Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Nintendo 3DS Hey! Pikmin Full Review


While Pikmin 4 is under development, Nintendo has released a brilliant spin off from the Pikmin series - Hey! Pikmin for Nintendo 3DS, which will be out on Friday 28th July 2017 (just 2 more days!), and we are really excited to be given the opportunity to try it out before the launch.

As Pikmin newbies, we immediately fell in love with the super cute, friendly and helpful Pikmin (it's naughty of Captain Olimar to be using these friendly creatures the way he did though!). We really enjoyed the side-scrolling platform game that has some very unique game play features (unique to us anyway), especially 6 years old Clay. He is now at the end of Sector 8 (I think there are 9) already and we only had it for about 3 weeks (for someone this young and only allowed to play a couple of hours each day, that's pretty impressive)! This is because he loved it so much (he even defeated the boss that I was stuck on!)!

Hey! Pikmin isn't entirely the same as the original Pikmin series, with the most notable difference being that there is no time limit like in Pikmin to complete the game. It makes Hey! Pikmin a great starter game for Pikmin newbies like us.

Read on to find out more.


Basic information, Story and Game Play:

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS Hey! Pikmin (pegi 3, RRP £34.99, bundle and amiibos available) will be released on this Friday 28th July, 2017, and pre-orders are available now on Nintendo's web store and all other good game stores.


Hey! Pikmin is a single player game where players play as Captain Olimar who has crash landed on a planet where a race of cute creatures live. (According to the background story, Captain Olimar has been calling these same creatures he found in his home planet Pikmin, because they resemble his favourite pikpik carrots).

Unlike other side-scrolling platform games where the game ends when the player has cleared all the levels, the game only ends when Captain Olimar has collected enough Sparklium to fix his spaceship, with the help of the Pikmin.


Apart from using the basic Nintendo 3DS controls, players will find that they will be using the touch screen quite a lot, and sometimes the stylus pen will make it easier as well.

The platform covers both main and touch screen during play, which is great to feature the stunning graphics, although we do sometimes forget that only the bottom screen is interactive (attempting to tap on the main screen is still happening with this game..)!


Save/ Load Data:

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

There are 3 files players can use to start their game. As far as we know, the game will save automatically, updating the file that you have chosen. Since you can replay each Area, we haven't found the need to use another slot to save the game, so we each created our own file, although we all ended up playing on Clay's (thanks to him, I could take all these pictures for this review)!


Captain Olimar and Pikmin:

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

It appeared that Captain Olimar isn't very active (unlike Mario!), and he can only go left and right (he can't jump), climb up and down vines, use a whistle (to call for Pikmin to join his side) and throw things (or more specifically, the Pikmin). Basically, he's the brain.

With the help of the very willing Pikmin however, he can reach places that he otherwise couldn't, perform certain strategy (like creating a bridge), collecting Sparklium that are out of his reach (see below), and defeat enemies who see Pikmin (and Captain Olimar) as food.

Pikmin normally hide in nests or rocks, etc. But when they hear Captain Olimar's whistle blowing, they will be more than happy to join his ranks and perform tasks.

There are 5 types of Pikmin in Hey! Pikmin, with each of them providing additional skill that Captain Olimar can exploit (haha I know, I'm not so keen in him! But I guess he's not really that bad):

Red Pikmin that are fire resistant
Blue Pikmin that are the only ones that can swim
Yellow Pikmin that are electricity resistant
Rock Pikmin that can break rocks
Winged Pikmin that can fly

While there are more than 1 type of Pikmin in the group, players will be able to choose which type of Pikmin Captain Olimar will throw next by clicking on their icon (located on the bottom left of the touch screen). This is important as I have been drowning Rock Pikmin by mistake a few times...

As explained on Nintendo Wii U Pikmin 3's site: Pikmin's strength are at the maximum when the plant on top of their head blooms. Although I'm not sure how they grow in Hey! Pikmin.


Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

At the end of each Area (the game is split into Sectors, then Areas), Pikmin will be collected and left at the Pikmin Park, which is like a sanctuary for the Pikmin, unreachable by creatures that eats them. So Captain Olimar do save them during his exploration in some way.


