I went from liking Pikmin to loving Pikmin with Pikmin 4. It’s just one of those games that I think is near flawless. It may have lost some of its difficulty, but I think all the things we gained in exchange are worth it.
As a newcomer (mostly) to the series, Pikmin 4 has been fantastic to experience. It oozes charm, and I love how it eased me into the action throughout the campaign. While Pikmin 3 Deluxe didn't click with me, I'm glad I got into the series with Pikmin 4, and will be playing Pikmin 1 and 2 in the near future on Switch. This is a gem, and another essential from Nintendo in 2023.
Pikmin 4 brings back a storied franchise in a way that will appeal to players both old and new. The significant amount of freedom allows players to craft their own journey with so much to be discovered. New modern tools help assist players by making the experience more streamlined without ever feeling like hand-holding.
When it comes to iterating on the standard Pikmin gameplay established by the first release, Pikmin 4 is the smoothest, best-controlling, best-looking version, and all the additions are worthwhile and fun to play. The variety of tasks, which you can tackle in the order of your choice, prevents you from doing the same thing for too long, and I enjoyed saving other survivors and expanding my home base roster. Pikmin may never rise to the top of the Nintendo heap, and it’s probably unfair to expect it ever could, but the latest Pikmin is the best effort yet.
We understand better why it took so long for a new opus. Pikmin 4 is an exemplary sequel and the gaming world would certainly be much better off if all licenses followed its example. While keeping its DNA, the title does not just offer a few anecdotal novelties: it explores new horizons. Something to delight both fans of the license and perhaps tempt a new audience. In any case, trying out the Pikmin formula with this new opus is clearly your best option. Pikmin 4 indeed surpasses the already excellent Pikmin 3, and this for our greatest pleasure. But we wouldn't have said no to a little visual refresh and the return of the coop mode of its predecessor. Two big shadows that come to tarnish an experience yet sublimated on all the rest.
That story, like most of Pikmin 4, is gentle and unobtrusive. It's all just very agreeable and sweet, and there's a certain gratification that comes from directing your little army of plant-people to gather treasures like fruits and Game Boy Advance cartridges. The more Pikmin 4 leans into fashioning itself after a more traditional game, with competition and fail-states, the more prone it is to getting in its own way. Sometimes, it's enough to simply have a relaxing activity.
I think Pikmin 4 is practically the perfect pikmin, and the best in the series by far. Although the game is rather easy, the rewind feature and upgrades are optional so you can avoid them. The co-op is a bit lack luster at times but vs dandori battles are great. The game is perfect for speed running due to its design and reliability. New features like battles, dandori challenges and night missions are fun and ice pikmin are useful. I liked caves in Pikmin 2 so it is nice for them to return and the bosses are very fun to fight. Overall I love pikmin games and how you manage tasks, grow and fight. Sage leaf and shipwreck tale are also really fun for post game content
Pikmin 4 is the opus so attedu by the players. It is a license known for its incredible gameplay and landscape but also for its relatively short lifespan. Unfortunately, Pikmin 4 is no exception and allows itself to remove game modes from the Wii U opus. We also note an absence of the player mode (which is nevertheless present in the Dandori mode) and a difficulty quite absent. Despite some welcome additions (night mode, ice pikmin, the return of the caves). Pikmin regresses by losing the good features of the 3 and the Deluxe by focusing on the main story. The adventure is still very good and is an almost-completion of the license but it’s a shame for the multi.
I'm a huge Pikman fan. I played 1 and 2 on the Gamecube, 1 and 2 on the Wii, Pikmin 3 on the Wii U, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe on the Switch. This is easily the worst Pikmin game out of the series.
1. The controls are overcomplicated and poorly implemented
This game has a lot of buttons that you can press. I found myself fumbling the controls 10 hours into the game still. There's just too many buttons to remember, all of which are extremely contextual. The game stops you from throwing more than the minimum Pikmin required onto objects.
