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20130805

Review: Elebits (Wii Retail)

Message reputation : 100% (4 votes)


In a similar real-life world, there were small creatures named Elebits that were coexisting with the humans and are also the world's source of electric energy, powering all machines and appliances. However a thunderstorm made them cease producing energy and go into hiding, causing a blackout. Ed and Anna, who are Elebit researchers, leave home to investigate the Elebits' unusual behavior. But their son, Kai, possesses hatred towards the Elebits because his parents spent more time with them than they do on him, but then later he decides to use his father's Capture Gun to capture the Elebits and restore the electrical power of the house.

Story
The story can be simple, but it is also charming in its whole setting, while its style might be too cute to some people, the plot does give you interest in what would happen later on, but aside from that its pretty much the gameplay that its very focused in this whole game since there isn't much narrative in it unless you end a level, there are going to be certain cutscenes moving the plot if you finish a certain level, however there is also a synopsis option in the story mode menu where the main character will tell you the story so far from its own perspective updating the log depending on how far you are into the game, as for the whole story, its good since I really like the setting on how the plot starts due to how original it is instead of being typical or obvious, it doesn't have a deep plot or anything like that, but I do think that its fine as it is.



Gameplay
Elebits (Also known as Eledees in Europe) is a First Person Action game that only uses the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. The game includes different modes, main one being the story mode where its presented all in levels, and the main objective to each of these main levels is to capture a certain amount of Elebits to earn the required watt power to end the level with the help of the capture gun, which is also powerful enough to lift up many objects, be it heavy or light and big or small, you are limited in a certain amount of time to beat the levels however, so you need to be fast in order to find them all. The controls are pretty basic for its first person style, you aim the Wii Remote to point the cursor and hold the A or B button to "grab" the pointed object, the game also uses the Wii Remote's motion features as you can twist and turn the held object and you can even thrust forward and backward to make the object be closer or far from you, you can also crouch and be higher by holding the Z and C button respectively in the Nunchuck. The controls are fine but the motion features might be put off by some people, not that they are bad or unresponsive or anything like that, but they are required a lot of times in order to progress to the game since you need to be very active in your movements, however the way you twist an object like a radio or a faucet can be uncomfortable since you really need to twist the Wii Remote in order to activate it and sometimes it feels like it is not responsive to the motion, and it is worse when you want to open a door, since you need to twist it and then pull it towards you.

The game is divided into small stages, each of which represents a certain area (that ranges from a few rooms to a street) and as the game progresses, it gradually moves from exploring individual rooms in a house out into the street and the areas beyond. Using the capture gun, you must find the Elebits by seeking them and capturing them by tapping the A or B button throughout the room or place being taken in, however they can be hidden inside the objects presented in the room and you must lift them up or shake them in certain objects in order to reveal them (one interesting note to mention is that, when you've reached the acquired watt limit to beat the level, you also have the option to either move on to the next one or continue onwards the current level up until the timer runs out), and the more Elebits are collected during a given level, the more energy will the area be to gradually restored and this causes dark rooms to become well-lit and it also allows various electrical appliances to be utilized, and these can be used depending on how much watt power you've collected, and these appliances, such as computers, microwaves, electric toy-cars, etc. can give you Power-Elebits when activated (some appliances need an object in order to activate it, for example a disc shredder needing a disc in order to activate), these types of Elebits slowly increase the strength of the capture gun when captured, and these can allow it to lift and move heavier objects when reaching to a certain level. However it’s not just capturing them though, as they have a mood indicated in how the act, and they can affect how many watts you earn when they are captured where Elebits that are happy or calm provide more watts while Elebits that are angry or scared provide less watts and Elebits that are sad or stunned provide a normal number of watts. There is also however special power-up items that can assist you in taming the mood of the Elebits, a spark where it can put nearby Elebits to be stunned, while another which is the Elebit cookie can help lure Elebits towards it, there are also power-ups that can increase the power of the Capture Gun, in which one can enable auto-lock-on for capturing Elebits more easily, one that gives you a radar, one that increases the lifting power of the capture gun to its maximum potential, etc. but these have a temporary use as they have a limited time in order to use them.

