Packaging artwork released for all territories
Pikmin 3[b] is a video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii U video game console. It is the sequel to Pikmin 2 (2004) and was first released in Japan on July 13, 2013 and then in all other regions within the following month. Game designer Shigeru Miyamoto first announced Pikmin 3 on July 16, 2008 as a game for the Wii console, later stating at E3 2011 that its development had transitioned to Wii U. The game retains the gameplay elements introduced in previous Pikmin games, and adds new features, including new playable characters and Pikmin types, Off-TV Play and downloadable content.
In the single-player campaign, the game controls three aliens, who explore the surface of a planet known as "PNF-404" in search of cultivable fruit seeds to save their home planet, Koppai, from famine. They meet and befriend the Pikmin, who assist them on various tasks.
In the game, the player commands a horde of up to 100 plant-like creatures called Pikmin, and uses their unique abilities to explore the in-game world and uncover treasures within it. Pikmin can be directed to accomplish various tasks, such as building bridges, destroying barriers, collecting spoils and defeating enemies. They come in various colors and different physical features that signify their special abilities or immunities to hazards. For example, Red Pikmin are immune to fire, Yellow Pikmin are immune to electricity, and Blue Pikmin can swim in water without drowning.
Alongside the returning red, yellow and blue Pikmin from previous Pikmin games, Pikmin 3 introduces two new Pikmin types: grey-colored Rock Pikmin, which can destroy tough barriers, such as glass, crystals, enemy armor, and are immune to being crushed by heavy objects, and pink-colored Winged Pikmin, which can attack airborne enemies, carry items through the air, and travel over water, but are still able to drown.
The player controls up to three new different leaders of the Pikmin, compared to its predecessor Pikmin 2 in which only two leaders were available. Players can instantly switch between these groups in order to accomplish tasks more quickly or solve certain puzzles.
Pikmin 3 originally offered three control schemes: the Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller or Wii Remote (Plus) with the Nunchuk accessory. In all cases the Wii U GamePad gives the player an overhead map of the game environment, visible on its touch screen. An update, made available on 30 May 2014, allowed for stylus control on the GamePad. The GamePad is used to access the similar-looking "KopPad" in the game, which is used to view the map and other statistics, and for communication with the other squad members. The KopPad also allows players to trace paths on the map, which the in-game characters will automatically begin to follow, and take HD pictures of the surrounding environments, which can then be uploaded to Miiverse.
Aside from a full single-player campaign, the game features split-screen, competitive, two-player multiplayer in a mode called "Bingo Battle". In this mode each player has a 4 by 4 grid of items to collect, and must compete to get four-in-a-row on their board. The game also features "Mission Mode": a single-player or cooperative multiplayer experience where the players are presented with a task based on Pikmin fundamentals, which must be completed in a limited amount of time. There are three trials present within Mission Mode: Collect Treasure, where the players must collect all the fruit and enemies on the map using a set amount of Pikmin before time runs out, Battle Enemies, where the players must kill all the enemies on the map as quickly as possible, and Defeat Bosses, which allows the players to re-encounter the boss creatures from Story Mode.
The game is set on the planet "PNF-404", the setting of the previous Pikmin games; however, it was not named until now. Five different areas on PNF-404 are accessible for the player to explore, each with diverse topography. The narrator explains that the inhabitants of the planet Koppai are suffering from famine as a result of a "booming population, booming appetites, and a basic lack of planning".
