As per the Nintendo Direct for September, Pikmin is officially leaving its home on consoles to explore new horizons on the 3DS. While there is no official title for Pikmin 3DS, the game already looks to be a delightful entry into the often experimental series. Pikmin began as a love project when Miyamoto wanted to convey his love of gardening in a game, spawning three games that had tiny explorers in dangerous worlds with little plant buddies at their command.
As Pikmin has always been a niche title that’s usually sought after once the console has run its course, it makes sense to move the franchise to the more popular 3DS.
To make the game more portable friendly, some changes are going into effect. Most notably, the game is shifting into a 2D action game. Judging by the footage, players will have to gather up various Pikmin, just like in the core titles, to get past obstacles and face threats. Working together, these little guys each have their own special abilities, like the blue ones being able to swim and the yellow ones being able to jump higher. Aesthetically, the game doesn’t suffer, as it looks to be finding a nice mix of background colors and bright characters. Tossing the Pikmin looks to be simple as touching the bottom screen to wing them across gaps or at creatures.
Pikmin has always been a meditative experience, kinda like gardening. The games have a slower pace, focusing more on taking time to assess each situation, rather than running headfirst into danger. The player is always incredibly vulnerable and put in a tight spot to amplify the need to be careful. This 2D entry seems to be doing just that. The last bit of the video that shows off the iconic Bulborb looks to be exciting though, so there will be moments of contrast, just as there is in the core series.
All in all, Pikmin looks like a solid fit on the 3DS. We shall see if it shines like Kirby or rusts like Chibi Robo.