‘Elebits’ empathy

I wanted to like ‘Elebits’ more. It’s got cute characters, cute sounds, and even the “Chobits”-inspired art screens have cuteness coming out its ears. Just look at it. My wife really liked the game, and I’ll admit that it makes decent use of the Wii’s tools.

But what the hell is wrong with Kai, the main character? He has an unnatural loathing for the little Elebits, little creatures who just happen to provide power to every electrical device in existence. He tells us that his parents study Elebits, and that he hates them. He even whines during a blackout that he doesn’t want to touch the Elebits with his hands — so he’s going to use his Dad’s capture gun to corral them and restore juice to his surroundings. Wonderful … have at it, you ungrateful troll. Sorry, I have a hard time getting behind a kid character who hates things for no apparent reason. If I was a kid, I would have thought Elebits were cool.

As for the Elebits … they’re not bothering anyone. They’re sleeping, walking around, and COWERING in fear about being caught and used for energy. Didn’t the Matrix do the same thing to humans? I couldn’t help but feel guilty about zapping an Elebit, only to hear it go “eeeee” or “oooooo” in a munchkin-like voice en route to its incarceration in my capture gun. Very “War of the Worlds” in a way.

Mind you, it was pretty fun tossing stuff around and rampaging through rooms trying to find them — but that “hunter” vibe was in the back of my head. Perhaps if the Elebits were more like gremlins, I wouldn’t be constantly worried about the well-being of my acquired targets. What can I say? My heart bleeds.