Pikmin 3, after a heck of a long wait, will finally arrive on Wii U on 26th July in Europe and 4th August in North America. It's also, based on his various appearances before and during E3 and the ever-presence of Pikmin toys in his vicinity, an important game for Shigeru Miyamoto. So often a figure of oversight on major releases, this is a title that appears to be more directly led my Miyamoto, with the iconic developer at the fore of any discussions about it.
It was the inevitable subject, then, in a recent interview with Kotaku, in which Shigeru Miyamoto shared his view that the new title is a culmination of what he wanted to achieve in the GameCube originals.
In a sense I almost feel sorry for the people who played Pikmin 1. What I really feel like is that, in Pikmin 3, we've finally been able to include all of the elements that I wanted to include in Pikmin 1. Often times, when you talk about movies, people say, oh the first one was the best... I feel Pikmin 3 has become sort of the ultimate version of Pikmin 1 if we'd had more power.
...With Pikmin 1 certainly we had the ideal we were striving for. With that game, I think we ended up with a basic ruleset of the game that was a little bit too strict and confining, the 30-day time limit in particular... from that sense it was difficult for people to get into that game, particularly if they were novice gamers.. And, I think the other challenge we had with Pikmin 1 was that people would want to go back and replay the game, but partially because of the limits—the time limit—people just felt it was a bit too much to go back and replay that again.
And, with Pikmin 2, we wanted to focus on really trying to ease the gameplay to a certain degree so that it was easier for people to get into and play so we polished the Pikmin idea a bit but really only focused on how to make it easier to play.
Whereas with Pikmin 3 we've really taken it and taken that Pikmin 1 ideal and really tried to bring that to life in a way that encourages replayability all throughout the game.
Pikmin is also Nintendo's take on real-time strategy, with the typical whimsy associated with the company. A source of pride for Miyamoto is the design of the game giving the player a sense of freedom and expression, while he also stated that it should be balanced in a way to help players improve, steadily, with practice.
You know, obviously video games are designed for the player to play the way the designer has intended them to. But a good game—and this is really where I think Pikmin 3 stands out—is a game that gives you enough freedom that the player can create their own way of playing and can find ways of playing that the developers didn't envision. I think Pikmin 3 is a game that is very much like that. There are so many options strategically and in terms of the items you're going after. Obviously the stage layout and where they've placed the items have all been done by the designers, but, because you're so free to choose your approach to it and your strategy, I think that people are really going to be able to think through on their own and really come up with creative ways of how to attack these levels.
...We've designed the game in a way so that, as you play it, you get better and better at it and start to understand the depth of the strategy and the best ways to use the Pikmin in it.
After a lengthy wait, fans of the franchise and those simply hungry for Wii U games will surely be keen to dive into Shigeru Miyamoto's latest creation, particularly as he's taking such pride in the project. Is this one near the top of your wishlist?