#696 Elebits (or Eledees)

Posted: 11th November 2012 by Mulholland in Games
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193rd played so far

Genre: Action/Shoot ’em Up
Platform: Wii
Year of Release: 2006
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami

For those of you keepin track, it’s been a while since we did a Wii game. Technically World of Goo was one, but it wasn’t a proper one… We didn’t even touch our Wii to play it. Before this we’re going back to the game we covered 69th (!), Zack and Wiki. Amazing, really.

Today’s game is known as Elebits in most places, but Eledees in Europe. Apparently it was done so because in French Elebits sounds like the phrase “and the cocks” as in the slang term for penis. Why this was not done for the people of Quebec I have no idea… maybe they are more resilient in Montreal.

The titular Elebits are small cute creatures created from electricity. They like to hide and sleep and try to hide from others. And we’re going to capture them. Yeah!

Our Thoughts

What’s going on? Your parents study these Elebits, instead of paying attention to you. In a fit of parental irresponsibility, they go off to research them during a power outage, leaving you on your own (in the dark no less). You decide to get the capture gun and capture these Elebits, to power the house and your things, and go out exploring on your own.

The point of these levels is pretty much that you wander around unlit areas, finding and capturing different types of Elebits. Most of them increase the Watts you have stored up, while some increase the strength of your capture gun, allowing you to move bigger objects to find the elebits hidden in and behind them. Another reason to get watts is that it activates electrical devices (giving you more other elebits) and often unlocks doors and other things blocking your path. You also get a couple of powerups to play with – mostly things to attract or stun elebits, but also strength powerups and such.

The game, as mentioned here, might sound fairly simple, and the basic idea is fairly simple – point and capture, really. It isn’t as straight forward, of course, making the game quite a bit more difficult at the same time.

First, to win a level, you need a lot of watts. This soon gets to a stage where you have very little leeway in how many you’re allowed to miss. Second, to get to a lot of them, you really need to improve your strength, while the items providing the bonuses can be rare and certainly take some time to unlock, making it a real stop and go thing – you gather a lot, then slowly get to the point where you can move enough stuff to really get more elebits.

The elebits aren’t easy to catch either. First, to get the most watts from them, you need them happy – asleep or enjoying a cookie. Unhappy, they not only give you less, they also try to escape. Not just annoying for the slower ones, some elebits absolutely race around the room, making them tough to get (the fat blue one can be a real bitch). And as if that wasn’t tough enough, you then get all the other restrictions. Think you got it? Now try doing a level without breaking more than seven items. Be quiet – if you go over a noise level more than a few times, that’s a game over too. The game’s almost sadistic in the number of bigger restrictions it adds, with levels that are difficult enough even without them. It’s simply evil, making it a race against the clock where you still need to stay careful.

When you start, the game is dark enough the graphics don’t matter. Once the elebits light the room, however, things don’t get too much better either. They’re slightly blocky, and while everything is interactive, they’re not too inspiring. Then again, there’s a reason for it. One of the extra modes of the game is the Edit mode. Yeah, you can change the levels to suit you, which is a cool nice feature to play around with the mechanics, and it’s obvious we should be able to recreate mostly all of the game’s levels in it. It’s neat, at least to spend some time in.

Whilst there is an issue with graphics the main problem we had was with the control system. On the whole it is good and would have been really improved if MotionPlus had existed with the launch of the Wii but things always reach a standstill the moment you reach a door.  The game’s physics is not always consistent since vases can find themselves hovering mid-air for no good reason but the doors take the cake. Basically in order to open a door you need to press A, twist the controller and then pull it towards you. Sounds simple enough and other Wii games have since been able to carry it off but here it is a real obstacle, more so than the actual obstacles.

It looks like an adorable, cute game, but has a tough, difficult game underneath that’s worth trying. Just don’t get deceived by the game’s initial appearance.

Final Thoughts

You go on quite a journey from capturing cute creatures with a light gun to defeating giant robots in a funfair. When the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. makes it way to the shelves I would not be shocked if Elebits doesn’t make a guest appearance in some capacity.