(WiiWare)

Equilibrio (WiiWare)

Game Review

Equilibrio Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Equiibrio might not have the flash of a Kororinpa, but you're still getting an enjoyable game at a much cheaper price.

While we've already seen several 3D ball-rolling titles like Sega's Super Monkey Ball and Hudson's Kororinpa put the tilt function of the Wii Remote to good use, Equilibrio marks the first time this unique gameplay experience has been used in a 2D environment. But while Equilibrio does simplify the tilt control method used in those previous releases, it adds in enough new challenges to more than make up for it.

Equilibrio features a single-player game as well as a multiplayer option for up to four players. The single-player game features several modes ranging from the Conquest Mode, which allows the player to play through all 64 of the game's levels one right after another, to the Challenge Mode that allows you to play the same levels, only under strict rules and conditions such as a time or ball limit. If you just want to dive into the game in a quick fashion, you can even select the Random Mode in which the game tosses random levels your way.

The multiplayer game allows up to four players to play the game at the same time via a split-screen feature that splits the screen in half for two players and into 4 quadrants for three to four players. While this does greatly reduce the screen area, it's still quite easy to follow the action as long as you focus only on your section of the screen. Much like the single-player game, there are several game modes to choose from in the multiplayer game. Conquest Mode is basically the same as it is in the single-player game, only more than one player will be playing at the same time. There's also a Rally Mode where you can take on up to three other players in a race to finish 5 of the game's levels. The first player to finish the final level wins the rally. Finally, there's the Match Mode where up to four players can take on five of the game's levels in an attempt to outscore each other. The player with the highest point total at the end of the final level wins the match.

The basic game play in Equilibrio couldn't be any simpler. You basically tilt your Wii Remote to the left or right in order to tilt the entire level onscreen. This will cause your ball to roll across the many platforms in each level. Your goal is to roll your ball to the exit hidden somewhere in each level. Of course you'll have to deal with spikes, acid pools, and other dangers in each level trying to stop you. You'll even have to take into account the various types of balls you'll be using, as well. While a steel ball is nearly indestructible, it's also heavy and requires a higher degree of inclination to make it roll. On the other hand, the glass and stone balls tend to roll more easily, but can often break if they slam into walls or platformer. You'll have to constantly adjust your techniques to take these various ball differences into account.

The game starts you off with a limited amount of tilting freedom in order to give you a chance to come to grips with how the game is played. But as you progress through the levels, you'll be given more and more freedom with which you can tilt the level. The game also features a very smooth and gradual climb in difficulty, so you'll have plenty of time to get a feel for the game before the challenge ramps up. The game will even adjust the difficulty setting as you play in order to fit your skill set. If you fail during a particular level a number of times the game will offer you the option of skipping the level and will even drop the difficulty setting down a notch at various times throughout the game. It's a small touch, but it does manage to keep the game from becoming overly frustrating, especially during the later levels that are fairly high in difficulty.

As is becoming the trend with Wii releases lately, Equilibrio also features support for the Wii Fit Balance Board. Now while this option has proven to be a bit too sensitive in many titles it's been used in recently, the board actually works fairly well in Equilibrio if you can accept it for the fun control alternative it is. You'll quickly find yourself flailing away on the board as you attempt to use your shifting body weight to guide your ball along the tricky layouts in the various levels. The balance board is certainly not nearly as intuitive a control solution as the Wii Remote, but if you're looking to have a good laugh and test your balance out a bit, you'll likely find this unique control option a fun experience.

It's worth mentioning that the control itself can be a bit shaky at times, more due to becoming overly sensitive once you attain the full range of movement from the tilt function. It's certainly not anything that could be classified as annoying, but it does take a bit of getting used to. Some of it can also be attributed to the way some levels are laid out that require you to be very precise in your tilting, perhaps a bit more precise than the sensitive tilt control will allow for. A few tweaks here and there in the play control and menu setup might have helped out, but the overall game play experience is still enjoyable nonetheless.

