It’s the end of a productive day Picture 4, and much to my surprise, I encounter Porquillion, a large shell creature that shoots pointy spikes at me and my squad. Unfortunately, these spikes catch me off guard, causing almost half of my Pikmin army to perish.
At first, frustration sets in, but thanks to the game’s new checkpoint system, I’m able to retry the battle to get through without losing any Pikmin. In previous entries, I would have to live with my mistakes. But Picture 4 prioritizing fun more than any of its predecessors.
Picture 4 It’s a quirky real-time strategy game where you play as the newest Salvation Corps recruit. Your job is to save stranded castaways across a mysterious planet. Along the way, you come across Pikmin, plant-like creatures that you can command to perform various tasks, such as carrying objects, digging holes, or attacking alien creatures. The latest installment is packed with thoughtful new features that make it the most approachable and fun entry yet.
Teamwork That Makes the Dream Work
But what exactly do you do in Picture 4? Like a Metroidvania game, you explore large levels of crafting and unlock new abilities and Pikmin, which help you complete tasks and reach previously inaccessible areas.
Each level has a day/night cycle, and you have to trigger all your Pikmin and escape before the sun goes down. This adds an interesting time constraint that feels rewarding, yet approachable thanks to improvements from previous iterations.
The original Pikmin games were a little scary, partly because of the intense day/night cycle and clunky game mechanics. Specifically, i picmin 3, you reach a game over a screen if you run out of food, forcing you to be as efficient as possible every day in-game, which is more anxiety than fun.
But Picture 4 it completely eliminates the need to constantly eat food, making it more approachable than ever. Sure, it’s still useful and recommended to be efficient, but you’re no longer penalized as harshly for taking up your time.
Likewise, you can effectively reset to the last checkpoint using the new “Rewind Time” feature, which allows you to maximize your efficiency every day. You’re no longer penalized for making a small mistake this time around — another welcome addition to newcomers.
A Whole New World
The great surprise at the arrival of a new stage i Picture 4 unlike anything else, and is easily one of the best aspects of the game. You look at every step from the point of view of a two-inch probe, so everything around you seems huge. Flowers are huge and bodies of water are gargantuan, playing with size and perspective in a fun way. The steps in this entry are much larger than the previous ones, giving you much more to do, without overcomplicating things.
New in Picture 4 the underground areas, which are much more linear and compact. They feel more like dungeons with multiple floors, often leading to useful rewards at the end (like a new survivor or treasure). These break up the expanse of the world above ground, offering more variety in terms of layout and ways to play.
Since Picture 4 which runs on a day/night cycle, you have to be careful with your planning each day. But it pays to do that effectively, especially after a significant event. Some days, you may bring in some treasures and survivors, while others may result in only a handful of items. Eventually, you’ll learn how the Pikmin work and how to maximize your time, and that’s when the fun begins.
Nintendo has totally nailed the gaming loop Picture 4, which encourages you to explore by smashing obstacles and treasures throughout each stage. Come across a deadly electric fence with no way to get through? Hang in there – the Yellow Pikmin can take it down with ease.
Once you find the right Pikmin for a job, you’re free to explore a wide variety of new areas. This is true for almost every Pikmin in the game, pushing the player to find all the Pikmin as quickly as possible. Because of this, I was never more forced to earn 100 percent in a game than i Picture 4. The stages are completely packed with a number of treasures, survivors, and many other items to collect, almost all of which offer some kind of gameplay benefit.
The survivors you rescue eventually provide certain services, such as the ability to purchase useful items or upgrade Oatchi’s abilities. These light RPG mechanics feel dynamic and provide clear incentives for replay – a nice touch compared to their much more linear predecessors.
On Your Toes
Things can get hectic inside Picture 4, because of the deadly enemies you come across. Although they look cute and cuddly, they are all deadly and can take you and your Pikmin down with ease.
This forces you to be very choosy with the Pikmin you bring – as well as how you use them – so you don’t lose them in battle. For example, there are some enemies with a hard shell, which are easier to crack using the Pikmin Rock. But sometimes, you’ll come across enemies underwater, which means you’ll have to use the Blue Pikmin (they’re the only ones that can swim). There are often many ways to eliminate your enemies, giving you some freedom in how you play.
What you’ve learned during each stage culminates in climactic boss battles, which often require a combination of Pikmin to win. Certain bosses may fly overhead, prompting you to use the Yellow Pikmin (which can be thrown longer) to take them down. Others could breathe fire, and others could only be hit at the right time. The bosses are often huge and challenging, but not frustrating, resulting in satisfying battles that often give worthwhile results.
New in Picture 4 the ability to go on night trips, which uses the new Glow Pikmin. These sections require you to defend specific bases across each stage, which feels very different from exploring during the day. While the night missions aren’t as expansive as their daytime counterparts, they’re a great addition that adds more variety and variety to an already dense experience.
Picture 4 it does an admirable job of building on its predecessors while at the same time simplifying some of the ongoing frustrations of the series. This is the most approachable Pikmin to date, with satisfying gameplay systems that will appeal to a wide variety of players.
Picture 4 launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2023.
INVERSE VIDEO GAME REVIEW Ethos: All Inverse The video game review answers two questions: Is this game worth your time? Are you getting what you pay for? We have no tolerance for endless fetch quests, clunky mechanics, or bugs that dilute the experience. We value game design, world building, character arcs, and storytelling together. Inverse We will not punch down, but we are not afraid to punch up. We love magic and science fiction in equal measure, and as much as we love experiencing rich stories and worlds through games, we don’t overlook the real-world context in which those games are made.