Pikmin 3 Draws Influence From First Pikmin, More Stressful

by Tyler Ohlew - January 2, 2013, 8:28 am PST
Total comments: 20 Source: http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/45206/pi...

Miyamoto wants to move the series away from the changes made in Pikmin 2. 

Pikmin 3 will be a return to the series' roots as per Shigeru Miyamoto's misgivings over Pikmin 2's design decisions.

Miyamoto, who serves as producer on all three installments, told GamesMaster magazine that he didn't completely agree with Pikmin 2's less stressful mechanics. The sequel dropped the time restraints found in the first Pikmin, allowing each player to achieve the objective at his or her own pace.

"Our main aim in Pikmin 2 was to get rid of any stress," Miyamoto says, "...so that it would be very user-friendly. Well, I myself couldn't agree with that direction perfectly." Miyamoto notes that the pressure put on players in the first game to rebuild Captain Olimar's ship was intentional, as he wished to have Pikmin be a strategic game.

When it came time to design Pikmin 3, Miyamoto says he gathered the team behind its predecessor and made clear his goal. "...I should say that half of my job at that time wasn't just to talk, but rather to "persuade" them to understand what I intended to do and to agree to my idea."

Pikmin 3 is scheduled to arrive on Wii U within Q2 of this year.


Pixelated PixiesJanuary 02, 2013

I'm on board. I definitely preferred Pikmin 1 over Pikmin 2.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 02, 2013

On one hand, yes!  The time limits made it a better game.

On the other hand, blah!  I enjoyed the freedom of playing around without restriction.  In fact, I went back recently and replayed P1 with the Action Replay and the time cheat.  That makes it a totally different game.

I hope there's at least an option to replay the levels without a time restriction once you've beat them.

broodwarsJanuary 02, 2013

Hmm...I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. I did enjoy the first Pikmin way more than Pikmin 2 back in the day, and the time limit was a large part of that.  I was so bored exploring those caves in Pikmin 2 that I just stopped playing the game altogether.

However, I'm a very different gamer now than I was back in the GC days.  I don't have as much spare time and I have a lot more stress, so these days having a developer state they're looking to make their game more stressful is a real turn-off for me.  I don't know if I could enjoy a new experience modeled after Pikmin 1 again.

CalibanJanuary 02, 2013

Hooray. Good news. The "stress" of the first game is one of its parts that make it a great game.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)January 02, 2013

I'd say tension is a better descriptor to apply to the first Pikmin than 'stressful.' I don't really associate stress with particularly positive emotions, but I really liked Pikmin. It's tense, having to be quick and efficient under that time limit, but I wouldn't call it stressful.

The one sticking point about such a time limit is that there's a very definite end to the game. Whether or not you accomplished the objective in Pikmin 1 after 30 days, the game is over after that point. And it is certainly completable well before the 30 day limit - I've heard of people finishing it in 9 days. In real-time, that's about 2 and a half hours, give or take, but even if you take all 30 days, that's still only around 7 hours. Now, a game being short is not necessarily a knock against it if it's a dense, full experience in that time. But I'd hope to be playing Pikmin 3 for at least as long as I did Pikmin 2, which, whatever merits or demerits you label that game with, was more content-rich than its predecessor.

It's an interesting approach for sure. I am amused by the use of the word 'persuade' in that quote. As if to say "I'm Shigeru Miyamoto, I say this is what's happening and if you don't like it, tough luck!"

KisakiProjectJanuary 02, 2013

I prefer 2 to 1 by leaps and bounds.  But that's mostly because of the multiplayer which 3 has.

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 02, 2013

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

I'd say tension is a better descriptor to apply to the first Pikmin than 'stressful.' I don't really associate stress with particularly positive emotions, but I really liked Pikmin. It's tense, having to be quick and efficient under that time limit, but I wouldn't call it stressful.

I was just about to make the same distinction. I didn't find the original Pikmin to be stressful at all. It was challenging and the boss battles could be tense but I never felt like I was on tenterhooks.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJanuary 02, 2013

I would categorize the two Pikmin games as this:

Pikmin 1 is a game about survival. From the outset you realize that your life depends on how well you survive on the alien planet. You needed to work with the Pikmin in order to fix your ship as well as battle the elements, the creatures and time itself. It indeed made it a "tense" game to play through, but in my case I loved it because at the very end of it all when you achieved the ultimate goal you feel satisfied. You survived despite it all.

