Edit: Thank you so much for the DD!
Every so often I need to remind myself that Pikmin is one of my all-time favorite games. The unique and complex gameplay was what first sucked me in, and I found myself quickly addicted to finding ways to juggle the game’s many elements within the time limit, but it wasn’t just that that made me love it; I also became attached to the setting, with its natural landscapes, quirky wildlife, and the sense it gave me of managing a small part of a fascinating ecosystem.
When I reached a new area, I liked to take a couple of Pikmin and just walk around exploring and discovering the environment around me, seeing what was there and planning how to break down my time. Then I’d start the day over and put my plan into action. I guess that’s what this picture shows—a couple of Pikmin scouts, following Olimar around on an exploration party, taking a chance to see the sights before getting back to the job of finding food and avoiding being eaten. The setting was a crucial part of the game to me; the battles here weren’t about saving the world, but about keeping the world running, about keeping track of the huge number of priorities that existed even on this tiny scale in order to ensure the Pikmin’s survival and propagation. That sense of playing a vital role in this tiny yet enormous world teeming with insect life captivated my interest far more than if the exact same gameplay had been applied to a typical battle setting, and it’s one of the main reasons I love the game. The element of time is another; I really enjoy how the thirty-day limit forces the player to plan and manage their strategic decisions much more closely than if time weren’t a factor.
That may be partly why I’ve never been able to get into Pikmin 2 as much as the original. It’s a brilliant game as well and I’ve often heard it considered an improvement on the first, but I always find myself putting it down sooner. I think the main reason for that, though, is the caves; transitioning from the beautiful, sprawling overworld environment to the narrowly enclosed and repetitive dungeon-crawl areas is always jarring to me, and I tend to get tired of the caves before I’m finished with them. I would personally prefer to see fewer caves in Pikmin 3, but I’m more than happy just to know that they’re making it at all.
(I had meant to post this last week, but it took me longer to finish than I’d expected, mostly because the weather has been distractingly excellent lately and I’ve been away from the computer a lot. Spending a lot of time wandering around outside tends to make me get carried away on backgrounds like this.)