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Spectrobes: Beyond the Portal review

AT A GLANCE
  • Solid art design and graphics
  • Seeing what evolves when you feed them
  • Excavating portions are quite good
  • Battle still simplistic
  • Clumsy controls
  • Grade-school dialogue

The first Spectrobes was a space-based, 3D clone of Pokemon, except you were digging up your critters, recreating them from fossils, and then using two of them at a time to fight off alien invaders. It had some great character designs, was nearly crippled by an absolutely useless real-time battle system in which the shoulder buttons executed attacks, and ended up selling remarkably well. The sequel makes marked improvements in most regards, though it still has quite a distance to go.

The plot just retreads the first game, but does it better: There are new invaders and bosses, so main man Rallen (you) again has to wade through cheesy dialogue and bounce from planet to planet beating in alien skulls and collecting as many of the 185 Spectrobes you can find. Gotta unearth ‘em all, or so they say.

When you disembark on a planet, your character wanders around looking for fossils and other goals – with an over-the-shoulder 3D view this time instead of the first game’s isometric view. Enemies are visible on this map, and can be punched, laser blasted, or bashed in the piehole with a sword. The controls are wonky here though, a strange combination of d-pad, buttons, and stylus action.

Some enemies on the map are too big for Rallen to handle alone. That’s when your two Spectrobes enter the fray. You control one entirely and the other acts on its own, with you jumping from one to the other at will. This actually works pretty well, much better than the awkward, “both at once” maneuvering of the first game.

More Info

Release date: Oct 07 2008 - DS (US)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Disney Interactive Studios
Developed by: Jupiter Corporation
Franchise: Spectrobes
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Mild Fantasy Violence

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