Pikmin 4 Review

An Odyssey of Tiny Heroes: Blossoming Adventures in a Vibrant World of Strategy

Mason Moeller

7/24/20232 min read

Pikmin 4, the latest installment in Nintendo's captivating series, is a delightfully creative puzzle-strategy game that marries the simple charm of its roots with innovative gameplay, mechanics, and a dash of humor. With the world of video games often dominated by fast-paced, high-intensity genres, it’s always refreshing to come across a title that rewards careful thought, strategy, and patience.

The genius of Pikmin has always lain in its layered simplicity, and Pikmin 4 takes this design ethos to heart. The game starts off slow, allowing both newcomers and veterans to acclimate themselves to the evolving complexities. The gentle roll-out of new Pikmin, items, and abilities ensure players are not overwhelmed, yet it continually encourages them to optimize strategies and explore novel ways to navigate the environment.

The most significant new feature in Pikmin 4 is the introduction of Oatchi, the adorable companion that helps navigate the terrain and assists with carrying objects. Oatchi's abilities are upgradable, offering a tantalizing reward system that adds an extra layer to the gameplay and strategy. The inclusion of Oatchi also humanizes the gameplay, creating an emotional connection that further deepens the player's immersion into this world.

Visually, Pikmin 4 is a feast for the eyes. The intricate design of each stage, the vibrant colors, the level of detail - all contribute to an immersive experience that is both nostalgic and new. The game retains the series' tradition of exploring Earth-like terrains from an ant-sized perspective, making everyday objects into monumental discoveries.

The removal of time constraints in Pikmin 4 is a welcome change, relieving the pressure of 'doing things wrong' and allowing for a more casual, exploration-focused experience. The rewind function, allowing players to replay parts of a level to improve efficiency or correct mistakes, further accommodates a relaxed approach to gameplay. It adds a sense of liberation that encourages experimentation without the fear of permanent consequences.

Combat in Pikmin 4 is both strategic and engaging. The plethora of unique enemies and elemental variants require careful thought on army composition and approach. The combat feels satisfying and never overly punishing, balancing challenge with accessibility. It blends perfectly with the overall gameplay, encouraging you to consider every move carefully, making each victory feel well-earned.

One slight reservation is that Pikmin 4 can occasionally feel too leisurely. It might not cater to those looking for high-intensity action or adrenaline-fueled gaming experiences. However, it's evident that the game's strength lies in its patient and strategic approach. Also, Pikmin 4's adherence to a 30fps cap feels a bit dated in a gaming era aiming for 60fps and above. It's clear that the current capabilities of the Switch hardware are starting to show their age.

In conclusion, Pikmin 4 is a masterclass in game design. It takes the core elements that made the original games so loved, and carefully infuses them with fresh ideas and concepts, delivering a beautifully immersive experience that's both comforting and innovative. Whether you are a fan of the franchise or a newcomer, Pikmin 4 invites you into a world full of charm, humor, and strategy that leaves a lasting impression.