Pikmin hails from a time when Nintendo was, and I don’t mean to sound like I’m the first person to make this argument, more willing to take a risk. The GameCube was out, with its weirdly designed but still marginally industry-standard controller, and they took some gambles on new properties, like Luigi’s Mansion, Animal Crossing, and, yes, Pikmin. People who said Nintendo hadn’t been interesting since they defined 3D games on the N64 just weren’t looking hard enough. Pikmin has always impressed me, from its weirdness to its relative mechanical complexity and sharp visual style.
It deserves better.
In 2007, the Wii launched with Wii Sports as a pack in game. That series of mini-games became ubiquitous to the Wii and defined motion control gaming for a generation. With the Wii U, Nintendo changed their controller drastically and Nintendo Land is their attempt at defining what this controller means to a new generation. I decided the best way to really understand what Nintendo hoped to achieve with Nintendo Land was to gather my family together and spend an entire day playing the various “attractions” of Nintendo Land. What followed was the most fun my family has had playing video games with me since Wii Sports, and that is exactly what Nintendo was hoping for.