Pikmin 2

Pikmin 2

released on Jun 21, 2023

Pikmin 2

released on Jun 21, 2023

A remaster of Pikmin 2

Meet even more Pikmin (and Louie) on a treasure-hunting expedition Swap between Olimar and Louie to divide and conquer in Pikmin 2. Tasked with helping pay off their employer’s debt, the pint-sized pair teams up with Pikmin (including purple and white Pikmin) to collect treasure on...you guessed it...a strange planet. Time ticks away on the surface, but cave systems let you take your time to let your strategy blossom.

Also in series

Pikmin Finder
Pikmin Finder
Pikmin 4
Pikmin 4
Pikmin 1
Pikmin 1
Pikmin Bloom
Pikmin Bloom
Hey! Pikmin
Hey! Pikmin

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Great game, the cave system is a fun idea and the enemies are more challenging to deal with than the first game. All my homies hate the doomsday apparatus.

Ok so like I paid off the debt and was in the process of collecting all the treasures and saving louie but I genuinely just can't do it anymore this game is so tedious and slow compared to Pikmin 1 and the balancing is so out of wack like purple pikmin are just broken and reds went from well balanced to outclassed in literally every single way. Caves are genuinely so fucking boring and the level design in this game in general is so lackluster, and just overall the atmosphere and stakes are so much worse than Pikmin 1. At the very least this game is still very charming, probably moreso than Pikmin 1 and the piklopedia is silly but man I just cant bring myself to get the second ending for this game. I'm gonna move on to Pikmin 3 and 4 but I may come back to this game every now and then to chip away at it but at the moment im really not feeling it

The pikmin AI is smarter here but the level design is as lack luster if not worse than the first one because they focused on roguelite dungeons (boring) and the surface got the short end of the stick because of it. I don't understand how people are so fond of the caves when they are so basic and mindless. I really thought the introduction of Louie would give better gameplay ideas but there's no point if they only stay still while I control the other, it's rather pointless to have two characters when I can only control one at a time and there are no interesting puzzles that involve using both at the same time.

Just wanna quickly say that Louie is a menace and also one of the funniest characters I’ve ever come across simply by existing; me and a friend of mine found him and the face icons he has in the battle mode the funniest shit ever, and now that I’ve finally played and beat the game, I’m happy to say he’s just as deranged as I hoped him to be. His deadpan expression in the credits as he’s left stranded will never not be hilarious.

I think there’s no better way to see and understand just how much Pikmin 2 differs from the original than by just looking at how it handles the end of a day in both games:

In the first game, we are given a peek into Olimar’s thoughts thanks to its captain log, a collection of texts he himself acknowledges deep down may go unread by other eyes if he’s to fail in his mission, somber pieces that show glimmers of hope as he gathers more parts and discovers more and more about the fauna of this strange new world.

In Pikmin 2 we get a bunch of comical e-mails, most of them focused on the Boss’ misadventures escaping the space IRS and as he becomes friends with wild animals.

And I love both approaches almost equally.

2 may still revolve around having an army of 100 little aliens following you and most of the elements that it introduces and expands upon are from systems already present in 1, but as experience on its own, Pikmin 2 clearly strives for VERY different things than that of the first entry, things that distance it from the meditative and time-management experience that it once was and instead made a… I honestly struggled to find ways to exactly describe it, but I think the better term for it would be ‘’arcadie’’.

Pikmin 2 is an inherently ‘’arcadie’’ experience, more challenge based than ever and removing the external factors like the 30 day time limit and putting all lights on the core mechanics of managing the legion of these adorable colored aliens. A lot of the tension is gone, but at the same time is substituted by the challenges the caverns and even the surface holds… not that those some of those challenges are exactly great but ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh BOI we’ll get to that when we get to that.

I’m gonna be blunt, I fucking LOVE these ideas and this direction for a Pikmin sequel; I really thing you can’t exactly pull off the same thing 1 did without it feeling lesser or making both games less special by proxy, so instead… they didn’t do 1 again, and I really like that, furthermore, I commend the BALLS to have such a banger idea like that of Pikmin and pivot into a complete different direction tonally and structurally wise.

