Learning when and how to make the best use of your Pikmins' skills and traits is the essence of the game. You can control up to 100 Pikmin at a time while figuring out which Pikmin are best suited for a particular task. Some are better fighters, while others can survive in water or handle explosive bomb rocks. However, even the best Pikmin herder will have to sacrifice a few of the plant-headed beasts for the greater good. It's the making of new strategies to minimize losses that makes Pikmin challenging and fun.
For a first-generation GameCube title, the graphics, sound, and music are fantastic and show an awesome amount of detail. Though it's no Pokémon, this game should appeal to wide-eyed younger gamers as well as seasoned vets. The controls are intuitive and feel perfect for the standard GameCube controller. However, learning to position the camera can be a tad frustrating during some of the more tense moments, as it has only a few magnification levels and needs constant adjustment.
The biggest obstacle Olimar faces is time. He has only 30 days (each day is about 15 minutes in real time) in which to find the necessary parts. While this keeps the pace of the game up, some may find such limits somewhat frustrating, as it means there will be a lot of repetition and rethinking of strategy. It also means that diligent gamers may find Pikmin a rather short game.
At the end of your gaming day, Pikmin is one of the best games on the GameCube. --Mark Brooks