Visually Equilibrio isn't much to look at. The levels themselves are very basic and although you'll get a variety of colour and texture changes, there's not much to the visual presentation other than the platforms that make up each level. In truth, there's not really a big need for flashy visuals, but when you've gotten used to staring at the lush environments of say a Super Monkey Ball or Kororinpa title, Equilibrio proves to be a pretty significant step down in terms of graphics quality.

Much like the visuals in the game, the music and sound effects feature a "less is more" approach to their audio presentation. There are a number of catchy little musical numbers, but they're so short in length that you'll hear them repeated quite often throughout each level. And for those times when you find yourself stuck on one level for any significant amount of time, the music can become quite grating after awhile. The sound effects are about the same, but they play such a small role in the overall scheme of things that you won't find yourself noticing the slight lack of variety. In truth, even this basic audio experience is more than adequate considering the style of action taking place.

Conclusion

Equilibrio is one of those games that isn't overly flashy, but has it where it counts. The simple game play design and challenging level set will keep you busy for quite some time, and at a mere 500 Nintendo Points, it's actually a bargain. It might not feature the depth or production quality of a Super Monkey Ball or Kororinpa, but when it's all said and done, the game is fun and won't break your wallet. And that's a winning combination as far as we're concerned.

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User Comments (58)

Objection

#3

Objection said:

Looks like I might pick this up with SameGame next week unless I do SIGE or next week's offering instead. (I'm catching up.) Thanks for the review!

Rum_Rapture

#6

Rum_Rapture said:

@WarioFan63: Hear, hear ;).

I'm surprised there was no comparison to Niki: Rock 'n' Ball. I thought this was going to turn out a lot like that. I mean, I know that they control differently, but to an onlooker who's played neither, there is a similarity... No?

BLueSS

#7

BLueSS said:

Hmm, maybe I'll have to check out Kororinpa.

And no mention of the awkward menus after random/challenge modes.

CorbsAdmin

#9

Corbs said:

The designated reviewer had something come up so I took the review.

Sycoraxic98

#10

Sycoraxic98 said:

OH! OH! I CALLED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TOLD YOU! BAM! 7!

Ah well, if Corbie reviews Cave Story, and gives it only a 7, time to hunt him down-I'm expecting a 10.

James

#12

James said:

A seven is not average in our eyes. This game will sport a few areas where the game is blatantly let down to the detriment of its overall quality and enjoyment, but it is NOT average. A seven is still a recommendation, but you might want to consider what we thought let the game down and decide for yourself if it would bother you before buying.

Seems like it's a fun game with a lack of depth. Straight 7/10 in my book.

CorbsAdmin

#13

Corbs said:

Lack of depth, bland visual presentation, shaky and sometimes overly sensitive controls, and repetitive music knocked the game down a few notches to a 7. But still a good score and a good game, especially for only 500 Wii Points.

BLueSS

#14

BLueSS said:

@Sycoraxic98: I totally agree. If Cave Story ends up anywhere near a 7, this site will need to redo it's rating system and criteria.

CorbsAdmin

#15

Corbs said:

@ BLueSS - Now how do you even know the game will deserve more than a 7. Have you played the WiiWare version? :)

BLueSS

#16

BLueSS said:

@Corbie: The game would have to have a lot of transition problems by the developers of the port to get a 7 by this scale.

bengyenah

#17

bengyenah said:

And from my "Reviews Lagging" post, you would think I was the only person in the world that thought the review was taking a while. Nice to see that I am not alone after all! Thanks Corbie, IMHO, I think 7's are a wonderful number!

CorbsAdmin

#18

Corbs said:

@ BLueSS - Very true. I'm quite looking forward to the WiiWare Cave Story game myself. In fact, only Adventure Island and Swords & Soldiers rank above it on my WiiWare most-wanted list. :)

Oh and bengyenah, the review was lagging. I think that was apparent once the Top 20 came and went and still no review. :D

WolfRamHeart

#19

WolfRamHeart said:

@Corbie
Wow, you actually scored this game one point lower than Marble Saga: Kororinpa. Do you feel Marble Saga is worse than Equilibrio? Not that a seven is a bad score but I liked the original Kororinpa and I thought that the sequel would naturally be an improvement. I'm only asking because you reviewed both of these games and I held off buying Marble Saga after reading your review. Plus, do you know something that we don't; like is Cave Story coming to WiiWare this Monday?

