Welcome to the second week of the ongoing backlog. This week, Pikmin 2. If you missed last week, check it out here.
My path to the Pikmin games has been a weird one. The first Pikmin was actually the first game I ever played for the Gamecube, when my uncle bought one in the year they came out. It was amazing- and I knew that when I got my Gamecube, it would be the first thing I got for it because beating up frogs with little flower ants is more fun than I had ever imagined it would be.
When I got my Gamecube that Christmas, though, I also got Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Monkey Ball (a gift to my sister, but really it’s because I wanted to try it). No Pikmin, but I did get the strategy guide for it so that I could be prepared. My birthday is just a few weeks after Christmas, so I was sure I’d get it then!
But I didn’t. I don’t remember what it was I actually got, but it sure wasn’t Pikmin. It actually followed this pattern for years into the Gamecube’s life cycle. Every time I was going to have a chance to get Pikmin, I got something else, and kept pushing it back and pushing it back. I’d almost memorized that strategy guide by then. I still loved what I’d played of the first game and really wanted to go back to it, but I threw it on my backlog without even having bought it.
Somewhere in there, I got Pikmin 2. Yes, I picked up the second before I really played the first. That’s where I really started to realize that things had gotten out of hand with the whole situation, because I started telling myself “well, I can’t really play this one until I’ve played the first more” due to some weird moral obligation. So Pikmin 2 was also put aside for later, though I did at least get to where the purple Pikmin were because they’re totally awesome.
After Nintendo decided to put out their Greatest Hits collections, I figured there was no point putting it off any more. Pikmin was $20. I had more than enough money, so I finally went and bought a copy and finally sat down to play what I had been wanting since the Gamecube had come out- which was at least a three years ago at that point.
The messed-up part about it was that I only played around halfway through before deciding that I hated the time limit of 30 days and gave up on it.
Pikmin 2, though, didn’t have that time limit, and that’s enough to be an immense improvement. With two new types of Pikmin, more treasure, and the depth added with a new character to control, I had a lot more fun with what I played. And I actually thought I’d played a lot of it- I had a good amount of in-game money, I’d collected a fair amount of treasures, and I had both new types of Pikmin. Replaying it later, though, I got to my exact same point only a couple of hours later. Clearly, I was nowhere near as far in Pikmin 2 as I’d thought I was. While that’s awesome because it gives me more to play, it also means that I’m a bad person and haven’t played nearly enough of this game. The improvements I mentioned are why I pick Pikmin 2 over the original though- it's more playable, and that makes it more fun because I'm not worried about time management, I'm just worried about making large froglike creatures feel pain.
With Pikmin 3 coming out soon, it’s probably time to dust off my Gamecube controller (which isn’t really that dusty because I still use it for Need for Speed all the time) and finish it up. What happens at the end of the game when I get all that money? Does Olimar save his company? Is there another King Bulborb to kill? What other weird product placements will I find along the way? I’ll probably wind up finishing it up just to get in the mood for the third game, and I know I really should. The Pikmin games are awesome. Commanding my troops into battle and coming out without losing a single one is fantastic. While I don’t think a perfect Pikmin run is even feasible, I always do my best to lose as few as possible, even though they’re made to be expendable.
Am I a bad person for the way I played these games? Yes. The fact that even after getting them, I still found excuses to not play them for whatever reason, is just bizarre to the point that I actually have the whole series technically on my backlog- usually I at least try and beat a game before getting the sequel. It’s just unlike me to do something like this, but hopefully Pikmin will be the bigger man and take me back when I eventually run back into its arms.
And thus ends another chapter of the backlog. Come back next week for another exciting episode. Same bat-time. Same bat-channel. But in the meantime, what do you thin of Pikmin 2? Did the third game's announcement at 3E whet your appetite? Leave your comments below.