2. The dog takes too much focus away
There's a progression tree for the dog, and the dog can pretty much do everything the Pikmin can do. Pikmin latch onto the dog, which takes away the feeling of having a mass army trailing you. Some tasks REQUIRE the dog too.
3. There is a really bad auto-lock on in this game. You can't turn it off.
There's an auto-lock feature that causes your cursor to snap onto enemies and objects. It's really sticky and I couldn't get used to it. Some may find this helpful if they have trouble aiming in games, but it can be really hard to target the enemy you want with the auto-lock. The manual lock-on isn't great as it randomly decides to disengage.
4. The game constantly backseats you
The characters in this game never shut up. They will constantly backseat you. If you leave a Pikmin unplucked, they will remind you to pluck it every few minutes. If a single Pikmin catches fire, they will tell you to whistle it back. They state the obvious no matter how many hours you've been playing for.
5. The tutorials drag out for forever
Pikmin 1, 2, and 3 gave you access to Pikmin and the core "Pikmin" experience of growing your army fairly quickly after a minimum of 2 minutes. In this game, it takes about 30 minutes (if you don't skip the dialogue, about 10 minutes if you do) in order for you to get access to an Onion and grow your Pikmin. Even after this, the game constantly interrupts you for another hour with cutscenes telling you what each and everything does.
6. The game tells you what Pikmin to use
The game recommends what type of Pikmin you should bring. Every area in this game can be completed with the three recommended Pikmin. The dungeons in this game also tell you what Pikmin you should bring, and automatically sets your squad of Pikmin to those types. You can change it after the fact, but there's hardly any ever reason to change your Pikmin up. On top of this, there is a 3 Pikmin type limit that stops you from mixing up your squad in unique ways. There is no strategy or thought to what Pikmin you want to bring out.
7. The writing in this game is atrocious, and the story is convoluted.
All of the dialogue in this game is completely flat. It's not even memorable or laughable bad. It's just garbage text with no meaning constantly being spewed at the screen. All of the characters are one note. The story retcons the events of Pikmin 1 and so it desperately tries to make the stories of 2 and 3 make sense, but it fails to do that.
8. The game is too long and has no replayability
The entire game is progression based. Once I put this game down I got sick to my stomach at the thought of having to play the game again and do the progression mechanics all over again. The length of the game actively harms the good of it. To 100% the game's campaign, it takes about 20 hours. Speaking of which...
9. There is no mission mode
The campaign in this game is more or less the only way to play. You can play the Dandori Battles mode against your friend or against a CPU, but you have to unlock all the maps through the story. Get bent if you want to download this game and play against a friend. Gotta unlock it all first.
10. The co-op in this game is not true co-op
Player 2 is forced to throw pebbles and items. They don't get to play as a captain.
11. Too many puzzles
Half the caves in this game are puzzles. Not a whole lot of strategy, just puzzling. Some may enjoy this more, but I didn't.
12. The music in this game is generic and forgettable
The music in this game is... can I say this? Can I just say it's flat out garbage? Not a single one of the songs stuck with me. Almost all of it is generically whimsical. Any returning tracks are butchered beyond belief and don't fit in the game.
13. You don't blast off into lower orbit
This is a "returning fans" opinion, but one of the most memorable things about Pikmin was flat-out removed. You instead go off and land somewhere else on the planet. Doesn't ruin the game, but it's still worthwhile to mention, I think.
Character limit stops me from talking about the positives, but the negatives end up outweighing the positives in the end. Pikmin 4 feels less like a strategy game and more like a puzzle adventure game. It feels like it wanted to be mainstream and streamlined too much and so all in all it was a fairly forgettable experience compared to the original trilogy.
SummaryChart a mysterious planet with curious plantlike Pikmin that come in different types in Pikmin 4 - like the brand-new Ice Pikmin! The capable canine, Oatchi, will also help to overcome big challenges.