Pikmin has always enjoyed a cult following on Nintendo platforms. The series found huge success on the Nintendo GameCube and the Nintendo Wii. And, with the Wii U and the release of Pikmin 3, Nintendo had one of their best titles in the franchise.
Unfortunately, lackluster console sales meant only a fraction of potential fans actually got to play. As with so many other Nintendo Wii U titles before it, Pikmin 3 is getting a second life on Nintendo Switch, via Pikmin 3 Deluxe!
Pikmin 3 Deluxe Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Nintendo EAD
Genre: Real-time strategy, puzzle
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Explore a larger than life world
In Pikmin 3 Deluxe, you play as three separate captains from the faraway planet of Koppaite. Throughout your adventure, you will control Alph, Brittany and Charlie as they explore the planet PNF-404 in search of food to bring back to Koppaite. Unfortunately, as their ship, the S.S. Drake enters the atmosphere of PNF-404, it breaks apart, separating the three explorers in an unknown region.
After reuniting together at the S.S. Drake, the captains begin rounding up strange Pikmin characters to overcome obstacles, defeat enemies, and collect different foods for their home planet.
Overcome obstacles and defeat enemy creatures
The small plant-like creatures called Pikmin are the explorers best friends as they trudge around the 5 zones on planet PNF-404. When your adventure begins, you have access to only red Pikmin, but as you begin adventuring further into this unknown planet, other Pikmin join your cause. Each Pikmin provides a unique mechanic that will help you overcome specific obstacles: red Pikmin are resistant to fire, blue Pikmin can trudge through water, black Pikmin can knock down stronger walls, and so on.
You control your cursor on the screen with the left stick, which ultimately guides the Pikmin. And, you use the right stick to move the camera around. By holding down the B button, the cursor will expand to fill up the screen, collecting all the Pikmin it touches and calling them back to the explorer. If you see something you want to destroy, attack, or pick-up, another button press allows you to throw Pikmin at the desired target; pressing X charges the throw, and sends multiple Pikmin in at once.
Alternatively, you can opt to use gyro controls activated in the right Joy-Con to control the Pikmin on screen, which mimics the Wiimote controls from the original Pikmin 3 release. Surprisingly, the touch screen controls that were available on the Wii U gamepad are not present. I found this strange because of the obvious potential to use touch screen with the Nintendo Switch.
Quality of life improvements
There are many quality of life improvements in Pikmin 3 Deluxe over the original. You can now quickly lock-on to targets by tapping ZR, and when you continue to tap ZR it will toggle between all the targetable items on the screen. I found this to be a really hand feature that streamlines gameplay and makes everything flow much more freely.
However, my personal favourite new feature in Pikmin 3 Deluxe is the ability to play the entire story with a friend, in couch cooperative play. Those looking for online play will be really disappointed, as that is not an option.
Bright, colourful, cute and adorable Pikmin
It appears as if Nintendo is putting more of an emphasis on creating additional content for their remakes, as opposed to spending time updating the game’s look. Pikmin 3 Deluxe definitely looks sharper and more detailed, but a quick glance would not really highlight those changes.
While playing, I noticed substantial work was done to improve water effects and character animations. It looks pretty, as all Nintendo games are, but it is perhaps not quite the update fans might have wanted. The audio is as good as it’s ever been. From the cute Pikmin noises to the thudding of thrown Pikmin against obstacles, everything sounds clean in Pikmin 3 Deluxe.
All DLC missions are included as well as new content
Outside of the main story, you can indulge in side missions that were included in the original Wii U release. This includes all of the DLC missions as well, all in one neat package. The 36 included missions will have you collecting treasure, fighting enemies, or taking on tough bosses. Each and every mission can be played solo, or with a friend in split-screen cooperative play.
Also, new to Pikmin 3 Deluxe are Side Stories. They feature everyone’s favourite captain, Olimar and Louie. Some of these additional missions featuring the lovable Olimar are set prior to the events of Pikmin 3 Deluxe, while a few will serve as an epilogue to the game.
Olimar is sent out to collect whatever he can find to bring back to the home planet. And, hopefully pull the company he works for out of debt. These are timed missions, and don’t add a substantial amount of additional gameplay. Although, they are nice added bonuses that I wasn’t really expecting.
New ways to play together
The ability to play through all of the Pikmin 3 Deluxe‘s story and additional Side Stories with a cooperative partner is a blast. That being said, competing with someone else is way more fun. In the added Bingo Battle, you compete to fill out a Bingo card by collecting various items and enemies from around the map, and checking off those items on the card.
I spent countless hours playing Bingo Battle with my family. It is easily some of the most competitive fun I and my family have had in a long time. Sadly, like with the main story and side missions, there is no option to play this mode online with friends.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe is a blast to play and even more fun with friends
Pikmin 3 Deluxe ticks almost all the boxes when it comes to what you’d want in a remake in 2020. However, the lack of touch screen controls and the missing online multiplayer feature are a tad bit disappointing. With that being said, there is still too much good here to pass on one of Nintendo’s better titles in 2020.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe might be yet another remake of a Nintendo Wii U title, but if Nintendo continues to make the improvements they’ve made here, I can’t wait to see what is next.
+ Fantastic multiplayer across all modes
+ All DLC included, and additional Side Stories
+ Fun Bingo Battle mini game
– Lack of online multiplayer
– No touch screen controls
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF PIKMIN 3 DELUXE
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5