|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nintendo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 11, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
However, each day only lasts 15 minutes in real-time and, honestly, the time constraint is still very much an albatross throughout the adventure. Chances are folks who are new to the game won't successfully save Olimar on their first playthrough. In the original Pikmin for GameCube, if you could not retrieve each of the 30 ship parts within the allotted time, there was no going back. This issue has been somewhat rectified by allowing you to go back in time to any of the previous days you've already played. However, once you go back to a specific point in time, you'll have to progress forward from that day - there's no skipping around. Additionally, anything you've gained past that point - ship parts, Pikmin, etc. - won't carry over with you should you decide to start from a day earlier on in the adventure.
Aside from the ability to go back in time and the game's new controls, New Play Control! Pikmin hasn't evolved at all. This is merely a port, so if you've already played the previous iteration, don't expect a vastly new experience here. The gameplay still holds up, and for those folks who haven't yet experienced this cute and quirky adventure, there's plenty to enjoy.
However, Pikmin also shows its age in many ways. There is a radar system, which comes in handy, but micromanagement is very limited. Olimar has to be in the presence of Pikmin to control them, so you can't simply click on a map and command them from a remote location. It's a design choice that admittedly adds to the charm of the game, but considering the very limited timeframe within which you have to work, the narrow scope can also make for a lot of tedium and frustration.
On the production front, it's surprising just how well Pikmin holds up on Wii. Regardless of how early on in GameCube's lifecycle Pikmin was released, it was obviously one of the system's prettiest titles. The photo-realistic style still looks quite attractive today, though the closer you zoom in on the environments, the less appealing the game becomes. Leaves, flowers, water - these elements, though, are still very impressive and look as good as anything else we've seen on Wii.
The aural presentation has been, and always will be, a wonderful addition to Nintendo's library of themes. There aren't any grand orchestrations as heard in Super Mario Galaxy, but the music here sounds great and works perfectly alongside the strange and mysterious world of Pikmin. All of the ambient sound effects and creature noises blend together to lend a relaxing and immersive backdrop for the adventure.
New Play Control! Pikmin (and soon-to-be-released Pikmin 2) seems to be Nintendo's way of introducing the series to its new legion of Wii owners before the inevitable unveiling of Pikmin 3. For those folks who've already experienced the game, perhaps there isn't enough here to warrant a purchase. After all, New Play Control! Pikmin 2 is already lined up for release, and like its GameCube counterpart, it's sure to be the better game. However, for anyone who hasn't yet had a chance to give Pikmin a go, this is a great opportunity to jump into the series. The new Wii controls work great, and though the production values have aged a bit, it's still a fine game worth going back to.
CCC Freelance Writer