Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Electroplankton (Import) (Nintendo DS) Review

Review for Electroplankton (Import) on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

When is a game not really a game at all? When it is an experimental experience brought to you by Nintendo! And Electroplankton is just that

If you flick through the Japanese manual you will see a lovely little description of each of the plankton featured in the game, but this is lost on anyone other than those fluent in the Far Eastern language, clearly. But thankfully the names of the fishy characters are all written both in kanji as well as English, so there is no real problem. Whether there is a story or anything behind the game is unknown, but nothing appears in-game, so probably not. It is simply an experimental title by Toshio Iwai that plays around with the various aspects of the DS hardware.

First point of call; after ripping open the Lik Sang box to get at Electroplankton was seeing how Nintendo had presented the game. You have a lovely shiny blue outer box, which looks bigger than it should do. But the reason soon becomes apparent, as when you open it up there is a lovely set of Plankton-blue earphones included completely free of charge! This turned out to be a very nice surprise because my last pair were beyond repair and hey, they were free! After slipping the little media diskette into the DS and switching on, there is no fancy introductory sequence unfortunately, with it just jumping straight to the front screen, which is simply pale blue water with the title. A little disappointing, but extra spit and polish is something you expect from a full-blown team, not just a one-man developer.

Screenshot for Electroplankton (Import) on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

However, this is not to say that the in-game presentation is entirely disappointing, as it is not like that at all. You have cute little fish, each different from the other, along with some lovely water effects trickled all over the place. Every touch on the screen results in an ululation, a relaxing ripple in the water, and the clever use of flashing lights, fading colours and fast movement around the play environment gives the game a feeling of uniqueness. Sure there may not be lashings of 3D all over the place, but the simple charm of the title and its subtle beauty leave the user without any qualms over the presentation side.

The musical aspect is obviously the most important aspect of the game and on this side Electroplankton is without a doubt a firm winner. Iwai-san has crafted such an impressive audio programme for the Nintendo DS that even DJs around the world are being bowled over by the quality. From haunting piano sounds, funky beats and classic themes right through to voice recognition, the game pulls off everything it attempts with great aplomb, and you can almost image the DS having a cocky swagger, knowing full well that nothing like this has been done to this extent on other systems. And the amazing fact is, as proven by New York DJ David Hollands, that you can create amazing dance tracks with the various aspects of the game.

But how exactly do you play it? Well, all the controls come into play over the entirety of the game, however the main focus does really lie with the stylus and touch-screen functionality of the Nintendo DS. To start with you have to choose whether the sound output should be set to headphones or not in order to get the best sound quality. Then you choose between Performance or Audience modes, with the latter giving you a computer workout of each plankton, spending a short while on each one randomly, whilst letting you interact should you get bored of just watching. The former is the obvious choice, though, as you have indeed just bought the game and will want to get in on the action straight away. Here you have to choose one of the ten before cracking on with the 'choonage'. The easiest way to explain each of the sections in Electroplankton is by splitting them into their ten separate categories (with their Western names...).

Screenshot for Electroplankton (Import) on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Tracy

Screenshot for Electroplankton (Import) on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Lumiloop

Screenshot for Electroplankton (Import) on Nintendo DS- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

The whole idea of one man creating a game might seem strange, but Iwai-san has made the perfect DS title - fun for everyone!

Graphics

Whilst looking a little plain at times, the watery nature and general presentation of Electroplankton is more than adequate.

Sound

The range of musical notes, sounds, background tunes and playback of recorded clips is astounding and will really blow people away if the game comes to the West, as promised.

Value

With the ten different plankton modes, each with a variety of tones, tunes and sounds themselves, the fun is endless...but only in short bursts now and then.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Without a doubt Electroplankton is why the Nintendo DS exists. It can barely be classed as a proper game, more an experiment, but that is what the system is all about! Music afficianados, gamers and non-gamers alike will get immense fun out of this. Pray for a Western release, or import this quickly as there is no language barrier.

