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Pikmin 4 review
by jakeyonthecouch

Mixed feelings on this one, but overall it was a good experience and well worth playing. 

[spoilers ahead for those who haven't finished the game yet]

Several somewhat unorganised thoughts: 

It seems to me that the modern format for many Nintendo games is to have the first chunk of the game (possibly up to credits roll) be extremely easy, likely to appease their newer, younger audience they're selling to - and the real challenge for the long time fans comes in after that. You can see this in titles like the Mario 3d land games, Mario odyssey and it's here in P4 too. The last two levels of the game that come in after the credits I had a lot of fun with, I'm currently playing thru the Olimar side mission and having a blast with that. 

But the first couple of hours of the game were a bit of a drag. very tutorial laden and the characters waffle on a lot. 

Some wonderful quality of life improvements, feels real nice to play. The pikmin don't do stupid shit and die needlessly they have great path finding AI.  

I'm genuinely not sure about how I feel about all of the stuff in the game that makes it ridiculously easy. Oatchi is cute and cool af, but he practically breaks the game. His charge ability smokes most enemies. You've got the rewind time mechanic, you can buy consumable items at any time, a drone to scout out the area, whistles to call your idle pikmin back and whatnot. 

The argument against this is obviously 'just don't use those things', and honestly? I don't really have a comeback for that. 

I guess I need to think about my gripes with it a bit longer, but my initial thoughts are that Pikmin 1 was a stressful, tense game in a good way, and I think all of these conveniences take a lot of that out of the equation. It feels like the focus grouped the first game on the wrong people that didn't appreciate the game and they said stuff like 'I don't like this time limit thing, it stresses me out.' 'I don't like having to think about where my pikmin are' etc etc. 

I'm also not sure how I feel about the night time exploration missions. They make sense in the context of the objective of the game, but it's essentially a cheap tower defense game.

The game feels a bit 'much' at points tho. The levels feel just a smidge too big, and there's a lot of cave systems, and I did find myself groaning when I entered one that was 5 floors deep.

Dandori battles are a highlight of the game for me. can't get enough of them. The Dandori challenges feel like the first game in micro, and i'm here for that.  

It feels like they want some replay value being as the days taken is a score of sorts, but I think the game is a bit dense to fire off a few replays trying to get your day count down. I think my first playthrough of P4 was about 30 hours. I'll probably do a replay at some point, but when I played P1 a few years ago I did 4 playthroughs back to back trying to get my daycount down as low as possible. P1 is compact in all the right ways to facilitate that kind of replayablity (the lack of tutorial-ing and handholding lend well to it) 

It's crazy how nintendo just nailed the format for this franchise with the first game. I do think going back to them and having my pikmin drown because i didn't walk quite right across a bridge the way the game wanted me to will be pain. but god I love the stripped back, no fat gameplay and the tight pressure of the time limit. Also 10-15 hours for a game truly is the sweet spot isn't it? 

Feeling a strong 7 to a light 8 on this one. 

Other reviews2


Absolutely incredible. I wish I had more to do, honestly! I love this game so much. I love having all of the Pikmin at my disposal, I love having all of the Onions available, I love going into caves. I don't love anything that times me too harshly, but thankfully, they let you skip those parts. Which, personally, I think if the game lets you skip a part, it means the developers realized those parts kind of sucked. Still, its a really fun game. Definitely recommend this.
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