Pikmin 3's Time Limit (Fruit Juice)

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  3. Pikmin 3's Time Limit (Fruit Juice)

User Info: MostlyNintendo

3 years ago#1
The game mechanic behind the time limit (harvesting fruit juice) isn't very reasonable in my opinion and this is why:

If you are a skilled Pikmin player you will be collecting Juice at a fast rate. I finished the game with almost an entire month's supply of juice rations in reserve. What do I do after that, since I finished the game with nearly 100% completion (all of my map is visible)?

If you are not a skilled player, you will feel rushed to complete the objectives and have no time for yourself to enjoy the atmosphere that is Pikmin. If you have an unsuccessful day with only one or two days of juice left you just add more pressure. That's not fun for the newbies. Anecdotally-speaking, I had my cousin over to play Pikmin 3 for the first time and he said it just made him feel bad about himself when he had an unsuccessful day. I personally don't see how the time limit is a challenge. It's not real, and that's the second point I have against it.

I understand that some of the player base and the developers wanted to reintroduce Pikmin 1 mechanics into Pikmin 3, but the time limit just isn't tangible. You don't feel the real effects of juice until you run out. It's all psychological.

The mechanic reminds me of arcade games where you spend a quarter to play for 5 or 10 minutes. At least with Pikmin 3 you own to game so you can play it all you want.

I know I will have a lot of support for what I'm about to say next. Most people who are fans of the Pikmin franchise will say that they loved Pikmin 2. I loved Pikmin 2, and I am getting it for the Wii (so many years since I played it).

One of the most important developments of Pikmin 2 was the cave feature. Pikmin 2 was made more difficult than Pikmin 1 (not in overall gameplay, but in terms of individual challenges), by entering underground levels with your army, and no access to your onions. A cave is a genuine challenge of survival. An example of a cave being the Submerged Castle. That cave always has controversy. Pikmin 2 might not have had many caves (14), but they were always of quality and each cave had multiple sublevels.

Pikmin 3 had something similar. The overworld would sometimes lead to sublevels. An example being the Scornet Maestro's (the bee boss) hive. I don't think there were enough sublevels, but then again the game ended too quickly for me.

I think the Pikmin team should bring back the cave feature in future DLC or the next sequel. It truly expanded the game into something massive. I want to be playing the game for as long as possible, not limited to time. Of course, I am not suggesting to reinvent Pikmin 2. It had it's own logical flaws, like the extremely high # of Pikmin that you could store in an onion (a limit of 100 per type is enough).

User Info: G23Non45

3 years ago#2
Great analysis my friend. I totally agree, they now have the foundation set to really expand the planets potential whether it be above or below ground. I believe a time limit should still be present but not in the Majoras/Pikmin 'everything ends' sense. Maybe for specific challenges or caves there will be a time limit eg;

A massive cave becomes unstable when a Bulborb chases you through it causing it to collapse in X amount of minutes, collect as much as possible and escape safely.

I also mentioned in previous posts about interplanetary travel. Potentially allowing for different Pikmin types, treasures and challenges to be planet specific. Or venture outside the ship at night for a more combat based challenge with new enemies/objectives. New planets could also mean different time limits including alterations in day length. Shortening the days from 20 mins to 10 or doubling to 40 (depending on the planet) could really make room for some innovative level designs and give more life to a vital mechanic.

Overall the time limit in Pikmin 3 was 99% psychological as you said, but challenge mode at least provided some sense of urgency.

The potential is limitless here, Nintendo just needs to capitalize.

User Info: MostlyNintendo

3 years ago#3
Maybe for specific challenges or caves there will be a time limit eg;

A massive cave becomes unstable when a Bulborb chases you through it causing it to collapse in X amount of minutes, collect as much as possible and escape safely.

A great idea!

Time limits are best kept to small challenges like you mentioned about a cave. It's so much easier to imagine the occasional two minute time limit than the constant global time limit like in Pikmin 1 or 3.

User Info: shadowreaper7

3 years ago#4
I agree with some of it, but other parts i disagree, or wish to add amendments to.

