This review is based off my single player experience of this game.
First of all, Pikmin was a great game. It had an incredible amount of gameplay, great controls, and it was a pick-up-and-play type game. One thing bothered me though. There was this horrible, horrible 30 day limit in the game (each play-through is broken up into night and day) that made you feel rushed, leaving the player unsatisfied ultimately. Gladly, Pikmin 2 rids us of this nuisance. So, let's get to the game, shall we?
The game starts off with Olimar and his assistant Louie going into debt, so they decide to go back to a familiar planet filled with strange flower creatures called "Pikmin". Your goal? To obtain 10,000 bucks. Obviously, the Pikmin recognize Olimar, and are overjoyed (or are they? It's hard to tell because they are so dumb) to see him and obey his every command. The core of Pikmin 2, the gameplay, begins here.
Graphically, Pikmin 2 is merely above average. Some of the creatures they will pit you against look imaginative and pretty (oooh....shiny silk worms....how could you go wrong?). By no means are they bad and they are a vast improvement over the original Pikmin.
Audio-wise, there isn't much there. There is cheesy music that will make your ears bleed, and the Pikmin voices can become a tad annoying. Below average.
Ah, the the best part of Pikmin 2, is the gameplay. It has a great learning curve and about anybody can pick it up and play from the get-go. You can command the Pikmin by pressing the B button, which sets off a big circle depending on how long you hold the button. Any Pikmin within the circle will follow Olimar, as well as Louie. All the colors have a spawn ship, where they take the items they're carrying to, which gives you MORE Pikmin (joy).
You can have a maximum of 100 Pikmin, which is quite a lot. You can actually control a pack of Pikmin using the C-Stick, which is quite useful for attacking plant enemies. You can carry off an enemy carcass by moving the C-Stick to tell them to pick it up. This brings us to a problem You will constantly find yourself sending more than the required amount of Pikmin to pick up something minor like a flower to bring to their spawn ship. The creatures they pit you against vary. Large to small, small to medium, medium to large, etc.
Pikmin 2 also features boss battles. Each boss battle requires some specific type of strategy. One of the beginning bosses (a giant silk worm who's featured in one of the images I have shown) will sit there and roll. You have to get Louie or Olimar to quickly call them before they meet their demise from being crushed. I think it's earned some points there.
They have also added caves to this game which are quite fun. They are broken up into sub-levels, each containing a boss. Time stands still when you are in a cave. Tossing your Pikmin comes in handy when you want one of them to do something (such as rip out a flower). One fun thing to do (if you are particularly evil such as myself) is torture your Pikmin. Red Pikmin being naughty? Toss him into the pond. Purple Pikmin look a little too chunky? Throw his ass into the fiery pits of the caves.
If you want to be real strategic, You can split Louie and Olimar up and have them take certain Pikmin with them, and work together to accomplish certain tasks. Each color Pikmin has certain attributes. Blue Pikmin can swim and go underwater, Yellow Pikmin are the power houses, Red Pikmin (the typical kind you will have) are immune to fire. The two new additions are the Purple and Albino Pikmin. The Purple Pikmin are great for carrying objects around because they are so strong and muscular. White Pikmin are deadly, they will poison the creature even if they die. Seems Pikmin are natural fighters among the many other things they can do. The Pikmin's AI is pretty dumb as well. You'll find them getting stuck on walls as you climb hills. This is a rarity though.
Overall, I think just about anybody can enjoy this game, unless you are the type that let's their 'manhood' get in the way of enjoying a game about flower armies. I dig this concept, and this game has lived up to the excellent reviews it's received. Recommended.