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Spectrobes Origins WII Review - -

Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 7.8
Sound 7.5
Value 7.6
Distributor: Madman
Vic Mercer


Spectrobes: Origins

Finally, another real-time action RPG game has arrived on the Nintendo Wii with Spectrobes: Origins that although pays homage to the original premise of the series on the handheld, it introduces a variety of new innovative features to the home console version.

Set in the distant future, gamers control a team of Spectrobes who are attempting to stop a hideously powerful force which threatens entire galaxies. With that said, the original Spectrobes titles were targeting a younger market and this current instalment is no exception to the rule.

The story of Spectrobes: Origins revolves around two members of the Nanairo Planetary Patrol, Rallen and Jeena. These two humans however are also spectrobe masters and have the ability to control these strange and powerful creatures. As your characters get drawn into a strange vortex, you find yourself on the planet of Wyterra who are almost on the brink of extinction, thanks to the dangerous species called the krawl. With a never ending battle to eradicate the krawl from the universe, it is up to Rallen, Jeena and their spectrobes to liberate this planet.

The game does pay homage to games before it such as the Final Fantasy series where the player controls not only their main character but also their elementals. However in Spectrobes: Origins, players control the spectrobes who are linked to the elements. Spectrobes are fortunately littered throughout the universe and must be raised from the fossils they are, into powerful fighting companions. By feeding them, the spectrobes recuperate their health and are awarded experience points which assists them become more powerful.

Each of the spectrobes have their pros and cons and although adult spectrobes can be quite powerful on the battlefield, younger spectrobes are also needed for certain parts of the game as well such as solving puzzles. Although this sounds cool on paper, there are some problems with the AI in the game as these little or big creatures sometimes get stuck or forget what they need to do. This of course adds an “element” of frustration while playing.

Apart from fighting and exploring, the title does contain a few mini-games such to help break up the main gameplay such as excavating fossils to find spectrobes which is similar to the handheld version of the game. Although the game does support a two-player cooperative mode, it’s a little strange as one player will control the main character and the other the spectrobes which is a shame.

Of course, the key to the game is the combat and it’s real-time. The developers have ensured that the innovative control system of the Nintendo Wii controllers go hand in hand with the gameplay. For example, swinging your Wiimote in the air will order your spectrobes to attack which does assist in the enjoyment of the title. It’s basically something “different” but thankfully it doesn’t seem too forced or contrived.

Another interesting part of the spectrobes is that they also have access to special attacks and combo’s which does take a little getting use to but most gamers should have no issue in mastering this aspect. Apart from ordering your characters, you need to control Rallen and Jeena as well who have access to a variety of weapons, most following the theme of the elements. This elemental theme in Spectrobes is due to the fact that the krawl have certain weaknesses towards certain elements such as fire, so there is an aspect of strategy involved.

Graphically, the title looks quite cartoonish on the Nintendo Wii with a varied and colourful palette, some interesting lighting and special effects and some relatively decent gaming environments. The characters are well modelled and the only issue with the game is the camera which occasionally goes into the wrong spot, sometimes blocking the action. The soundtrack suits the game perfectly and when the battle heats up, so does the rock music. Add in a variety of special effects and some cool background ambience and Spectrobes: Origins is a good looking and sounding game.

In conclusion, Spectrobes: Origins is a good attempt at moving the franchise to the console world and works on most levels. The unfortunate aspect of the game is that the RPG aspect seems too contrived and does not add to the genre anything new. With that said, it’s good to see one of these games on the Wii and it makes good use of the motion capabilities of the console. Hopefully a sequel will hopefully address the camera issues and liven up some of the gameplay. Interesting never the less.


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