Saturday, January 5, 2013

ROBOCOMANDER2'S Wii View - Elebits

Well, it's finally here everyone! The first review in my "ROBOCOMANDER2's Wii view" series! Now for any of you who may have forgotten already, let me quickly explain just what this is before we get started. Back when the Wii first came out and the Nintendo Nsider forums were still running, I started a mini review series called "Wii View." In these Wii Views I reviewed every Wii game I owned, and I even had some of my friends write some reviews for their games as well; however that didn't last long. A few months later Nsider shut down, and my review series died with them. Now jump ahead 6 years, and here I am to finally bring them back!

Although I do still in fact have my original reviews saved on my computer, as well as my review format, I will NOT be reusing them. All of these "Wii Views" will be completely reworked for the Game Room with my newer "improved" reviewing style. (Besides, I'm pretty sure no one here wants to see what my old ones looked like.)

Well now, with that being said, let's get to the review!


Back when the Nintendo Wii was first launched, there was only a handful of titles out thee, and only a handful of titles that were on their way. During this time most people simply bought whatever hit the shelves to hold them over till the next big game came out, and because of that a lot of the lesser known games actually became pretty well known. Elebits is a prime example of this, and truthfully it was one of the better games out there.

When Elebits was first shown off at E3, many people were mesmerized by it's use of the Wii remote and unique gameplay, and it quickly went on a lot of people's "must buy" list. From the very start it was quite clear that Elebits wasn't going to be a standard game, and it was also pretty clear that it was the type of game that would ONLY work on the Wii; however after the Wii finally launched, gamers wouldn't be able to get their hands Elebits until about a month later. So, when that time finally came, was it wroth the wait? Or was Elebits just a game Konami released just to make a quick 50 bucks?

The Story of Elebits:

The very first time you turn on Elebits you will be greeted with a little kid's voice with him asking his father to read him another story. At this moment it becomes very clear that the story of this game was in fact aimed at kids, and that older players shouldn't be taking it seriously. Soon after that, the father then goes on to read his son a story about these little creates called Elebits, and a young boy named Kai.

In Kai's world everything is powered by these strange little creatures called Elebits. Elebits are basically forms of energy which has taken on the form of these little creatures, and because of that they can be found EVERYWHERE! After the power goes out, Kai decides to sneak into his dad's office to use his special capture gun to capture the Elebits, and return power to his house; however soon things begin to change. It turns out the entire world has lost power, and it is now up to Kai and his capture gun to capture the Elebits and return the world to normal. Yep, that's it.

Really Elebit's story is NOT the main focus of the game, and for the most part you can simply forget it is even there. Each "cutscene" is a still image with voice overs talking, which really don't sound that great might I add, and it just really isn't something you'll get into. The story is in fact aimed at kids, so unless you are a young kind, you will find it uninteresting. Even so, don't let this turn you off! Elebits is about 98% gameplay, and only 2% story; so once again, you can just forget all about it!

Taking full advantage of the Wii Remote:

While early Nintendo Wii games simply scratched the surface of what the Wii remote would allow, Elebits decided to use it to its fullest, and because of that it even lead to some future disappointment. The truth is, not many Wii games actually used the Wii Remote like Elebits did, and because of that a lot of people might have been lead to believe the Wii was something it wasn't, or rather, was something it could have became, but didn't.

Elebits plays from a first person point of view, and controls with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. While you use the Nunchuk to actually move around, everything else (including camera angle) is controlled with the pointer on screen. It is a control system which just works very well, it is responsive, and most people will be able to easily jump in and play! In short, this is how a Wii game should feel, and everyone who has played Elebit knows it!

The basic gameplay of Elebits is actually quite simple, but the way the game plays out makes it VERY addictive! As you walk around different rooms of your house, and even as you walk through the town, you will notice a lot of different Elebits that are just scattered around. Some are walking, others are sleeping, and some might even just be playing; however it is your job to capture these cute little creates, and then use them for your own personal gain! By pointing the Wii Remote at them, you can zap the Elebits with your ray gun like "Capture Gun," and then convert them into raw energy. Each Elebit you capture has its own wattage rating, and the more you capture, the stronger your capture gun becomes! This is when the true game starts.
The main idea in Elebits is to capture as many Elebits as you can within the time limit, and it is up to you to figure out just how you're going to do it! At the start of each level your gun will be extremely weak and only be able to capture visible Elebits, open doors, and move light objects, but as your capture gun grows in power, you can then use it to move larger objects and even solve puzzles! The thing that really makes Elebits so unique is that the entire area you are in is a huge sand box, and EVERYTHING can actually be moved. Papers on desks can be moved, plates can be moved, you can open closet doors and drag everything inside out, and you can even throw beds! Just about everything you will find in your own house is in Elebits, and all of it can be interacted with, and that becomes a key feature!

