After trying for a month and a half at getting Elebits at Best Buy without even a little luck, I had finally given up on getting it and had resigned myself to getting Mario Party 8 next month with my gift cards instead. However, I was looking for something to do with my daughter today and we thought we would go to Best Buy and pick out a movie to buy and watch tonight. Well sure enough they finally had Elebits in, 3 copies to be exact. So since I had wanted it and I had literally just decided not to get it today, I decided to get it. Why not. It is still a fairly innovative game and I want to reward Konami for an innovative new IP instead of the same ol’ same ol’ all the time which we seem to be getting in the games industry.
At any rate, I find it surprising at how difficult my daughter has it with this game. She just can’t control it. And for me, I can get it done, but it isn’t exactly easy for me either. I have a hard time using the controller to move the camera and then my stick to move me… in order to turn I need to turn my camera over and then move straight with the stick. I don’t know exactly why they felt the need to add strafing in this game, or why they couldn’t have put it with another set of buttons (maybe left and right on the d-pad) because this is something that in the first 4 levels hasn’t been needed at all. I would say I need to turn more than I need to strafe which really makes the controls difficult. And they are quite complicated as well… I can understand why Nintendo took the push the control forward to zoom in and back to zoom out because this is very unnatural (though it seems like it should be natural!).
I also think that there are a bunch of physics issues… throwing stuff around is great, but what you soon discover is that it is extremely difficult to move towards the end of a board. Doors and Drawers are nearly impossible to keep in place, you open a door and before you can get through it bounces back and closes again, takes two or three times to get each drawer and considering the boards are all timed, this is detrimental to the game. A new challenge is that I have to get through the board with only breaking a few fragile objects. This too can be challenging with the control scheme as I could pick something up and try to turn with it in my hand only to accidentally hit a wall with it and it breaks.
Powerups are an annoyance. Some look cool, but not these early ones. Another issue with kids pops up here as my daughter spends her entire time searching for and breaking powerups and then complains that she can’t turn anything on, pick up anything, or win the board because she spent so much time on powerups. I keep trying to convince her that the point of the game isn’t powerups, it’s elebits, but the power ups are so much bigger and shinier than the elebits, she cannot control herself when she sees one she runs across the room to get it. I wish that they made the elebits bigger and shinier than the powerups because then that would be the more important thing. But I realize the whole point is to try to hide the elebits and doing it the reverse would make it difficult. Also the powerups you have to break and again this can be tricky at times. It often makes the weaker ones not worth the trouble. I realize that this was a necessity given that if they made it so you just click on it that you’d probably accidentally hit it or you couldn’t carry it around, but maybe they could have assigned it to a button.
I don’t know. I seem to be fairly negative on the game, but I actually kind of like it. I like the idea and concept, I think it is fun to play (outside of those frustrating moments), and I like that you can edit levels and share them with friends (really the first and only game I believe to use some sort of online functionality). I think it was worth the money, and especially considering it was near launch so there are bound to be bugs. I do look forward to Elebits 2 (if they make one) to see if they can iron out some of the issues, though I wish they would have done it before they would have done it before the game launched. Overall, i think the 7-7.5 most sites seem to be giving it is about right. Overall a decent game, but needs some minor issues fixed in order to make it a top tier game.