Decided to pick up Elebits to play until something else interesting comes out. I don't see why they changed the name to Eledees for Europe when the original name sounds better. Well, at least we got the Japanese box art which I prefer over the pastel style NA picture that you can see on the manual here.
As usual, I done my research for this Konami action game and after watching the video reviews, I have to admit I thought it was just going to be a repetitive game where you just catch Elebits level after level. Well, it is actually the main objective but there was a certain charm in the videos that made me buy the game. Perhaps it was the cute colourful presentation.
Konami's actually made it very fun catching these electrically charged creatures. Hidden everywhere around the environments, you're left to wreck havoc as you literally throw about every object you can to find these Elebits. You pull open drawers by pulling the Wiimote towards you, flip doors open by waving it to the side and twist door knobs to enter rooms too!
As you charge up your Catch Gun, electrical appliances are powered up and there's more Wiimote fun to be had. For example, you have to drag pieces of bread into a toaster to activate it before the Elebits will appear and the same is done with other devices such as the DVD player. This helps make the searching game more fun and also means you have to be observing because you need to remember where the items you need are. The problem I found was it can be hard twisting the Wiimote so that the object you're holding will fit in.
The main objective of every level is to catch a certain number of Elebits before the time runs out. During the early levels, you're free to throw things around as you want, messing up rooms and other environments in ways you wouldn't in real life but as you progress, restrictions start appearing. These include keeping the noise down so the Elebits won't hear you and run away and also, trying not to smash too many items in the house. So as you can see, it's not all mind numbing action.
Besides the two little restrictions, the Elebits eventually start becoming offensive too so that you'll find yourself dodging their attacks while trying to subdue and catch them. There's also a boss fight after every few levels where you're faced with a giant Elebit. The fights are timed and since there's a different strategy to every boss, you'll have a little fun working out their weaknesses but generally they're very easy to beat.
Just like Trauma Center: Second Opinion, you are graded after every level and they are all replayable. Not only that, certain new modes are unlocked for each level depending on what Elebits you manage to catch such as the challenge or infinite time mode. If that's not enough replayability, you can even create your own levels to share online and spend time finding all the objects in the game which can later be viewed in your collection.
While reading Japanese reviews for this game on Amazon, I found the majority of them mentioned something that the English reviews did not; motion sickness. I have a bit of that myself while playing some 3D games even though it doesn't happen when I'm reading on a moving vehicle during long journeys. After playing through the first six levels, I found myself feeling a bit sick too. However, it was probably because I was rushing all over the place, throwing away everything in range. Those of you who are considering this game should bear this in mind.
As for bad points of the game, you'll find map editing is pretty limited. You don't actually get to create your own maps. What happens is you pick a map that you've played before and then decorate it with furniture. Once you've done that, you can only send it off to players who are on your friend list. Another point is the 4 player multiplayer mode isn't very exciting either as it plays very much like Wii Play. Basically you're racing to be the first to capture any Elebits you see and one person does all the navigation.
Next up is the voice acting. It sounds so monotonous that the characters don't come to life at all. It sounds more like adults reading a story to a child in nursery. However, considering the presentation of the game and how thin the storyline is, this shouldn't bother its target audience much I'm sure. Not to mention the colourful, lively environments, music and sound effects help make up for a lot of it.
You will also find the game tends to suffer from slowdown when there are many objects onscreen at once but it's rare.
Apart from that, Elebits is a great game to play with simple arcade fun, making full use of the Wiimote and, offering 10 hours of gameplay if playing through story mode is your only interest. Just wait until you fight the last boss! What title will you end up with?
I can see how it won so many awards such as the Japan Games Award 2006 in the Future Division.
Here are two Elebits related videos for you to enjoy. One is the Elebits dance video that plays if you leave the Wii idle for a few seconds at the title screen and, the other is a little accident that occurred at Nintendo World.
I don't know if there was anyone in that suit but if it was, it must have been a rough fall! You can watch a longer version of the video here at a different angle and without the comedy music. Also its entrance.