Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2 can now be called pretty classic games. Both due to the fact that they were well received by reviewers and the fact that they are now quite old. Originally, both games appeared on the Nintendo GameCube in 2001 and 2004, and now, almost twenty years later, they are getting a slightly polished port to the Switch. Are both games still worth picking up or might they be better left untouched?
Back to the beginning
At the time, Pikmin 1 managed to impress mainly because it was an entirely new franchise for Nintendo. While the giant from Japan sometimes has a reputation for making new versions of older titles, often resulting in great games by the way, Pikmin was for the first time in a long time something truly new from Shigeru Miyamoto’s pen. In the story of Pikmin 1, you take on the role of Captain Olimar who is stranded on a seemingly deserted planet called PNF-404, which of course is a funny reference to Page Not Found error 404. You have thirty in-game days to collect the parts of your spaceship as well as enough fuel to escape. That sounds like a nice amount of time, but Pikmin 1 and 2 both have a fairly limited amount of time to complete all the various objectives. So you’ll have to be efficient with your time and not free to explore the world. The time constraints have become more relaxed as the Pikmin game series has progressed, but with the first installment, there is absolutely no such thing.
In Pikmin 2, Olimar escapes from the planet from the first part only to find out that his transport company is almost bankrupt. Therefore, he and his colleague Louie decide to return to PNF-404 to collect items and be able to sell them for money. The time limit of the first part is gone in the process and you will be more concerned with combing the areas you visit so thoroughly. Pikmin 2 was also the first game in the series to add underground dungeons and took the first steps toward cooperative gameplay by introducing a Challenge Mode. In it, two players could take on different missions together and, by dividing their time well, arrive at the best results. All in all, both games are still very entertaining games today. Pikmin 1 has a certain amount of challenge due to the time limit that the later parts in the series no longer have. It can sometimes cause some frustration when you fall short of a goal, but the time constraint does make the game a little more satisfying when you do manage to complete difficult sections.
In terms of graphics, both games feature an improvement in resolution from 900P to 1080P and polished textures. But then that’s because these are slightly improved ports of the Wii version of Pikmin New Play Control. That game already added motion controls by means of the wii-mote, something also found in these versions by means of the joy-cons.
At the moment, both games are only available digitally on Nintendo’s eShop, but for those gamers who prefer to purchase the games physically, it’s just a matter of waiting until the end of September. That’s when the games will be on store shelves. So for those people who would like to have the entire series complete on a single system, this is the first time that opportunity will be available.
Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2 on the Switch are still, at their core, two excellent games. The gameplay is solid, and both games offer enough challenge and content to last a good while. But because both Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Pikmin 4 are so much stronger graphically, I would recommend these two games primarily for people who want to experience how the series once started. Or for people who like the idea of owning the entire series on a single system. Does your interest not lie in experiencing the origins of a series? Then I would personally rather recommend leaving these somewhat convenient ports aside. Because Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Pikmin 4 as a total package are simply much better games and more value for money.