The Perfect "Pik" for Wii Owners
It has been over ten years since the mind behind Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, used his passion and new hobby of gardening as the inspiration for the GameCube near-launch, real-time strategy title Pikmin. The game would receive a much desired sequel later on in the system's life, but this go around the time constraints of the original were removed. On the Wii, Nintendo has gone back to its GameCube catalog to port several classics onto their motion-controlled system with all-new Wii methods of input in a series called New Play Control. The original Pikmin was one of the these, but while Europe received the second game, North Americans have had to wait three long years for the game. Well, Nintendo of America has finally released Pikmin 2 for Wii to get gamers' appetites whetted for the upcoming Wii U's Pikmin 3. And considering how expensive even used copies of the GameCube version of Pikmin 2 are, this pointer-controlled iteration is a steal.
While Captain Olimar was on his "vacation" in Pikmin 1 (a crash landing on an unknown planet full of hostile creatures is hardly what I would call vacation time), his shipping company was free-falling into debt. When Olimar arrives back on his home planet, his boss informs him of the grim fate threatening the company. It turns out Olimar's ship, the Dolphin, can value certain acquisitions. The various treasures that are found by Olimar and new partner Louie and then appraised by the Dolphin can slowly but surely knock down the amount of debt their employer possesses. Back to the planet upon which Olimar had previously crash landed on to score some treasure! Of course, Olimar and Louie need not accomplish this task by themselves. As they explore the planet they get reacquainted with the Pikmin creatures Olimar had met before. Even after the 10,000 Poko debt has been repaid, the adventure still isn't over.
|The Wii pointer works wonderfully with this game.|
|What are everyday items to you and me|
is treasure to Olimar and Louie.
|No worries-- these Red Pikmin|
can take the heat!
|Some Pikmin types would find this gate shocking;|
Not these Yellow Pikmin, though!
The New Play Control controls of Pikmin 2 work rather well. While you aren't using any gestures for control inputs, you will be utilizing the Wii remote's pointer to aim at where you wish to chuck your numerous Pikmin. What's great and convenient about this-- and something that would be impossible with the GameCube controller-- is that you can point at Pikmin (say ones that are at the edge of the screen) that would have otherwise been out of your range and call them back to you. In the GameCube version, you would have to run all the way back to where the idle Pikmin were standing just to round them back up. This is the convenience of the Wii remote's pointer in action.
Pikmin 2 on Wii puts in practice the Wii remote and nunchuk. All of the buttons that were dedicated to specific orders on the GameCube controller are emulated via the Wii remote and nunchuk combination. From tossing Pikmin to dismissing them into separate groups, to switching between Louie and Olimar, to calling Pikmin to your side, every input is here at your disposal.
Speaking of Louie and Olimar, most of the time the two need not work together to do well, but proficient players will divide tasks up between the two for the best amount of efficiency. While one gets his group of Pikmin to tear down a gate, the other orders his Pikmin ranks to build a bridge to cross otherwise inhospitable waters. Sometimes you will be forced to switch between the two in order to approach in different circumstances impossible to reach areas. This occurs in the second area of the game, Awakening Wood, where either Olimar or Louie must stand on one block while the other tosses Pikmin onto the other block which is protruding upwards. The weight of the Pikmin on the one block causes the block the other astronaut is on to rise, allowing him to chuck Pikmin up towards a treasure that would have been otherwise futile to reach.
|Split up the work evenly if you wish!|
|The third area of Pikmin 2: The Perplexing Pool.|
|Work with or against the other player in multiplayer mode.|
North Americans like me might have had to wait three more years than the rest of the world (I won't say the wait was worth it), but it's terrific to finally be able to play Pikmin 2 with pointer controls. Whether they are better than the GameCube controls is an argument that will have no clear winner. I find the Wii controls more convenient (tremendous for calling faraway Pikmin without having to walk across the screen to reach them) and comfortable to use (allowing my hands to not be bound together on a dual analog controller is freeing). At twenty dollars and with used copies of the GameCube game going online for so much more, this Wii edition is a fantastic buy. It is certainly the type of game that will "pik" your interests.
[SuperPhillip Says: 9.0/10]