Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spectrobes


This review will be far from perfect. In fact after you guys finish reading this review I believe you will want to lynch me and then feed me to the piranha. No, its not the fact that I am going to beat this game down and give it a really really bad review. Its more of a fact that I have reach an indecision after playing this game. Let me start from the beginning

Spectrobes is a game which has it in their mind to dethrone the pioneer of catch em all cute looking monster called Pokemon, and with the imminent release of Pokemon Pearl and Diamond in a month time, Spectrobes is taking a huge gamble releasing the game now. For those that are ill informed. Spectrobes are about collecting fossil from obscure planet, reviving the fossil to life and then using them to battle outer space alien. Cool concept, but how does the game work?

Spectrobes starts off with a cool CG movie where the main character called Rallen rides up the lift while his equipment is morphed onto his body ( Think Kamen Rider). From the get go, you will realize that Rallen is a trouble brewing guy, hence the game throws in his conscious in the form of a girl called Jeena. She will be informing and teaching Rallen ( that’s you, incase you haven’t notice) what to do. Then there is Commander Grant, the old man that is wiser then the owl and tougher then diamond which keeps Rallen and Jeena in line.The in game animation for dialogue is pretty cool. The character changes expression according to their dialogue to express themselves. The dialogue is quirky and not corny enough to make you squirm.

The graphic are pretty cool actually, it seems a bit weird when you first look at it, but it sorts of grows on you. You cant really see into the details of your character face while moving around but the detail of the surrounding is not half bad, this is especially true when you first start off in the game, the rain effect is nice and makes the whole scenario slightly misty. The battle graphic and the whole battle concept though is something left to be desired. When engaged in battle, the player and the monster will be thrown into a circular room and fight. The controls for the battle is less then perfect, in each battle you will be accompanied by two Spectrobes, one on your right and another on your left. To control them, you need to utilize the R and L shoulder button. When a bar on the bottom left fills up, either one of your Spectrobes can attack. Rallen can attack anytime, he can also charge up the power to use a combine attack from your Spectrobes which hits all monster in the area. To avoid attacks from the opposing monster, Rallen can run around the circular room with the Spectrobes each on your left and right. There is no way to control the Spectrobes individually ( For now that is, this might change further on in game)

Spectrobes is built as an RPG game, hence the dialog, the quest and the tips to move around finding items. But the battle system at its core is action based, furthermore there is also the quirky excavation minigame. The excavation allows Rallen to find new fossil to be changed into Spectrobes, mineral deposit used to grow the Spectrobes and cubes which contains information regarding the planet. The only way to find all this treasure is via usage of child Spectrobes. Tap the child Spectrobes and it will expand a search radius ala sonar style which reveals anything that is buried around the area that its standing. There is only one problem, there is no map to wide scan an area, and the map is pretty huge, so you might have to spend hours around an area and scan it bit by bit. This might get tedious in the future, but right when you just started the game, it feels adventurous.

Excavating the fossil or anything else from the earth is not an easy task either. To excavate, first the child Spectrobes have to find the buried treasure, then you tap it once to reveal the earth. Depending on how deep its buried, you might have to tap the earth a few more time to break open the floor till the tip of the buried treasure can be seen. From here, it’s a slightly slower process of excavating the treasure with 2 types of drill, a big drill which reveals an area easier and a smaller drill to nick and pick the harder to get area. And there is also a blower to blow away the dust and fragment of earth which covers the treasure. The whole process itself is quite engaging, if I am allowed to say so. There is a sense of realistic when you blow into the microphone to clear an area or when you gently drill away the earth covering the treasure and hears the drill hit the treasure. Oh, did I mention that, if you hit the treasure too many times accidentally with the drill, the treasure will be destroyed.

After the treasure is excavated, if it’s a fossil you will then bring it onto your space ship to give the fossil life, so to speak. To “wake” the fossil up, the fossil will be incubated and you can call the fossil or talk to it till it wakes up, although blowing into the microphone will do the trick also. The “voice” level have to hit a certain level that is designated on the screen for an amount of time before the fossil can wakes up. Although there might be hidden trick on how to wake a Spectrobes, this though remains to be seen.Spectrobes and Rallen levels up individually, even though the Spectrobes might be high level, Rallen also need to up his level via fighting or anything else. Equipment can also be used to strengthen Rallen.

Conclusion

Spectrobes is an interesting and innovative idea towards the collect em all mania, the excavation idea, the touch screen incorporation and the sci-fi theme cannot be helped but compared itself head to head against the cute cuddly yellow electrifying monster. The graphic of Spectrobes is not exactly top notch but It does maintain its own standard. All in all, Spectrobes is a pretty decent game at the start, but will the excavation process be a tedious thing in the future remains to be seen.( Told you I will be indecisive)

For this game, I give it a 7 out of 10!

Post-Gaming Session Update: Its been quite a few days since I last played this game and reviewed it for all. Call me a guy that is not persistent or maybe I just don't follow the collect em all hype. Spectrobes is now officially collecting dust at a far corner in my room. The game is cool, the graphic is so and so but its not as fun as it is for me.

The game can be ordered from HERE






2 comments:

Samus Ng said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jason Ng said...

Nice. ok! thanks!