Pikmin 2 is all about exploration. Even with limitations and dangers imposed, you CAN play through the game and just explore it all. This has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that you can enjoy the alien world better and get a better feel of it because the last time you played through it you were focused on survival. The disadvantage is that there is no real goal beyond finding treasure to pay off a debt. That may be a fun goal for some but it doesn't have the thrills of survival on a dangerous alien planet.

It is all a matter of preference. Me? I enjoyed Pikmin 1 far more. The second game did absolutely nothing for me, I am afraid.

ShyGuyJanuary 02, 2013

Between Pikmin 3 and Zombi U, Wii U is shaping up to be the STRESS console.

I look forward to the STRESS version of Endless Ocean. DISCOVER THAT FISH BEFORE THE OIL SPILL, CLOCK'S TICKING

Linkle LinkJanuary 02, 2013

Personally, I find both games stressful. Sure, the ticking clock in Pikmin forces you to make sure you do better planning ahead to ensure timely completion of your objectives. But I think it has more to do with the say realistic look and world. Every enemy encounter is one of survival. Especially when you see your Pikmin or enemy die and his spirit leave. If you've ever had a battle go badly or massively bungled, you learn to have a healthy respect for all enemies. Likewise in Pikmin 2, I always found myself debating whether I wanted to risk going further into a cave knowing that I could encounter some terrifying new creature and it could all go badly before I figured out how to defeat them.

Still, I'm curious as to what this stress refers to. Will it be a time-limit structured game or does Miyamoto have something else in mind when he talks about this stress? The first game was a crash landing. The second showed Olimar could come and explore the land as needed to save the company. What is next? Another crash but this time a rescue mission led by Olimar? A natural disaster occurs on the planet and Olimar is trapped there? Or conversely, scientists recognize a disaster is coming and they need to help organize a survival rescue mission of wildlife? Pikmin have collected space craft parts and then treasures. What would the Pikmin be needed to collect this game? Maybe these answers are already available. Not sure since I haven't really been keeping up with the news on this game.

NeoThunderJanuary 02, 2013

Pikmin2 wasn't bad.  Most of the items were underground where the time limit didn't apply, but the stress of not being able to retreat without losing all your items and pikmin ( I think?, don't remember). Hands down the most stressful was the final cave and the final boss battle to rescue Louie.

EasyCureJanuary 02, 2013

some of you are starting to sound like pundits, the way you're throwing around this articles buzzword...

Quote from: ShyGuy

Between Pikmin 3 and Zombi U, Wii U is shaping up to be the STRESS console.

I look forward to the STRESS version of Endless Ocean. DISCOVER THAT FISH BEFORE THE OIL SPILL, CLOCK'S TICKING


Vitality sensor bundle confirmed?!

I haven't played Pikmin 2 but I loved how the time limit made what could of been an easy exploration game TENSE. The only thing STRESS I found was when I'd be reckless and let too many pikmin die.

I can't wait! Both 1 and 2 are good but I vastly prefer the "tension" of the first game!

Mop it upJanuary 02, 2013

The original game's 30-day limit was more for show than anything else, I felt, on the whole it was a lot of time. My first time through the game, I never really felt hurried by the 30 days, it's pretty easy to get at least one part each day. I was still able to take my time to explore and experiment, and still beat the game with 3 days to spare. Then once you know what you're doing, the game can be completed in much less time.

The limit made sense in the first game, since the actual gameplay was fairly easy, it was more about being efficient than anything else. But it also made for a short game, and so I hope that this structure doesn't return for Pikmin 3 because it would be a shame if it were also that short. What I felt was more tense in the first game was the daytime limit, that was much more concerning since you had to get everything done and get back before nightfall, or you'd lose Pikmin. This is the kind of idea I hope they expand upon in Pikmin 3, a short-term time limit I guess it'd be, one where you have to do things within a certain time but there are no limits on how many times you can try it.

