E3 Impression

Spectrobes: Origins


Anna Marie Neufeld

I popped in to the Disney booth and found Spectrobes: Origins was free and a guide was on hand. Sweet! I had played the first game and was a little underwhelmed, but this is now the third game and it's moved up to the Wii, so I'm willing to give it a fair shake. It didn't have a lot of depth but it was fun for the short period I played.

I jumped into the first of two combat scenarios available on the demo. Waves of enemies approached me and my pets; I moved with the nunchuck analog stick, pressed A on the Wiimote to attack, and slashed the Wiimote down for my Spectrobe to attack. It took me a minute to coordinate it all together but once I got going I could keep an enemy incapacitated almost indefinitely. My favourite tactic was a three-slash combo followed by my Spectrobe's attack. I swapped around between three of my six options (lightning, fire, and water) and liked the fire one the best; he was a spellcaster of sorts.

My guide pointed out my meter had filled and was glowing, and I should unleash a special attack from my Spectrobe. "Cool, how do I do that?" Well... first you cross your arms. I felt like a dork. Then once the meter fills, you throw your arms wide to unleash the attack. Now I felt like a total dork. However, as I got into the rhythm of attacks, specials, and Spectrobe control, I found myself getting caught up in it all. Sure it was embarrassing and a few people chuckled as they walked by, but darn it, I was having fun, and that's the important part.

When I cleared the stage, I then chose the evolution mode. Much like in previous Spectrobe titles, fossils are discovered and must be excavated to breed new battle allies for the main character. This is handled, unsurprisingly, with the Wiimote's motion sensitivity. First I scanned to see the approximate size of the fossil, and then with my trusty hammer I whacked off the corners of the block. I decided things would be simpler if I switched to the laser, unaware it bores straight through, oopsie! I did some minor damage to my fossil (the health of the record is at the top of the screen). I alternated between hammer, drill, scanner, and blower until I finally heard a final "ding" and my blower flashed. Success! I dusted off the final chunks and ended the excavation after five minutes with about half the health remaining. Sadly, this dismal performance meant the fossil was at a measly level, but I was assured that the more precise players become at excavation the better their results will be.

I walked away feeling very geeky but cautiously optimistic. I saw no story, which was disappointing, but this may be a game I pick up and play just for the fun of it when I just want something to relax with. I can't see many serious players picking it up as it does appear to be very simplistic, almost to the point of childishness. That's no surprise considering the target audience, but a bone could have been thrown to the older players.

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·Nintendo Wii

·Fall 2009

·Disney Interactive Studios


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