I'll start from the top. Pikmin is and always will be a micro-management game. Splitting a task force to try and accomplish things in the shortest time possible, allowing for the highest score possible (challenge mode) or shortest completion time (story).
The first is the most obvious for this. The quicker you collect the ship-parts the more you know how well you're going to fare against the 30 day limit. The faster you collect, the more of a buffer you have against the inevitable impending doom.
Though as you mention, experienced players do not ever worry about the time limit. (I'm always finishing well before day 14 so i can always do the Smoky Progg "Boss")

The time limit can be detrimental - it is a gorgeous looking game. The cave above the river connecting the second boss to the rest of the map. Tropical wilds in general etc.
However, it needs to be imposed.
Pikmin 1 went from having a good challenge due to the time limit (You can't spend too long doing just one of the other - making pikmin / collecting items). To pikmin 2 (which at one point despite being my favourite - this has taken its place) which has no sense of challenge at all.

You can explore caves in pikmin 2 with no time limit, and worse, you can reset every sublevel - its not like you start at the entrance of the cave if you lose pikmin and reset, no, you just redo the floor. (I grant you, you could not do this, but why elect not to when there is no penalty for doing so).
It may be that i'm a seasoned old veteran when it comes to pikmin. But i don't find the second one challenging anymore. I play it for the atmosphere and to see how i can limit myself. Recently i've made it so i start on day 30. (So as to trigger a beady long legs and Bulbears in certain environments above ground to add to the challenge - also prohibiting the use of the purples and sprays). Even submerged castle never really posed a challenge once you figured out it can't turn in dead ends very well and to hug the walls and take a much smaller army than normal.
Anyways i'm drifting. With no timer, i was never in a hurry to do anything, but did it all fast anyways because the challenge i personally found sorely lacking. The caves were fun, and the bosses were good, the first boss which got me was the man-at-legs (as many others i imagine) but it could all be circumvented due to a broken save system within the caves.

If they fixed some of the issues within pikmin 2 it may have still held its place at the top and not been replaced by this in my esteem.

Personally i believe Pikmin 3 did an excellent job of maintaining challenge (in an imposed time limit - psychological or otherwise - though it is indeed intangible by the very definition of the word, no time limit is ever tangible it will never have a physical presence - lest the involve some sort of "Don't Starve" creature that chases you until dawn arrives), I did have days where i got nothing done. Notably day 5 where i failed to complete the bridge in distant tundra because i had no idea where i had to go, or what pikmin to split into.
After getting to day 10 and noticing a distinct lack in fruit reserves, i decided to go back to day 5.
Here they kept all of the unlocked map (and i personally knew where i was going and what to do) so i could attempt to stream line the process. And i was (after 8 attempts) able to complete the bridge with no casualties all in one day and get one piece of fruit. Allowing me to spend the next day collecting the remaining fruit in the area.
If there is no time limit, i would not have attempted to stream line it at all, there would be no reason for me to do so, defeating the point of micro-management.
3DS FC: 2578 - 3653 - 3599
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User Info: Magnemight

3 years ago#5
yes everything shadow said

the only challenge involved in the caves of Pikmin 3 is the combat, and the combat becomes less challenging (and a bit more boring) when there's no time pressure to kill things quickly, which encourages killing enemies in an extremely slow and conservative fashion so as to not run out of firepower in later floors, rather than trying out daring maneuvers and dramatic charges to kill enemies rapidly. Nearly every game on the market has combat.

there's also the matter of the caves being rather ugly and uniform. The aboveground areas of all three Pikmin games all look nice and distinct and organic, and the look clashes awfully with the dreary, repetitive cave designs. If one of PIkmin's greatest strengths is atmosphere, it makes no sense to spend most of one's time in bland caves.

the Battle Enemies missions in Mission Mode are essentially everything the caves provided but vastly superior

also, it's nonsensical to suggest that someone shouldn't feel regret for an unproductive day in a time-management game. The fruit mechanic in Pikmin 3 is ingenious because it provides a time-limit that can be directly affected by the player, wherein a player understands the value of an unproductive day in the context of the rate at which they've been getting juice, whereas a player that hasn't played through the full game in Pikmin 1 won't know how much productivity is lost by messing up a day.

