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First look at action-strategy game Pikmin 3 (gallery)

At its Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) preshow presentation, famed Mario designer Shigeru Miyamoto introduced Pikmin 3, the third entry in a series of GameCube titles focused on commanding an army of ant-like plant creatures.

“Pikmin is a real-time, action-management game in which you command the Pikmin to perform a variety of tasks,” Miyamoto said from the stage of Nintendo’s E3 press event in Los Angeles, Calif.

The title was running on the new Wii U hardware and featured high-definition visuals.

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“We puzzled over how far to position the camera in the GameCube game. If it’s too far away, you can’t see the Pikmin. If it’s too close, you can’t see the full map,” Miyamoto said. “The enhanced resolution of the Wii U has solved this puzzle for us. Now, you can see the tiny movements of the Pikmin, and you can see that natural settings are much more beautiful.”

Miyamoto detailed some fresh characters and gameplay mechanics. Players will use a new rock-type Pikmin, who is adorable, to destroy strong infrastructures. The Wii Motion Plus tech allows for precise aiming when you need to hit a specific body part to defeat an enemy. Shaking the Nunchuk subcontroller, the one with the analog stick, will instruct your Pikmin troops to charge. Again, adorable.

“The most important gameplay element is how efficient you are able to manage and assign tasks to your Pikmin in a limited time frame,” Miyamoto explained. “This strategic element gets even deeper as you are able to touch the map, scroll quickly over the environment, and quickly place your Pikmin.”

Pikmin 3 will allow for multiple control inputs. Players can either use the Wiimote and Nunchuk with the Wii U Gamepad sitting off to the side for specific moments, or players can solely rely on the Gamepad.

“The [Gamepad-only] style is much better suited to using the map more effectively,” Miyamoto said.

Nintendo has replaced Captain Olimar (the protagonist from the first two games) with four new leaders.

“You may notice that Captain Olimar is not among the shown leaders. The reason for that is a secret,” Miyamoto said.

Miyamoto also pointed out several times that despite the rise of casual games, he was up to the challenge of presenting deeper experiences to consumers.


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