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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Announced... dat ain't Pikmin 4

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Alright. Is it worth it?

I own Pikmin 3 on the Nintendo Wii U. I got it at full price ($60) way back in the day, and beat it. I played it 14 times for a total of 16 hours and 6 minutes. Some years after, it got a permanent price cut, making its price only $20. And now in the present day, Pikmin 3 has been removed from the Nintendo eShop (Wii U) entirely, because Nintendo announced Pikmin 3 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch to be released on October 30 for $60:

This nearly completes the obsolescence of the Wii U. What makes Pikmin 3 Deluxe different than an exact port of Pikmin 3?
  • Story mode co-op multiplayer (online presence unknown)
  • New difficulty modes and quality of life features making the game easier, if you choose to use them
  • Previously purchasable downloadable content is included
  • The encyclopedic Piklopedia content from Pikmin 2 returns (information, interestingly, not in the press release but on Nintendo's Twitter)
  • Captains Olimar and Louie feature in brand-new side-story content (a prologue and an epilogue)
That second-to-last bullet point on the Piklopedia is one that I speculated would end up being the type of mobile offering that Nintendo would put out back in 2015 when Nintendo was announcing they'd get into mobile. You know, a mobile app Piklopedia companion. That never happened, but the fact that was on my mind indicates that the Piklopedia was a significant feature that they removed from the series for Pikmin 3. It not being there was actually a big reason that I didn't like Pikmin 3 as much as Pikmin 2. Now it'll be back.

Another reason I strongly prefer Pikmin 2 to Pikmin 3? Olimar and Louie (and the Hocotate Freight President) were much more endearing characters that have a lasting impression than Alph, Brittany, and Charle. That characterisation was through several means, including the Piklopedia, the letters, in-game story events, and the fact that Louie had his own versions of the background music than Olimar, which was a feature not in Pikmin 3.

It's no coincidence that Nintendo's marketing materials mention Olimar and Louie by name, but not Alph, Brittany, and Charlie, despite the Pikmin 2 stars making mere cameo appearances in Pikmin 3. Alph, Brittany, and Charlie are the actual protagonists of Pikmin 3!

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Charlie Brittany Alph Nintendo Switch
Left to right: Charlie, Brittany, Alph.
I had to actually look up what their character traits were while writing this article, since I totally forgot. That's not good!

I also dislike that they removed the time-less caves that were from Pikmin 2 when making Pikmin 3. As a result, Pikmin 3 plays a lot more similarly to the first Pikmin, and has a limited number of days you get to even play the game before you get a bad ending.

If it's not clear by now, I wasn't a big fan of Pikmin 3. And then Hey! Pikmin came into existence for some reason, which was an even more forgettable experience than Alph, Brittany, and Charlie's personalities.

“Pikmin 4” is supposedly going to be its own game and was allegedly “very close to completion” back in 2015, according to serial liar Shigeru Miyamoto. I think it's a lot more likely that the Olimar/Louie prologue/epilogue material is what “Pikmin 4” was going to be, and then it otherwise fell into a Miyamoto-induced development hell. Now it's here as a consolation.

Ludwig is friends with a Pikmin fan that treats the series like Ludwig treats the Ace Attorney series—willing to rebuy games they already own just to give the developers more money/support for their favourite series. ...Ludwig isn't sure how someone can feel that way about Pikmin though, so if anyone would like to explain the excitement (if any) behind Pikmin 3 Deluxe, go ahead and do so in the comments section. ...Also, comment if you think Pikmin 4 will exist anytime soon.


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