Pikmin 3 Aims to "Simply Go Deeper" Than Previous Experiences
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Miyamoto believes players need to play Wii U before grasping "how fun it is"
As part of an extensive interview that's been published by GameSpot, we've already been given an idea of Shigeru Miyamoto's perspective on Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon's role as "lighter fare" on 3DS. Naturally a big topic raised with the executive producer was an upcoming release perhaps most closely developed by the man himself — Pikmin 3.
While its delay into Q2 was disappointing for many — Miyamoto says it "sort of shifted" as opposed to being delayed — it's nevertheless a big release on the horizon for Nintendo's latest home console. As a title that apparently saw early conceptual life as a Wii project, and with hands-on demos placing great emphasis on Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls, the question arises whether this is a game truly making best use of the system and its controller. As we'd expect from Miyamoto, however, his primary focus is on the experience, and how the hardware can expand it beyond what we've seen in the franchise up to now.
In the case of Pikmin 3, we've taken an approach with that game where we really want to take what made the original Pikmin game unique and really simply go deeper with that experience.
And so what we've done is by taking advantage of the GamePad--the second screen there--and the HD graphics that are capable with Wii U and the higher processor--we've really been able to take that original Pikmin experience and do something that is much deeper and more fleshed out this time around.
...When I create a game, I don't necessarily always try to approach it from the idea of leveraging every feature or every ability of that new piece of hardware. In the case of Pikmin in particular, the approach that we took was really less of an approach of how can we […] take advantage of what the Wii U is doing, per se, and instead how can we take what was that Pikmin experience and really make it a deeper experience for players.
So of course we're taking advantage of the graphics and improving the play control and whatnot and I guess if you were to look at it more broadly, you might not necessarily say that it would be impossible to do it on another system. But I guess speaking plainly, the idea is really that Wii U is the best system to be able to achieve all of the different things that we're trying to do with this new Pikmin game. One of the biggest features of Pikmin 3 is the fact that you have the map on the GamePad at all times and because Pikmin is a strategy game, it's the type of game that you might play the same levels over and over again. Having that map--and the fact that you have the three different leaders that you switch between to command your Pikmin--and having the touchscreen on the map will allow you to change perspective or jump to a specific leader and quickly give orders. It makes it much more efficient for you to achieve the goals that you have strategically within the game.
Naturally the subject of Wii U's reception so far was raised, with sales struggling in recent weeks — arguably due to a scarcity of high-profile releases. The games are getting closer, of course, and Miyamoto admitted that the concept of the system is perhaps harder to sell than the Wii, until gamers go hands-on and experience it for themselves.
I think it's very common for Nintendo products to be the type of thing that until you play it, you don't really understand how fun it is. Wii had an advantage, because watching people play it looked interesting. When you saw other people playing a game that looked interesting. But even then, it was still the type of thing that you had to play it for yourself to confirm. And once you played Wii, people had instantly a lot of fun. And what that did was reinforce for them that what they had seen was in fact true. Certainly, I think that helped Wii.
From that perspective, I think Wii U certainly has a little bit more of a challenge because it doesn't have that 'looking-fun' element to it. But I think that as people bring it into the living room and begin to play it, particularly when you experience with five people, you really do get a sense for how fun Wii U is. And I think that's the key; to try to get as many people to try it out as possible. Even with Wii, if people played a game, but it wasn't fun, it would't have had the result that it did. So I think the key for us is continuing to focus on the fun of our products.
...I think the key thing is to give more people more opportunity to come in contact with the system and play it. One of the things in Japan that we had been doing, is we had been careful because we wanted to make sure people understood it properly. We had been giving as many opportunities for people to try it out at demo units, at retail, or ensuring that there was somebody there to demonstrate and make sure that they were getting a proper understanding. But I think what we're finding now is we really just need to get as many people as possible to get their hands on the system so that they can see how fun it is.
What do you think of these comments regarding Pikmin 3 and Wii U as a whole? Are you optimistic about the third entry in this series, and do you agree that Wii U's experience is a big enough selling point with hands-on experience?