developed & published by Konami/2007.09.04
1-4 Players/1 DVD-ROM/Nintendo Wii
Having lost money on the N64, Konami virtually ignored the GameCube completely. So it was nice to see Konami taking a chance on the Wii with a brand new IP, the fun but shallow Elebits, making excellent use of the Wii’s pointer functionality. Dewy’s Adventure, the next original IP from the Elebits team, focuses on the Wii remote’s tilt sensor as its core gameplay mechanic.
The first thing you’ll notice about Dewy’s Adventure is that it is one of the best looking Wii games to date. I wouldn’t say the graphics are as good as Super Mario Galaxy, but they are very polished, run at a smooth frame rate, and make use of many cool shader effects. It really is a gorgeous game with many great looking stages and bosses.
You’ll also notice that Dewy is a very cute game. It’s sort of like a Kirby game in terms of style. This is sort of false advertising. What I mean is, this game is not easy. It is not for young kids, as they’ll just get frustrated with it. It’s a real gamer’s game.
At its heart, Dewy’s Adventure is a puzzle-platformer. Players tilt the Wii remote in the direction they want Dewy to slide. You gain momentum depending on how far you tilt the remote; tilt it just a little and you can perform some very precise maneuvering, or tilt it far to send Dewy sliding around at top speed. At first it feels a little sloppy, but the more you play the more you will ease into it.
Jumping can be a bit tricky, but therein lies the challenge. Unlike in most games, you can’t control Dewy’s direction mid-jump. His trajectory is determined entirely by the direction you are tilting the controller at the time you jump. It is a bit tricky at first, and the levels delight in challenging you with precise platforming tasks, so falling off ledges is not uncommon (luckily, you return to solid ground with just a small hit to your life bar).
The controls do get frustrating in some areas, and is one of the main reasons this game got average reviews. But despite falling to my doom many times, I still fundamentally enjoyed this game and its control scheme.
Hot ‘n’ Cold
Being a magical droplet of water, Dewy has some special powers based on temperature. Players can change the temperature up or down using the D-Pad. If you turn up the heat, Dewy evaporates into a cloud capable of floating in mid-air and letting loose a charged lightning attack. If you cool things off, he transforms into a diamond-like ice cube and can spin attack enemies like a top.
Players can adjust the temperature any time they want, but Dewy automatically reverts to a water droplet after a few seconds. These temperature adjustments are sometimes necessary to bypass certain obstacles in levels, too, so it’s not just a simple gimmick.
Challenge & Replay Value
On the surface of things, Dewy’s Adventure looks like a childish game, with its cute monsters and pastel colored stages. Don’t be fooled. This game is challenging and fun to play, and there’s a lot of game here. There are 7 main areas (jungles, caverns, ruins, volcanoes, glaciers, etc), each broken up into 4 levels. Each level may take between 5-10 minutes each to complete your first time through.
You are graded based on the time it took to complete the level as well as how many trapped citizens you rescue (100 per level). These trapped citizens aren’t just a collectathon chore, but secreted away in hidden nooks and crannies, requiring you to search every inch of the game. You can replay any of the levels whenever you feel like it, so you might be tempted to return to old ones to find more citizens to better your score.
Each area has one mini-boss and one main boss. The bosses not only look fantastic (they’re the highlight of the game), but also present some interesting challenges, which reminded me a bit of Zelda or Mario.
Konami’s Elebits team has produced two of the most original games available on the Wii, which make excellent use of the Wii’s unique controller functions. This game also utilizes the Wii’s photo mode and sends you tips in the message board. Not only that, but it also meets the high production quality standards that Nintendo fans are accustomed to.
If you own a Wii, don’t let Dewy’s Adventure’s cute appearance put you off playing this game. While the tilt controls can make for some frustrating experiences, if you stick to it and become comfortable with them there is a solid game here with lots to see and do.
- Unique (though not perfect) control scheme
- Great graphics and funky music
- Imaginative level design
- Lots of levels
- Around $20 at most stores!
- Controls can be frustrating at times
- Cute graphics may turn some gamers off
One Sentence Review: Despite some frustrations, this is one of my favorite Wii games so far.
One Word Review: Original!
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