Not content with dropping an HD port of the original Pikmin during the June 2023 Nintendo Direct, the platform holder also saw fit to furnish us with this slightly revamped version of its sequel, the very excellent Pikmin 2. Hooray!

Yes, Nintendo has planted us firmly in the Pikmin 4 hype zone prior to that game's launch and, if you've yet to play this 2004 GameCube gem, you're in for a great big treat. Pikmin 2 takes the wonderfully unique and inventive foundations of its timeless predecessor and gently adds more variety to the mix, resulting in a game that's arguably the pik (we are so clever) of this franchise thus far.

Pikmin 2 Review - Screenshot 1 of 3
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

For those unfamiliar, Pikmin 2 sees Captain Olimar return to action, this time joined by his co-worker Louie, as they take off to collect a bunch of treasure from the very same Pikmin planet that he crash-landed on first time around. It turns out bottlecaps, batteries and other trash strewn around the landscape are worth quite a few Pokos back on Olimar's home planet, and he's going to need to gather 10,000 Pokos' worth of the stuff in order to get the Hocotate Freight Company out of debt. Exciting!

Pikmin 2 cleverly expands on the action found in the 2001 original by giving players a bigger playground in which to smash enemies, batter down obstacles, and solve wonderfully well-designed environmental puzzles. This time around the time limit from the first game has been removed — a plus or minus depending on your viewpoint — and Olimar, Louie, and the Pikmin can head underneath the surface of the planet to indulge in some good old-fashioned dungeon-crawling at their leisure. It's a carefully considered expansion of the core formula that makes for a longer adventure but one that remains thoroughly compelling thanks to more interesting and varied locales and enemies, alongside a handful of new Pikmin types to get to grips with.

Alongside your returning red, yellow, and blue Pikmin — yellow now capable of withstanding electric shocks — you've also got white and purple pals added to the mix. White Pikmin can withstand poisonous areas and enemies, will poison foes who gobble them up, and can also discover treasures hidden beneath the dirt. Purples are basically Pikmin on steroids, big heavy lads who have the power of ten regular Pikmin and can stun foes and withstand more damage as a result.

The other big change here, besides some new spray powerups that can be used to encase enemies in stone or have your Pikmin temporarily sped up, is your ability to take control of both Olimar and Louie separately, giving you the opportunity to divide and conquer when approaching obstacles and juggle more than one task at a time. With one quick button press, you can hop between either character and assume control of their current Pikmin followers, giving you more in the way of strategic options when it comes to manoeuvring around areas, dealing with enemies, picking up treasure, and making it out of dungeons unscathed.

Of course, you can also recall your separate groupings to form a single mass where required and the game's four distinct play areas, alongside all of the caves you'll dive down into, do a good job of posing problems and puzzles that'll require you to manipulate your crew in clever ways. Co-op and Challenge Mode were introduced in Pikmin 2, and they remain intact for this remaster, making for a nice package overall and a game that remains our own personal series favourite. Well, this writer's at any rate. [And this one. - Ed.]

In terms of this HD remaster, well, as we've mentioned in our review of the HD version of Pikmin 1, it's fairly bare-bones stuff here with a higher resolution in place, upscaled UI elements, and the implementation of Pikmin 3-styled controls. This port is also based on the 2009 New Play Control! release on Wii, which itself brought some improvements to the 2004 original, and you can choose to use motion controls here if you so desire.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

There are a few niggling personal disappointments alongside the improvements, with this version doing away with the 'Attraction Mode' that would show gameplay tutorials on the title screen if the game was left idle for a time. A small excision, we know. Much more notably, a lot of the real-world branded products you retrieve as treasures in the game — your Duracell batteries, 7-Up bottle tops, and so on — have been replaced with fictional brands, presumably due to expired licenses.

Hardly a big deal, granted, yet the magic of finding and retrieving these recognisable, branded products that you likely had in your own home gave the original an added contextual frisson; a small but potent connection between your world and Olimar's. It's such a tiny thing, but despite the convenience and improved resolution of this Switch port, Pikmin veterans may have trouble shaking the feeling that they're not playing the definitive version of the game.

Apart from these very minor negatives though, this is a fine — if rather rudimentary — port that suffers zero performance issues and plants the (almost) full Pikmin 2 experience on Switch consoles for players to enjoy. And enjoy it you will, we reckon, because Pikmin 2 is a fantastic game at its core, an experience that's aged beautifully and a bit of a must-play in our books, especially if you're experiencing its delights for the first time.


Pikmin 2 is a fantastic follow-up to the 2001 original that expands upon its predecessor's core gameplay in some neat and well-considered ways. This is a bigger game, with more areas and dungeons to explore, a larger variety of Pikmin to work with, multiple protagonists to control, and a few extra modes thrown in for good measure. It may be a bare-bones port, and we do really miss those Duracells, but this is a game that's aged remarkably well and, with foundations as delightfully entertaining and inventive as this, it's still an experience that we highly recommend checking out on Switch.