So because I am extremely hyped up about this game, I wanted to pretty much work myself into an anticipation frenzy by playing the original Pikmin game that first came out for the GameCube, then was re-released for the Wii as part of Nintendo's "New Play Control" series that they released a few different games for. If there is one thing that Nintendo does exceptionally well, it is releasing fan-favorites of their amazing franchises over and over again.
It has been a very long time since I played a true Pikmin game. For the NintendoLand game that came bundled with the Wii U system, there is a mini-game in there called Pikmin Adventure, which gives a fairly accurate example of the Pikmin franchise for those unfamiliar with the previous games, but isn't quite the same as the full games. It has most of the basic principles though, trudging through unfamiliar alien landscapes, controlling a space explorer while you direct herds of Pikmin to do your bidding, such as collecting crucial supplies and defeating much larger alien lifeforms.
Like I said, it's a good experience for those interested in the franchise, but not completely accurate as to how the actual games play. For that, you just have to go back and play one of the first two original Pikmin games, like I did.
It was actually quite fun to go back and dive into the original Pikmin game. Sure, the graphics are a little rough (it is a port from a GameCube game, after all), but the adorable visual style and lovable characters truly give this game its charm. While it seems and feels calming and peaceful overall, the looming 30-day timer is a constant reminder that the game isn't just a tourist experience. Your goal of the game is to recover all 30 missing spaceship parts in the span of 30 in-game days, which seems simple enough, but turns the game into a true challenge. You have a limited amount of time during each day, because as the sun begins to set, you have to scramble to get your squad of Pikmin back to the ship safely before the terrors of the night come through and wipe out your entire army.
Essentially, despite the fact that all you want to do is walk around at your own leisurely pace and go sightseeing, their just isn't the time to do so. And that's what I like about the game most. It pushes you into playing how it was designed, even if it relaxes its grip just enough to make you think you're exploring as you wish. If it wasn't for the constant push of trying to complete the mission, it would be a game I could spend countless hours in, walking around and literally accomplishing nothing.
Some people may like Pikmin 2 better, but for me, I like seeing how the franchise all began. This is the perfect example of how a crazy idea from a game developer turns into a video game, even with its rough, not completely flushed out ideas.
While playing this game made me stupidly more excited for Pikmin 3, it was nice to take a trip back to where it all began.