Pikmin 3 released on Wii U last week to rave reviews, but the story could have been quite different. Shigeru Miyamoto has shed light on how the game was originally conceived for and tested on 3DS, but how the concept was abandoned after the handheld control method didn't suit the series.
In an interview with 4Gamer, Miyamoto recalled Pikmin 3's early 3DS tests, "The truth is we were doing prototype tests of Pikmin for the DS and 3DS but it turned into unit management with only the touch pen and no matter what it just didn't seem like Pikmin.
"We concluded that Pikmin is a game that revolves around action based on its controls and the strategy sits on top that. Although there are elements that are built on the strategy, there are other overall things that have to be well considered. This complete experience is an important elements of Pikmin."
Part of Miyamoto's aim with Pikmin has always been to create slick and intuitive control in a 3D space, and it sounds like the 3DS simply didn't cut it.
He added, "The truth is when we made 1, we were trying to make the easiest to control 3D game around. The focal point was Olimar walking around on screen but the majority of the interface was those controls. They didn't interfere with anything else. There weren't many 3D games that were that simple to move around in since you could play without even having to control the camera."
In Pikmin 3, Miyamoto felt he had met his own aims from a control stance, "This game may seem difficult on first glance but once you try the controls, it's easy. Even if you find using the pointer difficult, there is a control method using the GamePad similar to the previous GameCube titles that we'd like people to utilize. To that end, we hope people are able to look at this as a carefree, easy action game."
Have you picked up Pikmin 3 yet? If so, what do you think of the controls? Personally I found the Wii U GamePad to be a bit of a chore when trying to do quick, complex actions, but that's just the clumsy oaf in me I'm sure.