Pikmin

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JaySevenZero
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Pikmin

Post by JaySevenZero » December 31st, 2017, 4:30 pm

Here's where you can leave your thoughts regarding Pikmin for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

fieldy
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Re: 321: Pikmin

Post by fieldy » January 2nd, 2018, 9:53 pm

I got my first glimpse of Pikmin on a free orange VHS cassette given away on the front of what was then N64 magazine. I wasn’t really sure what to make of it, this was a new IP from Nintendo and in amongst the footage of Super Smash Bros Melee and Luigi’s mansion I quickly disregarded this Japanese curio.

A few months later as I was becoming a GameCube fanatic I managed to play Pikmin for the first time at a local CEX who had an import console and a copy of the game. The controls seemed slightly awkward and clunky but the games detailed environments and unique strategy elements had me very interested.

When Pikmin released not long after the European GC launch I took a chance and picked a copy up and to my surprise got very hooked. Not only did the environments look lush and detailed (I heard they mapped photos of Shigeru Miyamoto’s garden into the game!) but the gameplay kept me engrossed for many hours trying to judge how many of each colour of Pikmin to take out on daily adventures to tackle enemies or hunt for ship parts was very addictive. All this whilst desperately trying to avoid Pikmin losses (you never get over seeing there little ghosts float off into the afterlife!) A special mention must go to the soundtrack as well which kept me humming along for hours, I liked it so much so that I was to bought a copy on import and still listen to this day!
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Jobobonobo
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Re: 321: Pikmin

Post by Jobobonobo » January 12th, 2018, 11:01 pm

Real time strategy was never my cup of tea. I find the sheer amount of multitasking super stressful and as such the genre was just too intimidating for me. Leave it to Nintendo then, to make such a niche genre more accessible to amateurs such as myself. Its combination of it being not only a new Nintendo IP but one created by Miyamoto alongside the cute story and beautiful natural setting piqued my curiosity. The inspiration Miyamoto got from observing the ants in his garden going about their business resonated with me greatly as the insect world is still a major source of fascination to me that I have had since childhood and playing with such miniature protagonists would give a fresh perspective that not many games explore.

The gameplay was just the introduction to real time strategy I needed. The pikmin are charming little creatures to control and the use of different coloured pikmin to navigate the environment and solve puzzles was pulled off in a very satisfying way. I could multitask here with no difficulties with one group breaking down a wall, another harvesting prey to make more pikmin and yet another gathering ship parts. The difficulty curve was satisfying with new challenges being introduced as you were getting used to the mechanics at a nice pace. The 30 day structure brought on that stressfulness that I usually associate with the genre but surprisingly I collected all the parts well within the time limit. Bosses were always fun to fight and like everyone else I was heartbroken seeing the little pikmin souls float away as they were crushed by some giant beast.

So seeing how I enjoyed Pikmin so much, have I now become more into real time strategy? Oddly, no. Aside from having steeper difficulty curves, I find the likes of Age of Empire, Command and Conquer and Starcraft also do not appeal to me from an aesthetic viewpoint. A large part of Pikmin's appeal was you controlling these cute tiny creatures surviving in the wilderness on a miniature scale. So I am a big fan of the series but I am still not into the RTS as a genre. Again that just seems to be Nintendo's way; taking nearly any genre and making it appeal more universal. So regardless if you are into RTS or not I would recommend Pikmin to anyone who wants to try something a little bit different. It is still to this day, one of Nintendo's more unusual franchises and is a great example of how unique the results are when Nintendo tries something a little outside its comfort zone.

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Craig
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Re: 321: Pikmin

Post by Craig » February 5th, 2018, 11:55 am

Pikmin for me is a wonderfully charming and vibrant game that makes me "ooo" and "ahh" in wonder at it`'s playful spirit , but also turns me into an anxious nervous wreck. I've no problem with the time limit. On the contrary, it's a nice way to frame things, gives me the little kick I need to not dilly dally, and with a developer like Nintendo I was never in doubt that they gave me the time I needed.

The problem is the Pikmin. The heartwarming, naive, loyal Pikmin. There is so much character pushed into their designs with how they move and sound, you kind of start believing they are living things helping you. And you let them down. You always let them down.

I hate to see my Pikmin die. It sounds silly, but I get a knot in my stomach when I see that little Pikmin ghost and I know it's my fault. I don't care when Kratos falls to the hands of Zeus, or Mario plummets from another cliff to a grisly end because I am that character.

But with Pikmin, it's not me that's dying. It's these little guys who have placed their trust in me. Who work selflessly to help me get home. And it's my job to keep them safe. And I let them down.

The worst part is their death cry. It is not a scream of anguish, nor a yelp of pain, but their final breath is a gasp of mild disappointment.

I'm sorry guys.

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Re: 321: Pikmin

Post by Suits » May 16th, 2018, 9:24 am

Pikmin, I thought I’d played previously, however, I think I was just getting tricked by the fact that I had played the 3rd entry in the series on the Wii U. I’ve had it in my collection for a while now and like most, was having trouble fitting it into my backlog of contenders to get through. I finally decided to go back to a game that has lured me in with its reputation and lineage in time for the podcast.

I played the GameCube version on original hardware.

At it’s heart its beautifully simple I think. It’s a simple map with multiple tasks that need to be carried out in a certain manner, with certain tools.

The wonder and game comes with the fact that you need to decipher what order to do these tasks correctly. For me the RTS side of things becomes addictive in this respect. Things like building an army, setting up a secure base and venturing out to conquer your enemy bases – collect your space ships pieces, all becomes very satisfying as you tick things off the list and progress forward.

