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Pikmin 4 will turn you into an obsessive collector

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while searching for a garden pikmin 4, I found a tube of something called “refreshing goo”. As I instructed my small army of Pikmin, the flower-headed creatures who help me carry things around the world, to make it back to my spaceship, I wondered what it was—toothpaste, Perhaps? Later when I read the in-game record of the item I realized that it was actually blue, described in the record as: “Neither the color of the sky nor the color of the sea. Although it is almost the color of both.

pikmin 4 This is a game for those who like to take small talk very seriously. This is true for the entire series, which has always challenged its initial appearance as a children’s game focused on exploration. The first game was hardcore: you had to guide your Pikmin to complete collection missions before your space explorer Olimar spent his 30 days of oxygen on an alien planet. Each new game followed the same formula, although each iteration was less tense and with less time pressure. for the first time, in pikmin 4In , you are not playing as Olimar but as a recruit in the space program who was sent to rescue him. You explore new levels to collect treasures lying around that give you Sparklium, a substance that fuels your spaceship. As you collect more treasure, you unlock more areas and meet exiles, sometimes members of research teams as well as tourists who came upon the planet, such as Olimar, a Hoping to shake up your life with a new discovery.

pikmin 4 Not only does the first game’s time limit have been removed for a less rigid daily in-game timer, but it also adds improvements to make keeping track of what you’re doing more streamlined. It has a rewind function, a “go here” button that Google Maps directs you to your destination, and a skill for your canine companion, Ochi, to sniff out treasures in your area. It also includes apps that replay the story and show you missions you haven’t completed yet, making it even easier to do what has always been the main appeal of Pikmin: collecting stuff.

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The protagonist and a small army of Pikmin explore an area based on the Garbage in Pikmin 4

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Image: Nintendo EPD, Eighthing/Nintendo via Play Gamez

and there is Too many Stuff to collect. Each mission, side quest and colored area has a percentage counter, with subtitles telling you how much you still have to find. While you only have to collect about half of what’s in a given area in order to advance, watching the percentage go up (and getting to read the funny, sometimes emotional item descriptions for the treasures you find) is its own reward. Is.

mechanically, pikmin 4 is a real-time strategy game that plays like a management sim, and your task is to collect as many things and people (idle people) as possible within a daily time limit. When you have enough Pikmin in your team, you can get the job done fairly independently of you, such as automating supply lines. Factory, In-universe this concept is introduced as the concept of Dandori, Prioritizing efficiency over missions. As of the fourth day, I was running multiple tasks while traveling back and forth on the map. But the search for more efficient ways to grab the treasure was never enough to distract me from the beauty of the world, which was rendered with love and special attention paid to textures like the surface of a water or the petals of a flower.

What really distracted me was the combat, which I ran into in sporadic encounters across the map. Combat is generally limited to overpowering the enemy with Pikmin, and this is repeated when the solution to many puzzles in later stages is simply to win the battle. And unfortunately I run my Pikmin campaigns mercilessly, which means I regularly have to hear the screams of my dying soldiers and expressions of disgust at my actions from my in-game co-workers. Night campaign, tower-defense levels that are new pikmin 4There are more compelling than RTS-ish scenarios, but their core issue is the same: The best strategy isn’t knowing the area or using a particular Pikmin type, but rather erring on the side of overwhelming numbers.

Region selection screen in Pikmin 4, showing Blossoming Arcadia

Image: Nintendo EPD, Eighthing/Nintendo via Play Gamez

Another big (but good) challenge in the game comes from the Dandori Trials, where you have to collect treasures on specific levels within a set time limit. Unlike the combat encounters, these trials are fresh and intense, and were my favorite part of the game. Getting a bronze medal on my first try at the Dandori Trials felt like winning the Pikmin Olympics. My first run was an opportunity to better understand the area, while my second run (and you’ll probably have more than two tries; they’re tough!) was my actual attempt to collect absolutely everything in the level. Dandori Trials are fully recreated escape rooms that offer time pressure that the main game mostly forgoes.

These tense minigames were a respite from some of the game’s frustrating micromanagement in other areas. Some of these will be helpful for younger players, like the action guide that pops up when you repeat an action two or three times. Less appreciated are the responses from the rescue team, which instead of letting you solve them once you’ve failed them in some puzzles. On the other hand, some things are never explained directly, leaving you to dig through campaign logs or wait until the research team tells you about it by chance. For example, the special properties of certain colors in Pikmin are sometimes unexplainable until you’ve already discovered them through trial and error. The information you need is usually out there somewhere, but there’s little consistency: tutorials either pop up after you’ve outstayed your welcome, or in places you’re less likely to expect them to be. expect less than.

A pink, shaggy character tells the player about the Dandori Trials in Pikmin 4

Image: Nintendo EPD, Eighthing/Nintendo via Play Gamez

These issues bothered me more and more as the game progressed, when battles began to punish my mistakes and I’d already heard the same pop-up tips dozens of times. It sounds like a contradiction, but a game is fun when it’s either focused solely on exploration and puzzle-solving, or when it gives you a restrictive goal with a set time limit. from the beginning, pikmin 4 keeps its combat and puzzle-solving largely separate; When it brings them together, both sides of the game suffer.

Yet despite these disappointments, the world of pikmin 4 So full of cuteness and style that I can’t be sad for long. Every time he barked when Ochi ran over to see me, purred happily every time a Pikmin drank nectar from an egg, it never failed to make me smile. In its premise of core gameplay collection, as well as little touches that make that premise even more appealing, pikmin 4 Looks at life on earth with an optimistic outlook. What if advanced alien explorers found enjoyment and utility in what we have here – not in our greatest technologies, but in the little bits and pieces we forget about during a regular day? I was tempted to collect all the treasure pikmin 4 Not just because I wanted to fill one of my many checklists, but because I wanted to see a reinterpretation of human objects in games, a catalog full of jokes but also deep appreciation. And thus, pikmin 4 This is probably the best thing a piece of media can do – it makes the real world seem more wonderful than it already is.

pikmin 4 Will release on July 21 on Nintendo Switch. The game was reviewed on Switch using a pre-release download code provided by Nintendo. Vox Media is an affiliated partnership. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find Here’s additional information about Play Gamez’s ethics policy,

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