Let’s get the confessions out of the way early on: I’ve never played a Pikmin game in my life, and my only interactions with Olimar in the past have come via Super Smash Bros.; even then I wouldn’t pick him. He looked irritating and not at all like a powerful fighter. So, the changes that have happened to the series with the introduction of Hey! Pikmin won’t affect me in the same way that it’ll affect those who are regular Pikmin gamers. All that being said, I still know a good 2D side-scroller when I see one. Does Hey! Pikmin hit the mark? At times…
Tasked with gathering Pikmin of various colours and using their differing abilities to accomplish a series of tasks, it shouldn’t take long for any gamer worth their salt to learn the mechanics of the franchise’s new addition. Playing through the levels as Captain Olimar, you not only want to save the Pikmin that you gather each time and take them back to your Pikmin Park, but you want to collect Sparklium so that your crashed spaceship can become active once more. As far as the story goes, that’s about as deep as it gets!
On your journey, you’ll come across various trinkets such as a can of tuna, which is charmingly named a ‘tightly-sealed aquarium’ in-game, which can be traded in for a big number of Sparklium. Though 30,000 seems like a big number at the start of the game, especially when Sparklium seeds only add 1 to your tally, you soon begin raking in the treasures and the number rises quickly than you could imagine.
Addictive at times, the game will likely fail to light a fire in the bellies of those playing. It’s unfortunate that I join the franchise at a time when it’s not doing its best in succeeding, but to say I didn’t have a good time playing through Hey! Pikmin would be a lie. I didn’t have a bad time, or a fantastic time; just a good one.
Gameplay runs smoothly but there were a couple of times that frames decided to lag a little behind and I wondered if the entire thing would stall and make me reboot my 3DS. Aside from that, all went well.
So is it worth a purchase? Perhaps when it comes down in price. Puzzles here aren’t ever really challenging and that’s a true shame. Creators behind titles such as this need to stop treating their audiences with kid gloves, because there are plenty of us who would like more of a challenge in a colourful, Pikmin-filled world in the future.
Hey! Pikmin is available now on Nintendo 3DS.