While the starting Elebits are in fact out in the open for you to capture, others will require you to solve puzzles to discover, and some are even hidden electric devices which you will need to power with the Elebits you have already captured! From putting paper in a paper shredder, to turning on a radio, to even picking up glass figurines and smashing them against the ground; there are a lot of different ways to uncover hidden Elebits, and you will NEED to search every inch of the world to find them.

Although Elebits really isn't anything more than a glorified version of hide and go seek (where you are always it); the way the game presents itself really makes it a lot funner than one might think. Being able to open doors, and throw TV sets across the room becomes pretty addicting, and the game basically lets you do anything you want without there being consequences. I mean, think about it. What would you do if someone walked up to you and told you to go into their house and completely trash it? Chances are, a lot of people would do it, and have as much fun possible while doing so! That's exactly what Elebits allows you to do, and it really doesn't limit you either. Although capturing Elebits is the main objective of the game, chances are the only reason you'll want to do so is so you can move heavier objects, and that is a reward of its own. Later on in the game, things do get a bit crazier. The areas you explore become larger, different Elebit types begin to show up, including enemies, and the time limit does start to become a bit more strict.

At the end of each level in the story mode you will be given a ranking based on how well you did. The game tracks not only just how much energy you collected in the level, but it also tracks how many times you made too much nose, as well as how many objects got broken during your rampage through the house. Although, I'm pretty sure most people won't care unless they're going back to master every level.

Custom Levels, Multiplayer and Challenges:

Another feature in Elebits comes in the form of a level editor, as well as a challenge mode! While the challenge mode will challenge you to complete different puzzles with set conditions/extra missions to complete (such as finding all of the rare pink Elebits, or completing the level within a set time), the level editor allows you to create your OWN challenges! In this mode you can open up any map you have unlocked during the story mode, you can place any Elebit/object you want around the stage, and you can also create your own puzzles; however the fun doesn't stop there!

Not only was Elebits one of the first Wii games to take full advantage of the Wii Remote, it was also one of the first games to make use of it's online abilities, and it allows you to actually share your custom levels (as well as any screenshots you might have taken) with friends! This greatly adds onto the replay value of the game, and it allows you to create challenges for yourself as well (or you can simply just use it to play around, really the choice is yours)!

Even after the main game is over, the Custom Levels and Challenge modes are sure to last you for quite awhile, and they will give you a reason to keep coming back to it.

The final option in Elebits is actually a multiplayer mode, where one player controls the camera, and the others try to capture as many Elebits as possible before the time runs out. Although it really isn't a huge addition to the game, it is a lot of fun, and well worth checking out at least once.

The Good and Bad:

Elebits is actually a really good game, and it was one of the few early Wii games that actually showed off what the Wii could do! It made full use of the Wii Remote, it had a nice physics engine, it had nice music, and it was a completely original concept! While most other games coming out on the Wii were simply more of the same, just with some motion controls slapped on, Elebits bravely took a giant step forward, and did everything different. Really it's too bad that during the Wii's life cycle more games didn't do the same, but here we are in 2013 and there are only a handful of games that did it right.

Although Elebits is a great game, it really isn't a perfect game by any means. While some people were expecting Elebits to be the next Pikmin, they soon found out that it was not. It was an original game all right, but it was still lacking in a few areas. It's graphics weren't really anything impressive, and it looked like a GCN game, the childish story really wasn't needed, and the level design did start to fall apart near the end of the game. Still these are only some minor complaints, and the good definitely out weighs the bad.

Addictive gameplay, unique motion control, and fun physics help make this one of the best games on the Wii, and a game that really should be a part of your collection. Because of this, I give Elebits for the Nintendo Wii a solid 8/10! Not perfect, but a great game non the less!

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