One of the more original titles we had the pleasure of witnessing at Nintendo's Wii stand during this year's E3 was Konami's Elebits - a game which uses the Wiimote's motion-sensing functions to manipulate detailed everyday environments, yanking pots of kitchen shelves and uprooting houses, all in the name of capturing the elusive titular Elebits.
Speaking to ITmedia +D Games (and translated by GameSpot), Elebits producer Shingo Mukaitouge has unleashed a few new morsels about the game, as well as talking about the particular challenges of working on Nintendo's new console.
It seems that initially, Mukaitouge had reservations about the Wii's innovative new controller, assuming it was only suited to games which required grand hand movements, like sports titles and fighting games. However, after getting his hands on it, he was apparently stunned: "The pointing device allows fine-grained control, too, making it a flexible, and above all, new controller - I really fell in love with it."
Heading back to Konami, his team started brainstorming ideas that would best use the Wiimote, before settling on the Elebits concept. Mukaitouge explains that developing images for the console was straightforward - however, the Wiimote threw up its own unique challenges. "Fine tuning the gameplay for the new controller posed new challenges", he divulges, "Adjusting the motion for how much [an object] should move when a given amount of motion is applied is difficult For instance, when turning a water faucet, everyone will twist the handle a different amount."
It seems that Konami is still hard at work fine-tuning the Elebits experience, but the team is determined to make the game suitable for a wide range of gamers, from casual to the hardcore. To this end, characters have been designed for mass appeal and elements such as collecting and incentives to replay the game once completed will be added.
One area we found a little disappointing during Elebits' E3 debut was the game's somewhat lacklustre visuals, sporting sub GameCube-esque graphics and a fairly dodgy framerate. However, it appears this was only an early build of the game, designed to show off its unique gameplay elements and major changes may be on the way. "What we've shown so far," reveals Mukaitouge, "is only an implementation of the basic play mechanics."
Currently, Konami is hoping to release Elebits sometime around Wii's launch. This one's definitely high on our 'one to watch' list, so stay tuned for further information.