The resourceful Captain Olimar returns for another exciting adventure with the Pikmin. During the escapades chronicled in his first game, Olimar was unaware of his employer’s massive debt and subsequent liquidation. One problem, however, folks: his boss couldn’t find enough assets to sell off, so now it’s up to Olimar to capture enough treasure from the Pikmin planet to repay the debt.
Pikmin 2 features a few noteworthy additions including two new Pikmin types (the strong purple and poisonous white variety), new obstacles, a new character to command, and a remarkably amusing multiplayer mode. The removal of the imposed time limit from its predecessor will please both veterans and newcomers alike. While you still need to regroup your Pikmin by day’s end, you are now able to take the necessary time to collect the items.
Louie, the newly added costar, adds a further dimension of strategy. For example, players can now choose to have Olimar direct his band of Pikmin to gather items and fight the other indigenous life forms of the planet, at the same time using Louie to propagate the Pikmin back at the camp. To successfully solve the numerous puzzles strewn throughout the game, both Olimar and Louie must be used in tandem, as evidenced in later stages. This allows for a much more thought-oriented experience.
Visually, there have been various improvements made from its predecessor. Textures are much cleaner, and are more diverse, allowing for a much better overall presentation. The enemy species look fantastic and continue their devilish behavior. Each level possesses a lush and natural feel to it, while the level designs are ingenious. In all, every aspect of the visuals just infuses value and placement.
Arguably, some of the coolest additions are the trademark Nintendo details. The Pikmin now tend to express their personality more this time around. For example, they sing happily while following Olimar or Louie on their quest. Approaching an onion pod, you will hear the Pikmin partying, and when unused, they make sounds as though they are sleeping. Another feature is the amount of product placement featured in the game. From 7-UP bottle caps, to Duracell batteries, the Pikmin home world is filled with many products that we see on a daily basis.
Overall, Pikmin 2 will not disappoint either veterans or newcomers. Pikmin 2 possesses depth, strategy and fun and is one of the most accessible games for players of all ages. Although the game cannot be considered as innovative as the first installment, it certainly can be considered one of the GameCube’s borderline classics.