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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
GENRE: Strategy
December 02, 2001
Pikmin 3

New Play Control! Pikmin

Pikmin 2

 Written by Alan Rumpf  on June 02, 2001

First Impressions: Moving around my little men!

At this year's E3, the surprise title of the show was a game introduced by gaming legend, Shigeru Miyamoto. This new and interesting game was presented to the media at the Nintendo Pre-Show conference. The following day, it was a playable title on the show floor. The new game, Pikmin seemed to give off a positive impression to all who played it.

Miyamoto got the inspiration behind this title while gardening in his back yard and studying ants. The title is based on the story of an astronaut who has crash-landed on a strange planet. Players will control this astronaut and come into contact with a new strange, ant-like species...the Pikmin. It is you're job to congregate, direct, and find more Pikmin around the area. The Pikmin can use a variety of skills from chopping down flowers, to pulling stuff around, climbing ropes, and knocking down walls. There's also the usual bunch of hungry bugs that are just waiting for a Pikmin snack. Gamers can organize the Pikmin to attack and evade these bugs, which will no doubt be vital to their society.

The gameplay is very innovative and the controls should make this game very enjoyable. The control stick moves around the main characters, while the C-stick can be used to move and rotate the Pikmin around you. Hundreds of Pikmin can follow you at once, and they can all be directed to do certain tasks. The B-button throws the Pikmin out to do their task, and the A-button calls them back to you. The controls are very simple, but at the same time, also very effective.

The graphics are very nice looking, and the large blades of grass and the dirt patches give a realistic feel to the size proportions of the Pikmin. The models of the Pikmin and the astronaut are very simple, however considering the fact that there can be literally hundreds of the Pikmin and enemies on the screen at once, with no loss of framerate, there shouldn't be any major complaints. The music in the demo seemed like the typical happy simulation tunes, and the sound effects were basic.

There is some strategy involved in controlling the Pikmin. For instance, the number of Pikmin it takes to drag certain objects can vary, and adding a few extra Pikmin to the task can be the difference between making your little guys struggle or cooperate to get the job done. Also if you try to attack an insect enemy face on, you will lose many Pikmin in battle. The strategic way of going about it is to sneak around the enemy, and attack him from the backside, even if this means sacrificing a few Pikmin for a distraction.

Pikmin may not have a multi-player option, but it just seems like the type of game you will play for hours and not even realize a minute has gone by. While there were limited uses of the Pikmin showed in the demo, there are sure to be many more abilities by the time of the game's launch.

Final Thoughts
This could be the hidden gem of the Gamecube launch, and depending on how it is marketed could be the key to its success. ?Adult? gamers may brush it off as childish, and children may find it too boring or perhaps difficult to appreciate its value. Here's to hoping that Luigi's Mansion will not be the only Gamecube demo set up in GCN kiosks come September. Still this game has great potential, and look forward to more updates as news about the title rolls in.

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