"Nearly Eight Years Later and Still a Whole Lot of Fun"
For me, one of the most noticeable events in 2004 occurred on August 30. That was the day Pikmin 2 originally launched for the Nintendo GameCube. Following that date, I frequently spent my days eschewing reality and exploring the vibrant world, discovering secrets, meeting Pikmin, conquering enemies, and getting traumatized at the sight of dying troops (oh, Nintendo, you sadistic company that can make me watch cute little creatures die and still persuade me to play your game).
Yeah, Pikmin 2 was my fix back in 2004. Fast-forward to 2012, and Nintendo has given me, as well as Pikmin fans across the nation, a chance to experience the joy of the sequel once more on the current generation. So is Nintendo Selects: Pikmin 2 on the Wii as fun as it was back in the day? In short, yes (back in the day…boy, I feel old now).
Just to set the record straight, this version of Pikmin 2 is not much of a remake but more of a mere port. The game looks and sounds the same as it did in 2004, and with the exception of the new Wii controls (more on those in a moment), the game plays the same. In short, if you've experienced it, you'll know what to expect in this tale of Captain Olimar as he, along with his partner Louie, return to the Pikmin's planet to collect treasure and pay off their employer's massive debt.
If you missed it the first time around, here's what you need to know about Pikmin 2's gameplay. Whereas the original Pikmin required you to complete your objective within 30 days, the sequel gives you as many days as you need, leaving you to go at your own pace. The days still have a time-limit, meaning you still have to plan out how you will make use of your Pikmin forces. Five types of Pikmin (fireproof Reds, electricity-resistant Yellows, water-savvy Blues, poison-proof Whites, and heavy-hitting Purples) are at your disposal, and you can assign them to perform various tasks, whether they be breaking down walls, building bridges, fighting enemies, or simply carrying treasure back to your ship. Assigning tasks is made easier by the ability to switch between Olimar and Louie, allowing you to split your Pikmin into two groups and cover more ground faster.
While there is plenty to do throughout the game's four main areas, most of the action takes place underground in the game's many dungeon-like caverns. Below the surface, a good chunk of the game's highlights, from discovering new Pikmin types to fighting memorable bosses, take place. Free from the time constraints above ground, players are free to explore as long as they want. Nevertheless, details such as being unable to replace fallen Pikmin keep from the caverns from feeling too easy.
Like I said before, the only real change that has been made to the core experience in the jump to Wii is the implementation of Wii controls. Whereas moving and aiming were controlled by the control stick in the GameCube version, this time around you can use the Wii Remote's pointer to aim where you throw Pikmin, allowing for more freedom of movement. Another new addition to Nintendo Selects: Pikmin 2 is the fact that you can use Olimar's whistle (used to call Pikmin back to you) beyond the range of your throwing reticule, which makes it easier to round up stray or preoccupied Pikmin. It also means less backtracking back and forth to get your forces together, allowing you to use your limited time in more productive ways.
Outside of Pikmin 2's main campaign, there is a Challenge mode and a two-player Capture the Flag-style mode. Consisting of 30 mini-dungeons, Challenge mode puts your Pikmin-management skills to the test by tasking you to complete each dungeon in a limited amount of time, and with a preset group of Pikmin, at the same time gunning for high score determined by how much treasure you collect, how many Pikmin survive, and how much time is left on the clock when you finish. In the case of the two-player mode, players engage each other in the ultimate battle of strategy and planning. Each player is given a marble, the objective being stealing the other's marble whilst defending their own, while collecting cherries that can cause a slew of unpleasant effects to befall their opponent.
In terms of performance, the game holds up well, but twice I experienced a noticeable frame rate slowdown. In both cases, the slowdown eased up quickly, but that might not be the case for other players. Also of note was a strange glitch that occurred following the first slowdown, which resulted in me watching in bewilderment as a Blue Pikmin conjured Purple Pikmin out of thin air and chucked them like Olimar. I apologize for digressing, but I thought you readers would get a kick out of that strange anecdote.
Aside from the occasional slowdown and delightfully quirky glitch, I find little to complain about Nintendo Selects: Pikmin 2. Sure, there were sometimes when it felts a little easy, but that was usually before I came upon a cavern or boss that would feast on my Pikmin if I became cocky (oh, the horror. I can still hear their little screams!).
Basically, I love Pikmin 2. I loved it back on the GameCube, and I love it just as much on the Wii. It's highly accessible for gamers new to the strategy genre, yet comes with enough nuances to make for a satisfyingly deep experience. Plus, with Pikmin 3 coming this year, there's no better way to prepare yourself than with this game. Not only that, but it's bargain-priced, so you have little reason not to buy it. I'm not asking, folks. Buy this game right now.
GameDynamo's Score for Nintendo Selects: Pikmin 2 (Wii)
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
[View Nintendo Selects: Pikmin 2 images / screenshots +]
[Watch Nintendo Selects: Pikmin 2 videos / trailers +]
[View more Nintendo Selects: Pikmin 2 articles (news, previews, reviews) +]
[View Nintendo Selects: Pikmin 2 cheats / guides +]
More from GameDynamo