Life as a water drop, impressions on Dewy’s Adventure


dewysa1.jpgEver since I first heard about Dewy's Adventure when it was first announced, I was a little wary of it. I wasn't a fan of tilt-style controls like those found in Super Monkey Ball and Kororinpa, and the game's premise seemed to be a bit odd. I mean, a living droplet of water who has to rescue his friends and restore the "Tree of Seven Colors"? What threw me off the most was the game's style. It was…cute. Really cute. So for months, I kept up with any news on it with cautious interest. After all, I enjoyed Elebits, and Dewy's Adventure is from the same team.



The first thing you'll notice about Dewy's Adventure is that the opening cutscene is exactly like the one found in Elebits. Same artistic style, same voice-over style, same "almost identical to Precious Moments dolls" anime characters. And the similarities don't stop there. The music and sound effects will also remind you of Elebits. The music is the same upbeat, cheery kind of stuff. So if you liked the music in Elebits, you'll like this music too. In the sound effects department, both Dewy himself and the Eaus, Dewy's pals that you have to rescue, sound almost exactly like the Elebits. It's been awhile since I've played Elebits, but I'm pretty sure some of the sounds in this game come straight from it. However, while the game's sound and art direction might be similar to Elebits, the gameplay is anything but.



The main draw of Dewy's Adventure is the unique control scheme. You don't directly control Dewy himself. Instead you control the level you're on. By tilting the Wii Remote (held sideways, like in Excite Truck or Sonic & the Secret Rings), you can cause the entire level to respond in kind, tilting in the direction you move the Remote, causing Dewy to slide around the level. You can also make Dewy jump into the air by pressing the 2 button. By pressing up on the D-pad, you can raise the temperature of the level, causing Dewy to turn into steam. While in steam form you can hold the 1 button to make Dewy rise into the air and create an expanding storm cloud, and release it to cause lightning to strike all enemies within the cloud. This works much like Midna's lock-on attack in Twilight Princess. Pressing down on the D-pad will cause the temperature to drop, and the level to become covered in ice. Dewy becomes kind of encased in ice at this temperature, and you can press the 1 button to make Dewy begin to spin like a top, damaging enemies he hits. This will likely be your main form of attack throughout most of the game. In addition, in his normal form Dewy can do a kind of hip-drop, much like Mario's signature move. The temperature changes you make can also affect the level, causing ice to melt, water levels to rise, and all sorts of other effects. Add to this the fact that you can create wind gusts or earthquakes by shaking the Wii Remote either up and down or side to side, and you get some really cool, really creative environmental effects.




Dewy's world vibrant and colorful. The whole world seems to spring to life before you by exuding charm and happiness. Again, much like Elebits, Dewy's Adventure has a cartoonish look. However, technically speaking, the visuals in Dewy's Adventure are far better than those of Elebits. Although both games were developed by the same team at Konami, Dewy's Adventure had a longer development cycle, and it shows. The levels, while small for the most part, still manage to have a grandiose feel to them. The inhabitants of Dewy's world are also very nice looking. Dewy himself is very well animated, as are his enemies. Dewy's adversaries will charge at Dewy when they see him, flee in panic when locked onto with his lightning attack, and react to environmental changes as well.



But Dewy's Adventure isn't perfect, it has it's flaws. The controls can also be frustrating at times. The majority of damage you take throughout the game will more than likely be from falling off the edge of stages. Oftentimes you'll tilt just a little too far, and Dewy will just barely slide over the edge. It almost feels as if Dewy is sliding around on ice all the time (and this only gets worse in the actual ice levels). The game's difficulty seems to be all over the place. While the normal stages are easy, as are the enemies, the bosses of each world can get quite difficult. This makes it a bit hard to tell just what audience Konami had in mind for the game. The normal stages are fairly easy, especially for seasoned gamers, but the bosses are far too difficult for beginners. Also, the game's edit mode and multiplayer features seem a bit bare and tacked on. While it's cool that you can create your own levels and trade them with friends over Wi-Fi, the level templates are very small, and your selection of objects to put in the levels is pretty limited. Overall it just doesn't seem as fleshed out as the level editor in Elebits.


Overall, Dewy's Adventure is fun, charming, and unique. The strange premise and colorful design will undoubtedly turn some gamers away, but those who can look past that are in for a tremendously entertaining experience. The Wii is very much in need of new, original IP's, and Dewy's Adventure is an excellent example of how one should be done. It utilizes the Wii's strong points, such as the controls, and downplays it's weaknesses, by having great art design. Personally, I really enjoy playing Dewy's Adventure. It has that "just one more level" appeal to it. It's really very hard to put down once you start playing. It seems that it's not getting very much attention, however, and that's disheartening. This is really a very, very fun game, and deserves your attention. It might be difficult to track down a copy, but it's definitely worth it.