Defense with Duress: Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3 was considered to be the perfect game for anybody’s Wii U library, as it not only played the part of sequel to a franchise that many fans anticipated, but introduced potential newcomers to the series. With this goal strongly achieved, it set the foundation for perfection. Regardless, anything can be subjected to improvement, but sometimes paying too much attention to refinement can muddle the focus and create disparities between feeling challenged and being left to one’s own devices. In addition to polishing, there’s the prospect of making risky changes, which is the exact opposite. Finally, there’s the amount of new content introduced in proportion to its length.

Offering many different styles of play, Pikmin 3 is the most accessible installment so far. However, according to Shacknews (paragraph 8), selecting Pikmin types and recalling idle units seemed tedious, claiming it would be easier for a “quick select” command. Not to mention how this could be implemented, but the whistle was already designed to select varying amounts of Pikmin, from one single unit to an entire platoon. The flexible and direct control of such a tool is appropriate for the action-oriented nature of the game. Managing units wasn’t meant to be as simple as clicking on them; there is an active process involved on the player’s part. From this, a legitimate challenge can be derived, and implemented as part of the gameplay.

With Pikmin 3 compared to its predecessors, the formula remains unchanged. That said, the formula itself is contextually different. There is even sacrifice in removing elements introduced in the previous games favor of creating something completely unique. For Edge to say that it is simply refinement, even while being apologetic about it, shortchanges the actual risks that were taken to offer something that couldn’t be experienced in previous installments. By removing the purple and white Pikmin, as well as the dungeon-like caverns, and replacing them with new types of units and level designs, its own unique genre is reinvented in its own right.

Being unique is not just something Pikmin 3 does in sporadic intervals; it's a recurring theme that pervades around every turn: something new springs up when it’s least expected. A new story element is introduced, which sets the stage for the day(s) to come. Without forcing linearity onto the gameplay, it creates an engaging motive for the player to make it through the next level. Allowing the player to retry their day with a new plan in mind allows them to take their time. However, after careful strategizing, the entire game can be completed in a condensed amount of time. Rushing through it without taking the replayability into consideration can make one think that the game ends too quickly, as stated by IGN. Even so, with lots of content packaged into a smaller portion, it leaves a lasting impression of diversity and variation.

Other perceived issues and such as little online connectivity and an awkward ending are too subjective as legitimate criticisms. When compared to previous games, especially the prior, Pikmin 3 may not have as much content to offer, but what variety it does have is condensed, making an enriching experience, even if it doesn’t last very long. Not everything should overstay its welcome, or become too caught up in offering too many features, risking losing focus on the bigger, more important qualities. With this goal in mind, Pikmin 3 accomplished it flawlessly.