For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the Pikmin franchise, here is the gist of it: You are a spaceman who has crash landed on an Earthlike planet, but the thing is, you’re super tiny. So you find yourself in a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids type of environment, where small puddles are insurmountable oceans and every insect is a colossal monster waiting to eat you up. In order to traverse this hostile landscape, you employ armies of Pikmin, adorable little plant creatures who for some reason obey your every whim. You force your Pikmin slaves to fight enemies, tackle obstacles, and eventually recover the pieces of your broken spaceship (as well as pieces of optional fruit, which are littered around the game world). It could best be described, I suppose, as a real-time strategy game, but it focuses a lot more on exploration than you would expect from a game of that type.
I have been a fan of this franchise since the first game was released for the GameCube all the way back in 2001. Pikmin 3 was one of the first games announced for the Wii U, and one of the most anticipated by me. It didn’t actually come out until almost a year later, but when it did, you’d better believe I was there on Day 1.
So if I’m so fucking into this game, why did it take me a year and a half to finish it? Well, the answer to that is a tragic tale. I’d gotten through a significant amount of the game, and was in the midst of a battle with the third-to-last boss (the dreaded Scornet Maestro), when disaster struck! The external hard drive I had attached to my Wii U crapped out, taking all my save data with it!
The prospect of starting this difficult game over from scratch was very frustrating, so much so that once I started, I didn’t get very far before becoming distracted by something else. Earlier this month, when I decided to wipe this game off my backlog list once and for all, I was ready to start fresh again, so I began Pikmin 3 over from the beginning for the third time.
And, having built up that much experience, it was kind of a breeze this time around! Not only did I complete it, but I actually collected every single piece of fruit the game had to offer:
Here is my Final Report:
The first Pikmin game operated on a pretty strict time limit. In that game, you had 30 in-game days to beat it, which meant hustling just to get the mandatory tasks done, let alone the optional ones. It was nice to sort of take my time with this one – as you can see, I stretched my quest out over the course of 54 days. This allowed me to get all the mandatory and optional collectibles, as well as build up a much larger army of Pikmin than I was used to. The dark side of that was that I became pretty callous about sending Pikmin to their untimely deaths, often leaving them to perish simply because I was too lazy to go retrieve them. Miiverse user Mitch, leaving a comment on my brag post, says it best:
What can I say, Mitch? You are absolutely right. I learned some pretty terrifying things about myself while playing Pikmin 3, and god help us all if I ever hold actual human lives in my hands. But whatever – I got a bunch of delicious fruit and flew my rocketship into space, so if a thousand of my loyal followers had to die screaming in order for that to happen, well sometimes a leader of men has to live with that kind of sacrifice. RIP, Pikmin.