CorbsAdmin

#21

Corbs said:

I loved the first Kororinpa title, but the sequel changed the physics up and it really hurt the overall game play performance. I still enjoyed it, but it could have been so much better. Equilibrio isn't nearly as deep or fancy as Marble Saga, but for 500 Wii Points, it's a pretty fun little title.

And we haven't heard a definitive confirmation that Cave Story is coming Monday. They've been keeping these WiiWare titles under wraps here lately.

Sean_Aaron

#22

Sean_Aaron said:

I bought it before going to work and played it with the balance board; not bad for 500 points, though level 19 really tried my patience (and offered to let me skip it, but I wasn't having it!). I did level 20 and decided to give it a rest.

Some kind of sensitivity setting would be nice as would some kind of indication that the game was auto-saving your progress (which it does).

cheese

#23

cheese said:

YAY 7!! But I think I'll save my points for swords and soldiers and eduardo the samurai toaster (if it would just hurry up and get released already)

WolfRamHeart

#25

WolfRamHeart said:

@Corbie
Thanks for the insight! Well, when we do get Cave Story I hope you are the one doing the review for it but try not to give it a seven. I guess I'll save my points just incase Cave Story or Swords and Soldiers comes out Monday. Also, I read your review of Uncharted Waters: New Horizons and was wondering would you consider it as deep as Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen? New Horizons sure looks cool but I haven't heard enough feedback about it yet.

Neomega

#26

Neomega said:

CORBIE AND YOUR DAMNED SEVENS!

I HEARBY BAN THAT NUMBER FROM THE INTERNET!

That means no more 1337 talk either!

CorbsAdmin

#27

Corbs said:

Uncharted Waters: New Horizons features a lot more micromanaging to it, but it's not quite as well-rounded as Ogre Battle. Close, but not quite.

@ Sean Aaron - I too was wondering if the game was actually saving my progress. Once I reached Level 48, I turned the system off and wondered if it had saved. Luckily it had. :)

KnucklesSonic8

#33

KnucklesSonic8 said:

I'm in the Level 40 range myself.

Another complaint I have (minor thing) is that you can't adjust the sensitivity on the Balance Board like in other games.

Oh and I for one am itching to get MS Kororinpa so this is a nice diversion to hold me off until then. Although Corbie doesn't like MSK that much, many say its really good and well worth a purchase and given the price that it retails for in addition to the large amounts of content found within the game, it's hard to complain. Can't wait to get it. (Over here in Canada, it's $34.99.)

CorbsAdmin

#34

Corbs said:

I wouldn't call it "spare time" really. As if it was my spare time I would have been playing a shooter, not a ball-rolling game. :D

And I didn't say that I didn't like Marble Saga, it was just quite a disappointment when compared to the first game that I loved so much.

BLueSS

#35

BLueSS said:

@EVERYONE: This game is different when playing with the WiiMote vs the balance board.

The game automatically chooses the difficulty level you play at, and if you are below difficulty level 3 your levels will be much easier. Chances are, if you use the balance board, you will stay at level 1 the whole time and will miss out on a few fun levels that would be impossible to do with the board.

So definitely play the game primary with the WiiMote.

tyrrok

#36

tyrrok said:

nice review corbie. i got the game today and would have to agree with your score! fun game and good use of the wii remote.

calculon

#37

calculon said:

@Sean (22): I was the same - got stuck on a level with loops and warps until I figured out to flip the wiimote around once I was just about above a platform I needed to land on.

I made it to level 30 before resting but it was a bit of a bumpy ride after level 20, with some levels scoring me zero for taking too long and others scoring me 8000+ points. Suffice to say my difficulty level has lessened somewhat since level 20.