After scouting multiple planets with unmanned scout vessels called SPEROS, one returns positive with abundance of cultivable food. They name the planet "PNF-404". Three Koppaite explorers, Alph, an engineer, Brittany, a botanist, and Charlie, a captain, are sent there to explore and retrieve fruit. Their ship, the "S.S. Drake," malfunctions and crash-lands, separating the three. Captain Charlie ends up in the Distant Tundra., and meets the Yellow Pikmin, but is eaten by a monster after exploring. Alph wakes up in the Tropical Wilds, seeing his ship crashing near his landing spot. He meets the Red Pikmin, and recovers their Onion, who in turn helps him recover the S.S Drake. Alph learns that the "cosmic drive key", which allows the S.S. Drake to travel fast enough to get back to Koppai, as it is 279,000 light years away, was lost in the crash-landing. He then receives a call from Brittany, saying that she is trapped in a crystal-walled cage in the Garden of Hope. At this point it is nighttime so Alph gets off the surface of the planet as he fears nocturnal predators are waking up. The Onion followes the S.S. Drake, to Alph's surprise. The next day Alph flies to the Garden of Hope, and finds a monster, and after defeating it with the Red Pikmin, find Rock Pikmin trapped in it. Alph discoveres the Rock Pikmin can smash crystal walls, and after rescuing the Rock Pikmin's Onion, he frees Brittany. The pair detects another signal, and believes it to be Captain Charlie's. Before they get there they find a data file from Captain Olimar, who explains that if anyone is reading the file, then they should tell his son that he is dead. When they get to the place where the signal came from they find another monster, and after defeating it do not find Captain Charlie, but does find an unknown device allowing the S.S. Drake to expand its communication range to the Distant Tundra. After coming off the surface again, the Grey Onion follows the S.S. Drake, and merges with the Red Onion. The next day they find a signal coming from the Distant Tundra, and heads there believing it to be Captain Charlie's. But during the landing the ship hits a mountain and Brittany falls out. She then finds the Yellow Pikmin in a cave, and discoveres they can pass on elecricity signals. She finds their Onion as well. After using them to escape, she finds Alph and the S.S. Drake on the other side of a broken bridge. The pair repair the bridge from both ends and reunite again. They track down the signal, and along they way the find a whistle which allows the Pikmin to dodge roll, and another data file from Olimar saying that he is not dead, and has also found the cosmic-drive key. The signal leads them to another monster, but after defeating it they find Captain Charlie, reuniting the trio. After coming off the surface, The Yellow Onion follows, and merges with the Red & Grey Onion. The next day they detect a signal from the Tropical Wilds, and they head over there, believing it to be Olimar's, as he has the cosmic-drive key. As they land Alph questions the signal, saying "This is where I first landed, could it really have been here this whole time"? They find another monster there and do not find Olimar, but find another unknown device allowing the S.S. Drake to expand its communication range to the Twilight River and the Formidable Oak. They also receive a call from Louie but he does not say his name, and says "Captain Olimar...Help!" which leads the trio to think Louie is Captain Olimar. The next day they find a signal from the Twilight River and head there, but before doing so Brittany questions that they might be on a wild-goose chase, or that Olimar might not be what he seems. After landing there they locate a Pink Onion stuck in a spider web. They free it and find it contains a Winged Pikmin sprout inside, which they pluck. The Winged Pikmin uproots some plants which produce more Winged Pikmin from their Onion, and eventually produce enough Winged Pikmin to lift up a log, allowing the trio to get to a tree where the signal is. They climb to the top and find another monster, which they defeat and find a sleeping Louie, who the trio mistakes for Olimar. After coming off the suface the Pink Onion follows and merges with the Red & Gray & Yellow Onion. Later that night Louie wakes up and steals all the food on the S.S Drake, and flies it to the Garden of Hope. The trio wakes up and chases after Louie. After coming out of the ship, they find a Blue Onion stuck in the water, and after uprooting it with the Winged Pikmin, find a Blue Pikmin sprout inside, which they pluck. After finding another monster and defeating it, they discover the monster ate Louie, whom they bring back to the ship and tie him up in a rope. After coming off the surface, they Blue Onion follows, and merges with the Red & Grey & Yellow & Pink Onion. They interrogate Louie, who tells him Olimar is at Formidable Oak. They head there the next day and they find another of Olimar's logs, explaining that he has tried to escape multiple times but a monster has brang him back, but does not hurt him. They then find the monster and defeat him, freeing Captain Olimar. He explains that the S.S Dolphin is broken, and the trio happilly take him back to Hocotate. Louie, however, is left stranded on the planet.
The narrator speaks at the game's ending, which varies based on the number of fruit the player retrieved during the game. If the player collects a minimum amount of fruit, the narrator states the explorers feel "unease" over the possibility the seeds collected will not be enough to save Koppai. If the player also collects a respectable amount of fruit, it is stated that careful planning will be required to save Koppai. If the player collects all fruits, the narrator states that the three have successfully completed their mission to restore life in Koppai and that the cause of the Drake's crash-landing may be on purpose. In a post-credits scene, the Pikmin see a flaming object falling to the ground, then some Pikmin run to it. This may be linked to the beginning of Hey! Pikmin, because the location seen is nowhere in Pikmin 3.
