The Pikmin series hasn’t innovated all that much over the course of the previous three games.
It’s basically the same: you land on a strange planet, meet the strange Pikmin creatures and then breed and command them to fight alien beasts and acquire precious treasures and precious parts for your spaceship.
Aside from a few key game-by-game adjustments, you know what to expect.
Pikmin 2 added another playable character and two more Pikmin, and Pikmin 3 added a third playable character and two new types of Pikmin.
There are other changes, of course, but these are the big quotes, the key features that we want you to love about every game.
They’re all great in their own way, but innovative? Not really.
Pikmin 4 feels like a definite change.
The game engine is new – it uses the reliable Unreal Engine – the perspective has changed and even some of the basic game mechanics have been tweaked and tweaked.
But nothing is more symbolic of this change than Oatchi, the adorable rescue pup who will accompany you on all your missions.
Oatchi can act as a mount, allowing you to ride him – with all your Pikmin clinging to his back – swim across water, jump up stairs, and more.
Oatchi can even be trained, increasing their abilities like combat strength, HP, elemental resistances, speed, and even the ability to pull incredibly large objects without the help of other Pikmin.
In addition, Oatchi can also act as a playable character and have access to narrow paths and tunnels that your custom character simply cannot access.
But the best feature might be the easy rush.
This is an attack that Oatchi can use to break pots, but it will also damage smaller enemies by trampling them, and if Oatchi collides with a larger enemy, all of the Pikmin at it will be knocked down.
This will take out most enemies quickly, as long as your army is large enough to deal damage.
Oatchi could have been a humble playable supporting character that could be upgraded to automate certain actions.
That would have been a solid implementation of your rescue pup mate.
Instead, the development team did their best.
Oatchi is an integral part of the game and will drastically change the way you approach every obstacle and challenge in Pikmin 4 when it releases on July 21st, 2023.
Written by Dave Aubrey on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.
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