The whole concept is pretty much like a game of hide and seek, but there is also a lot more variety into its gameplay aspects that makes the game not be too simple, for example there are more types of Elebits to encounter the further you go into the game, as some will move quickly or fly around, while others will attempt to attack you, and some of them you fight them back by taking them and then throw them against an object or hit with an object to stun it, and another where you must not capture it in any way or else it will fly towards you and you can evade it as fast as you can, otherwise you will take damage and if you take too much damage, its game over. There is also some levels where they feature additional conditions for successful completion such as how many breakable objects can be broken, and a limitation on how much noise you can make when interacting with the environment, and once you've reached the limit, the level ends without giving you a chance to continue. Some few levels also contain a boss in them where you must damage them in a certain way in order to defeat them, be it capturing its clones, waiting until it knocks itself down, etc. And after completing a level, you are given a ranking based on the time it took to gain the required number of watt energy from Elebits, how much extra energy from Elebits they captured, the condition of the Capture Gun, etc. and these can achieve you to a certain rank ranging from S to D from top to bottom respectively and getting at least the B rank will allow you to use objects from that level within Edit mode.

Speaking of which, Edit mode is one of the game's options aside from the main story mode where you customize you own level by picking any level you've beaten and then choosing the three types of objects that you want to use in the editor that you've unlocked, and in the editor you can place any objects such as furniture or cosmetic items you want alongside the types of Elebits, the power-ups, etc. and even the way on how to complete the game such as the amount of watts needed for completion, how strong the gravity is and the additional conditions, but you also have a limited space on how much objects, Elebits, etc. you can place depending on how big they are. And these custom made levels can be traded in with a friend that you have registered in your Wii Message Board (yes, no friend codes on this one !). Another mode in the main menu is the Extras mode where it includes a cinematic option to choose any cutscene unlocked in the main game, a Elebit bestiary menu where it gives you detail about the Elebits captured, an object showcase that shows you the objects that you've encountered and grabbed in the game, a sort of achievement menu that can unlock you some cheats if you've done a certain task in the main story mode as well as giving you hints on how to catch a certain rare Elebit, which object options you've unlocked for the editor mode, etc. (the achievement menu will be detailed more later on) and finally an album where any photo you can take during the story mode can be saved here and even be transferred to another friend that you've registered in the Wii Message Board (again, no friend codes on this one either!).

The game also supports a four player competitive multiplayer mode where you can change the level of the capture gun's power and the style of the cursor, and each player competes to having a higher score in any selected level that's been beaten in the story mode, pretty chaotic, but it is amazingly fun and satisfying in its own right.

Although this game sounds interesting to play, I really didn't enjoy this game too much, sure the game is fun for a while the first time considering it is so satisfying to lift up many objects and making a mess, but then it can get boring for a while, since it doesn't help that some gameplay aspects makes this game a chore to play, such as the additional conditions since these can make the game restrictive and not fun to play considering the type of game this is, because it gives you a feeling of freedom to use the capture gun but the additional conditions just ruins the whole feeling of it, not to mention that the game does get more difficult as there's more Elebits that can hurt you more often if not careful, couple this with the fact that the levels get more bigger and somewhat complex and the Elebits are hidden in many corners that you might not be aware of, to me it just makes this game feel like a chore to play to be honest.

Graphics
The game looks decent, the game uses cartoony style setting, but the textures on all of the environment look way too simple and bland, however there is a nice amount of details on the objects that you will encounter as they look like boxes being painted on, but nice looking paintings none the less, as for the lightning, the game goes for a cartoonish dark tone for its dark areas as in it all bright dark blue instead of being in a true dark area, but it does have its nice assets like how the way the room lights up, the way the cutscenes look can look a bit confusing as there's too much details that takes some time to see what you're actually seeing, but it does look charming as it sort of looks like a storybook that goes for a magic fantasy style, as a whole, the game can look sort of look a little outdated due to its simplicity in its whole design as well as the character models as there isn't any human characters but there are the many types of Elebits instead in the game, but aside from its simplicity, the game does has some good looking settings here and there, the only problem here is the frame rate, since there can be many objects in the game, the game might sometimes drop in frames and become very slow if there are many objects on the screen, specially if they move a lot, its not permanent but it can be bothersome to some people, but let's not  forget to mention that this was a game that launched closer to the Wii's initial launch, so I give this game a break for it so do think that it has done an acceptable job overall.



