Spore infects the DS

Creature customization is the key to pimping out your perfect pet in this shrink-wrapped adventure

The DS version of Spore won%26rsquo;t be processing the massive universe of content to be included in its PC counterpart. You won%26rsquo;t evolve your creature from a single-celled state, challenge other tribes in the real-time strategy segment, develop a flourishing society, or conquer alien cultures as you explore planets spread across a near infinite galaxy.

Instead of following the epic journey of a microscopic organism that evolves into a race of space-faring aliens, Spore: Creatures on the DS will focus on crafting the perfect pet. A typical story, which sends your UFO crashing onto an alien planet with a younger sibling - who gets captured and needs rescuing before you can blink an eye - sets the premise.

Above: Spore: Creatures offers more ways to customize your mini-monster than Pokemon and more damage-per-second than Nintendogs

But even though it experiences some shrinkage in content, Spore looks like the kind of game that might keep you hooked for the long haul with a ton of ways to pimp out your pet with various upgrades, parts and abilities. You%26rsquo;ll start out as a rather useless lump of flesh. But as you battle, quest and explore, you%26rsquo;ll unlock new parts and abilities to make your creature as cute and/or deadly as you want.

Want another pair of eyes on your creature%26rsquo;s back just because? Go crazy. The game%26rsquo;s flexible editor lets you adjust the size, color, and placement of a ton of different parts with few limitations. Want to level up its attack a bit? Slashing mobs for XP with the stylus and poking icons to activate abilities feels fresh. Want a few quick mini-games to ease the pain of a long commute? It%26rsquo;s all there. What you can create in Spore: Creatures seems to only be mostly limited by your imagination.

Above: What you can make is mostly limited by your imagination. But what if your imagination sucks?

But here%26rsquo;s the rub: What if your imagination sucks? What if collecting new parts for your beast becomes more of a chore than a pastime? What if Spore on the DS feels like a cheap watered-down version of Will Wright%26rsquo;s mad vision of a game that takes you from the micro to macro? Expect more details on how Spore: Creatures is shaping up on the DS as the game%26rsquo;s release draws nearer. In the meantime,click herefor the latest screenshots of Spore.

Feb 13, 2008

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