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Reviewed by James Wardle For some strange reason, My Gamecube games are the essentials that are called by Gamecube owners all over the world. My fourth game was Pikmin, one complicated looking game, but a wonderful game. The journey home Pikmin is an original game by Nintendo, and is about an astronaut called Captain Olimar. Captain Olimar is traveeling home in his rocket, that is until he is struck by an asteroid. He wakes up on a huge planet which is full of strange and exotic creatures, he bumps in to three different kinds of Pikmin, Red, Yellow and Blue. Olimar meets these three Pikmin one at a time and become his bestfriends. The purpose of these Pikmin is to repair your ship, which gained damage from the strike of the asteroid. The story is quite involving in Pikmin. Olimar only has thirty days to repair his ship, that is an average of one part per day. Pikmin does not have many surprises as far as the story goes, however at the end of each day (each lasting about fifteen minutes) Captain Olimar writes something in his journal (a diary). The game has three endings depening on how much you completed your ship within the time limit. The best ending, has to be one of the best endings I have seen, I wish not to spoil, but the game has a great story, and you will feel very sorry for the stranded character and his determanation to rturn home. Using a wistle, Captain Olimar can call the Pikmin to him, those in his group are branded a bright colour, those aren't are as pale as a ghost. You can dissmiss the Pikmin, call them, throw them, comamnd them, make them pick up things, attack flowers and animals, knock down walls, build bridges and more importantly, bring the scattered ship parts back to the rocket. There is a difference in the Pikmin. The red Pikmin are the first you encounter, they love fire and are the strongest Pikmin, but they die in water. The Yellow Pikmin, found later on are the lightest Pikmin, they can throw them much higher then their brothers and can throw bomb rocks. However, like the reds they drown in water and unlike the reds, get killed in fire. The blues are my favourite, they have no special attributes, but are the most useful as they can go in water without fear of drowning, plus they act as lifeguards if other Pikmin are victims of the water, they die in fire though. Pikmin evolve too, the Pikmin have a seed on their head, the longer they stay underground before Captain Olimar pick them up, the faster they are. They start off as Leaf Pikmin, then Bud Pikmins and finally the beautiful Flower Pikmin, which are slightly more powerful and faster then their siblings. Not only do you have to guide the Pikmin through danger and make sure they carry rocket parts safley, you have to make them kill enemies, breed (meaning take pellets/ food/ enemies back to their home to produce more Pikmin) Pikmin is one game with brilliant music and sound effects. My only complaint is the title screen, the music is quite annoying, but I have no problems on the other pieces of music in the game, they are quite peaceful and add atmosphere in to the five levels... The sound effects are simply marvellous. When Pikmin are building bridges, you can listen to each individual leaf hitting the wooden log. The Pikmin themselves make cute sounds. For the graphics, I am going to give Pikmin perfect marks. The detail that Nintendo has put in the game mmakes you say 'Wow!'! There is no glitches to my knowlage, the water, grass, sandan dirt terrains are designed perfectly. Everything is in 3D as well, with the exception for letters of course, there is no 2D renders of anything, not even the ladders Pikmin use or leaves from the plants. The animations that Nintendo have used to create how Pikmin and the enemies are wonderful, the way the Bulb monsters swoop for the Pikmin with their mouth is very impressive. You can even zoom in to spy on your Pikmin, but please take it as a chance to view the world. It is a shame the box art looks blocky... However, the biggest downfall for Pikmin is the difficulty. Although many gamers say this is quite easy, just like Luigi's Mansion, I have to agree. However, I had to start the game three times, the first time I messed up big time by missing a few parts, the second time I was moving too slow and was low on Pikmin, the third time I breezed through it. I recommend Pikmin to everybody who owns a Gamecube. It is one great strategy game which should not be missed. It might be a short game, but it is very enjoyable, filled with great puzzles, both simple and brain taxing (from moving a box to building a bridge so blue pikmin can build another bridge at the other side) which will make you laugh and get you involved. Like Luigi's Mansion, it is one of those games which don't last long but is very enjoyable. Either get it now, or if you wish to wait, wait until it comes down in price. Good/ Petal: - Another original game for the Gamecube - From the creator of Mario - Unlocks a secret in Super Smash Bros. Melee - Lots of replaybility - Oilmar is as comical as Luigi, look how his nose moves up and down! up and down! up and down! - Enemies re-spawn at a perfect rate - Multiple endings - Unique control system - Huge levels Bad/ Dead Flower: - 19 blocks to save... that is far too many! - Only 5 levels, no more, not even a bonus stage, but the 5 levels are huge. - Not enough time to explore the planet - Quite short - Easy to mess up Alternatives: There isn't much else which is like this, other then other Nintendo games, Luigi's Mansion, Super Mario Sunshine or strategy games for the Playstation 2 and PC, these being Age of Empires and Command and Conquer.

Graphics - 10/10 Sound - 10/10 Music - 9/10 Gameplay - 10/10 Story - 9/10 Ending - 10/10 Enjoyment - 10/10 Lifespan - 7/10 Challenge - 5/10 Overall - 10/10

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