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Wall-E - hands-on

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With curious binocular-like eyes and a metallically high-pitched voice, Wall-E stars as an adorable trash-compacter in this summer’s Pixar film of the same name. Plot details are scarce, but from what we can discern, Wall-E is the last surviving trash cleaner on a long-since abandoned Earth. One day, a recon spaceship arrives with the sleek iPod-looking Eve, Wall-E’s romantic interest. When she has to leave, Wall-E hops on board her ship and heads to space. We recently got our hands on an unfinished build for the Wii to tie in with the film’s release and came away confident that it will properly channel the charm of the titular hero.

Wall-E’s world (be it in space or on Earth) consists of puzzles and deadly obstacles to avoid. The first level we played was a dusty, desolate city. Buildings stretched forever into the distance and there was garbage everywhere. You navigate Wall-E with the thumb stick and jump by hitting A. Jumping compacts Wall-E into a little box, which can be used to damage enemy robots in later levels.

Most puzzles are solved by heaving garbage cubes at switches to activate bridges or open doors. To do so, you’ll need to navigate towards a garbage pile or vending machine and swing the remote to create cubes (of which you can hold up to three). Shaking the Nunchuck throws them at wherever your Wiimote is pointed. Aiming and chucking admittedly took some getting used to, but felt natural the more we used it.

The second level we demoed put us in control of Eve and enabled us to race down a tunnel in a timed race against the clock, all the while avoiding obstacles like menacing fan blades. Controlling Eve is simple and intuitive - just point where you want to go with the Wiimote, and hold A to accelerate. Use Z to brake and B to blast objects with Eve’s deadly laser, which is perfect for clearing paths. Again, controlling Eve is actually pretty simple and breaks up the platforming sections well.

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