The furniture is flying in our hands-on look at Konami's quirky Wii action game, just days before its mid-December release date.
Konami will make its debut on Nintendo's new Wii next month with its unique and kid-friendly first-person action game Elebits, and we got to sit down for a few minutes with a nearly finished version of the game to see how it's shaped up. If you're just joining us, the eponymous 'bits are tiny, slightly mischievous creatures who provide electricity for all the world. Problem is, the Elebits have gone on strike and nobody's able to watch television, drive their car, or microwave a tasty snack. While the adults are all out scrambling to find a solution, you'll play the role of a young child who's restoring power to his own home, one room at a time.
The last time we got to try out Elebits, we only got a quick one-room demo of the game's unusual mechanics, but this time we got to play several levels and explore more of what the final package will offer. As a refresher, you'll explore your darkened house from the first-person perspective, and you'll get all Gordon Freeman with an antigravity gun that you can use to move objects around with. This gun will also let you zap the Elebits back into servitude, as you uncover their hiding places one by one, and the more of the elusive little critters you capture, the more of the room you'll restore to operation. Your ultimate goal in each mission is to hit a certain numerical wattage, and certain devices (including each room's lighting) will come online as you work toward your goal.
Not all of the Elebits will contribute electricity, however. The other kind will go toward upgrading the strength level of your antigrav gun, and the more powerful it is, the heavier objects you can lift. Moving items around is essential, since most Elebits like to hang out underneath objects ranging in size from CDs and glasses to beds, pianos, and so on. But in addition to the utilitarian aspect, we found that flinging furniture and other heavy objects around willy-nilly represented a big part of Elebits' entertainment value. The game features what looks like a solid physics implementation, and with the Wii Remote it was easy to completely trash a room in seconds once we'd powered up our weapon.
Then again, you won't be able to thoughtlessly trash every one of the game's rooms to find all the Elebits, since some of them present unique challenges. One kitchen level tasked us with finishing the mission while breaking fewer than 15 breakable objects. That wasn't as easy as it sounds, considering the room was full up with stacks of plates and glasses, many of which the Elebits were hiding under. Another area was blocked off by furniture, so we had to practice moving objects and snagging Elebits from a distance rather than up close. There will even be some simple puzzles in some levels, such as one in which you'll drop different-colored blocks into the correspondingly colored holes on a board to reveal bonus Elebits. Hopefully the designers have found enough interesting ways to keep each of the game's rooms feeling unique and interesting.
You'll find a bunch of items scattered around the house that will help you in your quest, too. There's an electromagnetic pulse ball that will stun all the Elebits within its range and a cookie that the little buggers will flock to (because who doesn't like cookies?). The homing laser will let you paint a bunch of targets and then zap them all at once, Panzer Dragoon-style, while the vacuum will naturally suck up just about everything that's not nailed down and pull it toward you. These items didn't help us in the first of the game's four boss encounters, however, which pitted us against a larger "sea Elebit" that could split itself into half a dozen clones that then spread out through a large room. We had to track each one down, zap its shield off, and then zap the creature itself (no small feat, considering they were translucent and very nimble) within the time limit to win the fight.
Luckily, the game will offer you some opportunity to go back and play its roughly two-dozen levels multiple times with the addition of some unlockable extra modes. Each mission contains three rare, hidden pink Elebits, and when you find one, you'll unlock one of three modes--time attack, eternal, and challenge--for use on that same level. Time attack tasks you with finishing the stage in as short a time as you can, while eternal naturally lets you play the level with no time limit at all. Challenge sounds like the most interesting mode, as it adds a unique new puzzle or difficult task to each level. For example, you might have to retrieve a single Elebit who's hiding underneath a large stack of glass objects--and you'll have to meticulously take the stack apart piece by piece to get to the Elebit without breaking anything and failing the mission.
Finally, if you ever get tired of playing all the preset stages in the game, Elebits will offer an edit mode that will let you populate any of the rooms in the game with your own arrangement of objects and Elebits. Each item you insert into a custom level will subtract from an overall cost, so you can't cram infinite Elebits in and drag down performance. You'll also have to unlock furniture and other objects (by playing the main single-player mode) before you can place them in your own custom level. Once you've got a level made, you can share it with anyone on your Wii friends list. You'll also be able to take screenshots while you're playing and share those with your friends, as well.
