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Hey! Pikmin

One of the big games that Nintendo showcased during their last Nintendo Direct this past Wednesday was a game no one saw coming for their handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS; it was Pikmin. The RTS adventure game is coming to the 3DS in a completely different way for the first time in the series.

According to Polygon, Nintendo is taking Pikmin back to the retro side-scrolling era by turning it into a platforming adventure game. Not only that, but they've also announced that this new entry in the series, titled Hey! Pikmin, will be launching on July 28th during the middle of summer.

Nintendo announced the game for the Nintendo 3DS along with a bunch of other titles during the Nintendo Direct. They didn't spend a whole lot of time on it, but they did reveal that Olimar is back and he has various Pikmin helping him complete challenges and defeat enemies along the way.

Unlike the previous games where you're controlling Olimar or sending groups of Pikmin around to complete tasks for you, this time around you're directly controlling Olimar as an action hero, just as if you were playing a Super Mario side-scroller. This means that instead of dealing with enemies, or three-dimensional puzzles, or attempting to find solutions to area-based puzzles, you're instead spending time dodging enemies, timing your jumps and attempting to find ways around or through obstacles.

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One of the things they briefly revealed is that you can actually utilize the Pikmin to help fight other enemies, just like in the previous Pikmin titles, but you can also help them to mobilize to get Olimar through or past certain levels. For instance, you can use the Pikmin to drill into the ground or move objects so Olimar can get through, not unlike some of the special abilities that Sonic could utilize with the Wisps in Sonic Colors. In fact, there seems to be a strong semblance in the gameplay between Hey! Pikmin and Sonic Colors, apart from the fact that Olimar can't go fast like Sonic.

How well this 2D iteration of the game will work out is anyone's guess. The last outing in the series was Pikmin 3 for the Wii U, which was developed by Nintendo and Monolith Soft and came out way back in 2013. It seems crazy to think that that was four years ago. But the game on the Wii U just didn't quite take off due to the fact that the Wii U was already struggling sales wise. Added to that is the fact that the Pikmin series has always been niche. We'll see if the series fares better on the Nintendo 3DS and as a side-scroller, given that there's a much larger install base for the game to reach.

However, it would have seemed like the Nintendo Switch should have been the target platform in order to get more people buying the system and its software.

Anyway, you can look to get your hands on Hey! Pikmin exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS starting July 28th this summer.