minimal-day-runs are already the appropriate challenge run for a time-management game, though if I were to suggest a 'hard mode' sort of thing I would go with some sort of re-arrangement of the enemies and fruits on the map so as to ensure that obtaining enough juice to survive to the next day is difficult, and decisions would need to be made as to whether the player would attempt to advance forward towards the boss of an area in order to continue the story or focus on fruit gathering in order to not lose the game

shadowreaper7 posted...
lest the involve some sort of "Don't Starve" creature that chases you until dawn arrives

y'know, the first thing that came to mind when you said that was the Hounds, not the Grue, and I suppose that those Bulbears and Raging Long Legs are the equivalent of the Hounds
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User Info: Rohkey

3 years ago#6
For some reason, I have always disliked timed days in games (Harvest Moon, Pikmin, Majora's Mask, etc.) but realize that these games, for some reason, are among my favorite. I think that the added challenge that forces you to plan your day ahead of time, or (more fun in my opinion), play the same day over and over until you executive everything perfectly for maximum efficiency, is a fairly unique (if uniqueness has degrees) aspect of a game that sets it apart from games in which you are free to go 100% at your own pace.

Take Elder Scrolls, for instance. I played Oblivion for quite a while (maybe logged 80-100 hours) and enjoyed it, but eventually I completely lost interest, such that even though I purchased Skyrim, I played it for maybe 10-15 hours before getting bored with it. I didn't feel like I was being pushed toward anything. The same can be said of Animal Crossing - when new ones come out I purchase them, play for maybe 2 months (start with 3-4 hours a day then quickly down to maybe 1, if that), and set it down never to return again. Now games like Pikmin and Harvest Moon, I continue to go back to because you can always improve. You can always be more efficient, accomplish more in a day/set amount of days, meet goals quicker, and beat your own person records. That, for me, gives these games such high replay value and makes them more rewarding.

And yes, while the argument can be made that the time aspect can be frustrating for a beginner, I'd argue that this is only the case for someone not looking to be challenged. As I said, part of the fun for me in these games in that your first playthrough you have no idea if you're going at a quick enough pace, and as you go you have to learn 1) what the approprite pace is (to be able to beat the game), and 2) if you're going to slow. This makes the second playthrough all the more fun (and satisfying), because you adjust and improve from what you did the first time through, and reap the rewards of your effort, patience, and strategical decisions.

Lastly, the time aspect is pivotal to Pikmin for both the storyline and game mechanics. But Pikmin 3's difficulty level (in terms of running out of time) is pretty low in my opinion, and it's nice that we are given potentially 100 days to play if we'd like. You only need to get 1 fruit a day, though, and it's easy to stock up on early in the game so thay it isn't a concern. The only reason I feel pressured by the game is due to my own internal motivations (to be perfect/as efficient as possible), not due to worrying about running out of juice.
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User Info: Magnemight

3 years ago#8
the challenge lies in defeating the boss quickly. it is not very difficult to defeat most of the bosses

it's like a classic sonic game basically
Magikoopa Security Force: Defend against the Shy Guys!
Check out the demo (offsite): http://www.mfgg.net/index.php?act=resdb&param=02&c=2&id=29243

User Info: shadowreaper7

3 years ago#9
Magnemight posted...
the challenge lies in defeating the boss quickly. it is not very difficult to defeat most of the bosses

it's like a classic sonic game basically

Currently i've got every area to progress story on 2 days. (Except twilight river and 2nd boss in garden of hope which i haven't tried refining)
Day 2 - Brittany + Bridges and walls
Day 3 - Boss
Day 4 - Bridges in distant tundra
Day 5 - Boss
Day 6 - Walls and bridges in tropical wilds
Day 7 - Boss
Day 8 - Pink pikmin
Day 9 - Path to boss
Day 10 - Boss
Day 11 - Blues

Of course this is nothing compared to the speed running with the least amount of days, but its good enough for me.
3DS FC: 2578 - 3653 - 3599
The Reaper does not take someone's life. He takes their happiness. A fate far worse than death.

User Info: SangreMuerta

3 years ago#10
Interesting to see you guy's points of view. This is my first pikmin and although I've had it since I got it from Mario kart I am now just playing it. The game is great, it just takes a little bit to get used to the rhythm of the game. I still haven't used the feature to have a team go on its on yet since I don't trust it so I'm always finding myself with still a lot to do with out enough time in which to do it.
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