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As the gaming world enjoys the release of Pikmin for the Wii, if you didn't play either of the first two games on the Gamecube, you might really enjoy a bit of retro gaming; these are well worth re-visiting or buying at bargain prices!
The first game introduced the characters; Captain Olimar and his spaceship, plus the little Pikmin, red, yellow, and blue. These are the cutesy element of the game and immense fun can be had just watching them interact with their surroundings, but they are also the key to everything, as you control up to 100 of them at a time to help you fight enemies, solve puzzles and overcome obstacles throughout the story. Each different colour Pikmin has a different ability, so you use the different types depending on what sort of challenge you are trying to achieve.
I found this game totally appealing; it looked great, with clean bright colours, and pretty garden backgrounds. It was addictive to play, but I found it fairly challenging. I remember frequently resetting the game - there is a time limit for completion and I often realised that something had taken too long and I'd have to do it again!
I plan on writing about my progress with Wii My Fitness Coach over the next few weeks.
The second game built on the first and improved it well. The gameplay was similar, but with a few improvements in navigation etc. A new story evolved, with video clips included as well. There were two new colours of Pikmin, white and purple, again with unique abilities. This in itself was enough, for me, to make the second game addictive all over again! Captain Olimar has a sidekick, Louie, so a bigger cast of characters added to the interest, and they could each take teams of Pikmin off to get through challenges together or separately where necessary.
The time limit for completing the game was taken off but you still have to manage time well in order to complete tasks before the in-game 'day' finishes. Luckily, when you enter the new underground caves time above ground freezes, so that gives you a bit of extra time! Each cave had different challenges and bosses to defeat at the end, these were sometimes really hard, especially if you'd inadvertently taken the wrong type of Pikmin down into the cave with you!
The second game looked as aesthetically pleasing as the first, with the backgrounds full of detail and very well done.
Admittedly I didn't ever finish the game, but looking back and remembering how much I enjoyed these two has made me really want to play the Wii version so that I can experience the Pikmin phenomenon all over again.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: