Spectrobes: Origins - first look

Though no one has yet matched the "Gotta Catch 'Em All" obsessive splendor of Pokemon, Disney's surprise hit series of Spectrobes games has come closer than anyone would have expected. With two solid DS games already under its belt, Disney is now taking their dinos to the Wii.

Spectrobes: Origins picks up where last fall's Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals left off, but since it has a chance to pull in new fans with the system upgrade, it also stands alone as its own story taking place in an entirely new solar system. As in the previous games, your main goal consists of collecting creatures called Spectrobes of five different elemental types to fight against the Krawl. Most of the popular Spectrobes from previous games will return, with around 100 total creatures for you to dig up and collect.

The battle system is definitely changing a bit, with a greater focus on action-RPG fighting with the main character. Summoned Spectrobes will fight alongside you and affect enemies based on their elemental alignment. For example, an ice Spectrobe will freeze enemies, giving you the chance to cut them down free of counterattacks. Build up enough power with your regular attacks, and you can unleash special Spectrobe attacks, but first you'll need to do some goofy poses with the Wii remote.

Spectrobes fans can also look forward to an expanded arsenal for the main character. In addition to swords, he will be able to equip blasters, power gloves, lances, and axes. There will also be powerful Spectrobe-specific weapons that share the elemental powers of the Spectrobes they are linked to.

While the visuals for Spectrobes: Origins look like only a slight improvement from its DS predecessors, the gameplay seems to be intact, fun and addictive as it has always been. And we’re thinking the new battle system is a good idea. They aren't talking specifics yet, but Disney says it’s certainly looking at the possibility of DS connectivity to possibly allow some carryover bonuses for fans who have enjoyed this galactic adventure previously. We'll undoubtedly receive more specifics before the game's planned release this fall, but until then we'll be eagerly practicing our fossil excavation skills in hopes of once more catching every creature the game has to offer.

Apr 1, 2009