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PixlBit's 2013 Sneak Preview: Old Friends

Don't discount these games just because you've already seen their tricks.

Pikmin 3

The title of this section of our 2013 sneak preview is “Old Friends” but in the case of Pikmin 3 the most apt title would be “Long Lost Friends”. After all, it’s been over 8 years since we last saw Captain Olimar and his little plant helpers in their own adventure. While it looks like Olimar is sitting this dance out, it’s very nice to see the return of one of Nintendo’s most eclectic series.

I’d love to give you the skinny on this game and all of the new bells and whistles, but the Big N has been rather tight lipped on the subject. We know there are new pikmin, with the rock variety being the most prominent so far. Pink pikmin appear to be able to fly, which is sure to add a ton of new strategy to the game. But by far the biggest addition to the gameplay is controlling multiple leader characters. You can throw these extra partners just like you would a pikmin, but once they’re in position you can assume direct control. This will surely lead to some brain twisting time management puzzles, so thankfully both the pikmin and the leader characters now operate with a little bit of autonomy. Put a group to a task like, say, harvesting a certain item, and they will work on that task until it’s completed. No need to sit around micro managing every little action this time.

It’s safe to say that the game will benefit from the shiny novelty of a Nintendo console game being displayed in HD. Pikmin 3 looks impressive, and the lighting and water effects are straight up gorgeous. The Wii U's various controller configurations are supported, but the real star is sure to be the GamePad, which feels like it was made for games like this.

Pikmin 3 was originally supposed to be out within Nintendo’s super long “launch window,” around March, but it was recently delayed into the next quarter. Expect it between April and July. Welcome back, little guys. We missed you!

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