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Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, WiiU
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Oct. 30, 2020

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Switch Review - 'Pikmin 3 Deluxe'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Nov. 20, 2020 @ 12:30 a.m. PST

Pikmin 3 is a reimagined, mass-action strategy title. Players discover a beautiful world filled with strange creatures and take command of a swarm of ant-like Pikmin trying to survive.

Buy Pikmin 3 Deluxe

It's hard to believe that Pikmin 3 is over seven years old. I reviewed the game when it was originally released on the Wii U, and in reading my thoughts from that long-ago review, I realize that not a lot has changed in the game since then. Under the hood, Pikmin 3 Deluxe is still the same game, and the bulk of the praises and complaints can be accurately summed up in the linked review. Pikmin 3 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch is still worth checking out, though --.

A major thing about Pikmin 3 Deluxe is that most of the changes are simple quality-of-life improvements. For example, whistling seems to have a significantly larger radius now and no longer interrupts Pikmin actions, which is a change you probably won't even notice if you're not familiar with Pikmin 3, but it's a very welcome change to longtime players. There are subtle paths that now make it easier to figure out where to go. Some controls are less finnicky, especially the Charge option. They're all extremely minor changes in the long run, but they're almost universally for the best, giving this game a solid leg up on the original iteration.


Notably absent from the Switch release is the Wii U gamepad for obvious reasons, but I didn't miss it very much. Having a map to view at any time was nice, but I found the usage to be disappointing even in the original Pikmin, so I don't mind just having it be part of the regular interface. I miss the Wii Remote and Nunchuk control scheme, which is absolutely an advantage that Pikmin 3 has over Deluxe, but it isn't a significant enough loss to devalue the other improvements and changes.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe has some delightful new features. Perhaps the most significant is the inclusion of a two-player co-op mode, which is implemented so naturally and smoothly that it's shocking it wasn't part of the original game. Having two people team up to take on the story mission fits so well with the core mechanics of Pikmin, and even the level design seems to take it into account despite being mostly created before the co-op feature existed. Dividing up Pikmin and working together feels amazingly good, and if you have a couch co-op partner, it adds a ton of value to Pikmin 3 Deluxe. Unfortunately, there is no online co-op, which is disappointing especially given the current restrictions on social gatherings.

The other major change is in the difficulty. Pikmin 3 was never a particularly difficult or punishing game, and the time limit was super forgiving. That's why Deluxe adds an "Ultra Spicy" harder difficulty mode and a second series of challenge missions starring the previous game's Olimar and Louie. This mode is built around the two trying to (once again) repair their broken spaceship before they are devoured by bug-monsters, but it's clearly an epilogue and not part of the main game.


The extra missions are not full-fledged levels but more like mini challenge areas that test your talents. You must complete objectives before the time runs out, so you must use mechanics that are mostly optional in the main game. Pikmin 3 rewards multitasking, and the Olimar's Comeback challenge mission demands it. The game is still a super casual and fun RTS-like, so it didn't suddenly become Dark Souls. It is just that the challenge mission is far more willing to kill you than the main game is.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe has absolutely seen some visual upgrades from the Wii U original, but it's not too significant. The original game's bright, colorful, and simple designs have aged well, and the Deluxe version gives them an extra coat of polish. It's far less significant than something like Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. I was pretty happy with the updated graphics, although they're not going to blow anyone's mind. The title gave me quite a hankering for fruit juice after every level, though.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe is a solid Switch port of a cult Wii U favorite. While the core game hasn't changed much, the UI interface updates do a lot to make it more enjoyable to play. The addition of two-player co-op is a game-changer if you have a gamer in your social bubble, and the feature elevates Pikmin 3 Deluxe over the original. Pikmin 3 remains a calm and relaxing game about walking through outdoor areas, collecting fruit, and sending hordes of adorable plant-men to their gruesome deaths. If you've ever wanted to try6 the series or if you liked the original Pikmin 3, Deluxe is the best way to experience the game.

Score: 8.0/10



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