While the title of this article may smell like good ol’ trollin’, let me inform you that it most definitely is not. After having played the demo level cooperatively with the knowledgeable booth attendant, I decided I would go it alone and see how great a haul I could store for the winter. Though I entered the forest with confidence, and a small Pikmin army, the only thing that I can remember is that I brought back the bronze medal of shame. The demo stage did feel like it could be a challenge mission in the final game, but I couldn’t tell if the demo was meant to be played with one or two players. Either way, the game had its challenge. No, I did not die on the Pikmin 3 demo, but that wasn’t the point. The game tasked me with utilizing my Pikmin force to overtake every puzzle, enemy and obstacle as quickly and efficiently as I could to score as many points as possible.
Unlike the previous E3 demo from 2012, I was able use three characters main characters. I found that the game allowed for such things as having one character throw the other two up to a higher ledge. After that, one of the characters on the second ledge could throw the third character to an even higher ledge in order to reach something of value. Players can not only throw their other spacemen to get them to new areas, they can leave them somewhere and then switch between them on the fly. This alone should make it more difficult for players to obtain the best scores possible.
I found the new pink flying pikmin to be quite useful. They were able to more quickly move things back to base because they didn’t need to follow the paths of the terrain like any of the land-walking pikmin would. There was also a special gate that required the flying pikmin to hold it open while other pikmin walked underneath. It was really cool to see lines of them flying to and fro after I had set them to a specific task.
This game will challenge even the best of you real time strategy gamers. Should you fight an enemy now to get nectar in order to power up your pikmin in the hope that in the long run it will be worth it, or should you throw a few pikmin at a breakable wall and come back to it later? Should you leave one main character here, run to the other side of the map to do a task, and while that’s happening, switch back to the character that you left behind to accomplish something else at the same time? I was running around like a mad man, throwing pikmin at anything and everything that I could, and I still only got a bronze medal. I walked away from the demo with an air of shame, but also with the knowledge that I really wanted to play more of Pikmin 3.
For more information on changes in Pikmin 3, check out my impressions of the E3 2012 demo.
Pikmin 3 is scheduled to be released on August 4th in North America, and July 26th in the UK.