Review by Galactus21

"Grab It, Bag It"

Unique would be the one word I would use to describe Elebits. Unfortunately, not everything that is innovative and unique is good. Konami utilized the Wii controller in an interesting way. In fact, had it worked better, the game could have really risen above the occasion. As it stands though, the game suffers from a lack of intuitive controls and repetitive find and point type of game play. Elebits are little creature that you try to capture. They'll be spread across a level – like a room, and you need to look in the corners, turn the tables so to speak, and open drawers to find these little fellows.

Elebits are little creatures that provide energy for the many human devices. Instead of electricity or gas to fuel our lights and cars, the Elebits are an energy source in itself to provide such things. Kai who is a little child is a bit jealous of the attention that the little guys have garnered from his parents. Of course, this is only natural because you'd expect love from your birth parents. Instead, his parents' life focus is the Elebits. Engaged in their work, the parents don't spend as much time with little Kai as they should. This led to his jealous rage. All of a sudden the power goes out across town. Being the last straw that broke the camel's back, Kai is ready to take his frustration out. He borrows his dad's capture gun and gets ready to zap some Elebits. That's where the adventure starts.

Time to rumble…

Being in first person mode, I was hoping the game would deliver on the many speculations of how precise the Wiimote could be in first person type games. The reason – moving the controller can simulate how you could hold a gun in real life. Although Elebits doesn't have you running around with a handgun or an AK-47, the concept still applies to its capture gun. Unfortunately, the controls aren't very slick in this situation. The controls don't respond very well. The biggest issue isn't the actual Wiimote itself. Konami did a solid job at utilizing the Wiimote, so that when you turn with it, the cursor on screen will follow accordingly. The problem is the nunchuck peripheral that is an attachment to the Wiimote. The nunchuck has an analog stick for you to move around. The controls for that are clunky and make things frustrating at times.

The capture gun can be used to capture Elebits and also to move objects. Certain objects can be moved, as indicated by the color of the cursor. Moving the object and capturing Elebits go hand in hand. A lot of the Elebits make themselves ambiguous and go into hiding. They're really small creatures, so hiding in boxes or behind a drawer are common to avoid capture. Now remember when your parents screamed at you to clean your rooms. Put yourself in Kai's position – parents are gone and you have a capture gun that can throw objects across the room. What would you do? I think the answer is obvious. Make a mess and take those Elebits by storm!

The main problem that really drops Elebits down a notch is the controls. The concept is fresh and neat, which is a big plus, but the execution is lacking. Although the Wiimote works fine for the most part, there are times where the cursor doesn't follow the movement of the Wiimote very well. The Wiimote is a perfect controller for this concept, but unfortunately developers haven't spent the time necessary to flesh things out. The controls still feel a bit off at times. Not to mention, the nunchuck simply doesn't work very well in a situation like this. While the game play is simple and easy to learn, the lack of variety really hurt. Sometimes simplicity doesn't pay off.

When capturing Elebits, the biggest problem is the repetitive nature of the game play. As the game progresses, the game becomes a chore to play through. You basically have to capture Elebits with your capture gun, and it translates that into watts. Gaining a certain amount of watts or power in a certain time frame will help you clear that level. The concept as mentioned before is fairly ingenious, but the game doesn't have enough variety to keep things fresh. Finding Elebits and flushing them out of their hiding places are fun for about the first half of the game, but that eventually wore thin as the game came to a closure.

From a technical aspect, I still haven't been really impressed. Perhaps my time spent with the Xbox 360 has raised my standards. I'm all for artistic style as much as the technical aspect of it, but unfortunately the game is lacking in both areas. The Elebits are funny looking creatures that aren't very appealing. The background environment is lacking the fine detail that you would come to expect – even from the Wii. Last generation had great looking games on all 3 platforms. The Wii is at least as powerful as the previous generation's capabilities, so the developers need to stop getting lazy and start taking advantage of the hardware. The sound department isn't much better either. The voiceovers were horrendous. The voice acting from the characters were lacking any emotional. The voiceovers felt forced.

Still Waiting

Elebits had a nice concept. For short bursts at a time it provided some fun, but it started to wear thin after about half way through. The controls on the nunchuck were clunky and the game play was repetitive. The find and capture game play couldn't hold up for long periods of time. Elebits simply didn't have enough variety to keep things interesting. It's still a fairly decent game. Given the lack of software recently, getting this game may not be so bad. Even then though, the Wii still has better choices to choose. If you've played Resident Evil 4 and Zelda Twilight Princess to death, then picking up Elebits wouldn't hurt.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 07/31/07

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