Music and Sound
The soundtrack is... not very noticeable, and it's not that its bad or anything like that it’s just that the gameplay takes away a lot of the attention that the songs being played out in the game don't really stood out to me, and while there is a great variety of them (in fact, each level has its own song), the songs are not that memorable, they are ok as some of them go for a jazzy style and others as a calming tune, but it's not something that will impact you or help your experience as you are playing the game, one interesting thing to mention is that you can actually pick a song from any level that you've beaten before the start of a level.

The sounds are also ok, some sounds such as the objects making a noise when dropped and the sound effects of the power up do their job right, while others can sound a little annoying, such as some the Elebits when captured, and they also sound from a little cheap to average in terms of quality, but its decent overall. As for the voice acting, while there isn't much aside from the cutscenes, it does a nice job at it, it can be charming in certain moments when it needs to be and they are appropriate as well. And the game is English only, and that goes with any texts and dialog.

Presentation
Even though the game has simple and bland textures, the whole game is designed greatly as the object placement as well as the setting in all of the levels don't really make the game feel too bland and that each and every one of them are placed nicely so that the levels look unique on their own, even if they are ones that you've visited before, and there is a nice variety of places you can explore such as your house, the suburbs, an amusement park, etc. and while they may not have good details on them and it can look simple in some areas, the game does a great effort into the levels in order to make them not look very lonely or too simple and the whole storybook fantasy style in the cutscenes can be charming (though it can be lame to some people), but the menus are pretty simple, but appropriate for this game.

As for the replayability, it does contain a lot of content in it that can keep you quite busy, as there's individual modes in all of the levels such as a score attack, challenge mode and eternal mode that you can unlock if they have a certain rank in them, there’s also the Extras mode where you can collect all of the info on the Elebits, objects, etc. and the achievement menu where you can unlock cheats for the story mode if you've done a certain task, as well as having other records such as how to capture rare Elebits, which objects you can use in the editor mode, etc.



Overall
While the game does have some nice details such as the unique concept of the whole gameplay, as well as how fun the multiplayer mode was and how the game can be fun at first, the game can be quite boring after a while, and this is due to how the game has a unique and fun concept that can be very restrictive due to some gameplay mechanics such as the additional conditions and the fact that the game can become a chore to play due to how tiresome the difficulty can be later on, and everything else such as the graphics and music are simply decent but the story and the presentation does have some good effort into them, but as a whole the gameplay could've been much more better, so if you like the premise of this game and can be too patient to a difficult game, then this game can be for you, but if you are somewhat interested in its concept, then give this a rent and see how it could go for you, but if you really didn't liked the flaws that I've mentioned and don't like your games to be much of a chore to play due to its restrictions, then skip this, as for me this game gets...


a 6/10

6- Decent This game has flaws or major flaws such as, poor controls, bad gameplay elements, poorly implemented gimmicks, minor sound or graphics issues etc. But can be fun, but not necessarily as fun as you'd hope.

____________________________
If you only have these two choices, which one will you choose ? to have a game with no story ? or to have a game with the most ridiculous, boring, cliché-filled and horrible story ever ?
Do games need to be epic ?... or fun ?...
Wii #: 0018 2269 1524 9019 (codename Jnes)
Also on PSN ! PSN: jnesDX
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Comments

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This is actually a pretty good game. I didn't care for the cutesy characters or storyline, but I thought the environments were very nicely detailed. The gameplay is what's so unique and enjoyable about this game, and there's even a few different styles of gameplay that can be unlocked. Good review Jnes5.
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on August 6th 2013, 3:15 pmAmufungal
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Nice review, but I think the game deserves a higher score Smile
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Is this game only fun for little kids?
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Talesfanatic wrote:Is this game only fun for little kids?

Yeah, it was definitely targeted towards the 10 years of age  & younger audience, but the gameplay is unique and fun enough for anyone to enjoy it. You just need to go into the game with an open-mind. The gameplay is a lot like Pikmin in many ways.
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on March 26th 2014, 12:21 pmNeptune
I remember this game and it was really fun iirc!
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on October 21st 2014, 1:01 amReanfan
Thanks for writing another terrific review for our website. Wink
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on December 30th 2014, 11:38 amFM_Alchemist
Great review! Will @Jnes5 ever return to WiiWareWave?
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on May 7th 2015, 6:01 pmGuest
Beautiful review @Jnes5! I love you
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Awesome review @Jnes5 Exclamation
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