Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dewy's Adventure

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2007
Systems: Wii
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: Super Monkey Ball + Loco Roco

0:01 A breathy hum in a bleak, hazy, hand-drawn world with a large dead tree. A little boy with a stick in hand. "Why does mom always have to bug me about studying." This is kind of unsettling, somehow. There's a girl sitting by the tree, reading. She likes his song. She likes the tree, he doesn't because it's all dried out and dead. "Well it looks like a strong and beautiful tree to me," she says. People used to hold festivals here, supposedly. She starts reading to him from the book about "an enchanted land, like your world, but it really exists." It's full of "crystal waters and green forests." Suddenly, the title screen, with Katamari-style graphics and a cooing Dewy. OK!

0:04 I start the story mode and... more story. The "eau" lived in the land, and the tree of seven colors gave life to all living things. But black water started raining from the sky. Is this gonna be an environmental parable? Ugh.

0:05 The tree gave birth to Dewy to defend the land from Don Hedron, the evil guy sending the black water. Don Hedron? Really? That's the best bad guy name they could think of? He sounds like the kid who beat me up in elementary school.

0:06 So Dewy won, but then Don Hedron (still an awful name) came back. The tree called back the "living drop of enchanted water once more." More cute, hand-drawn art style here.

0:07 And we're playing. Hold the remote like an NES controller, and tilt to move the world and Dewy by proxy.

0:08 Some mushroom-capped guys are very happy to see Dewy. They basically repeat the story I just heard. The game doesn't tell me, but I figure out the 2 button does a nice, floaty jump.

0:10 Up and down shakes create a gust of wind. It moves pinwheels. Cute!

0:11 Dewy kind of splats when he lands from up high. ALSO CUTE!

0:12 I accidentally jump off the edge of the world. Dewy gives a plaintive cry all the way down. Awwww...

0:13 I got some camera film. I can use it to take pictures from the pause menu. The game is cute, but I don't really see why I'd want to do this.

0:14 Being water, Dewy can switch forms. A tap of down goes to ice with a spinning attack. Up goes to mist, which can attack with lightning. Mist dewy is somewhat limited by not being able to move. And by somewhat, I mean totally.

0:15 I hit a switch to make a balloon thing inflate bigger and then go in and shake the remote to shoot Dewy to the next island. This game is triiiiipy.

0:16 The controls are a little touchy so far. Water Dewy stops kind of abruptly when he changes direction. Ice dewy has a much more satisfying momentum to him. I do like the super-floaty jump though.

0:19 Stage one clear. All the mushroom guys I collected fall onto the screen. I get a B for my time and number collected.

0:20 There is product placement on the tips screen in between levels. I can't believe it -- the enemies are being turned into Aquapod water, with a small copyright notice: "(c) Nestle Waters North America." I think I'm going to be sick.

0:23 Wheee! This invincibility soap bubble is tons of fun. Like bowling for bad guys here. I got a health shard for some reason. No idea what it does. I'm serious, I assume health, but my health looks the same.

0:25 I'm finding bunches of secret areas without really trying. Nice that there's extra stuff for those who aren't satisfied just going through the straight-as-an-arrow levels.

0:27 I think I've figured out the main problem with these controls. It near impossible to get Dewy to stop. The controller doesn't auto center, so you have to hold the remote very still and level if you want no movement. Very annoying.

0:30 I know it's still early, but this game seems more targeted towards the kiddy set. I'm just sliding around and collecting things on an extremely linear path. It reminds me a lot of Loco Roco, this is kind of relaxing, but kind of dull too.

0:34 Sigh. I'm finally fighting a semi-interesting group of enemies, but I keep falling down to a lower level and having to climb back. NOT FUN. The controls definitely get in the way.

0:40 There's a group of caged mushroom heads that's just out of reach. I have to bounce on a trampoline plant multiple times to get up to them. The controls make this nearly impossible... I keep drifting. This might be my bad, but it seems like a major failing of the whole concept.

0:42 Boss time. A big green blobby thing with a golden head. He does a jumping attack that sends out a big shock wave. I like the character design a lot. The world design, too... very bright and fanciful.

0:45 The boss actually kills me. This is shocking for two reasons... 1) something in this game was actually threatening and 2) I have to restart the level. Unlike falling off the sides, this sends me all the way back. Who knew?

0:46 Oh crap, I have to collect all these freaking mushroom heads again. Good gravy, this is getting monotonous.

0:50 A quick test confirms that the little enemies can also kill you if you absolutely let them. They also send you back to the beginning of the level. Nuts to this.

Would I play this game for more than an hour 50 minutes? No.
Why? Cute concept, but the controls are just a bit too spotty and the play a bit too basic and repetitive. A good one for the kiddies, p'rhaps.

This review based on a retail copy rented from GameFly.

No comments: