Having forged a niche of its own, the "Pikmin" series can appear obtuse to newcomers. Yet fear not! For the first in a run of explanatory "Meet the Pikmin" videos has been released ahead of a July 26 Wii U debut (August 4 in North America).
Players control a swarm of adorable ant-like creatures -- it has that in common with games like "Overlord" or "Little King's Story" -- and these tiny Pikmin busily gather up our lost or unwanted items: paperclips, used bottle caps, even fruit.
Each Pikmin type has slightly different qualities.
Introduced in "Meet The Pikmin #1" are the Blue Pikmin, especially well-adapted to water and therefore to rubbish-rescuing missions that take players to submerged realms.
Also key are the Red Pikmin, fire-resistant and combative. If you need to subdue a strange beast or batter down a wall, get these guys on the case.
Yellow Pikmin are particularly agile and are resistant to electricity, while the weighty, angular Rock Pikmin are better at bashing through obstructive crystal walls.
Winged Pikmin are particularly well-suited to transporting objects over expanses of water, or helping clear the way for their fellow adventurers.
Two "Pikmin" games were released on Nintendo GameCube, the first in 2001 and the second, containing several important improvements, in 2004, but the series missed out on Nintendo's Wii (save for an updated "Pikmin 2" re-release in 2009), making the long-awaited "Pikmin 3" all the more appealing.