Well, I finally cracked and went and bought a Wii U. The combination of Zelda themed system, free game, and Pikmin 3 helped to solidify this decision. I can honestly say that I am enjoying the system and I am glad I held off for just a bit on the purchase. Also, yes, Pikmin 3 is so much fun!
For those that might not remember, Pikmin is a game where the player is stranded on a strange world and they must use cute little creatures called Pikmin to tackle various tasks in order to get off the planet. The game is a mix of third-person action and strategy. Thankfully, Prima is here to help players get off this colorful world in as little time as possible with their Pikmin 3 strategy guide.
As this is the first time I have touched a Pikmin game in a few years, I spent a few moments familiarizing myself with it in the How to Play section. The author was kind enough to include controller breakdowns for the Wii U GamePad and Pro controller as well as the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Anyone needing a slight refresher on how the game operates, this is a good starting point.
From there, the strategy guide jumps into the lengthy walkthrough portion. In here, there is a breakdown of each area by day. Tips on how to handle specific tasks, puzzles, or enemies are bountiful. Each new day starts with a map that shows the optimal path and stopping points to make the most efficient use of time. The day then ends with a checklist of tasks that hopefully players were able to finish off.
One of the best parts of this section is the detailed info on boss fights. While the bosses may not be overly complicated, the breakdown of the battle helped keep me from crying over seeing the tragedy that consists of Pikmin ghosts floating into the sky. In all honesty, this is one of the better boss battle step-by-step breakdowns I have read in some time.
From here, it is off to the Area Breakdown portion. This is a good compliment to the walkthrough as this contains key item locations and what is necessary to acquire them. Anyone running low on juice or just looking for a specific character, this is the place to come. Those that want to find all the data files will need to jump one more section, but it’s nothing too terrible as all the fruit locations are gone and only the files are highlighted. I think these two sections could have easily been combined, but neither of them are terribly long or complicated to quickly find help in.
Filling the next two sections is all kinds of goodies on the various characters scattered about as well as items and obstacles. If there is an enemy that is causing trouble, there is a good chance some battle plans can be made while reading up on their behavior here. These two areas are great for research, but I did not heavily rely on them.
Now, those who beat the game, or just want a diversion, the Missions provide a decent challenge. In this chapter, the author gives readers a fair amount of tactics on how to best achieve platinum status on every mission. I spent a few minutes reading the recommended tactics and looking over the map. While this did not yield a perfect run every time, it did make things quite a bit easier.
The last two items the guide covers are the Bingo Battles and a big checklist of things to accomplish in the game. The Bingo Battles are just a collection of maps of each stage while the checklist gives readers an aid to helping them keep completes objectives under control.
I want to take a moment to just compliment Prima on the art work they included on this guide. Instead of the usual game art assets, Prima used plastic models and terrain to setup scenes throughout the guide. This is something that caught me off guard, but I thoroughly appreciated. I found more than once being sucked into the pictures and just staring at it for a good amount of time. It might seem like a small touch, but one that made me appreciate the guide that much more.
The single factor that starts to take away from the Pikmin 3 strategy guide is when it comes to navigation through its bountiful pages, especially the walkthrough portion. You see, this section is broken down by days, which makes sense at first, but it quickly becomes a nightmare the deeper into the game one goes. As the goals start to become harder to obtain, I found myself flipping back and forth between Walkthrough, Area Breakdown, and to a lesser extent, Characters, rather frequently. Thankfully I did this before jumping into each day, but it did add some time as I looked at what needed to be done, study the map, read up on new enemies, memorize fruit locations, and hope that I did not forget anything at the same time. Yup, it sucks when the cat tips the book off the couch at night and your bookmark slips out and you have to spend some time trying to figure out where you were in the guide as your days no longer match up due to having to take an extra day to finish up the prior’s activities.
Easing the navigation is a tabbed reference system on the right side of the book. I found this to be immensely helpful as I was constantly flipping through the book. There is one small issue with this tabbed system in that the first 187 pages, it reads: Characters/Items and Obstacles/Data Pads. Yet, on page 189 that suddenly changes to Data Files/Characters/Items and Obstacles. Yes, that did cause some confusion at first and why it changes is beyond me.
Despite the massive amount of thumbing from section to section during my time in Pikmin 3, this is a rock solid strategy guide for anyone trying to get through this strange new world in as little time as possible, and without starving to death. The boss battle info and artwork in this guide are damn near worth the entry fee alone. Oh Pikmin, why must you be so friggin cute!
SGR Rating 4/5
Author: Nick von Esmarch
Publisher: Prima Games
Editions Available: Paperback
Acquired via Publisher