Pikmin is one of those franchises that, in one way or another, always manages to attract the public thanks to a simple but particular idea. The two original games in the series, released respectively in 2001 It is in the 2004, have generated a real phenomenon in videogame pop culture. Maybe it didn’t reach the popularity of other Nintendo franchises like Super Mario or The Legend of Zeldabut there is a reason why the Japanese company has revived in 2023 Pikmin 1 + 2.
When an alien has to learn to drive
Developed by the French studio Nintendo European Research & Developmentthe same one he made a few years ago Super Mario 3D All Starsthis collection includes the remastered versions of the first two titles in the series. The idea is to provide Switch users with the same experiences conceived by the original authors, without distorting everything with too modern elements. A decision that helps to maintain that stylistic vision as much as possible Shigeru Miyamoto And Takashi Tezukabut losing the ability to make cutting-edge user experience improvements. But let’s go in order, and let’s delve into what we can consider the beginning of a great odyssey.
The first Pikmin features a narrative simple and directwhich makes the characterization of the world its strong point. Captain Olimar he happily drives his Dolphin when, unfortunately, he crashes into a meteorite and is forced to crash-land on the nearest planet. Here he meets small and particular creatures called Pikmin who, for a reason unknown to him, decide to faithfully follow his orders. Thus begins a journey that leads him to explore a dangerous environment, in search of gods thirty pieces missing of his spaceship. A task he must complete before his food supplies run out, which he estimates will happen within a matter of days. thirty days.
This plot incipit is all that the opera needs. There are no complicated twists or strong narrative moments, and certainly the remastered does not want to change that. Instead, the original purpose is to hit the player through the world, its atmosphere and gameplay. The creatures that populate this unknown planet are adorable and fascinating, but they represent gods dangerous predators for our protagonist and his small armies. This creates a feeling of helplessness in the player, where complete knowledge of the environment will determine his survival or not.
The game can almost be defined as a real-time strategy game, where the goal is to use everything the captain has at his disposal to get through every single day. The title is never extremely difficult, but the challenge lies precisely in carrying out the greatest number of actions in the shortest possible time, pushing towards completionism And replayability, in a product that you can finish in a few hours with a big smile. Then we must not forget the challenge modea nice extra that further tests our leadership skills.
Gods are present within this remastered changes originally introduced on Wiiespecially the second chapter. For example the possibility of returning from the save menu to the days already faced in order to correct one’s mistakes, or the way in which the yellow Pikmin keep the bombs / rock once deselected.
Then there are some peculiar characteristics of this Switch version, such as the native resolution at 1080p on the TV and 720p on the go. Unfortunately, the texture update is too basic, so much so that they feel the weight of the years especially in the environmental elements, such as the terrain. Eventually you get used to it, but don’t expect cutting-edge graphics with Pikmin 1+2.
The gameplay still remains very intuitive and current, although the subsequent episodes have improved it in almost every point of view. It must also be pointed out that some bugs they stayed, like Pikmin who go through walls for no reason. Sure, the unpredictable actions of the little creatures are part of their charm, but some errors were more than correctable. No complaints in regards the optimization, since the game does not have any kind of slowdown or glitch whatsoever. Interesting that in portable mode the battery discharges rather slowly, guaranteeing rather long-lasting play sessions.
Two travel better
The second game included in the collection is Pikmin 2, a title that is considered controversial within its community. This sequel decided to follow the formula of the previous one, considerably expanding all its features: three new creatures you can command, no time limit to finish the adventure, the yellow Pikmin with a new ability related to electricity, the Piklopedia, real boss battles as well as the final one, more varied settings, multiplayer modes, and much more. The original development team indulged in introducing so much that the content is practically tripled compared to the first chapterfor better or for worse.
Most of the hours you face in the game are in the undergroundin a series of dungeons procedurally generated. At the time of its release this feature completely divided the audience, with those who loved this unexpected approach and those who considered it a bane. It must be admitted that the idea is certainly interesting, but that at the same time it loses all those elements for which the Pikmin series has become famous.
Pikmin 2 however, it remains a well-curated sequel, improving and expanding the previous one into an experience of great value. Even the storytelling received increased attention from the development team, with cutscenes and text messages. The gameplay, on the other hand, expands with the introduction of two specific main objectives: the collection of food and treasures. The former are used to allow our heroes to survive, the latter to get enough money and prevent the company Olimar works for from going bankrupt.
Gorgeous games, lazy remastered
The remaster work for the second episode is practically identical to that of the previous one. Building on the Nintendo Wii version, it features all the improvements made for that occasion as well as the benefits offered by being on the Switch. The HD resolution and battery life are guaranteed, as well as unfortunately the too old textures.
In this sense, an update of greater depth would have been expected for both games. Even a simple graphic improvement would have guaranteed a greater share of users, perhaps accustomed to jobs such as Metroid Prime Remastered. Another pity is the lack of a free movement control, a highly appreciated feature in the previous version of these two games. The hybrid system designed for the collection is not very optimal and does not reach the convenience and intuitiveness of the Wii Mote. In the end Pikmin 1+2 does its job, in an experience that allows you to play these classics more than decently on Switch. The end result, were it not for the native HD resolution, paradoxically still makes the Wii the preferable choice for playing the first two Pikmin.
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