Spectrobes: The Story (3 out of 5)
Spectrobes is an action, role-playing video game for the Wii developed by Genki and published by Disney Interactive Studios that pits you and your team of powerful Spectrobes against a dark force that devours whole galaxies. The environments are open and pleasing in this video game and they immerse your mind and senses in the adventure and keep your energy high as you play this title. There’s a great variety of interesting and engaging creatures to battle and challenge you through out the whole adventure of about 25 hours.
This is the first time Spectrobes has made it to a console, it previously was only available on hand held consoles, and this effort is useful and engrossing enough to entertain casual gamers, but the hardcore Wii gamer is only going to be entertained by the core game play mechanics for an hour or so. The plot is kind of bland and predictable but young gamers and casual gamers won’t notice this as much as the hardcore Wii fanatic.
The combat and game play mechanics is unsophisticated and becomes repetitive enough that the hardcore gamer is going to be bored at times. They also didn’t add any compelling ability to customize your Spectrobes in interesting and useful ways. This ability would have improved the ability of this Wii title to entertain immensely and is definitely a missed opportunity for Genki and Disney Interactive Studios to grab a large following of Wii gamers.
How Does Spectrobes Look? (3 out of 5)
Spectrobes engages and entertains your eyes with brightly colored, crisp environments that are open and visually appealing. You travel across and play among sun-scorched deserts and crystal clear streams on exotic planets around the known galaxy. Jagged edges will appear on the borders of otherwise smooth objects and character models at times when the on screen action is intense. The character animations are smooth, fast, and action packed in this Wii action video game. The adult Spectrobes are flamboyant and intimidating and have nice attacks that are so intense they’ll occasionally slow down the action on the screen.
The Sound in Spectrobes (3 out of 5)
Spectrobes includes a great musical score that soothes and entertains your senses as you explore the open environments and mysterious temple ruins on the various planets. They included nice ambient sound effects of rushing water and engaging sounds of battle but these ambient effects are marred by a happy sounding rock battle and grating attack cries.
Do the Controls Included with Spectrobes Work? (4 out of 5)
Spectrobes actually includes usable and satisfying motion controls implemented in the real-time battle system employed that were fun about eighty percent of the time. The motions include a simple but responsive swing of the Wii remote to tell your Spectrobes to attack and a tilting of the Nunchuk to dodge. One of the best parts was using the Spectrobes special attacks. To execute these special moves you have to hold the Wii remote and Nunchuk in set poses. You can even perform combos by attacking the same monster with a Spectrobe and your character at the same time. The controls responded quickly to my movements and there were no Wii remote accidents or disasters experienced while playing Spectrobes. It would also be interesting to see what the developers could have done with the Wii MotionPlus to make Spectrobes more fun.
Is the Game Play of Spectrobes Fun? (4 out of 5)
Spectrobes entertains using game play that tasks you to collect items to feed your growing family of Spectrobes, so that they evolve into combat ready Spectrobes you can take into battle. Your Spectrobes awaken from fossils and begin life in a child form. You have to manage them via a virtual incubator room that was interesting and engaging to use. The young Spectrobes are used for unlocking doors and fetching things, and really useful for helping you figure out puzzles as you explore.
The combat is actually pretty easy to pick up right away and it doesn’t take long to figure out the motions. There’s a bit of depth in the use of specific weapons with certain elemental powers to deal with particular opponents. There’s quite a bit of grinding involved if you want to progress in this video game and keep up to the Krawl. The Krawl will suddenly leap up in levels at times and it might seem unfair at times and can put you way behind if you don’t keep up.
They did include a couple options to improve the playability of Spectrobes but they only help a little bit to improve the chances of a hardcore gamer desiring to play this video game more than once or twice. They included a few small mini games, like one that allows you to resurrect your dead Spectrobes, but these mini games were pretty limited in scope. The second thing they included was a 2-player co-op feature, which allows you to quickly add a friend to the adventure. Unfortunately, your partner is limited to controlling your Spectrobes in this mode.
The Last Word on Spectrobes (4 out of 5)
Spectrobes is a different video game that is hard to pin down. On the one hand this Wii action video game is probably a bit deep in some areas for the average casual gamer, but they can certainly learn. On the other hand a hardcore gamer isn’t going to be entertained for long by the depth and game play included with this title. Definitely an entertaining video game for the target audience of this title, Spectrobes is going to be a required taste.