Ah, Pikmin 3. Captain Olimar’s third adventure has been mentioned on and off by Shigeru Miyamoto over the past four years, but we finally got to see it in action during Nintendo’s E3 conference this year. Although it started life as a Wii game, we’ve been assured that Pikmin 3 will be making full use of the Wii U’s capabilities, especially the Gamepad controller. Heading over to Nintendo’s booth, we were able to have our first go at the upcoming title, which is set to be released in the new console’s launch window. The first thing we noticed was that, if you’ve played either of the previous Pikmin games, then Pikmin 3 will feel very familiar. The flow of the gameplay and general atmosphere are the same as ever, as you lead your pack of Pikmin through the environment. Olimar himself is nowhere to be seen though, as Pikmin 3 features a new, unnamed character who remains a mystery at this point. For the third game, the number of Pikmin varieties has increased substantially. While we only saw the new Rock Pikmin during our session, a few more types (including flying Pikmin) have been promised. You can use Rock Pikmin to smash through obstacles, as well as do extra damage to hardened enemies.
As you explore the world, the Wii U Gamepad constantly displays a map of the area, which displays enemies and items that you can have your Pikmin collect. The game can be controller with either the Wii U Gamepad, or the existing Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers from the original Wii console. Regardless of your choice though, the Wii U Gamepad will always function as your map. Other than the Wii U Gamepad functionality, and the Rock Pikmin, there wasn’t a lot that differentiated Pikmin 3 from its predecessors in the demo we played. However, like the other two games, it was still a lot of fun. The game is shaping up decently so far, and with even more new types of Pikmin to come, it’ll be interesting to see how the final game turns out.