Pikmin 1 and 2 review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No

With the release date for Pikmin 4 just weeks away at this point, what better way for the big N to rev up the hype cycle than to announce and then immediately drop re-releases of the first two Pikmin games, which is exactly what they did during the last Nintendo Direct just a couple of weeks ago. Dubbed Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2, these are upscaled versions of the prior Wii ports of the GameCube classics. While not given the attention to detail that the recent Metroid Prime Remastered had, these are serviceable ports of two really great games that quite frankly didn’t need much tinkering to begin with.

I’ve played through the majority of Pikmin 1 and some of Pikmin 2 prior to the review, and ran into no issues of any kind. Being ports of the Wii release, both games offer up motion controls and upscaled visuals that might not pop extremely well, but certainly look better than their prior 480p versions. Characters like Olimar, or the various creatures you encounter, stand out the best here, whereas the environments can be a little flat and fuzzy at times. Again, this isn’t nearly on par with a full on remaster, but that doesn’t detract from how enjoyable revisiting both of these games has been for me. 

Pikmin 1 is such a classic title, and while it lacks a lot of the bells and whistles that subsequent entries brought, it’s just a really good entry point for the series. You’ve got an entire game devoted to the core Pikmin concept, focused on just the three main colored Pikmin, devoid of the special types, transformations, additional captains, or other mechanics introduced in 2 and 3. If you’ve never played Pikmin before, and you’re interested in checking out the series prior to 4 releasing later this month, you can’t go wrong with starting at the beginning.

Pikmin 2 is a somewhat more complicated experience, but builds upon the first release really well, and just tosses in so much additional stuff that fleshes out the Pikmin experience extremely well. Underground areas are introduced here, providing miniature areas to explore with increasingly difficult challenges and enemies, making for a tougher game compared to the more chill experience of the first game. I also think Pikmin 2 does a great job of expanding the big world feel of the first game, introducing elements that help you realize that Olimar and crew are exploring a populated world even if you don’t see the denizens wandering about. It also features some 2 player support, and introduces players to new characters from Olimar’s home planet, including fan favorite Louie. 

It’s been a pleasant trip down memory lane with both Pikmin 1 and 2, and if you’ve never had a chance to experience either game, I’d say they are both highly recommended and stand the test of time quite well. Neither game is particularly long, and while 2 can be challenging at times, both are pretty friendly to new players and work as a solid primer for the upcoming release of Pikmin 4. Definitely check them out when you get a chance, you won’t be disappointed.

Note: Nintendo provided us with a Pikmin 1 and 2 Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A