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Hide-and-seek goes high-tech in Elebits
Rating: 2.0 stars
January 17, 2007 1:17:13 PM

LO-DEF: The Elebits look great on the packaging, smudgy on screen.
“Potential.” That’s a word we’ll be using a lot when discussing the first wave of Wii games. Elebits is a prime example, a game that offers fascinating glimpses of what may be possible with this innovative console but doesn’t provide a satisfying gaming experience.

It plays like any first-person shooter, only without the usual gore and viscera. It’s also gentler and much, much slower. The paper-thin plot has to do with tiny alien creatures called Elebits who are responsible for generating the world’s electricity. One night they go berserk and shut down. As an intrepid, Elebit-hating child, you set about the task of collecting the creatures with your handy capture gun. Few of the Elebits are standing out in the open. Most are hidden under, behind, and inside common household objects. In addition to snaring the creatures, your capture gun allows you to pick up and toss items that may be hiding Elebits. It’s just a glorified game of hide-and-seek.

You maneuver through the game world (which includes such thrilling locales as the garage and a downtown street) using the analog stick on the Wii’s nunchuk. The Wii remote is used to aim and fire the capture gun. The controls work well enough, though I encountered the occasional problem with trying to turn around: when I moved the cursor far enough off-screen, the Wii lost track of it and my character started spinning in circles. Elebits is missing some functionality that has become standard in faster-paced shooters, and they would have been nice here. Both the ability to run and a zoom function would have helped; the tiny Elebits can be hard to hit from a distance, and it often seems a waste of time to be trudging forward for a closer shot.

And though the basic controls are acceptable, the game’s physics engine does more harm than good. The crux of what’s supposed to be fun in Elebits is that you have to use the capture gun in order to interact with all of the objects you can see. You turn doorknobs by rotating the remote; you move objects with a flick of the wrist. It sounds great, but it ends in frustration. If you don’t move through a door fast enough, it closes and shoves you out of the way. All unbreakable objects bounce in wildly unrealistic ways, sometimes knocking your character around, sometimes blocking entrances and exits. I’m not sure what the intention was, but the capture-gun dynamic combined with your own lethargic pace makes Elebits feel as if it were taking place on the moon. It seems like a tech demo, not a game.

But Elebits also suffers from not taking advantage of technology enough. Part of the Wii’s populist mission was to adhere to standard definition displays. Nintendo’s oddly regressive stance hurts games like Elebits that depend on visual clarity. The problem isn’t that you can’t see the brightly colored little fellas, it’s that they just don’t look like anything. They are indistinct smudges of pastel pink and blue sprinkled throughout the nondescript levels. (These landscapes are really blandscapes.) The different Elebit creatures look adorable on the package and in the instruction manual, so it’s a shame you can’t see them in the game. High-definition would have really helped.

I’ll say this for Elebits: it’s not like anything you’ve played before. The inclusion of multi-player modes and a map editor also helps, particularly because you can share your custom levels with other users thanks to the Wii’s wi-fi connection. But that’s all just window dressing. What’s underneath is potential unfulfilled.


Your review doesn't give justice to the game..... Elebits 9/10 Gameplay 10/10 The game and physics anyone would want, in edit mode you can change the gravity from 0%-100% and make car dominos ^.^ Anyway lets get to the gameplay, a no lag first person shooter, which in a way is like katamari damacy. you zap these tiny electricity giving blobs called elebits, but they are mostly hidden under objects so you use your capture gun and levitate the objects so you can zap them and turn them into electricity for your gun. After a while you can energize things to get special elebits that power up your gun. Electric Drill Energized! >=D Graphics 10/10 The graphics are OK, but it suits the game, if the game were realistic, it wouldn't suit the game at all..... Plus... if you want real graphics on this game, that would be like saying you want a bloody katamari damacy The concept art for the cutscenes are so amazing, that it would be enough to buy this game. The landscapes, which if i say are greatly detailed, houses and garages are claustraphobic, the outside town levels are huge, and the amusement parks have giant TV's that you can turn on ^.^ Sound 9/10 Doors opening sound like doors opening, objects hitting the ground sound like objects hitting the ground, and elebits sound like poor defenceless cats, and zapping them sounds like zapping them, what can i say? The levels music doesn't cut the excitement and chaos of the game, but some levels do, did i mention that each and every level has its own music that you can choose at the start of any level? The voice acting is..... er....... um........ great? It has the best line ever "I HATE Elebits".... OK the voice acting is really bad... but cutscenes aren't that common at all... Story 10/10 Its simple, but good. Gets the job done. -.- nothing much to say Overall 9/10 A fun game where you zap poor defenceless elebits, while picking up everything from a pencil, to a moon. The sound is good, the voice acting is...........terrible, but there is almost never a cutscene. Graphics are like katamari's, good but not friggin xbox 360 graphics. a graphic noob : the gameplay iz a novelity and it wears off graphics teh pwnzorz Story is simple but good, gets the job done. Rent or Buy it depends.. if you like halo 2, rent. if you like games that have great gameplay that will last a lifetime with replay value, BUY! if your a graphic noob, don't EVEN bother.

POSTED BY Elebit AT 03/14/07 11:05 AM

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