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Elebits - Wii Review

Game Info
Elebits (a.k.a. Eledees)

Wii | Konami | 1 Player / 2-4 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote and Nunchuk
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16th July 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

When the Wii first launched in North America, many launch titles arrived with it. One of these titles is Elebits, an innovative title that is often overlooked. Of the many Wii launch titles, Elebits was pure gold and did a lot to set it apart from other Wii games on the market. Its high level of innovation ranks it as one of the better games for the console, even years later. If more titles nowadays measured the impressiveness of this release, I assure you that the general quality of Wii games would be stronger.

    Starting Elebits, you’ll soon begin to realize that its story is not one of the game’s finer points. You’ll take on the role of a not-so-"bright" young boy who feels unappreciated when his hard-working parents have little time for him. So the boy makes a wish one day that all electricity would disappear! As fate would have it, the electricity does, vanish throughout the entire town, causing a blackout. Feeling responsible, the boy takes it upon himself to correct the mess, possibly in hopes that his parents will grant him the attention he desires after “saving” the town. Every location you go to is riddled with small creatures that serve as the town’s power source. By using his father’s invention, the “Capture Gun”, the boy will be able to contain them and restore power to the town.

    So how do you go about capturing these little creatures? The game’s style resembles that of a first-person shooter. Think of it like an intricate game of hide-and-seek: Elebits hide between delicate objects such as china sets, underneath large objects, and just about anywhere else you can think of. But finding them is all part of the fun. Aiming at the screen with the Wii Remote’s pointer will display a targeting reticule. Pressing the A Button will activate your gun's powerful laser beam which can zap the little critters into your containment gun or even pick up objects. Using the Nunchuk's analog, you can move your character around the room, and by pressing C or Z, you can change your view to a higher or lower plain. This allows you to access harder-to-reach areas, such as at the top of a bookcase, or inside a kitchen drawer. It may sound simple but there’s a lot more depth to the game than you may realize. 

For one, before you can manipulate the heavier objects such as cars and even houses, you'll need to rack up a certain amount of wattage and get your gun to level up. Once you do, you'll also be granted the ability to “energize” certain appliances/electronics such as toasters where a series of Elebits will spring forth from. While this may seem annoying at first, it certainly adds to the game's big puzzle focus. The way you approach the Elebits matters a great deal as well, as this may make things harder for you. Startling the poor babies while they're sleeping will send them for a loop and will send them running to hide.

    There's a lot of variety evident in the game as well. There are different types of Elebits that you'll encounter beyond the normal red and blue bunch. Some of these are actually very offensive and you'll need to exercise caution. Stages will feature a bunch of items that will produce varying effects. Many of these are instantly useful such as the Vacuum Laser, whereas others require a bit more strategy like the Elebit Cookie. To activate these special items, you'll need to drag them into the air and force them against a wall or another hard surface with a quick jolt. They tend to bounce around if you don't get it right, but it's something you can get used to with a bit of patience.

    Each environment is typically split up into multiple rooms or areas that can be accessed by opening up doors or removing suspicious objects. In the case of indoor environments, opening a door requires you to twist the Remote in a certain manner. Furthermore, keeping the door open may prove to be a challenge at times but if you "work" in an organized fashion and don't have things lying on the floor, it'll be easier for you to get to the next area. It's really cool how the game progresses from searching in your dinky room, to venturing out and exploring giant maps. And on top of all that, the developers included a great soundtrack that's incredibly catchy.

There are plenty of game modes to get yourself acquainted with. The main option of choice is the Story Mode, where the objective for each of the standard stages involves reaching a quota of voltage within a specified time frame. Additional challenges will place more restrictions on you, such as not being allowed to break more than a given number of objects. The level of challenge is pretty high and while some may have a hard time with the objectives, these along with the elusive S Ranks keep you coming back to the game. There's also a robust multiplayer mode, a level editor that lets you share your creations over WiiConnect24, a Gallery Mode where you can see all the Elebits you've encountered, plus an Options menu that lets you customize gameplay options. It’s pretty deep what the game has to offer, and completionists will especially be pleased with it.

    The game’s graphics may or may not break your experience with this game. Especially in the later levels where gravity plays a bigger role, there's a lot going on. At times, especially when you’re stuck in an enclosed area that’s crowded with floating objects does the framerate tend to experience a slight slowdown, which can arguably be considered as the game’s most notable flaw. In addition, cutscenes are presented in beautifully-drawn stills with an annoying narrator retelling the entire story for you in a rather horrid voice. The worst part is you can’t skip these slightly-annoying segments unless you’ve viewed them once already. Some will likely be able to enjoy their experience with the game despite these minor things, depending on what your attitude is towards graphics and consistency.

The multiplayer option has you competing with up to 3 other rivals in a race to get the most points overall, or reach a certain cap within a time limit. Each player gets a targeting reticule while one person controls the actual movement with their Nunchuk - meaning only one person needs a Nunchuk! Some may find the mode to be somewhat limited since the person controlling the camera/movement has the ability to block the other players by facing a wall, but if you play fair, it can get very frantic as everyone races to find hiding Elebits. 

    Despite its relative shortcomings, this is a strong game and if you have yet to experience it, you should definitely give it a look. Elebits is one of the most innovative titles to ever hit the Wii, and you owe it yourself to add it to your library.

27/30 - Excellent

Gameplay 9/10 - Innovation at its finest, still a great game that's very captivating, very creative and well varied, a few things you'll need to get used to
Presentation 9/10 - Really impressive for a launch title, variety of maps, great music, annoying narrator, framerate dips in larger levels, 
Enjoyment 4/5 - Lots of fun to play, the hide-and-seek element is used wonderfully, multiplayer is limited but can be a lot of fun, 
Extra Content 5/5 - Over 20 stages in total, lots of extra missions to keep you coming back, S Ranks, multiplayer, level sharing

Equivalent to a score of 90% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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