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Midway through my Pikmin 4 experience, I was happy to be playing a new Pikmin game that looked gorgeous and handled smoothly, but I did feel that the game had added a lot of mechanics that simply made it different from my peak experience of surviving with Olimar and Louie.
Pikmin 4 has the busy maps from Pikmin 3, all the ways Oatchi makes combat far less dangerous, and an extremely prominent checklisting feature that makes the treasure gauge from Pikmin 2 seem downright opaque. It's certainly a way to streamline the game and make it accessible to folks who didn't grow up with the first two, but it also felt like I had a life preserver on when what I really wanted to do was a full swim in the lake.
Cruising to the end of the first act, it was a great Switch experience, but mostly just a good Pikmin experience....until I went through the plot and levels of Act 2. This is where the game truly rises above its station and puts all those mechanics to use. The caves in these areas are actually challenging. The addition of Shipwreck Tale is an excellent challenge for those who like the time management aspects of the franchise. The Sage Trials were blisteringly tough. And all the additional lore they're adding to a certain character made it the total package for me by the end.
I would just make it so that Oatchi's Rush is a little more limited in its uses.
Fell into a good groove on my second attempt, barrelling through my choices in order to see what would happen at the end of the 28 days. The background questions Death & Taxes bring up don't get fully explored by the simple plot. The "impact" your choices have on the world are sometimes extremely predictable, but part of the fun is chasing down the butterfly effect of certain choices, including what happens to the green boots.