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Spectrobes: Origins - WII - Review

Following the footsteps of Nintendo’s Pokemon, Disney Interactive and Genki have struck gold with their first-ever release of the Spectrobes franchise on the Nintendo Wii. As an action-RPG that debuted on the Nintendo DS, the series has spun off into novels and continues make waves with its target demographic. Now on the Nintendo Wii, players will embark through sprawling levels in 3D with a little help from their friends, the Spectrobes. Is it as enthralling the DS iterations? The short answer: yes.

The story of Spectrobes: Origins revolves around two heroes named Rallen and Jeena. They are the prototypical heroes that serve as the “ready to save the world” protagonists that can be found within countless other games in the genre. Investigating a mysterious energy that was found somewhere deep in the galaxy, their journey to find the truth isn’t as easy they once perceived. Even when revisiting several key moments from their quests through the DS titles, Rallen and Jeena are in for a world of surprise in Spectrobes: Origins. While it won’t surprise gamers who often play these “save the world” type titles, Origins does its job fantastically well at keeping the gamer entertained – especially considering since it caters to the younger audiences.

 

Battling the Krell, the Spectrobes are always at the aide of our heroes as they explore several planets. The Spectrobes themselves are small creatures that are found within fossils that players have to excavate. With three starter Spectrobes to begin the title, Origins isn’t going to win awards for the best concept due to that Genki and Disney are exploring common grounds that a handful of Pokemon copycats have ventured. What Origins does have is more than 100 Spectrobes to collect; and having them hidden all throughout the planets Rallen and Jeena visit, it does have  the replay value is high for its console debut.

While in the DS iterations, the excavation system was done through the touch screen, Origins implements the Wii remote as well as it could. Players have to free the Spectrobe from the fossil via special tools such as the drill, hammer and laser. As the player removes the excess rock surrounding the Spectrobe, players have to beware of accidentally harming the Spectrobe itself, which is indicated through the life bar. The better the player is able to keep the health bar at a hearty level, the higher level the Spectrobe will be when it emerges from its fossil. If we are basing it on the controls, Origins excellently implements the features of the Wii remote and nunchuk combo. At times, it’ll make players feel as if they were a paleontologist looking for dinosaurs – an idea that should be explored on the Wii sooner or later.

 

In battle, the controls of the Spectrobes themselves aren’t as reliable as the excavation system. Many times – which, in the majority, were the boss battles – the controls didn’t serve to the best interest of the player. Swinging the Wii remote upward to control the Spectrobes and using the Nunchuk to guide the human heroes, the controls aren’t overly complicated. The main issues revolve in high intensity battles where targeting becomes tricky. If players can learn to overcome the targeting, then there should be no protests when it comes to finishing Origins

Additionally, there’s drop in and drop out cooperative play that should attract a whole new crowd of gamers who normally wouldn’t touch Spectrobes; this crowd would be the parents of the children playing said title. Parents who are hearing an earful from their child that the title is too hard or complicated for them are eligible to jump in and assist them at anytime. This, too, goes for anyone – if there’s a friend who doesn’t like to watch but would rather play along, well, in general, Origins permits a much better gaming experience.

Gameplay: 7.9
The precision of the controls could be fine tuned and the Spectrobes could use a little more diversity. Outside of those two minor complaints, Spectrobes: Origins does well in the gameplay department.

Graphics: 7.6
While the cut scenes are better than expected and the battle effects are wildly colorful, Origins does stutter from time to time when there’s too much action going on.

Sound: 7.0
The voice-overs reek of boredom and over-the-top acting. Still, the title isn’t half bad with its audio due to the better than average sound effects for the Wii.

Difficulty: Easy

Concept: 7.5
Not an exaggeratedly complex title, Spectrobes: Origins is in a league of it’s own on the Nintendo Wii where the action-RPG genre is quite thin.

Multiplayer: 7.6
Cooperative play is one of the better assets of Origins.

Overall: 7.7
Spectrobes: Origins makes for a surprisingly delightful action-RPG. It is, by no means, the most original or most exotic game on the Nintendo Wii, but for a console that is looking for its next big title to lure its gamers back, Spectrobes: Origins is a great pick-up for any gamer.

Good

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