Pikmin 1 + 2 for the Nintendo Switch is a great return to the series

Pikmin 4. Screenshot courtesy of Nintendo
Pikmin 4. Screenshot courtesy of Nintendo /
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Recently Nintendo held a Direct in which they announced a ton of things. Everything from Splatoon 3 tournaments to Mario Kart add-ons, to more Mario games than we know what to do with. But they also dropped a sneak release in there too. Around the same time they showed off new footage for the upcoming Pikmin 4, they also surprised dropped two releases — remasters of both Pikmin 1 AND Pikmin 2, available by the time the Nintendo Direct was over.

The games, which are priced for $30 each or $40 for a bundle containing both, are really well done remasters and take up a ridiculously small amount of space on the system. It’s kind of nice to be able to install two Nintendo games on my system without even using a gig.

If you never played the first two, or, simply forgot in the last 20 years since the second game came out, let’s refresh your memory.

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Pikmin (Original release date 2001 on Gamecube)

The first Pikmin is a classic but if you get the chance to play its original form on the Gamecube it can be a little tricky because of the strange controls. Luckily, the Remaster fixes that by making sure to give everything a more modern dual stick camera control which I appreciated.

Pikmin-1-Controls /

That doesn’t mean it’s not without its rough patches, however. As this was the first introduction to the Pikmin series, the game had a lot of things to explain to people and it LOVES doing that. Expect the first hour of your gameplay to be you constantly freezing to read a massive wall of text. Things that will also be repeated a LOT.

It would be annoying on it’s own if it wasn’t for the fact that Pikmin has multiple time limits. It’s one of the things that have often kept me from enjoying the series.

You have about 30 odd pieces of your ship to recover in the same amount of days. Each day has a short time limit that is ALWAYS in your face. A sun moving across the top of the screen. If you fail to make any sort of significant progress on one of those days because you didn’t fully understand how to complete something, that means the rest of your game is going to be even more stressful. It’s a time limit on top of a time limit. It would be like if Super Mario’s “100 seconds left” music played during Sonic’s drowning music. No thanks.

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Oh, and if you have any straggling Pikmin at the end of the day that isn’t returned to your group when the time runs out, the game makes you watch Olimar go back into orbit while one of your stranded Pikmin gets knocked down and violently eaten. Makes you feel REALLY good.

Graphically though the game got a really nice clean up.

Obviously there’s not much you can really do with the bitmapped floors but, I got to say, the game looks really good for something over two decades old. There’s also two or three songs that no longer feature in the game because Nintendo no longer holds the rights so they were just replaced by using some of their other music over it. It’s not really all that noticeable though.

But ultimately, having dual time limits looming over me killed my fun, especially when I know there’s outside one they end in either violence or implied violence. So that’s fun.

It’s because of this that I never ended up playing Pikmin 2 back when it came out so, on the next page I’m going to go into that one completely fresh.