I haven't played Pikmin 2 yet so I don't know how it works.

MagicCow64January 02, 2013

I'd be down with a 30 day time limit in Pikmin 3 and the ensuing P1-type tension, but a good point was made above about the relative paucity of content that would entail. I think this could be alleviated by an extremely robust challenge mode that tied into the "narrative" somehow. This could split the game content along the lines of Portal 2, with neither portion being mandatory, or the challenge portion could be gradually unlocked. There seem to be multiple protagonists in P3, so this should be possible.

I'm happy as long as there are no autogenerated caves in the main "tension" portion.

rlse9January 02, 2013

I greatly preferred Pikmin 2 to Pikmin 1.  That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the first game but the more relaxed atmosphere of the game suited me better.  And finding all of the random Earth objects instead of parts for a ship was far more interesting to me.  Limiting the time each day may added difficulty and a sense of urgency but it just didn't add that much fun to the game for me.  Both were very good but I'd prefer a game closer to two than one.  Then again, I'd also prefer they be on about the fifth game in the series by now instead of the third, so at this point anything truly new is good.

I was really upset by this, because I like Pikmin 2 far more. But then I looked at a screen from this game and became a babbling piece of fanboy trash. I don't give a crap. Just mainline this shit directly into my fucking skull. NOW!

Ian SaneJanuary 03, 2013

Both Pikmins had a part of them that I didn't care for.  In Pikmin 2 I didn't really like the caves.  I preferred gathering items and breeding Pikmin on the surface.  The caves in Pikmin 2 did not have the breeding and that I loved.  I love killing a powerful enemy and then turning his body into more Pikmin.  You can't do that in the caves.

In Pikmin 1, I didn't like the time limit because it hurt my ability to explore and exploration is my favourite part of a videogame (see why I hate Other M?)  So I'm not really thrilled to go back to this design.  Realistically my dream game is Pikmin 2 with no caves and more overworld areas.

The problem with Pikmin's time limit is that the resulting game is a mish-mash of somewhat incompatible designs.  A game where you have to succeed in one playthrough is nothing I didn't see a million times during my childhood.  But while you have to beat Contra in one playthrough, the game is only like an hour long.  So repeating the whole playthrough multiple times is no problem.  But Pikmin is a game that requires a save and multiple sittings to complete.  So if you fail in such a game, restarting is a huge time sink.  Who wants to restart two weeks of play or a month or however long it took?  Thankfully Pikmin is not that hard and realistically if you have 30 days to get 30 pieces don't save unless you got a piece that day.  Still any game that requires you to put in enough time that a save is absolutely necessary is not ideal for requiring the player to start over.

One thing that is nice however is that Pikmin's time limit is not very casual friendly so we probably don't have to worry about the game being dumbed down to attract a wider audience.

pokepal148January 03, 2013

there needs to be a noob setting, the concept of a time limit is very offputting to alot of people myself included generous or not.

Pixelated PixiesJanuary 03, 2013

Quote from: pokepal148

there needs to be a noob setting, the concept of a time limit is very offputting to alot of people myself included generous or not.

That's not a bad idea. They should simply ask upfront at the start of the game whether or not you want to apply the time limit.

My guess though is that there will not be a time limit in Pikmin 3. I think it will be closer to Pikmin 1 in terms of mood and tension, but I also believe that 3 will be longer than 1 (which makes the inclusion of a time limit more difficult). The time limit in the first game worked so well because it was a short game. Although I didn't like Pikmin 2 as much as the original, I understood that Nintendo could not have simply included a time limit for 2 because it was so much bigger than it's predecessor.

Games designed around resource management and time limits have the potential for the player to leave themselves in an unwinnable position. With a short game that's less of a problem, but if the game is longer it becomes exponentially more frustrating to hit a roadblock towards the end.

Nintendo could maybe get around that frustration by offering multiple save slots as they did with Pikmin 2. The difficulty there is that while more experienced gamers might have the awareness and foresight to create and manage multiple save slots, many gamers do not.

Who knows, maybe Nintendo will include a time limit as part of an unlockable higher difficulty.

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