not even near the busy season yet and we've seen some
very decent games released this summer. Pikmin 2 is
another great entry. This is not only a good summertime
release, this is one of the best Cube games ever released
and I don't say that lightly. Nintendo has really
stepped up to the plate on this one and hit a homerun.
If you like the original Pikmin, you'll pee in your
pants with delight when you play Pikmin 2.
a real-time strategy game, the Pikmin series has developed
a control system that is easy to learn and operate
while still maintaining a great level of depth. That
same ease of control is present in this second installment
but this time around there's more things to control
and consequently more depth. There's also a lot of
new features such as the two-player co-op and verses
mode in addition to new Pikman characters, new playable
characters, new levels and an extended duration of
gameplay that eliminates the 30-day time limit imposed
on the original.
to be blown away by quality. From the opening cutscene
to the credits at the end of the game this is one
seriously polished presentation. Nintendo has not
overlooked any detail. The framerate is steady with
a hundred different characters running around at any
given time. The sound is presented in Dolby Pro Logic
II and visually the game supports progressive scan.
The characters all have a 3D quality to them similar
to the presentation in Chicken Run though the look
is not intended to replicate stop-frame animation.
The environments are huge and feature different themes
for each area.
where the last game left off, Captain Olimar has fixed
his spaceship freighter and has returned to his planet
only to find that his company is on the verge of bankruptcy.
With the assistant of a new goofy character, Louie,
he heads back to the planet of the Pikmin to find
enough treasure to save the outfit. With the help
of the Pikmin, the Captain and Louie must accumulate
at least a hundred-thousand-dollars worth of treasure,
most of which will be located in dangerous caves which
is where lots of the game will take place.
are plentiful. There are hundreds of them. There are
different colored Pikmin that have different attributes
which can be used in different situations. You can
assign Pikmin to do a variety of different jobs such
as fight enemies, build structures such as bridges
and locate treasure. As in the first game there are
yellow, red, and blue Pikmin, any of which can be
used for some basic assignments but you will have
to make sure that you save some of each color so they
can perform their special tasks when the time comes
- and it will. The yellow ones are impervious to electricity,
the red ones are fireproof and the blue are waterproof.
Obviously you'll send in the blue ones to cross a
river and the red ones through a wall of flames.
are two new colors of Pikmin added to this game. White
ones are fast and have the ability to neutralize poisons
as well as administer them. It will take less white
Pikmin to destroy an enemy with poison than it would
the traditional way. They are also the only Pikmin
that can see hidden treasure making them a very valuable
commodity and not one that you would take risking
lightly. Purple Pikmin are fatter and more powerful.
They do more damage but they also come in handy when
lots of weight is needed.
degree of control options is impressive. This isn't
like interfacing with a menu for micromanagement issues.
Every decision you're faced with requires some degree
of strategy. One decision always affects another but
there are so many different variables that the game
will, in all likelihood, never be played the same
twice. It may be linear but there are so many different
ways to complete your tasks that the gameplay always
feels open and fresh.
only can the Captain control the Pikmin but you can
divide control of them up between the Captain and
Louie at the press of a button. You can even take
the groups in different directions but a lot of times
you'll end up accidentally selecting Pikmin from the
other character's stash. This is just the nature of
the control scheme and it's something you'll have
to live with. The same goes for the few Pikman that
get stuck in or behind an obstacle when you're moving
them around. It's annoying but acceptable.
can play a two-player co-op or verses mode which adds
greatly to the replay value. The split screen mode
looks great and doesn't chug the framerate down regardless
of how many characters there are onscreen.
2 is a must-have for any Cube owner, regardless of
their ambivalence toward real-time strategy games.
Pikman 2 redefines the genre and makes it not only
accessible to the masses, but a whole lot of fun as