Pikmin 4 is only about a month away, and today’s Nintendo Direct finally dove deep (literally) into what the game has to offer. As a customized pilot who crash lands on the planet of a mysterious planet, you’ll rely both on trusty plantlike Pikmin you pluck from the ground as well as your faithful pooch, Oatchi, to help get you home.
Pikmin work as always, able to be thrown or delegated to do various tasks from battling to collecting, though now swapping between which color you throw is easily done with the L and R buttons. Oatchi can help the Pikmin in carrying things back to base (worth three Pikmin with his own strength), charge through obstacles to clear a path, or even act as a flotation device to ferry Pikmin across bodies of water – not to mention his assistance in battle. As always, managing various resources will be key to survival.
In order to repair your ship’s radar and open new areas, you’ll go treasure hunting, collecting valuable trinkets from around the surface – and in the depths of caves, too! That’s right, Pikmin 2’s treasure and spelunking are back, and this time you may even find castaways in need of rescue. Save those castaways and you’ll be able to do more things at base camp, like train Oatchi or acquire upgrades. But be warned – sometimes you’ll have to fight a suspiciously hairy and leafy fellow who looks like Captain Olimar for a castaway’s safety. This plays out in a Dandori Battle, a competition where you fight to collect the most items/points with your Pikmin. Win, and the castaway is yours.
Pikmin 4 also brings a whole new dimension to the series – nighttime exploration. Previously too dangerous to embark upon, you can now trek through the planet’s surface at night, as raged beasties prowl for food. Fortunately, there are new, night-exclusive Glow Pikmin to help you out – protect their valuable Luminols that produce Glow Sap from the wildlife as you venture throughout the surface. We also see a unique attack involving the Glow Pikmin which consolidates them into an ectoplasmic cluster before launching at an enemy and swarming it.
There are a ton of other details to note, like the return of Rock Pikmin and brand new enemies, that have us pumped for what’s in store from this installment. Pikmin 4 blasts off on July 21st.
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