Pikmin 3 stays the course for the franchise. Will be a familiar, enjoyable experience.

Remember the New Play Control! version of Pikmin that released way back in 2009? Yup, so do I. You know how Nintendo plans on finally releasing the New Play Control! version of Pikmin 2 here in the states next week? Yeah, I plan on picking that one up too. If you have played both of these, then you pretty much know what to expect for Pikmin 3, because aside from the added Wii U GamePad map, the game plays exactly the same. Not that that is a bad thing after all, who doesn’t want more, HD Pikmin?

The demo that was on display this week featured two stages, a fruit collecting level, and a boss battle. Control of the Pikmin was extremely intuitive thanks to the IR controls of the Wii MotionPlus, and selecting the Pikmin to control was as easy as a flick of the wrist. Also on display was using the ability to utilize the Wii U GamePad, which acts in a similar fashion to control your army of Pikmin via motion control, but in my playthroughs with Pikmin 3, the Wii Remote and Nunchuck just seemed to work smoother and was more responsive. The Wii U GamePad was helpful however as a map and a replay analyzer after the level was completed.

There were a few new surprises in this week’s demo, namely the new Rock Pikmin type and the crystal element that is venerable to these specific Pikmin. Tossing the Rock Pikmin at the crystal is the only way to destroy the element, which was evidenced by the boss battle in which a giant millipede-like creature was covered in a crystal shell. The only way to defeat the enemy was to use the rock Pikmin in unison with the other Pikmin (which in the demo were of the red-type) to first destroy the outer shell, and then unleash a full out assault all the venerable exposed sections underneath.

Pikmin 3 will undoubtedly be a deep, unique experience unlike any other when it releases sometime this fall, but the demo left me wanting more. Most of this is probably due to the demo being on a timer for the sake of E3, and I am sure that the full game will be a complete and full experience. Here’s to hoping anyhow. No word on whether Pikmin 3 is a lock for the launch of Wii U, but here’s to hoping. At the very least, my time with the game has had me craving to get my hands on the New Play Control! versions of Pikmin 1&2 in lieu of the sequel.

Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.