Hell, Pikmin 2 kinda fixes every single qualm I had with the original game! The flowers that once felt underused and a huge miss potential? Now they are a godsend, the only way to obtain other colored Pikmin in dungeons PLUS being the only source of both White and Purple Pikmin, which is also nice, considering how useful they are (specially the latter) and how it acts as a neat way of balancing and keeping the numbers of that Pikmin low, they may not outright fix just how powerful Purples are and how Whites are generally more useful than the three main types, but I like it! The bridges getting destroyed? Now it actually feels impactful, since they now act more as shortcuts than ever before and sometimes they are even mandatory pathways. And the Pikmin AI? THEY FIXED IT, SWEET MOTHER OF HOCOTATE THEY FUCKING FIXED IT. They still sometimes act dumb and get distracted even when it kills them BUT I DO NOT CARE, THAT’S PRETTY FUNNY AND NOW THE FRUSTRATING PART IS GONE; I lost like, 2 Pikmin to drowning in the entire game, and that plus the returning hazards being generally more manageable (emphasis on manageable) makes it feels far more lenient in that regard and eliminates the only enraging aspect I found in the first game, WE ARE SO BACK WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-

And to be completely honest, even tho as I said I do like the e-mails and what they represent, hearing about the President and Olimar’s family wouldn’t be as cool if the Piklopedia wasn’t also on here. Reading through Olimar’s (and eventually Louie’s) thoughts about the creatures and objects they come across is such a interesting and cool evolution of the captain logs, while also functioning as a sort of easy tracker for completionist and perfectly fitting with the more laid-back tone. Plus, the text themselves are really entertaining, nothing’s better than reading of Olimar and Louie being a comical duo and seign this small fellas and the ship trying to make sense of common human artifacts, it’s a super pleasant experience to go through, just like some of the changes!

Gathering and farming Pikmin feels a lot faster and rewarding, the new sprays are amazing tools that make certain sections far more tolerable, returning to areas from the first game and see just how much they changed and how each basically represents one of the four seasons and they all feel equal in scale… I like these tweaks! Pikmin 2 doesn’t seem to me interested in introducing quality of life changes, but more so to accommodate for the treasure hunting and more linear gameplay of the caverns… or at least it tries to. Sometimes it succeeds, like in everything I just said up until that point but… I think it’s time… it’s time to be a meanie.

Pikmin 2’s pitch is incredible; like picture this: you can play as two captains, the world is now full of caves which are entire more linear gauntlets that test your Pikmin management abilities to your limits, and now there are more bosses, enemies, and surprises than ever on top of the normal surface exploration! Sounds like a killer game, and it would be!... But Pikmin 2 flounders in every single one of these aspects in some way or another, in a one step forward one step back kind of way, two in the worst of cases…

Having two captains sounds nice, and it kinda is. Like I said, we have Louie which is peak, and eventually we get to play as the President which is funny, and every single character gets his own whistle AND theme variations on top of the constantly changing music, which to me is insane and an amazing detail that elevates this game’s soundtrack to even greater heights. But… I don’t know, on the one hand is kinda nice to not have to go back to base change Pikmin constantly since you can do it with one while the other captain is exploring, but… it feels clunky? In 1, everything felt like constant motion, even during downtime, and even then, you could take those moments of waiting for Pikmin to bring back something or bringing down a wall to do some other stuff. Here, while a cool new addition, I feel like is doing the same we once did with extra steps. You still have to control manually each captain, and I think having at least one option to make a captain go automatically to a certain part of the map while you control the other could have been an incredible addition, ‘cause as it is it doesn’t feel satisfying, not I feel like the game itself uses it in interesting ways.

The tutorial leads you to believe that there may be times when both captains may be separated or may need to resolve puzzles together to progress, and the caves sound like a perfect opportunity to create that kind of challenge, right?!... I think that in all the caverns I completed, only one boss required me to use both captains, and it wasn’t a particularly fun fight either; and in the surface, I can only remember one cool puzzle that asked coordination of the dynamic duo, soooo… yeah… I think I spend like 75% of the game with the Captains together, and considering the potential of this idea, that’s a huge bummer, to be honest…

It's a weird thing ‘cause I don’t know if the problem resides in the game biting more than it can chew, or simply poor execution… That’s funny, now that I think about it, that could also be said about the caves and their relationship with the surface-OH NOES.

Listen, I like the caves… I think. Considering what this game is trying to be, considering its focus is found on endurance test and hunting for items and creating a cool recollection extravaganza, the caves are a no brainer. They can be fun challenges, it feels rewarding to grab treasure and clean rooms from enemies, it’s satisfying to complete them and overcome their challenges. The caves are fun, the caves are cool… SOMETIMES.

This game… this fucking game… it’s a fucking looney, to put it lightly. The caves don’t take prisoners, THEY DEMAND BLOOD. Every single moment of frustration that could be found in the original game PALES as the mere sight of three rock bombs falling at the same time while being chased by a Bluborb on flames, or at the avalanche of spiders that steal your items or carry more rock bombs, or the barrage of enemies in tight corridors that launch every projectile imaginable while you are surrounded by some of the most punishing hazards I’ve seen in a while (LOOKING AT YOU, ELECTRCITY), or better yet, everything I just mentioned at the same time while boulders are falling out of nowhere! What could be worse than thi- OH GOD NOT THE FUCKING FROGS

This game throws at you so much unpredictable bullshit at the same time at some point I began to wonder if I was going insane or if I was just bad at the game, but after the madness of the late game caverns I think it’s safe to say they went sicko mode in the worst way possible. Plus, every single cavern floor’s layout is randomly generated every time you load and for the life of me, I have no clue why. The enemies and treasures and always the same, yeah, but when you are met with corridors that let to nowhere and entire sections FLOODED with enemies, explosions, and impossible to reach treasures unless you have the exact number of Pikmin of one type, I couldn’t stop wishing that these were just either being manually designed or that the level generator was more even. It’s not like randomness gives interesting challenges to begin with, some even repeat in separate caves! Why would they do this?!

