It is a game about cute little space people who raise adorable plants and flowers to twit and twitter through twee adventures with bizarre organisms. These adorable creatures live in a world that is at turns heartbreaking, unnerving and devastating, aimed toward neither children nor adults.
If you know what I mean when I say that it is refreshing when a real time strategy game attempts to do something outside of the familiar concept where several factions build structures that allow them to kill off their competition, then Pikmin 3 is a game you will probably enjoy. Alas, if you are also the type of person who swore off Winnie the Pooh as too childish when you were six years old, then you might want to look elsewhere.
Pikmin 3 is a game for those who like to tinker. It is for the mechanically-minded, the patient and the curious. It takes place in hugely miniature play areas rendered in a gorgeous 3D elegance as if they were the computerized visual notes of an artificial intelligence that travels to alien worlds and records what it sees. It is a game about cute little space people who raise adorable plants and flowers to twit and twitter through twee adventures with bizarre organisms. These adorable creatures live in a world that is at turns heartbreaking, unnerving and devastating, aimed toward neither children nor adults.
Pikmin 3 requires patience in order to fully appreciate it. Above all other things, it rewards long-term planning, careful strategy and a keen eye for observation. If the essay is about you commanding a legion of small creatures to do an astoundingly varied series of tasks, its thesis is that it's hard to manage so many independent lifeforms. If you have entertainment ADD, where you buy lots of entertainment things, but don't read, play, watch or listen to many of them, you might just play Pikmin 3 for five or so hours and then forget about it forever.
That would be a shame, because it's ultimately the best game in the series. In the original game the concept was a little undercooked, and while the time limit was a neat idea, it didn't work quite right. Pikmin 2 was more thorough, but went too far in the other direction in making it more of a hardcore dungeon-crawling real time strategy plant army simulation. Pikmin 3 nails the balance. You need to carefully look at your map, consider your options and delegate duties well, like Pikmin 2, but it has the tension that time introduces without being too short or frustrating like Pikmin.
It's best if you don't know a whole lot before you play it too. Much of the joy of Pikmin is similar to that of a child examining bugs in a microscope. If you've followed Pikmin 3's promotion and know all about its features and different Pikmin, the joy of experimentation amidst the unknown that the game fosters will be hampered somewhat. Pikmin 3 would have benefited from a surprise release because of this. However, it was blessed with an incredibly lengthy development time ranging past 5 years, so it is polished, long and contains lots of features for extended enjoyment.
Pikmin 3 is a game for armchair philosophers who can also find pleasure in the simpler things in life.