After seven years of waiting, Pikmin 4 has finally been announced for real. The game was first stated to be far along in development back in 2015 by Shigeru Miyamoto himself, and updates for it came out over the next couple of years. However, news of Pikmin 4 quickly dried up, and fans were left with the initial Pikmin trilogy and Hey! Pikmin to keep them occupied. The community wasn’t thrilled when Pikmin Bloom was announced to capitalize on Pokemon GO‘s success, but Pikmin 3 Deluxe was a real sign of life. It turned out to be a meaningful one, as the return of Pikmin 4 came only a year later.
The development history of Pikmin 4 is strange and rather unique, but it’s good to see that the series is finally moving again. The teaser trailer and accompanying screenshots gave fans precious little to go off of. A clock on a tiny fence could indicate that something is changing with the day cycle, and the new low camera angle could suggest that Pikmin 4 is open world. No one knows for sure yet, but in the meantime the old games are still around to help kill time. At least, they are if one is willing to reach for a Wii or GameCube controller.
Pikmin 1 and 2 Are In Need of a Re-Release
Pikmin 1 and 2 were released a few years apart on the Nintendo GameCube. They both later got New Play Control! releases for the Nintendo Wii that made use of the console’s Wii Remote to direct the cursor. These versions were well-received, and helped keep the relatively small Pikmin series relevant in discussions. Pikmin 3 came out almost a decade after Pikmin 2, and was initially a Wii U exclusive. However, Nintendo decided to port it to the Switch with several upgrades, and this Deluxe edition proved to be the best-selling Pikmin game yet.
It’s clear what needs to be done here. Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2 have been left behind on old consoles, while Pikmin 3 receives the benefits of the Switch’s large user base and modern convenience. A modern re-release of Pikmin 1 and 2 could potentially sell more than either game did back on the GameCube or Wii. The GameCube and Wii eras have received less attention from Nintendo than prior generations, and there’s still several games from the era like F-Zero GX and the Metroid Prime trilogy that should be brought forward. With more eyes on the Pikmin franchise than ever, people may be able to better appreciate the games that started it all.
How A Pikmin 1 + 2 Collection Could Enhance The Series
There are plenty of ways that Nintendo can sweeten the deal when releasing Pikmin 1 and 2 again. First and foremost, the games should be bundled together. Pikmin 1 is less than ten hours long on a successful run, and lacks content compared to Pikmin 2 and 3. Having the two games together cover their weaknesses, especially considering how different Pikmin 2 is from the other games.
Other things could be done to make the experience as good as possible on modern hardware. Aside from a remaster for these already good-looking games, Pikmin 2 could potentially receive enhanced multiplayer features. Online co-op is a possibility, and it would be great if Pikmin 3 Deluxe’s campaign co-op was back ported into Pikmin 2. Pikmin 1 could also benefit with improved Pikmin AI, at least reaching the level of Pikmin 2. In fact, Pikmin 1 could even receive its own Piklopedia, leaving every game in the trilogy with the fan-favorite bestiary. There’s a lot that could be done with Pikmin re-releases, and fans both old and new would be happy to see them.
Pikmin 4 will be released in 2023 for the Nintendo Switch.
MORE: Pikmin 4’s Urban Setting May Bring Back the Second Game’s Technological Terrors