Hey! Pikmin

hey pikmin box art nintendo 3ds review
6.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 7/10
Controls: 8/10

Changing the pace of the Pikmin series, potential

Flat, uninspired sidescroller

Game Info

Game Name:   Hey! Pikmin

Developer(s):   Arzest

Publisher(s):   Nintendo

Platform(s):   3DS

Genre(s):   Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):   July 13, 2017 (Japan)/July 28, 2017 (US)

ESRB Rating:  E10+

hey pikmin boss battle gameplay split screen screenshots

Start chuckin’ Pikmin!

Captain Olimar is in trouble again.  While traveling home, his ship crashes on a dangerous planet and his supply of sparklium is dangerously low.  Now Olimar must journey into the heart of darkness armed only with his loyal Pikmin to find enough sparklium to get his ship off the ground and headed home…but around every corner danger lurks and Captain Olimar could be lunch!

Hey! Pikmin is an action adventure side-scrolling puzzle game for the Nintendo 3DS.  The game is part of the Pikmin series and follows 2013’s Pikmin 3 for the Wii U.  The game was released to average reviews.

I really enjoyed Pikmin and Pikmin 2 for the GameCube.  The style and play of the series was a fun puzzle.  I got a Wii U partially because I wanted to play Pikmin 3 (though I’ve had more time to play this game than Pikmin 3).  While the change in format for Hey! Pikmin was intriguing, it unfortunately doesn’t help the series.

The Pikmin games have really succeeded in the realm of strategy and puzzles more so than action.  In Pikmin with the overhead view, you often had to split up Pikmin to accomplish different jobs in different places as fast as possible.  Here, Olimar is essentially just running right.  The puzzle are simple and there isn’t much gameplay variety with exceptions to levels like sledding.

hey pikmin sledding level gameplay screenshots

Not enough variety to gameplay (like this sledding level) to make it feel different

In general, the game is very simple.  There are a few levels where the initial run through might not produce all of the items hidden in the level, but for the most part, you can clear a level and only return to it to A) try to finish without any Pikmin dying or B) open up a second exit to the level.  It becomes more tedious and death are a result of impatience more than challenge in general.  The bosses are the type of bosses that if you don’t beat in the first attempt are easily beaten in the second attempt.

Part of the reason of the game’s simplicity is the game control.  The game is controlled through the stylus and the directional pad.  If you have the Pikmin, you just hurl the Pikmin at whatever is coming at you.  There isn’t enough strategy.  If you had more control of what Pikmin you took to an area and how it would affect the level, it would be better.

hey pikmin screenshot gameplay final boss

The final boss…now is there a challenge? Guess not…

The graphics are strong.  I still argue that Nintendo has mastered the “cute” character game.  Even as their systems evolve with better graphics, the cartoony world they present evolve with them and manage to still look innovative.  The 3DS aspect of this game was vetoed and the game only plays in 2D…which does not help Nintendo’s development of the 3DS.  Also, the split screen does sometime play havoc with your perception on the distance between enemies and platforms.

Hey! Pikmin was a bit of a disappointment, and I hope in its failure that it doesn’t damn the series which still has potential.  It is nice to have something that isn’t a Mario game or a run-and-gun game like Metroid, but Hey! Pikmin isn’t the game I was hoping for.  It wasn’t the most fun game, challenging game, or experimental game, and I feel that if it had been done right, it could have garnered one of those titles.  Instead, you end up with a rather flat side scroller that doesn’t leave much of an impression as you play it…unfortunately, it is just a time vacuum that probably can be missed.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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