Nintendo: Make Pikmin 3 for Wii Now; Everyone Else: Play Pikmin, I'm Serious

By Chris Remo, Jan 09, 2008 2:27am PST

You have seen the news that Captain Olimar of Pikmin fame will be brawling away with the rest of the Smash Bros. crew. It's a great addition to the game, and my friends and I had actually discussed amongst ourselves an Olimar with usable Pikmin in Smash.

What is far more tantalizing, at least to me, however, is that Nintendo has not forgotten about Miyamoto's oft-unsung modern classic RTS/action/puzzle hybrid extravaganza. We need Pikmin 3 on Wii. WE NEED IT. Way back in 2005, before the Wii controller was unveiled, Miyamoto said, "The interface we're creating for the Revolution is well suited for Pikmin--I think it would be a good match."

The designer followed up in this vein during last year's E3 in July, saying, "I definitely would like to do something with [Pikmin], and I think the Wii interface in particular is very well suited to that franchise." It sounds like the chances are good, but also that nothing is really in the works yet.

So why the hell not? Nintendo has already done amazing things with its existing franchises on Wii--namely, Mario, Metroid, and Zelda--but Pikmin has a few more things going for it.

Franchise fatigue

For one thing, it is a fairly recent franchise, and one that never got the exposure it so dearly deserved. A lot of hardcore gamers who own Wii are going through franchise fatigue; though the Big N's flagship efforts have been uniformly excellent, it's going to be a while before another round of them is appropriate.

Many who complain about Nintendo not having created new franchises in the last generation aren't even aware of Pikmin, which is a tragedy, but one that could be partially remedied with a Wii game.

Wii would like to play

Then, there's the control issue: with the possible exception of Metroid Prime, Pikmin is more obviously suited to Wii than any other Nintendo franchise, by far. It is one of the only games I played that has a real-time strategy core and yet feels completely at home on a console system. This could be made all the better with the Wii remote.

Imagine using the Wii pointer and B trigger to click and drag a bounding box to select a group of Pikmin, then pointing and pressing A to direct them. Imagine not making a grenade toss motion with the Wii remote to throw your Pikmin. (That part is important, Nintendo. If you really need that stuff, make it so you shake the remote to throw off enemy Pikmin in multiplayer. That's fine.)

Wii would like to play online

One of the most frustrating and difficult-to-remedy deficiencies on the part of most gamers I meet is that among those who have played Pikmin or Pikmin 2 on GameCube--already a low percentage--hardly any have played Pikmin 2's multiplayer. Few even know it exists.

This is an absolute bona fide fucking disgrace.

Pikmin 2's multiplayer is among the best same-screen head-to-head that has ever graced gaming, and probably my personal favorite in that category. It's a blend of capture the flag, resource management, real-time strategy, and deception. Like many Nintendo multiplayer games, you get out what you put in. It can be accessible, but it lends itself to great depth if you and your opponent are of sufficient skill.

Nintendo, all you have to do is take what you had in Pikmin 2, and put it online. I'll suffer through the friend codes. You can include some new maps if you want--each of Pikmin 2's maps comes with several randomly-selected variants, so they already go a long way--and maybe some more customization options, but that core gameplay and balance is gold.

Do yourself a favor

Gamers, go try it. Now that the Wii has temporarily blown its load, at least for a month until Brawl is released, you can catch up on some of this GameCube stuff. Learn how the single-player game works with Pikmin or Pikmin 2, then move onto 2's multiplayer with a buddy who has done the same. You will thank me, and then you too will beg Nintendo not to let this gem of a series become forgotten.

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