The astro-baby stars of Pikmin 2 are a lot of things--thimble tall, in tune with flora, at odds with fauna--but right now, more than anything, they're late. Captain Olimar, the original game's wee protagonist, and his new assistant were originally supposed to touch down on GameCube in fall 2003.
So if you're foggy on this sequel's setup, here's a refresher: Pikmin 2 takes the grow-a-plant-army concept and adds two-player splitscreen play and nixes a time limit, so you can explore the randomly generated dungeons and hunt down treasure all the livelong day. You get two new Pikmin plant creatures to wrangle--a burly purple guy and a poisonous white one--plus, more than 60 different enemy critters to beat to death with your flower-powered army.
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It's sort of a chicken/egg question, well actually a hot dog/game one. I know I love Pikmin 2. There's something endlessly cool about controlling a swarm of little critters while you stand back in the cheering section and watch them work their little legs off to serve your seemingly senseless mental meanderings. But what I don't know, can't figure out, is if I loved the game before I saw the Nintendo Hot Dog commercial ' probably the best Nintendo commercial ever. I guess it doesn't really matter, what does matter is that you go out right now and buy Pikmin 2.
It's a fantastic sequel to the original game adding the ability to play coop or adversarial multiplayer modes. In the sequel you take on the roll of Captain Olimar as he tries to scavenge enough scrap to get his boss's company out of debt. This time around you can also control Louie, Olimar's dim sidekick. To collect the junk you'll have to control an army of tiny little pikmin. Fortunately, controlling them is very intuitive and more than half the fun of the game.
The game doesn't just a new controllable character to the play, it also adds a few new shades of pikmin, the diminutive creatures that carry out Olimar's bidding. The game's collection of pikmin are color-coded with each shade having it's own special abilities. The new poisonous white pikmin are themselves resistant to poison and can find treasure while the new purple pikmin are ten times stronger than their counter-parts.
The game also has new cave areas to explore and an unlimited time period for spelunking. The original game had a 30 day time limit. The change that most makes this game a keeper is the addition of several new modes. There's a two-player battle mode, split-screen mode and a two-player challenge mode.
Pikmin 2 is the type of strange, oddly addictive game that keeps Nintendo fans happy and draws new followers to the brand daily. The game blends the best aspects of puzzle games with a twist of action and adventure, leaving gamers with a constant desire to play and control.
Two thimble-tall alien astronauts are better than one, or so goes the theory behind this sequel. Aside from two-player play, it tosses in new photosynthesis-fueled critters--a burly purple fella and a creepy, poisonous white one.
HOW WAS IT?
Pikmin 2 centers on quests for doodads, which isn't much different from the goal of the first game. So far, it just feels like more of the same. (But man, that white thing scares me.)