New Play Control! Pikmin Review
New Play Control! Pikmin box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Nintendo 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Nintendo 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 11, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

However, each day only lasts 15 minutes in real-time and, honestly, the time constraint is still very much an albatross throughout the adventure. Chances are folks who are new to the game won't successfully save Olimar on their first playthrough. In the original Pikmin for GameCube, if you could not retrieve each of the 30 ship parts within the allotted time, there was no going back. This issue has been somewhat rectified by allowing you to go back in time to any of the previous days you've already played. However, once you go back to a specific point in time, you'll have to progress forward from that day - there's no skipping around. Additionally, anything you've gained past that point - ship parts, Pikmin, etc. - won't carry over with you should you decide to start from a day earlier on in the adventure.

New Play Control! Pikmin screenshot

Aside from the ability to go back in time and the game's new controls, New Play Control! Pikmin hasn't evolved at all. This is merely a port, so if you've already played the previous iteration, don't expect a vastly new experience here. The gameplay still holds up, and for those folks who haven't yet experienced this cute and quirky adventure, there's plenty to enjoy.

However, Pikmin also shows its age in many ways. There is a radar system, which comes in handy, but micromanagement is very limited. Olimar has to be in the presence of Pikmin to control them, so you can't simply click on a map and command them from a remote location. It's a design choice that admittedly adds to the charm of the game, but considering the very limited timeframe within which you have to work, the narrow scope can also make for a lot of tedium and frustration.

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On the production front, it's surprising just how well Pikmin holds up on Wii. Regardless of how early on in GameCube's lifecycle Pikmin was released, it was obviously one of the system's prettiest titles. The photo-realistic style still looks quite attractive today, though the closer you zoom in on the environments, the less appealing the game becomes. Leaves, flowers, water - these elements, though, are still very impressive and look as good as anything else we've seen on Wii.

The aural presentation has been, and always will be, a wonderful addition to Nintendo's library of themes. There aren't any grand orchestrations as heard in Super Mario Galaxy, but the music here sounds great and works perfectly alongside the strange and mysterious world of Pikmin. All of the ambient sound effects and creature noises blend together to lend a relaxing and immersive backdrop for the adventure.

New Play Control! Pikmin (and soon-to-be-released Pikmin 2) seems to be Nintendo's way of introducing the series to its new legion of Wii owners before the inevitable unveiling of Pikmin 3. For those folks who've already experienced the game, perhaps there isn't enough here to warrant a purchase. After all, New Play Control! Pikmin 2 is already lined up for release, and like its GameCube counterpart, it's sure to be the better game. However, for anyone who hasn't yet had a chance to give Pikmin a go, this is a great opportunity to jump into the series. The new Wii controls work great, and though the production values have aged a bit, it's still a fine game worth going back to.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
For a port of a GameCube game, Pikmin's visuals still hold up surprisingly well. A smooth framerate and excellent art style allow you to easily get lost in the gameplay.
4.2
Control
It's a simple yet great way to implement controls in a Wii RTS... perhaps a bit too simplistic in its design, though.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is as endearing as it ever was. Creature and Pikmin sounds are wonderful, and the forest truly comes alive.
3.9

Play Value
The gameplay, premise, and presentation of Pikmin are very enjoyable, but it's a fairly short adventure, and at $30, it's not necessarily a bargain for a game we've already seen before.

4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • With newly added Wii motion controls, players simply point the Wii Remote controller at the screen to wrangle an army of Pikmin and put them to work.
  • The New Play Control! features open this highly rated Nintendo GameCube game to a new generation of players while giving players who loved it the first time a new way to experience it.
  • Players take command of up to 100 Pikmin and order them to swarm dangerous predators, demolish barriers, and haul critical parts back to their ship. The game combines action and strategy with fun characters.


  • Screenshots / Images
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