First of all, the three playable human characters that replace Captain Olimar and Louie from Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2 were revealed and named. They are: Brittany (pink-colored) (the first and only female), Alph (blue-colored) and Captain Charlie (the green-colored leader). In the game you can control all three characters at once and can switch between them at will. This greatly expands your ability to multi-task and accomplish many different things at once and expands on the strategic gameplay of Pikmin exponentially.
Nintendo revealed that the new humans crash land on the planet (seemingly in separate places initially as well). This is where they meet the Pikmin, and discover that the land contains nutritious fruit scattered about. Their mission is now to collect food, specifically Fruit, so that they can survive as they explore the rest of the planet. However their ultimate goal is to send back the fruit seeds extracted from the Fruit they’ve collected to the starving people on their homeplanet of Koppai. That way they can make their home planet bloom with new food resources thanks to the many Seeds they’ve found. One of the fruits shown was a giant strawberry.
The puzzles in Pikmin 3 will also be more elaborate and complex than before, with new puzzles around every bend. For example to drop the strawberry from it’s branch, you’ll need to throw enough Pikmin at it in order to pull the Strawberry down to the ground. While on the planet, they employ the use of the planet’s native Pikmin creatures to help them carry their newfound Fruit back to base and help them defeat the enemies that they encounter along the way.
The game even features an all-new mechanic (and collection feature?) where the Fruit found can be turned into juice after the seeds are extracted from it. The astronauts need the juice in order to keep them alive… Or something like that. It sounds like you cannot continue if you run out of juice. And there are many different juices to collect (and possibly combine?) as shown in the video.
Like in previous Pikmin games, you have a limited-amount of time to explore the planet during the daylight hours, and you must successfully get all your Pikmin into your spaceship at home base before nightfall, or your Pikmin will be eaten.
Pikmin 3 however is much more accessible to newcomers than previous games and you can choose to replay any day again or revert to the beginning of the day if you feel like you could do better.
There is no limitation in terms of the days and the time you have to explore them, time only runs out for that day. Making it less frustrating than previous games and more steamlined, but just as deep. The more you play, the better you’ll get at mastering the game and becoming more efficient in Pikmin management, learning the lay of the land, and beating it in a quicker time with less lost Pikmin.
As in past games, players will also be challenged to beat the game with a quicker time and with less lossed Pikmin and the like (hopefully with in-game Achievements to unlock too). So challenging your own score and the score of others will definitely be a fun competitive aspect of Pikmin 3. It’s unknown at this time whether or not Pikmin 3 will include online play or online leaderboards, but it will support MiiVerse, so you will be able to share your high scores with friends and strangers in that way at least, and likely tap into tips and comments from other players at specific points if you want.
View the video above yourself to see all the new details as explained by Iwata.
In addition to the new Rock Pikmin (gray) and Winged Pikmin (Pink), players will also have a number of new strategic ways to play and control the game.
You can use the GamePad, which is called the “KopPad” in the game, to see a map of the entire land that you’ve explored so far. The KopPad helps you to easily locate all three of your characters as well as see a detailed lay of the land and what exactly your Pikmin are up to. This allows you to more easily manage your Pikmin and accomplish several goals at once. Be it breaking down a wall, defeating an enemy, sprouting new Pikmin to grow your ranks or carrying important items back to base. You can even use the touchscreen on the GamePad to draw paths for your characters and Pikmin to go.
If you desire, Pikmin 3 supports Off-TV Play, allowing you to play Pikmin 3 entirely on the GamePad. Controller-wise, you also have many different control schemes to choose from, each of which offers different unique ways to play and ease-of-use for different aspects.
The main and preferred method from Nintendo’s standpoint is to play using the Wii Remote & Nunchuck, which allows you to easily point your Pikmin using the Wiimote pointer, and throw them using motion control. However you can also play using just the GamePad, or just the WiiU Pro Controller, or a combination of those controllers plus the GamePad.
You can even use the WiiU Gamepad as a sort of monitor, by propping it up on the GamePad Stand and keeping it next to your TV instead of holding it. Which is a cool and welcome feature.
We’ll still learn more about Pikmin 3 as it’s release date approaches, including details on the Challenge Mode and multiplayer modes in the next Nintendo Direct closer to E3 2013.
I can’t wait for this game! It looks absolutely amazing and you can tell that Nintendo has really, really expanded on the gameplay and the fun that Pikmin offers, with a much deeper gameplay system using the three characters, more Pikmin to collect and use, a much larger world and many more things to collect and unlock. Hopefully Pikmin 3’s rep will grow exponentially with this release and turn it into a bonafide system seller, AAA Nintendo franchise. Previously it was kinda/sorta niche, but I think it’s came into it’s own now with this third installment. Much like GTA3 did compared to the very niche and less-played previous GTA games.