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Spectrobes: Origins

Platform(s): Wii
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: Genki
Release Date: Aug. 18, 2009

About Brad Hilderbrand

I've been covering the various facets of gaming for the past five years and have been permanently indentured to WorthPlaying since I borrowed $20K from Rainier to pay off the Russian mob. When I'm not furiously writing reviews, I enjoy RPGs, rhythm games and casual titles that no one else on staff is willing to play. I'm also a staunch supporter of the PS3.


Wii Preview - 'Spectrobes: Origins'

by Brad Hilderbrand on March 29, 2009 @ 5:32 a.m. PDT

Spectrobes: Origins is a sci-fi action adventure game where players will use the unique Wii controls to explore vast worlds, excavate three-dimensional fossils and unravel an engaging story while discovering the key to preventing a galactic threat.

Even though the Spectrobes franchise has been huge in Japan for a long while now, the franchise is just starting to really catch on in America. After two fairly successful DS outings, the series is about to make its Wii debut, and fans of fossilized monsters are going to be beside themselves with excitement.

While Spectrobes: Origins follows up where the DS titles have left off, Genki is promising that players need not be exceptionally well-versed in the Spectrobes universe in order to understand the game. Basically, all you need know is that the Krull are back, and it's up to Rallen and his band of monstrous companions to drive them back. Obviously, things run far deeper than they though, and those who have followed the lore will see plenty of familiar faces.

The main area where Origins departs from its predecessors is in battle, where players control Rallen in real-time 3-D combat as he is supported by a team of up to six spectrobes. While on the ship, players can determine which creatures they want to bring into the field with them, be it a balanced team with all elementals and play styles represented, or a squad of punishing bruisers who will sacrifice elemental bonuses in the name of pure power. For those who prefer support characters, spectrobes who heal Rallen or debuff baddies are also available, allowing you to simply worry about hacking and slashing your way to victory.

Those worried about the spectrobes' AI need not fear, as the critters are capable fighters in their own right. Even so, you still have the option to directly control them for a time and set their target and tactics. It's not an incredibly deep system, but in a game aimed at a younger audience, it should work just fine. Also, as spectrobes fight, they grow in power to the point where they can team up with Rallen to unleash a super attack. These highly effective skills are motion-controlled, and whenever a player activates one, a window will pop up on-screen to demonstrate how to hold the Wiimote and Nunchuk.

Aside from combat, players are also required to explore the environment to find fossils in order to summon new spectrobes, and this time around, the unearthing of fossilized remains is handled through a full 3-D, motion-controlled mini-game. In the DS titles, players were forced to carefully excavate every item and artifact they found, thus making for a severely tedious experience. This time around, however, the excavations will only occur when fossils are involved.

The new direction that Spectrobes: Origins is setting should go a long way in broadening its appeal, hopefully breaking it out of the pack of Pokemon clones that seem to clutter the landscape. The fast-paced, action-packed battles are a great leap ahead, and hopefully, the large variety of spectrobes and free-flow combat will keep things exciting. If you're a Wii owner who has been curious about the franchise, then you might have found the perfect time to jump in this fall.

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