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Konami has won over a ton of mature gamers with Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid, but for their initial titles on the Wii, they've targeted a younger crowd with such games as Elebits. In this game we find ourselves in a world where there is no gasoline, no natural gas, and no nuclear power. Rather than polluting our world with these fuel sources, people rely on cute little animals made of electrical energy to run their cities and towns. These animals have worked to help power humanity for centuries, but one night a large lightening storm causes the Elebits to start acting strangely.
The truth is, as far as story goes, you can't get more clichÃ© than the plot they've cooked up for this game. A kid that feels he is being ignored by his busy Elebit-studying parents goes on a collecting rampage with his father's "Captor gun." From the start, the main character, Kai, absolutely detests the Elebits for taking his parents' attentions, but by the end of the whole ordeal Kai learns to love the little critters, even taking the last boss on as a pet after giving him the ultimate smack-down.
So, does Elebits deliver a simple tale? Yes.
Is it a kid's game? Yes.
Is it a lot of fun? Most Definitely.
You may not think that a game of hide and seek on your Wii would be all that engaging, but after your 56th hour of playing, you might start to reconsider.
Part of the game's appeal comes directly from its interactive environment. At first, gamers might be confused by what can be moved in the rooms; however, this passes once you get it into your head that everything is up for destruction.
From the smallest book to the largest building, potentially every object on the screen can be tossed with the captor gun. You can increase this ability by uncovering and capturing hidden Elebits. The more Elebits you capture, the more watts you gain. The more watts you gain, the more appliances you turn on. Turning on appliances enables you to increase your gun's power and uncover more Elebits to gain more watts. It's really a vicious circle.
Though you'd think this would get really repetitive after a while, the reality is quite the opposite. The replay value is excellent, as you keep wanting to beat your previous score and unlock more features. There are several modes to explore, including a multiplayer option. Easter eggs are hidden away, some of which count toward unlocking an Eternal Mode that allows you to go through each stage without a time restraint. Also, the special appearance of Robbie the Silent Hill bunny at the entrance of the amusement park made this player's heart swell.
The graphics are rather smooth for the cartoon-ish visuals, and the music that plays while you blast your way through cheerful hoards of Elebits is mostly very good in a techno kind of way.
On the downside, the tutorial, though comprehensive, is a bit long. Also, the controls can often be taxing when first starting out, but once you get the hang of Nintendo's new design, there's nothing to keep you from blasting away.
With an E rating, Elebits is a good pick for those looking to buy a game for their kids, or a Wii owner looking at a new addition to their growing library. So go ahead and indulge in some hide-and-seek fun again. We won't tell. We give this game 4.5 Gems.
James Maddox is a writer based in Marietta, Ohio. His experience living and dealing with gamers in Korea has uniquely shaped his opinions on games and the industry.