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02.06.2005

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Developer

Toshio Iwai

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Rhythm

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (5 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

A clever little game that isn't as gimmicky as people might think. There's actually subtance in there...and good substance!! :eek:

Hehe :lol:

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Its good, but not nearly as good as
WarioWare:Twisted.

Seriously, Twisted is by far the best Wario game, and one of the best games of the last 5 years.

Please give our little random review show a try;
http://randomreviewshow.com/index.html
We have special effects and umm...stuff...
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I can't wait for WarioWare, true - shame it's been delayed til later in 2005 for Europe! :roll:

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Any certain dates for WWT?

Also, nice review, i always had the impression that nobody liked it, they said that the tilt sensor was not very good quality. How did it feel?

360 Gamertag: shiptoncraig
PSN: shiptoncraig
Steam: Guess what?
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I've read that also, but seriously had no problems other than quickly trying to switch between left and right when jumping from vertical wall to vertical wall - and that's not the sensor's fault, but my slow reaction speed!

WWT: http://www.cubed3.com/viewnews.php?storyid=3933 Delayed from a June release to Q4 :-(

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I'm surprised, I've not heard good stuff about this. I'd consider getting it if it was cheap, though.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Definitely - hardcore platform fans might be turned a little cold by this, but as a cheap alternative to the norm its quality is definitely high enough to warrant some time with it.

Those looking for something fresh will likely lap this up!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Big fan of yoshi games, might get this one.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I definitely prefer it Yoshi's Story, that's for sure!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Oh no, did Yoshi's classic sing song not make it in the game? That song is oh so cute! :-D

Awesome stuff 'Raz, this is on the to-buy list definitely.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Shame it's bombed over here in the UK! :roll: And shouldn't that be your 'bankruptcy list'? :eek: You're going to be skint Nick!!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Just import WWT
Its pretty cheap in lots of sites...you will almost certainly *save* money by importing.

Please give our little random review show a try;
http://randomreviewshow.com/index.html
We have special effects and umm...stuff...
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Thing is, I'm supposed to be getting a review copy from Nintendo and my current financial situation means I'd much rather wait and get it free in all honesty Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

this looks like a really fun game! im not a big fan of music games so maybe i might get this wen it comes out?!?!

I see all these people insulting the Nintendo corporation because of the lack of mature content. Yet there is something about Nintendo (at least their games) that strikes a certain unadulterated feeling of joy!!!  Pokemon Y - 1048-9263-5562

I'm still not sure whether to import this or not - I REALLY want it, and I don't know if they'll include the headphones, etc. for a Western release. Maybe it'll be my first Japanese import in...well, ever.

Great review, really enjoyed reading it. :-D

The idea of no saving your music isn't too appealing, a simple saving feature would have been nice. But, hey! It's a great concept and looks like fun.

360 Gamertag: shiptoncraig
PSN: shiptoncraig
Steam: Guess what?
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Perhaps that's something that will be looked into for a possible Western release...being able to save your creations would indeed be superb!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Aww, I wanted a section called Sheldon! (off spongebob).

Anyway, I'm not sure about this 'game'. Seems like all I could make with it is random noises, and no save function is dissapointing to say the least...

Now on twitter, predicting celebrity death headlines! @thedaytheydie
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

To be honest, that's going to bug me now - as I'd not considered a save function before shiptoncraig mentioned it! :sarcy: :alien:

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

"Perhaps that's something that will be looked into for a possible Western release...being able to save your creations would indeed be superb!"

or a second game Smilie
well i might import it, i'll take a look round :Smilie
It sounds great...

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

My little brother and my wife both love it more than I do! Now that's saying something...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I wish I'd stop reading these comments now - I'm THIS close to getting on Lik-Sang and departing with

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Beware - unless you order from Lik-Sang Europe you will get slapped with about

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Oooh, sounds just as good as I was hoping. Can't wait for it to come out on western shores (well, Europe) my DS is gathering dust worryingly fast, I crave innovation!

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

You don't fancy giving the likes of Touch & Go or Pac-Pix? Might as well try and get this cheap on eBay...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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