I'm actually quite impressed with this game - the difficulty curve is good and for the money I don't mind playing something that doesn't look too great (in all honesty I barely noticed the music issues Corbie bought up as I was too engrossed in finishing the challenges quickly) The controls can be a bit sticky or over-sensitive but like any motion based Wii game it's just a matter of familiarising yourself with the nuances.

Well worth the 7/10 score - nice review Corbie!

Wiiloveit

#38

Wiiloveit said:

I enjoyed this game, but I honestly thought it was due to get a six out of ten. I haven't played it for too long though, so maybe I'll "get it" shortly.

Sean_Aaron

#39

Sean_Aaron said:

I'm all balance board all the way, so I'm impressed how playable the game is using that as the interface, but as BLueSS says this will probably mean playing on the lowest difficulty, but frankly I'm not that bothered as it's just a diversion. I did get my difficulty upgraded for one level due to a chain of quick victories, but lost it on the next level :-).

Toddr

#40

Toddr said:

I should be getting a points card today, so I'll be picking this one up. Have they changed them to Nintendo points cards yet in Canada?

Crazed

#42

Crazed said:

@Corbie- I couldn't agree with the score more. It's a good game at a great price, and the review reflects that nicely. Well done, Corbie.

Oh, and hopefully the other reviewer is all right.

Toddr

#43

Toddr said:

Alright, I bought the game, have played 50 levels with only skipping one (take that Corbie! :P), but I can not figure out how to play levels I've already beaten. Do you have to beat the game before you can go back to past levels?

CorbsAdmin

#44

Corbs said:

I'm assming you do have to beat the game to go back to the levels. I couldn't figure out a way to go back to them. Oh and I played the levels blindfolded and holding the controller with my feet. Take that! :P

BLueSS

#46

BLueSS said:

Yeah, you have to beat ALL the levels before you can play them again. :
After that, there's a menu option all the way to the right (next to the reset profile, so be super careful when choosing it).

Toddr

#47

Toddr said:

What levels did you skip Corbie? I had to skip one around 45 I think. It was one where you could spin the level all the way around. It had a pink background and was overloaded with spikes.

XCWarrior

#48

XCWarrior said:

This game will be a buy sometime down the line, but I just picked up Marble Sage: Koronripa so I'm good for awhile

KnucklesSonic8

#49

KnucklesSonic8 said:

I beat all the levels on Saturday and now I have to beat all the levels again (it says I'm 77% done).

Toddr

#50

Toddr said:

Really? I got 82% done for completing conquest. I think you get the rest from doing the challenges.

AENIGMA

#52

AENIGMA said:

Nice game, but it's the 1st WiiWare game I bought, finished and deleted in under 2 hours. I'd give it a 6/10.

My only gripe is that they should have placed the "Play a level" option at the start of the options instead of at the end. If you're trying to go for High Scores, it's a pain to have to scroll all the way to the end each time.

Now back to Bonsai Barber (up to 1400+ Stars so far)

VenomTheEvil

#53

VenomTheEvil said:

Hmmm I may just get this.

Still waiting for europe to get bit trip beat.... I have 600 points waiting.....

longtimegamer

#54

longtimegamer said:

@Corbie-I just got this and I like the controls. I was actually impressed with them. I don't think they were over sensitive, but just right. Real smooth. No delay that I could recall either.

canadianwiiuser

#55

canadianwiiuser said:

I'm still waiting to try this game. I downloaded it but the Wii goes blank before it loads it. Anyone heard of this problem???

MegaAdam

#56

MegaAdam said:

@ Canadianwiiuser:

Since the menu update, my Wii's been somewhat unstable. If I play something, exit the channel, and then select something else, sometimes it'll freeze up and have to be manually reset. A giveaway is if it stops reading the game disc and the disc channel is blank. Try booting up the game as the first thing you do once you turn the wii on.

Simon_Deku

#57

Simon_Deku said:

I'll pass. And about the whole " Corbie only gives sevens" thing, didn't he give New Super Mario Bros. Wii a 10?

James

#58

James said:

There's fashionably late and just plain late for some comments. This review was posted in April 2009, a good six months before NSMBWii was actually released, so it's unlikely anyone would have known about that score just yet.

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