So I've been hearing from a lot of people that are upset about Pikmin 3 featuring some kind of time constraint similar to that of the original Pikmin, thinking the game will be too hard, too stressful, etc.. I, personally, am excited for this.
Remember the time you first played Pikmin, having no clue what kind of game may lie ahead? (unless your friends spoiled you too much) Just that feeling of mystery in itself is fantastic, and it really makes for a cool and interesting game. Anyways, the game starts off with some currently unknown character crash landing on a mysterious planet. His name is Captain Olimar, and you will learn to love him throughout the next few days you are playing the game.
Captain Olimar introduces himself as a space traveler who's ship was struck by a meteor, and is stranded on a weird planet. He then informs the player that his life-support systems can only function for a measly 30 days! Despite this short period of time, Olimar shows us confidence and courage, which gave me warmth and comfort as a younger child. Right from the start, Olimar has left a good impression on me, and I begin to feel sorry for him as well. Throughout the adventure, we learn of his quirkiness, too, and he becomes a very relateable character. This appreciation towards the character gives us motivation to get him home safely, to his family that we eventually learn about, no less. So as we progress through the game, we keep our confidence and tackle the 30 day challenge that is thrown at us. These 30 days give us a real sense of urgency, much like Olimar must feel, and it really brings the game home. We can really feel for Olimar, because we feel just as pressured as he is, but because we learn so much about his character, we continue to do our best to rescue him.
Now you may be asking: What does any of this have to do with the time limit in Pikmin 3? The point that I'm trying to make is to come, but let me move on to Pikmin 2.
Pikmin 2 starts off with Captain Olimar returning home from the distant planet, only to find out that the company that he works for, Hocotate Freight , is now in a deep debt. Not only is the President in trouble, but Olimar is in a pinch as well, as he has a family to support! So basically, since most people find the President to kind of come off as a selfish greedy pig, the game is kind of about keeping Olimar's job so he can continue to live his life and help his family. Olimar brings Louie, the new employee of Hocotate Freight back to the Pikmin planet to hunt for valuable goods to sell on their home planet in order to repay the debt, and keep the company up and running. All this time, no limit of time is ever introduced to us, so we feel like we're just off the hook from anything, and there is no chance of anything bad happening to the President if we don't repay the debt in time. However, it is indicated in some of the space emails that the President sends that he is being kept hostage, and wast on the brink of death. Despite this, since there is no time limit, the President will continue to send the same message over and over, talking about how he's hanging by a thread. It breaks the feel for the game, and you don't care as much about that kind of stuff. The second part of the story is even worse, because we get to know Louie so much by experience, and now he's missing. But guess what? There is no time limit, again. So Louie could be completely lost, and potentially ripped apart and eaten by a pack of ravenous Bulbears for all we know, but we wouldn't actually have to worry about that, because HEY, they're ain't no time limit, so of course there isn't REALLY anything to worry about. It just destroys any feeling of urgency, and detaches you from the characters, which I feel hurts the game.
I'm not saying I hate Pikmin 2 for it, because the game is a lot of fun to play, explore, just have a generally good time planning things out strategically. It has a lot more content than the first game, which is again, a big plus. But that story element is lacking, and brings down a potentially better game.
People who are distressed by the time limits argue: "But Ymmot! Pikmin isn't just about the story, it's also about the fun of exploring the unknown!" And that I totally agree. What part of what I said argues against that statement, though? People are under the impression that the time limit forbids them from exploring the game. Well, to that, I say you must be playing the game absolutely wrong. The game is about searching for your missing ship parts! Last time I checked, when you are looking for something, you have to explore in order to, you know, find it? You are given 30 days to find 30 ship parts. That is one part per day. Coming from someone who has collected 7 ship parts in one day on two consecutive playthroughs of the game, that is not hard. It gives you plenty of time to look for a ship part, clear out enemies who may obstruct the path, carry the part back, and even populate your Pikmin with the enemies you cleared out. And yes, if you lose a bunch of Pikmin, you will be punished for it. That's how games work. That's how life works. Don't expect the game to spoonfeed you everything just because of your failures. (I'm looking at you, Pikmin Adventure! (no offense, I swear I love you)) But yeah, there is plenty of time to explore the areas and find interesting things and monsters.
So I'm sure by now you can see why I am totally thrilled to have a time limit again in Pikmin 3. It provides a great connection to the main character of the game, and motivates you to complete tasks that the game throws at you, while still giving you free time too look around and enjoy the scenary. These are my thoughts on the matter, and I'd like to see what others think about them. Thank you for reading!