Collecting Sparklium:

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Captain Olimar aka players' aim is to collect enough Sparklium to make their spaceship work again. These can be done by collecting the shiny Sparklium Seeds (shaped like acorns), special items that provides a lot of Sparklium, and items that are hidden in the Pikmin Park that players can assign rescued Pikmin to find, while players explore other Areas.


Area Selection Screen
Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

When players found enough of the special items, some Area will unlock bonus Areas where players can gather bonus Sparklium or more Pikmin.


Adventure:

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

To start his journey, Captain Olimar will be dropped off in Sectors of the planet, and clear each Area in the Sector one by one.

During his exploration in an Area, a map can be toggled on/ off. Interestingly, this appears at the top screen rather than the bottom, but it makes a lot of sense. We prefer to keep it off, although it does not hinder you playing the game.


Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

When Captain Olimar reaches the end of the Area, he and the Pikmin he found will be collected. The Pikmin will be dropped off at the Pikmin Park as well.


Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Players don't need to complete the Area to leave it though. You can leave any time you want, which is handly especially when you are replaying the Area.


Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Captain Olimar and the Pikmin, unfortunately, can die. Once Captain Olimar dies, players can choose to play the Area again from the start or return the the Area Selection screen.


Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Captain Olimar will be facing a boss at the last Area in each Sector, and players will be using Pikmin's help to defeat these adorable bosses.


Level Up (sort of):


Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

I'm not quite sure how the levelling system works in Hey! Pikmin. I suspect that when you have collected a certain amount of Sparklium, Captain Olimar will kind of level up by having his Energy Gauge (oxygen tank?) upgraded. This is very useful as enemy creatures will survive longer later on in the game.

On a side note, Energy Gauge can be replenished when Captain Olimar eats a heart shape fruit found during his adventure.


Collection:

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

All the Pikmin, creatures and treasures spotted and/ or collected during your journey will be logged, and you can check back and see if you've missed anything.


amiibo:

2 super cute amiibo figures will be released together with Hey! Pikmin - the Pikmin amiibo and Captain Olimar amiibo.

Both amiibos allow players to call for extra Pikmin to help during any Areas, and the Pikmin amiibo can be levelled up as well to increase the number of Pikmin players can call.

Other amiibo figures from the Super Mario Collection, Animal Crossing and Splatoon can be used as well to unlock secrets!


Others:

Nintendo 3DS, Hey! Pikmin, video games suitable for kids

As mentioned above, Hey! Pikmin's graphics isn't just cute but stunning as well. We absolutely love it that they feature the adventure on a full screen, using both the main and touch screen. The pictures I have taken doesn't do the graphics justice, especially when I had to edit them so that they show better on the post here.

Pictures are enhanced with a stronger contrast, but you can see from the above the difference. The left is more like what you'll see on a Nintendo 3DS handheld system (and all the handheld consoles in the family), where as the right one is digitally enhanced.

I really love the soft background graphics, and there is sunlight shimmering through too.


Also worth mentioning is the funny dialog (example: "the only part of the ship that works is the captain's seat") and smooth to read information in the game. I'm not sure if it's translated from Japanese, but if it is, they did a really good job at it.


Overall:

We absolutely adore Nintendo 3DS Hey! Pikmin. The first time the kids played the game, they went on for ages about how cute the Pikmin are, and how sorry they felt that they were being thrown around (with some eventually killed or eaten).

Even though the idea of throwing Pikmin around and watching them being eaten is slightly disturbing, there is a sense of serenity while playing the game. Even the soundtrack (mostly) makes you feel calm.

The game is pegi 3, but I think really young children will most likely need help defeating enemies especially bosses. Otherwise it's quite a cute game for little ones. Clay really adores it and always couldn't wait to play it again.

Overall we would absolutely recommend this game, especially it's releasing in time for the holidays. Fans of Pikmin will see some similarity of Pikmin 3 in Hey! Pikmin, but the game play I heard is different. Even so, I think it will still be a great game to quinch their thirst for Pikmin 4. For us, we will be eagerly waiting for Pikmin 4 to come out, while we try to complete Hey! Pikmin this holiday.