So this is interesting, I've hit a point where I have reviewed a sequel before the first game. I didn't play this series out of order, I'm just reviewing randomly. Anyway, let's get to business shall we. This game is a great start. It sets up a great premise, a great gameplay system, and gives you set goals. Get everything back by a certain amount of time. How you accomplish this task is up to you.
Now, I will get this out of the way early. I didn't like the time limit. It felt far too restrictive. It led to less exploration, in a game that screams it. Going around to every nook and cranny is what this game was designed for. You are looking for those pieces of your ship, why limit how long we get to look? Sure it adds some pressure and moves the game forward, but it also stifles the exploration piece that this game has almost at the forefront.
The concept is pretty solid and the controls are well done, especially with managing pikmin. Sure you have to get used to which pikmin do what and how to use them effectively but towards the end you become accustomed to sending teams out to do what you need to be done. In fact, I ended up getting my last piece of the ship on the last day and I only did it through using all the skills I had earned before. That is the true testament to a good game, forcing the player to use everything they learned to complete the game. So many games forget that and just make things harder through artificial means.
I'd say if you are looking for a great game, pick this up. It's simply, straightforward and fun. Sure you can get frustrated when you lose half your pikmin team but those decisions you made caused that. Nothing in the game feels cheap, you are in control of everything that happens. Retreat or lose pikmin, stay and fight, all these run through your head as you progress forward.