October 30th.

Here’s the official launch trailer from Nintendo for Pikmin 3:

Overall Score 10/10

Written by Amanda Michkowski, Faze Senior Writer
Edited by Sabrina Berry, Faze Gaming Editor

Also check out our in-depth Nintendo Switch reviews of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Paper Mario: The Origami King

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