Alright, i hit a nerve when i griped about Elebits missing the Wii launch. Sue me, i was bummed. But now Elebits is here to wash the tears away, and Madden be damned, i bought it.
E-bits was never a game that i had a large vested interest in. What drew me to it initially was how original it was and how it used Wii’s remote, which was enough for it to stand out in the Wii crowd of ports and lazy first efforts, in my opinion. Turns out there’s a damn fine game behind all that as well.
It’s like Pikmin meets Half Life 2 meets Metroid Prime. You go around with a gravity gun searching for electrified Pikmin clones to restore power to your household after a blackout. The Pikmin relation is obvious, so is the Half Life connection. The Metroid Prime link comes from the adventure aspect of this first person shooter. All items you see in and out the house need to be shaken up, moved, or flung in order to find every last elebit and meet whatever wattage target you’re after. It’s definitely an FPS in an adventure game’s clothing, but you shoot to collect rather than to kill. It uses the bounding box model for aiming and shooting, and funnily enough it works very well due to the game’s pacing. Word has it Red Steel is eating its heart out as we speak.
The physics are floaty, but fun as hell. You can wave or twist things to open them, like boxes or doorknobs; fling objects into the air and out of your way; appliances and electronics around the house or yard are energized as you progress in a level, allowing you to turn them on and release elebits from their electric prisons; you can use certain appliances to get extra elebits out of them, such as inserting a DVD in the DVD player, microwaving popcorn, or roasting a turkey; powering up your gun lets you lift heavier things like cars, boats, and so on; and lots of other things. It’s like a sandbox game in a very small, very interactive environment that opens up as you go — the Wii version of GTA. Playing with the physics and objects like you would in real life is more than half the fun.
Bottom line, this is the most proper Wii game out right now, alongside Wii Sports, and the best for your money as far as i’m concerned. There’s tons of unlockables, tons of levels and different ways to play them, simultaneous 4-person multiplayer, and custom level editing/sharing with friends through wifi. It certainly aint a killer app, but this is Wii game of ’06, Zelda or no Zelda.
If you’ll excuse me, my slot is blue. Duty calls.