The music is decent, nothing too grand and a few tunes seemed to get close to grinding on me as the hours ticked by of my time spent with them. The exception is the 3rd area however, The Forrest Navel – wonderful little catchy tune this.

The tune that Olimar whistles to control the Pikmin is also very cute, although I kept wanting to finish it in a slightly different tune to what he actually whistles – not sure why, there must be a subliminal tune in my head that starts the same but ends differently.

Olimar’s animations for whistling and dismissing the Pikmin is ever so slightly different, it’s the same whistle, just a different hand gesture – very slick I thought and only noticeable when Olimar’s is facing the camera and zoomed in. Not always noticed, nice attention to detail here though that only the hours spent players may notice.

One odd note is the sound that The Dolphin makes when it takes off after each day, its so weak and soft, it just seems so out of place and I would always notice it.

The controls are interesting, they go against modern instincts to control the Camera with the aptly named ’C’ stick and use a sort of single steer method, which works and by the end of the game you become quite proficient with it’s shortcomings to make use of it – it’s fiddly I feel but it works. I become quite used to pumping the left trigger on the GameCube controller as I would zoom around the landscapes to keep things in perspective.

Some of the more intricate sections require precise, confidant inputs, to which I often found lacking in my own skill to call upon when required. I like to think that after the hours I’d spent with the game I’d have been better under pressure when things got spicy but it would often all go to mush and result in a restart.

Other times where delicate controls are essential, when throwing Pikmin up to high level areas, or guiding them over ledges can be menacing and offer some of the biggest challenges in my patience with the game. Using a sort of combination of walking, whistling and guessing as to how their going to move. Sheep Herding Simulator 3000. Also, selecting a particular Pikmin from your herd, say a Yellow with a bomb can become maddening until, you realise that best way is to dismiss them all then touch the single Pikmin you need and do it that way.

The Pikmin themselves are a pest at times, minds of their own, either running off into grass for amber, or deciding to suddenly go and pick up a pellet or creature carcass to take home is annoying, especially when in combat or under the leadership of a thoughtfully planned out strict mission. This is, I suppose, what it’s all about, they’re Pikmin after all.

Combat, in the end, often came down to sheer brute force. Apart from a few of the larger battles, which required a certain tactic to become victorious.

Often, I would just simply throw as many red Pikmin as I had at the enemy, with my Pikmin Claw technique I would move my left hand so that my thumb would control the Pikmin via a whistle on the C stick, then I could then throw them at breakneck pace at my target. The A button on the GameCube controller is one of the best in the business I think.

The game I feel only really gets going once you unlock the 4th area – Distant Spring. This is when things seemed much less of a cake walk and at times previous to this, seemed a little dull. This is where I had to take a step back and started setting objectives to do within a day and once I’d started planning out my manoeuvres and they were becoming obviously successful, the game became much more rewarding and addictive.

I eventually manged to beat the game with all items collected and 2 days left to spare.

Many Pikmin were lost to bring me this enjoyable experience.


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ratsoalbion
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Re: 321: Pikmin

Post by ratsoalbion » May 16th, 2018, 9:41 am

Based on my recent play, I'd say that you were very economical there, Suits.
Not to disrespect those 910 Pikmin that gave their lives in order to see Olimar leave their planet of course.
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Re: 321: Pikmin

Post by Suits » May 16th, 2018, 7:37 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:
May 16th, 2018, 9:41 am
Based on my recent play, I'd say that you were very economical there, Suits.
Oh, but the atrocities that I have committed



**just didn’t save that run :lol: .
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Re: Our next podcast recording (26.5.18) - 321: Pikmin

Post by MHninjabear » May 23rd, 2018, 5:35 pm

I can not accurately recall when I first played pikmin, I am fairly certain I got my hands on it soon after its release date, but I was a young child and doubt I comprehended the mechanics. I know around the beginning of highschool my twin played most of the way through it and I casually observed. Now at 22 I bought a gamecube to access my inaccessible, but decent, game cube library.

Upon booting up the game I was greeted with what had become a nostalgic tune and was determined to guide the newly stranded captain Olimar on a world spanning adventure. I knew enough about the game going in this time to understand what it was I should do, that being, raise a plant army to conquer nature and reclaim the parts of my ship. I also remembered that this game provided a timer to make sure I traveled this beautiful world with purpose and did not get distracted sending my flowery fleet on quest to subjugate the local wildlife. Exploring each map provided new and fun challenges for Olimar and the pikmin. For the most part finding ways to wrestle away parts from nature and back to the dolphin, his ship, which is surely a nod to the gamecube itself, provided a decent level of challenge.

I found the gameplay to be intuitive and with the help of some maps I was able to leave the planet with pikmin in time well before life support on the dolphin failed. I am sure some would say using online help takes away from the challenge, but the pikmin and Olimar's journey more than made up for a curbed challenge. Upon leaving the planet and seeing my score, I realized that one more challenge awaited me. The challenge was Emperor Bulblax. My army was primarily interested in the acquisition of space fairing technology, but when push came to shove they could fight back. The emperor consumed many a hapless pikmin, but with some strategic planning, and a possible reloading of a save file, they conquered the emperor and Olimar was able to return home.

Pikmin proved to be a relatively
short game, but it provided a fun palet cleanser as I try to play through many JRPGs. I look forward to getting my hands on Pikmin 2 and 3, but until then I will keep choosing Olimar in Smash Bros. Wii U knowing full well the might of Olimar's pikmin army!

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