Pikmin 3 @ E3 2012: Better Late Than Never For Nintendo’s Stunning Reveal

Dave Cook


Pikmin 3 has been in demand from fans for ages, and Nintendo finally revealed its Wii U follow-up at its pre-E3 conference. We expose all of the new details in our round up.

Published on Jun 6, 2012


Pikmin 3 is rather odd in that it’s been one of the worst kept secrets in gaming, but also expected to show up at Nintendo’s pre-E3 conferences for years. We knew it was coming, you knew it was coming, but nothing could prepare us for the awesome that was Pikmin 3’s Wii U reveal.

Shigeru Miyamoto put Pikmin 3 enthusiasts out of their misery at Nintendo’s pre-E3 2012 conference in superb style, complete with a gameplay demonstration that showed off some of the Wii U’s new features.

So what are you waiting for? Dive right in to our Pikmin 3 round up for all of the first details on Nintendo’s outstanding reveal, and don’t forget to check out the official Pikmin 3 gameplay trailer here.


Pikmin 3 returns to lush forests and colourful characters

Nintendo’s Pikmin 3 reveal opens with a bubbling stream, luscious green foliage and a pack of colourful, charming Pikmin creatures scuttling across the environment in playful fashion. In short, this is the same old Pikmin you remember. No gritty makeover, no dubstep, no guff of any description.

All of the classic Pikmin breeds will return from previous games, plus a new type that we’ll discuss shortly. So returning players will have no issue diving back into Nintendo’s colourful world. You can control herds up to 100 of the critters in Pikmin 3, using them to fight monsters and overcome obstacles. 


Pikmin 3 throws tons of new hazards at your Pikmin herd

The first true Wii U gameplay demo revealed by Nintendo, Pikmin 3 defies what many of assumed about the console – that it would seem technologically inferior when compares to PS3 and Xbox 360. If you fall into this bracket, you’ll be unhappy to learn that you were dead wrong.

We see a pack of many Pikmin huddling together on a lily pad floating downstream, as a massive dragonfly swoops overhead, underlining just how tiny the Pikmin are. The Wii U visuals are superb, and while they don’t hint at true next-gen clout, they are miles away from the limp offering of the original Wii, and best of all, presented in full HD.


Pikmin 3 features Captain Olimar, but he’s nowhere to be seen

Nintendo’s Pikmin 3 demo then cuts to a little astronaut chap who looks a lot like Captain Olimar from the previous Pikmin games, but Miyamoto explains that this is not Olimar himself, but another ‘leader’, explaining that Olimar is a secret for the time being. We smell a character reveal later this year.


Pikmin 3 puts your Pikmin herd up against new and returning enemies

While Pikmin 3 will make use of the Wii U Gamepad’s screen and buttons, you can also play it with Wiimotes, pointing at areas of the environment to direct Pikmin, instruct them to attack enemies, or interact with the environment.

Nintendo showed huge packs of Pikmin battering mushroom beasts and flying slime creatures, all by using the Wiimote as a pointer. Blue Pikmin can also engage underwater enemies, such as ink-spewing jellyfish.


Pikmin 3 introduces Rock Pikmin, and new ways to change the landscape

Pikmin are able to manipulate their surroundings in more ways than ever before, such as tearing down sandcastle barricades. However, your greatest weapon against blockades will be Pikmin 3’s all-new rock breed.

These guys look like tiny boulders with eyes, and can hurl themselves at diamond and thick glass barriers, shattering them into bits after just a few attacks. 

Rock Pikmin can also be used to knock armoured scales off centipede creatures, before red Pikmin launch in with a counter-attack. Already there seems to be a great deal of strategy to how you use different Pikmin breeds together.


Pikmin 3 sees Pikmin groups carrying fruit and bridge pieces

Along the way, you will encounter giant fruit in Pikmin 3, each with their own weight rating. For example, a large orange needs nine Pikmin to carry, while a strawberry only needs three, so you need to mindful of how many Pikmin you can spare to do the heavy lifting.

Nintendo’s Pikmin 3 gameplay demo showed Pikmin carrying the fruit over to a small spaceship to be beamed aboard, filling up a quota bar in the top left corner of the screen. Pikmin can also carry stones to pave bridges over gaps, move leaves, and slide down tree branches.



Pikmin 3 features four player co-op, and collaborative skills

Nintendo announced that Pikmin 3 would have our player co-op on Wii U, both on one device and online using Miiverse. In co-op leaders can throw each other over gaps, and perform duties across the map simultaneously.

We saw two leaders on the same stage – one collecting fruit in one area while the other battled mushroom beasts on the other side of the environment. Co-op is a great addition to Pikmin 3, underlining Wii U’s online multiplayer clout, which has been long overdue from Nintendo, but now entirely welcome.

We’ll have more from Pikmin 3 as it happens, but for now, check out the rest of our coverage to stay up to date:






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