The caves can be fun, they have the potential to be fun, but when, most of the difficulty comes in complete and utter randomness and total bullshit that turns entire levels into a fucking stressful chore, by the end of it I wasn’t even feeling rage when a rock bomb fell just as I was sending my Pikmin to attack a wall, I just felt resignation. On top of that, the dungeons also make the world feel… smaller? In some of them there isn’t much constancy visually wise and because of the artificiality of the hazards and how every single time there’s a boss at the end, they feel more like stages than actual unexplored caverns. Even the one that feels unique, the Submerged Castle, is still plagued by the same random bullshit as the rest, so it isn’t even cool!... well, maybe a bit. It’s still fun to battle the Waterwraith, and so is encountering many of the other bosses, but in many cases, I feel like they turn what they should be special encounters into something more forgettable.

The Breadbug in 1 was a funny yet incredibly unique enemy that hold one of the optional pieces. In 2, they plague one of the dungeons, and thy aren’t that fun to deal with at all…

There’s so much missed potential with he caverns is honestly depressing, like how they bleed into the surface, not factoring into the time system at all and generating grind both at the beginning and SPECIALLY end of the game, and how that just makes you realize in some cases the best way to traverse them is to… not engage with them. Just make a run for the exit until you arrive at the floor you want to, just make a run for the treasure you missed on your first go…

The caverns can and should have been a standout of the game, a wonderful collection of challenges that showcase what kind of game Pikmin 2 is… and to my knowledge, some people really like them, and I’m glad it clicked for them, but to me, Pikmin 2 is a collection of amazing ideas gone down he drain thanks to poor execution. I actually hope to see them again and improved upon, ‘cause the potential is right there man, you just got to use it!

I haven’t even talked about how messed the balancing is now (my poor blues and reds… what did they do to you…), or how now enemies respawn faster than ever and some can even revive, or how as much as I respect the different tone I don’t really think it’s saying anything substantial, but honestly, I don’t think there’s much to get to aside from everything I’ve been yapping about…

Pikmin 2 still makes me smile, it has the core I love so dearly and some fun moments, it has the Bulbmin for crying out loud! But it also makes me sad, sad that it had such an amazing concept and made so many mistakes along the way, because that’s the thing; 2’s problems don’t reside in what it wants to be, hey reside in the execution and its conflict with man aging the openness of the surface and its own identity. It was to be both a brand-new entry while also not really committing to that, and I think I had that realization the moment I noticed many of the treasures are in the exact same place that some ship parts were in one.

It was to be Pikmin 1 on top of being its something, and when you throw that on top of the mistakes it already makes, the result is a game I wish had more confidence in balancing and committing completely into its new ideas.

Having said all of that I still maintain that I adore this cast of characters, seriously, these goofballs are funny as hell, and I wished I could see even more of them. But oh well, good thing Louie won’t show up again to commit even more deranged acts, right?...right?...

I am relatively new to the Pikmin series but I adored the first game so much, I went straight into Pikmin 2 and 100% completed both games. I just reviewed Pikmin 1 so I will keep this one short.

Pikmin 2 maintains it's charms from it's prequel, while also elevating it's world with the introduction of other playable characters, purple and white Pikmin, detailed biographies of local lifeforms and treasures and the vast number of them. The core gameplay remains the same as it's prequel but many quality of life changes and improvements made the game much smoother and enjoyable to play from the first game. I just wished they made use of two controllable characters a bit more by implementing aspects of level design and boss battles that require the use of switching between characters.

Pikmin 2 also introduced a dungeon-like element to the game, which at times can be frustrating but satisfying when you complete it. I do however miss the thrill of finishing the game within a time limit of 30 days.

Although I enjoyed Pikmin 2, I don't see myself replaying this game over it's predecessor.

I am looking forward to moving onto Pikmin 3 and 4 eventually and I have high hopes for them!

Difficulty: Medium-Slightly Difficult
100% Playthrough
Gameplay: ☆☆☆☆
Narrative: ☆☆☆☆
Art Direction/Graphics: ☆☆☆½
Music: ☆☆☆½
Creativity ☆☆☆☆

Overall: ☆☆☆☆