By Marokai 4 Comments
The very long and difficult journey through my backlog continues, with a game almost no one has probably heard of. I feel like I'm going to doom this blog series to early irrelevance if I play games like these, but this is the curse. This is the vice. A person who buys too many games ends up with good games, You can't just forget the turkeys, you know? Playing mediocre games can help keep a person grounded. A way to remember what makes the good games so good.
Despite this, I'm happy with myself for showing the discipline to stick to my idea of blogging my way through each and every one of the games in my console backlog. So after my fifty hours worth of time with Dark Souls, I wanted something a little shorter, a little more colorful, a little more low-key. Dark Souls had frayed some of my nerves and I needed a colorful adventure to be the counterbalance. Enter: Dewy's Adventure.
Early blog spoiler: Do not buy Dewy's Adventure.
I wish I could say that I don't remember why I bought Dewy's Adventure, but that would be a lie. Years ago, I remember seeing a review of the game on X-Play (which was a great show for many years, despite the rotting in the last few years of it's life) and thinking "Eh, you know, I want to buy that game someday!" and for some reason the game stuck in my mind. After doing some post-2010-Christmas shopping on Amazon, I noticed this game and picked it up for $11. As it would turn out, that was about $648 too much.
Here's the long and the short of the story: The evil Don Hedron has taken over the world and captured the most of a group of liquid people, and stole six of the fruits of the Great Tree, or something like that. The game's hero, Dewy, is the magical blue seventh fruit, who the Great Tree calls forth to save the world from the evil Black Liquid of Don Hedron.
Yes, it's a dumb excuse plot, but whatever, right? The gameplay consists of Dewy, being water, manipulating the temperature of the world and gaining powers through the temperature, fighting his way through the world to rescue his people. The game is bright, colorful, has a very soft, faded art style, and each world has a fun theme to it. All of this is well and good. Here's the catch: You can only move Dewy by tilting the world with the Wiimote, and it's as much of struggle as that sounds.
Maybe I would've judged this game differently back in the day (it was released in 2007 afterall), but everything about this game is my problem with the Wii in microcosm. Imprecise motion, certain movements just not registering at all, waggle motions being thrown in all over the place just to make the laziest use of the Wii as possible. Worse is that there's very little variety to the forms you attack in, and all it's tricks are exhausted by the end of the first world.
I refuse to believe anyone under the age of 13 ever beat this game.
The controls are a fucking nightmare. I don't know any other way to say it. The second world I played was called "Icy Island" and demanded precise platforming skills and cautiousness on a surface that kept slinging me all over the place. In ice form Dewy just sort of bounces around like a goddamn pinball, and if water form Dewy falls into the ice as it turns back into water, it's instant death. I had to retry almost all of the stages in that world multiple times, and it took me about four times as long to complete that world as it did any other part of the game.
I never thought I would have a "throwing the Wiimote across the room" moment ever again, but this game managed to bring out anger in me that Dark Souls never did, which is just kind of fucked up. I've developed a pretty thick skin for some of these bad motion control moments in games, but the most ridiculous part of all of this is that Dewy's Adventure is meant to be a kiddy platformer. There is no way some 9-year-old out there didn't eventually say "screw this thing" and leave after the millionth time you accidentally slide to your death because the camera is so zoomed in you can't see where you're tilting to.
I have no idea who this game is even meant for. The controls are so flaky and sluggish, so intensely frustrating, that not even adults would have the patience for them, and yet it's built as this colorful, childlike adventure full of smiley faces and weird orgasmic happy noises. Worse, not to be too judgmental toward the Wii, but the system's library isn't exactly wanting for E-rated games. Don't get me wrong, I can see the appeal of a happy, short, colorful adventure like this. There's absolutely nothing wrong with games like that, we all need a palette cleanser once in awhile, but the Wii has quite a few games that execute on that idea better than Dewy's Adventure.
After 8 hours, I ended up rage-quitting on the final boss.
You guys like boss rushes? After getting all of the magical fruits, the final stage opens up, where you have to fight two duplicates of every miniboss in the entire game. If you die at any point, you have to start at the beginning. After you manage that, you have to fight a copy of every major boss in the game in succession, and you have to ace all of those fights too. The final boss has multiple health bars, and completely incomprehensible attack patterns, and once you beat him, he turns into a second form with three more health bars.
That kind of difficulty spike is insane, and I was not going to sit there fighting a 15-minute, poorly controlled fight against a boss with multiple forms that I essentially have to complete perfectly.
In a way, it's good that this sort of game came up so early in this capital-J Journey through my backlog. I can't waste hours and hours on games that I just don't even care about anymore. I have to be able to put a game down and move on if I'm just no longer interested. I have dozens of games to get through, and not enough time in my life to spend hours and hours on ones like Dewy's Adventure. I put in nearly 8 hours and came to an informed conclusion. I gave it more than it deserved. It's time to move on to the next game in the stack.