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Spectrobes - hands-on

The last time we looked in on Spectrobes it appeared to be nothing more than Disney's shot at the Pokemon crown. After spending a great deal more time with the title, however, we're inclined to say it could offer Poké-fans a whole new universe to explore. On the surface it looks like Spectrobes is a cheap knock-off, asking kids to once again collect hordes of super-powered critters and pit them against each other, but there's definitely a lot more going on than you might think.

For starters, the way you find, train and raise the Spectrobes is much more involved than capturing a wandering Pokemon. You begin by scanning the solar system for fossils buried deep in the ground. To get 'em outta there, you use the stylus and microphone to excavate the piece safely into your loving arms. The real trick is gently brushing and drilling away dirt without harming the unformed Spectrobe. Once you get it to 95% clear, you can pull it out of the ground, but snag a 100% fossil and you've really got something special on your hands.

After getting the fossil home, you place it in an incubation chamber and feed it minerals. The minerals act like nutritional supplements, boosting aspects of your monster as it grows. If you're working on a 100% creature, nurturing it properly and incubating it in comfortable surroundings you can birth a level one Spectrobe with stats that rival a level 40, buffed-out behemoth. This fact alone makes the game a bit more intriguing than the next Pokemon, just because your actions will directly affect what kind of creature you breed.

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