Spectrobes

If you still haven't leveled up your armada of Pokemon to unbelievable heights, there's a chance you'll be interested in checking out an entirely new set of cuddly-then-deadly monsters... and this time they're from space. Spectrobes is being billed as a major player for the pokethrone this fall, but we gotta say, so far the character designs look like they were scribbled in the margins of a junior high notebook.

The gameplay revolves around two junior Interplanetary Patrol officers and their inevitably zany adventures with the recently discovered spectrobes. First you'll have to search for the little things by excavating various dig sites strewn through the galaxy. As you might have guessed, "excavate" translates to a whole lot of stylus waving and blowing into the DS' microphone.

Once unearthed, they're nothing but tiny critters barely worth your enemy's notice. But with the use of virtual battlegrounds, you can beef them up into evolved, muscular monstrosities, ready to bring down the Krawl, the stand-in evil race for the Spectrobes universe. Just like the pocket monsters, you'll be able to carve out a personalized collection of fightin' creatures and trade them with friends.

The action RPG elements make up the bulk of the game, but in addition to wireless Spectrobe trading, you can link up against friends for an all-out, one-on-one battle. Still not satisfied? There'll be an online store where you can download new items as well, putting the Wi-Fi Network to use. No word if you'll be able to pit your spectrobes against friends around the globe, but odds are plenty of local kiddies will have copies of the game when it ships this fall.