E3 Impression




It's a T!

Nothing ever runs on time at E3, so while I was waiting for my meeting with Blizzard for their upcoming WoW expansion, I wandered over to see Buena Vista Games. They'd done a pretty good job with Kingdom Hearts II, so I was curious what else they were doing.

I stumbled upon a game called Spectrobes, which was being demoed on the snazzy DS Lite. I grabbed a handy BVG exhibitor and we played the game for a while. The story opens with a life pod that's rescued by the main character of the game. In it is a man whose world has already been destroyed by the evil Kraul(?). Only a certain type of cretures can defeat these beings of negative energy, the positive energy "spectrobes." On the main character's world, these creatures only exist as fossils now but, conveniently, there is a way to revive them from their fossilized state.

Waking these creatures takes advantage of the DS' microphone; some require you to shout loudly, hitting the sound bar past a certain point, while others require a softer voice falling between two sections of the sound bar. Once these infants are awake and raring to go, two things can be done with them. For one, as infants they dig up other spectrobes, or they can dig up gems which can be used in the second option - to incubate the creatures to adulthood.

On a ledge.

Once the creatures are newly blossomed adults, they can be used in battle. Unlike a game such as Pokémon, the main hero who controls the monsters fights with them; they can serve both as offensive and defensive allies, once properly leveled. Two spectrobes are used at once, and they are controlled by the L and R shoulder buttons. At first, they may be somewhat ineffectual fighters but as they age and mature with battle experience, their abilities will improve. There are approximately 100 different types that are usable in battle. A clock on the top screen keeps track of how long the battle takes. The shorter a battle is, the greater experience that is earned from it.

Spectrobes looks to cross a collection RPG with an action RPG, and with positive results so far; from everything that was available in the demo version (which was a fairly thorough look at the game), it appears that the collection aspect will have a better use than other titles who use this sort of action to gain new battle members. With the game due out in the near future, it is one title that DS owners who enjoy collecting as well as those craving a little action should be giving a second look.

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