It seems like Elebits fits well with the Wii's unique controls, from the little bit of time we played it. The game controls much like the first-person shooters we've seen on the console thus far, with the Wii Remote controlling your perspective and the Nunchuk being used for movement. On top of these basics, you'll occasionally use the controller in more interesting ways, such as when you grasp a door knob, rotate the Remote as if you were turning the knob, and then pull the Remote toward you to actually open the door. The game's lighthearted premise and accessible controls seem to go hand in hand with its childlike visual presentation (which features striking artwork in its infrequent cutscenes). Check out the game's media page for new high-res movies of Elebits in action, and stay tuned for a full review when the game hits shelves next month.
OK if any one has Garry's mod for the HalfLife2 then this is a MUST HAVE! The gun is just like it but you can trash a house and its with the wii controller, just seems fun to me :) I don't have a wii :( but i hope i get one soon... (its like trying to teach a Dog not to run :( )
i tihnk they should add a freeplay modeonce you complete the game.The you just walk around the hgouse and destroy everything. whats more fun then that
ill be safe and wait for the review. Its either this or excite truck for christmas. I have a Wii and i cant play till christmas. THIS IS TORTURE OMG!!!
Although I don't have a Wii and I know my parents won't get me one. i think the game looks EXTREMELY fun.
idk about this game, it could turn out to be really iunteresting,... or it could turn out to be innovative, and after a day or two of playing it, you figure out you are doing the exact same thing over and over again, i'll lookinto this game a little later
this game looks pretty cool. I wonder just how replayable it is though. Still, looking forward to its release ^^
This game looks like that game everyone with a car plays, "Where's my keys!?!" When you lose your keys, you tear apart everything in the house cause you just don't know where the heck they are. For example, you think your "keys" are under the refrigerator. You use the Wiimote to fling the fridge across the room and realize, they aren't there even though you could have sworn they were. On the other hand, I gonna play anyways when I get a Wii.
meh i think that after playing Wii sports the fact that the Wii has crazy motion sensing in its own right has sorta faded away as being a game maker Kojima is going to have to do more than just let us turn a door knob or drag a plate to sell this game
this is the second most wanted game on my list, with Sadness being numero 3. Im glad to see that theres gonna be some games that fully use the wiimote to its fullest too...If only theyd make Pikmin 3 where you could toss your Pikmin wherever...
Childlike graphics doesn't mean the game's only rewarding for children. It's a shame most people think that way. I knew a few people who didn't play Windwaker and when asked why they said "Look at the graphics" or something else pertaining to graphics. But anyways, I really like the gameplay. Moving around your own hand to move the persons hand in game looks fun. I think I'd enjoy this game. Hopefully the edit mode doesn't suck, because I love well-made edit modes.
discoburn, what you say after the comma in your first sentence is contradictory to what you say in the beginning.
I wasn't really interested in this game but it actually looks quite good. I'll probably try and rent it first though
I really doubt this game will have enough to keep you into it for too long, but then again it looks fun as hell, and possibly addicting. Shallow games can sometimes be the funnest games, so ill wait and see.
This game looks and sounds quirky enough to be a good one to last for a few months. Especially the create-a-room mode. Rather than make rooms where you destroy everything in sight to get at the elebits, how about making challenges? Create a pyramid of plates, cups, cardboard tubes, and even a car, barely balanced, with bits mixed in there, and challenge your friends to complete it without destroying anything. The biggest problem I have though, is the secluded nature of the WiiConnect24 system. It doesn't allow for any random discovery of content from creators you don't personally know, and having a limit of ~250 contacts hits the upper limit quickly, when it comes to online community forums of sharing your WC24 number. Coupled with the seemingly endless delay in updating the information, it could make for some tiresome problems. I hope they fix that up soon and get around to implementing a real Always-On system, as they very nearly promised. But, yeah. Elebits? Sounds like a great way to waste time and have fun. That's what it's all about. Games aren't about being blown away by playing a 70 hour movie with 2 hours of real interaction(including when you're prompted to press a button).