Pikmin 2 (originally launched in 2004 for the Gamecube)
See, now I’m mad. I played Pikmin 2 and guess what, I love it! Pikmin 1 scared me away with it’s dual time limit but for the most part Pikmin 2 does away with it. It’s still got that super pesky day and night cycle which I could do without but it doesn’t have a set amount of days looming over me meaning I only have to watch the clock, not the calendar.
Without that, without anything else the game has to offer, that’s already a HUGE step in the right direction because it gives me the freedom to just absolutely screw up and come back from it.
Another improvement over the first game is the fact that this one is a lot more fun in its story direction. In the first game Olimar is trapped on a planet with his oxygen supply running out (leading to one of the strangest bad endings in Nintendo history) and you have to scramble to fix your ship or suffocate.
In two, however, Olimar returns home to find his boss has fell into dire straits and has had to pawn off everything to help pay off a debt, including Olimar’s recently repaired ship. Luckily, it turns out the bottle cap Olimar found back on the other planet in the first game is worth a lot of money so, with the help of new character Louie, they return to the planet to gather as much junk as possible to try to pay off the debt. And the best part, you have as many days as you want.
I will say that the story at the beginning is done in one of the most nightmarish animation styles I’ve ever seen. Almost a curvy version of the “I Want My MTV” music video.
Characters bend and stretch disturbingly to convey emotion to the point where it just seemed like someone was moving around putty. I hated it so much. Luckily there’s only a cut scene like that at the beginning and at the end. Most of the little cut scenes through-out the game are just silly things that give the game a bit more of a silly character.
Another thing I loved about this game is that added a really fun cave exploring activity to the game. You will occasionally find holes in the ground that you can dive into and explore that work like dungeons. These are usually filled with enemy encounters and treasure, but best of all, for some reason, the day and night cycle meter stops while you’re in the cave giving you a Pikmin experience devoid of a ticking clock which I didn’t realize I needed so badly.
It’s during these missions that you encounter the purple and white Pikmin, new to the series from one. While this means you have to keep track of two more types it’s never really a problem. White ones occassionally find buried treasure and purple ones are 10 times as heavy and 10 times as strong as a red Pikmin meaning it’s just like hitting things with a shotgun.
Also, Louie gives you a second character to control and, should it help you, you can split you squad up between the two of them for moments that require you to tackle a problem from multiple points at once.
In my honest opinion, while I know that buying both games saves you $20 bucks, I’m going to be real with you, I don’t think you need the first one. While the first game is “important” in that it introduces Olimar and the Pikmin gameplay methods and all that, it’s honestly an obnoxious and stressful experience. Especially when compared to the chill goofiness that comes from the second game.
Honestly, watching all the stuff they’re expecting out of you in the Pikmin 4 trailer I’d be stunned if I don’t somehow still like 2 the best. We’ll see.