Pikmin 3 DeluxeThe arrival of the Nintendo Switch is another example of a Wii U game being saved from the dullness with a resurgence on a much more popular platform (see also: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Captain Toad’s Treasure Trackerand Bayonetta 2). And while most of these games switch to Switch without many new features, Pikmin 3 Deluxe offers some significant additions, including a split-screen co-op during the campaign and a host of opening levels that set the stage for the adventure ahead.
But the new feature stands out in luxurious is the newly added ending, Olimar̵7;s Comeback, which is slow and steady Pikmin 3 and filling it with lovely crystal meth.
The Pikmin line has undergone a number of changes over the years. The first game, released on the Gamecube in 2001, look like a children’s title; A lovely adventure with giant fruit-bearing plant creatures. But then you realize that the hero, Captain Olimar, is quickly running out of breath and has to repair his spaceship before terribly suffocating. This suddenly turns every colorful day on the planet into a painful race for survival.
Pikmin 2 has taken things in a different direction, eliminating the time limit on the air supply, thus allowing you to cruise around the world comfortably. It’s a much colder experience than the first game and is much better suited to what every adorable plant everyone would have wanted.
Pikmin 3 seemingly back to the tense, clock-on nature of the first game – which requires you to collect food to stay alive – but thanks to the generous help of giant fruit in all levels, real it’s easy to build a giant safety cushion. In the midst of the game’s 10-hour campaign, I found myself with so much fruit that I could sit on my butt for two weeks in a row and not even get a stomach ache.
This overconfidence led me to the campaign Pikmin 3 Deluxe and directly to that meat grinder is Olimar’s Comeback, a host of new finish levels being added.
Olimar’s Comeback tells the story of Captain Olimar returning to the planet to repair his stolen spaceship, SS Dolphin. Unlike the main game, which allows you to go at your own pace over a series of days and weeks, Olimar’s Comeback has individual levels, each with its own time limit. The faster time will award medals and badges, but if you happen to run out of time on a level, you’ll have to start over.
These levels are not very long, mainly taking about 10 to 12 minutes, but for that short period of time, yes so many, so much that could be wrong. During the campaign, I could spend an entire day trying to ship a giant cell phone back to my facility. But in Olimar’s Return, that journey with a mobile phone wipes out a large portion of my limited time.
This means I really have to count every second to make sure I can finish the level’s target before time runs out. The campaign never required much in a multitasking way, but in one of the early levels of this epilogue I had to literally throw a fellow captain off a bridge and get them to do the gathering. Green Pikmin for an underwater expedition while at the same time sends the red Pikmin to attack a swarm of ladybug monsters on the bridge. Without breaking these quests down, there is no way to complete the level in time.
Playing the epilogue solo can be a serious challenge, as the AI controlling different captains is incredibly simple. But it can create a logic puzzle quickly as you find the right order to get things done, even if that means some trial and error. I feel much happier when there is another player directly controlling another captain. The game’s split screen works great, allowing two players to go business in completely separate parts of the map, only to reunite when it’s time to join Pikmin’s forces to bring a large lemon. Unfortunately Pikmin 3 Deluxe Don’t allow online play, though, because finding another player for the couch co-op – especially these days – can be difficult.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe does a great job serving fans of the full breadth of the series, from its long origins to its cold days. Pikmin 2. But if you find the campaign’s relaxed pace a bit too adorable for your heavy-gamer sensitivities, just know that there’s a serious challenge waiting for you at the end of this road.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe was released on October 30. The game is played on the Nintendo Switch using a download code provided by Nintendo. Vox Media has an affiliate partnership. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions on products purchased through affiliate links. You can find More information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.