Let’s Play #44: Pikmin

<< Previous LP: Advance Wars    –     Next LP: The Wonderful 101 >>

The title screen

Pikmin, a franchise I knew about from the days I used to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl and that without the LPs of the king Chuggaaconroy, I would have never gotten into. Probably.

The first game is what we’re talking about here: originally a launch title for the GameCube, Pikmin tells us the story of Olimar, captain of the small transport ship Dolphin who crash lands into a planet while on a relax trip. As a result of the landing, his ship has lost 30 pieces and because the air of the planet is toxic to him, Olimar has only 30 days to repair his ship and escape the planet.

To aid him in his task are the Pikmin: small half plant half animal creatures who, for some reason, are willing to do whatever Olimar says.

Olimar, as he heads out into the first area of the game with some red Pikmin under his command.

The way the game works, is that every day Olimar can explore one of the 5 areas of the planet and look for ship parts. He can only search during the day (at night most predators wake up and it would be too dangerous to explore) which lasts about 13 real time minutes.

During this time the player must manage the Pikmin in their posses to achieve as much as possible. Pikmin can do various things such as attacking enemies, bringing back pieces to the Dolphin and destroy gates. The more Pikmin are assigned to a task, the faster it’ll be completed.

In order to increase the number of Pikmin, Olimar must have them carry enemy corpses  or pellets back to the Pikmin’s onion, which sprouts more seeds Olimar can later pluck to obtain more little helpers. Bigger items to carry require bigger groups of Pikmin to carry so building a large army is important.

Pikmin also come in three main varieties: Red Pikmin are impervious to fire and can deal more damage when attacking enemies. Yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher to reach high places and are able to carry and throw bomb rock which can be use to do massive damage or destroy stone walls. Finally Blue Pikmin can walk underwater and will attempt to save drowning Pikmin throwing them toward safety. Knowing which time of Pikmin to assign to each task is the key to multitask efficiently.

Red Pikmin carrying several spoils and a ship part back to base.

Pikmin can also grow their little leaf on their head (usually through nectar); by transforming it into a bud and later a flower, they gain speed and attack power, making them able to complete tasks even faster.

As you can see the game is all about resource management and multitasking. You only have 30 days to recover 30 parts, which means a medium of 1 part per day, but recovering more than that means there will be more room for error in later areas where the enemies become harder and the pieces heavier.

That’s really all I have to say about Pikmin. It’s a short game after all, and not for everyone. But it’s one of those games you just have to play to see if it’s for you or not. The Wii remaster made the game more accessible with motion controls to aim where to throw Pikmin which is a glad addition, and that’s the version I’ve played. Totalling 30 ship pieces in 14 days I was able to break by previous record of 15 days.

Let’s Play’s stats:

-First episode aired on: Aug 29, 2019
-Last episode aired on: Sep 22, 2019
-Total time of Let’s Play: 4 hours and 14 minutes
-Number of episodes: 14