By Raymond Nava
“Pikmin 3 Deluxe” for the Nintendo Switch is a near-perfect port of the 2013 game for Wii U except for some minor flaws here and there. Released on Oct. 30, “Pikmin 3 Deluxe” adds plenty of new modes and features that were not in the original release. These include all new difficulties, new side stories and for the first time in the Pikmin series, split screen co-op play for the main story.
“Pikmin 3 Deluxe” follows Alph, Brittney and Charlie, three explorers from the planet Koppai, who travel to Earth in order to find food after exhausting their home world’s resources. The team ends up getting stranded on Earth and comes across small ant-like creatures called Pikmin.
Throughout the game, players use Pikmin to collect many types of fruit and other types of resources for the Pikmin to use to build bridges and platforms.
Players can play the game using pointer controls similar to the Wii U’s motion controls, or play in handheld mode similar to playing the game on the Wii U gamepad.
One of the biggest additions to “Pikmin 3 Deluxe” is the new split screen co-op for the main campaign. For the first time, two people are able to play through the main story as opposed to multiplayer only being an option for side modes, like in “Pikmin 2” and the Wii U version of 3.
While it is a nice addition, it’s puzzling that co-op is limited to local split screen play with no ability for online co-op. Given there is currently a pandemic and social distancing is being encouraged, it’s unfortunate that Nintendo would leave out the ability to play co-op online.
New side-story missions have been added to “Deluxe,” which follow Captain Olimar and Louie, the protagonists from the previous games. These are nice little side missions that contain a small story in the form of the mission-mode.
While it would have been nicer if the missions were bigger instead of being confined to the timed mission mode format, it’s still nice for fans of the previous installments to play as the characters from those games. These additions add value to the game.
One thing that is frustrating about “Deluxe” is the control scheme for handheld mode. In the original release for Wii U, players had the option of playing the game on the Wii U gamepad instead of on the TV, similar to the Switch’s handheld mode.
The button layout of the gamepad is nearly identical to the Switch, which should have allowed the handheld mode controls to be the same.
Unfortunately, some controls are different. Instead of having different buttons to switch between captains, dismiss Pikmin and use potions, “Deluxe” groups all of these actions into a menu brought up by pressing the Y button and using the analog stick to select an option. While the change doesn’t affect the overall gameplay in a big way, it’s a little frustrating that “Deluxe” doesn’t just use the same control layout as the Wii U gamepad.
“Pikmin 3 Deluxe” is a great game that is the definitive version of “Pikmin 3.” The extra content that’s been added is enough to entice owners of the Wii U version to buy “Deluxe.”
It’s a great way to introduce the series to a new generation of gamers which hopefully spells good signs for the series’ future. “Pikmin 3 Deluxe” is a definite must-buy.