What could possibly be more valuable than a Panasonic battery?
Nintendo is showing a Japanese version of Pikmin 2 with five playable levels. The level selection screen has a grid of bubbles, and new levels are represented by a leaf. Once a level is completed, this changes into a flower.
Each level starts with an assigned number of various types of Pikmin. With this team you can adventure down to the different floors of the level, but there is no way of growing more Pikmin. Each level has treasure, enemies, and most importantly, a key. Once the key is returned to the spaceship a hole in the ground opens leading to the next floor.
The first level I tried had a total of fifty red, blue, and yellow Pikmin. There were a few enemies and treasure items such as a ring and a flattened can. As with all the levels, there is a time limit, so I left before collecting all the treasure. To get the key, one of the larger insects had to be killed. There is a boss level with a large creature with four legs. I had forty yellow Pikmin to start, and again, this large enemy had to be defeated for the key to appear.
Another level features twenty of the purple and white Pikmin. There aren’t any obstacles that require their special abilities here, but a lot of treasure is partially underground, and the Pikmin have to dig it up before carrying it to the ship. The key was in plain sight this time so there was plenty of time left to hunt for treasure. I found an enemy that resembles a piranha plant, and it ate a few of my Pikmin before giving up a large piece of treasure. The larger pieces of treasure are worth more money, and it seems that every level has a Panasonic battery that is one of the biggest treasure items.
When the level is complete, you are given a score based on how much treasure you’ve collected and how many Pikmin you have remaining. The three highest scores for each level are recorded. All the levels I tried apart from the boss level had two floors, when you unlock the final hole in the ground it turns out to be a geyser that shoots everyone back up to the surface after the Pikmin break it open.
The levels I played are short and quite simple to complete. Assuming that later levels have more floors, it will be harder to decide whether to collect more treasure and risk losing Pikmin to enemies, or to work down the floors as fast as possible. With the separate level structure, it is easier to play the game for a short period of time, and quite satisfying to complete a level with just a few seconds to spare.