Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dewy's Adventure (Wii) Review

A quirky and charming new Wii game has released today, The Munchables. I can think of no better time to dig up a review of another quirky and charming Wii game, but this time from Konami. It's Dewy's Adventure.

Do the Dew.

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There's no denying that the Wii is opening up game creator minds. New ideas and uses for the innovative Wii remote continue to pour out. From the developing team behind the highly underrated Elebits comes their next Wii title, Dewy's Adventure-- a platforming game controlled by tilting the Wii remote. Is Dewy the little droplet that could, or is this game waterlogged?

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Howdy! My name is Dewy!

A young boy meets up with a mysterious yet welcoming woman on top of a hill home to a giant, decaying tree. After a brief exchange between the two, the woman begins reading from a storybook about a tribe called the Eau who gathered around the Tree of Seven Colors. This tree gave life to the entire land and all of its living things. However, one day Black Water poured down from the sky led by the evil Don Hedron. The Tree of Seven Colors gave life to a courageous young water droplet named Dewy to combat the sinister foe. The world returned to peace as the battle between Dewy and Don Hedron faded into legend, but later the Black Water would come raining back. A hero would once again need to face off against Don Hedron, and this time, you're in control of Dewy.

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There's a fire down below.

Dewy is then plopped into the small overworld hub of the game, Hitori Village, where he can access new levels, records, character info, and other items of interest. Hop into a storybook to begin Dewy's quest. You'll begin with only one world available to you, Groovy Grasslands, a beginning world filled with wide-open platforms and simple challenges. The aim of each stage is simply to reach the goal, however, that task is anything but simple as there's enemies to contend with, puzzles to solve, and Eaus to collect. Each stage has 100 Eaus scattered around the level to rescue. While gathering all of them isn't necessary to complete the level, if you wish to achieve a good grade you'll need to pick them all up and in a timely fashion.

Dewy's Adventure is controlled solely by the Wii remote, held in a horizontal fashion akin to Excite Truck and Sonic and the Secret Rings. Tilt the Wii remote to slide Dewy around the level, and use the 2 button to jump into the air. The longer you press the button, the higher Dewy the water droplet will leap.

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Not only can little Dewy heat things up...

Of course, Dewy isn't your ordinary droplet of water. He actually has the power to adversely affect the weather around him, and these powers are needed in order to defeat enemies and solve the many puzzles Dewy's Adventure throws at you. By fanning the Wii remote up and down, Dewy will make wind blow. Some enemies will be put to sleep by this, and certain puzzles are solved by initiating a wind fan. Alternately, by shaking the Wii remote left to right, Dewy will cause a powerful earthquake to destroy boulders blocking your path or certain enemies to topple over. Dewy can even change form by pressing up or down on the control pad. Pressing down will shift Dewy into an ice form where he can spin into enemies, freeze bodies of water to cross them, and take down more powerful foes. Pressing up will cause the temperature in the level to rise forming Dewy into a cloud of mist. With this power he can send lightning down on groups of baddies and cause water to rise in some worlds. A nice graphical touch is by either rising or lowering the temperature, the entire stage reflects your powers, so having a high temperature will cause flowers to bloom and the screen to mist up while being in a low temperature causes flowers to shrink and the screen to frost up. Switching to the right form of Dewy will make the difference in solving puzzles and taking down foes. Experimenting with powers when at a dead end will most often than not lead to a solution, and if one form isn't taking down an enemy then try another.

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...but he's also shocking!

Dewy has a meager amount of health at the beginning of the game, but by collecting health shards he can slowly build his health gauge up to ten droplets of water. This is great for tougher enemies who can get the best of you in battle, and quite frankly you might need all ten droplets of health and then some. The camera is fixed in position in all levels which can sometimes cause loss of health from falling into a chasm because the depth perception was a little tricky. Also, controlling Dewy himself is occasionally like controlling a stick of butter on a hot skillet-- you'll lose health not because an enemy beat you up but because you keep falling off the level. Thankfully, falling off a level isn't instant death-- it just makes you lose some health.

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From lush grasslands...

There are a total of eight worlds to explore from grasslands to ice to volcanoes to ancient temples. Each world has its own theme, Eaus, puzzles, and challenges to complete. There are four acts in each world concluding with a boss battle at the end of the four acts. Boss battles are quite fun and require you to use the right form of Dewy at the right time to defeat them. One boss requires you to turn into Ice Dewy to reflect the icy blocks the boss sends out back at it to damage the defensive ring surrounding it. Once the ring is down, you'll need to transform to Mist Dewy to create a rainbow beam to attack the frozen boss directly. The boss battles are intuitive, and later ones are quite a challenge without feeling cheap simultaneously.

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...to ancient ruins!

If you get bored with the single-player mode, there's also local multi-player to contend with. In this mode you play with others on a small map either gathering stars, defeating enemies, or completing a multi-player stage as fast as possible. Additionally you can even create your own multi-player maps filled with whatever enemies you desire, and then send them to folks on your Wii friends list who also own a copy of the game. This concept isn't new as Elebits had it, but it's quite welcome to add even more longevity to the title.

From the colorful worlds to the cheery characters and sappy story, the game might be TOO cutesy for the average gamer. It's really odd, too, and this is where another problem presents itself. The game feels way too cute for adults, but it's way too challenging for children. The developer doesn't really have a demographic that they're trying to appeal to, so it seems like this title was set to not sell well as the only type of people I feel who would enjoy this game are the hardcore set-- and even then it still might be sweet for them to swallow. Regardless, the worlds are beautiful to look at, and Dewy himself is shiny and modeled quite well. The game has loads of humor as well as evident in the various tips screens that roll in between acts.

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This boss requires you to deflect her shots into her.

Dewy's Adventure is a mixed bag. The controls take getting used to, and controlling Dewy might be overly frustrating to most gamers. However, those who stick with it will find a very enjoyable game albeit not as accessible adventure as I would have liked. There's plenty to do, stages to complete, bosses to battle, Eaus to save, and S grades to unlock. Creating your own stages adds to the mix as well. For those looking for a fun and rewarding adventure, Dewy's Adventure will quench your thirst.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.25/10]

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