Shigeru Miyamoto first hinted about the possibilities of a new Pikmin game in a July 2007 interview with IGN, saying "I certainly don't think we've seen the last of Pikmin. I definitely would like to do something with them, and I think the Wii interface in particular is very well suited to that franchise." A later CNET.com interview in April 2008 reported that "For now, Miyamoto looks ahead to other projects for the Wii, mentioning his desire to continue the Pikmin series."
A new Pikmin game was eventually confirmed at E3 2008 during Nintendo's developer roundtable, in which Miyamoto stated that his team were working on a new entry in the series. However, details concerning gameplay and development were left unmentioned. At Miyamoto's roundtable discussion at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2011, Miyamoto stated that Pikmin 3 development was moved to Wii U, the Wii successor. He felt that the HD graphics for the next system and its special screen-based controller would work better for it.
On June 5, 2012, Pikmin 3 was shown at Nintendo's press conference at E3. It demonstrated some of the new gameplay aspects including the new rock Pikmin and the GamePad controls. It was said that it would be released around the same time as the Wii U, but its release was later delayed until mid-2013. When questioned about the presence or absence of the purple and white Pikmin types featured in the second game, Miyamoto stated that "They're in there somewhere, just hidden...". A video released from Nintendo Direct confirmed that they would in fact be in the game, but only in the game's Mission Mode and Bingo Battle.
In a Polygon interview, Miyamoto stated that he plans to have a series of animated Pikmin shorts released on the Nintendo 3DS prior to Pikmin 3's launch. While the shorts went unheard of for months after the game's initial release, they were eventually brought back up again by Miyamoto a year later, and eventually were announced to be released on November 5, 2014 on the Nintendo eShop for $4.99.
The Collect Treasure stage pack downloadable content (DLC) was released on October 1, 2013. It adds four missions to the mission mode. Also releasing with the DLC, was the free 1.2.0 update. Battle Enemies stage pack DLC was released November 6, 2013. It adds four missions to the mission mode. Also releasing with the DLC was the free 1.3.0 update. A third DLC pack of completely new stages (rather than remixes of old stages as in previous DLC) was released on December 2, 2013. Four new "Collect Treasure" and four new "Battle Enemies" stages have been announced. Update 1.4.0 released at the same time adds one free "Collect Treasure" and one free "Battle Enemies" mission as well.
The game received generally favorable reviews. most reviewers praised its well thought-out levels, high-quality graphics and gameplay. The Japanese video game magazine Famitsu scored the game 37/40, with four reviewers awarding three 9s and one perfect 10. The Sunday Times gave it 5 out of 5 stars. IGN scored the game 8.8/10, praising its design but also stating that it was too short. ITF Gaming gave it a 9/10 for its lush, well-crafted environments. Superealmedia gave "Pikmin 3" a Grade A praising the graphics and the controls. Ben Croshaw of The Escapist gave similar praise, notably of the game's incentive for the player to be urgent, but critiqued the Wii U itself for not utilizing the touch screen as a means of individually selecting targets. This feature was added in a later software update.
In Japan, Pikmin 3 was the best selling game during its launch week, selling around 93,000 copies in two days and helping to move 22,200 Wii U systems. In the UK, the game debuted at number 2 in the all-formats chart, behind the retail version of Minecraft for Xbox 360. In the US, the game was the best selling game on its debut week, and according to the NPD Group, it sold 115,000 units in its first month, entering the all-formats chart at number 10. According to a later report, the game has sold around 210,000 units in the US as of December 31, 2013.
- Pre-ordered digital release available August 3, 2013
- ピクミン3 (Japanese: Pikumin Surī)
- "機能を表現するデザイン手法。キャラクター、ブキ、ギアのデザインに迫る、『Splatoon（スプラトゥーン）』開発スタッフインタビュー【デザイン編】 - ファミ通.com". ファミ通.com (in Japanese). Retrieved August 10, 2018.
- "E3 2012: Flying Pink Pikmin Join Pikmin 3". IGN.
- "There Can Be Only One In This Pikmin 3 Multiplayer Battle".
- "Pikmin 3 Hype Reel".
- Nintendo (July 13, 2013). Pikmin 3. Nintendo.
Narrator: And so the intrepid explorers successfully complete their mission! [...] Under their guidance, the seeds they've recovered will be used to kick off a sustainable cycle of cultivation and harvesting, thus bringing new life to Koppai. [...] What was the cause of the accident that sent the SS Drake hurtling to PNF-404's surface? Perhaps it wasn't an accident after all...
- Casamassina, Matt (July 12, 2007). "E3 2007: Miyamoto: We Haven't Seen the Last of Pikmin". IGN. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- Bakalar, Jeff (April 18, 2008). "Up close with Shigeru Miyamoto and 'Wii Fit'". CNET.com. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- Orland, Kyle (July 16, 2008). "Liveblog from Nintendo's 2008 E3 Developer Roundtable". Joystiq. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- Sinclair, Brendan (July 16, 2008). "E3 2008: Miyamoto conducts Wii Music, confirms Pikmin". Gamespot. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- Bozon, Mark (July 16, 2008). "E3 2008: Miyamoto Confirms Pikmin". IGN. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- "Pikmin Coming to Wii U". Nintendo World Report. June 7, 2011.
- Little, Riley (June 7, 2012). "New Flying Pink Pikmin Spotted". Game Rant.
- Claiborn, Samuel (June 5, 2012). "E3 2012: Pikmin 3 Doesn't Need Your Fancy New Controller". ign.com. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Thomas, Lucas M. (December 5, 2012). "Dissecting the Latest From Pikmin 3". Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- Crecente, Brian (March 11, 2013). "Nintendo tests the waters for new cartoon series based on Pikmin". Good Game. Polygon. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- "Get the latest on upcoming and future titles with Nintendo Direct @E3!". Los Angeles: Nintendo UK. June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
- "New Adventures in the Super Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Luigi, Pokémon and Pikmin Franchises All Coming This Year for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS". Nintendo Australia. June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
- Malina, Tom (April 17, 2013). "Pikmin 3 Out in August, New Pikmin Species Shown". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
- Suszek, Mike (October 1, 2013). "Pikmin 3 getting paid DLC". Joystiq. AOL. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Jose Otero (November 6, 2013). "New Pikmin DLC [Battle Enemies] Available Now". IGN. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
- Suszek, Mike (November 13, 2013). "Guide Captain Olimar through new Pikmin 3 DLC". Joystiq. AOL. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
- "Pikmin 3 for Wii U". GameRankings. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Pikmin 3 Reviews". Metacritic. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Edge Pikmin 3 review". Edge. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Eurogamer Pikmin 3 review". Eurogamer. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "NEW GAME CROSS REVIEW - ピクミン3". Famitsu (1284): 44. July 25, 2013.
- "Famitsu Reviews Pikmin 3". My Nintendo News. July 9, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Gamesrader Pikmin 3 review". GamesRadar. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "IGN Pikmin 3 review". IGN. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Pikmin 3 Review". August 4, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- Kubba, Sinan (July 31, 2013). "Pikmin 3 review: To boldly go". Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "Official Nintendo Magazine Pikmin 3 review". Official Nintendo Magazine. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Pikmin 3 for Wii U". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- David Phelan (July 14, 2013). "Pikmin 3". The Sunday Times. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Keza MacDonald 22 Jul 2013 (July 22, 2013). "Pikmin 3 Review - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Darryl Linington (July 30, 2013). "Pikmin 3 Review". ITF Gaming. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Croshaw, Benjamin (September 4, 2013). "PIKMIN 3". Escapist Magazine.
- Ishaan . July 17, 2013 . 1:00pm (July 17, 2013). "This Week In Sales: Pikmin 3 And Luigi Lift Wii U Sales". Siliconera. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Pikmin 3 UK Debut Sales". Nintendo Life. July 29, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
- Pickles, Fuzzy (September 12, 2013). "Madden, Saints Row Top August 2013 NPD Charts, 3DS Sales Strong - News". www.GameInformer.com. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- Makuch, Eddie (September 12, 2013). "Pikmin 3 US sales reach 115,000 units". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
- "LTD Nintendo Games Numbers". Nintendo Everything. January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2014.