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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Role-Playing / Action

 

Publisher

Disney Interactice

 

Developer

Jupiter Multimedia

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

October 7, 2008

 

 

- Plentiful content

- Disney D Gamer integration

- Digging is fun and addictive

 

 

- Camera angles work against you

- Too much repetition

- Might not be exciting enough for older gamers

 

 

Review: Spectrobes (DS)

Review: SimCity DS (DS)

Review: Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

 

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Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

If you played the original Spectrobes last year, you’ll be happy to know that this one improves on the first one in virtually every way – albeit marginally. You’re once again playing Rallen, a space cadet with just a little bit of attitude.

 

spectrobes beyond the portals          spectrobes beyond the portals

 

Spectrobes will have you going up against the evil High Krawl and his attempt to take over the world. You will spend your time primarily doing two tasks – mining for parts to make more Spectrobes, and then using them to battle against Krawl. The digging part of the mining is a lot of fun and feels rewarding. The combat, on the other hand, gets quite repetitive and will have you wanting for something more.

 

The story is a bit better this time around, but the dialogue is a little bland. You talk to characters you encounter as with any typical action RPG, but I personally felt the

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conversations were a bit shallow and just a little tedious. Fortunately, the game does provide a way for you to skip past sections that don’t interest you fairly quickly so the game gets extra points from me just for that.

 

Like the first game, Spectrobes also includes plastic cards that have holes in them. When placed on the touch screen and “activated” by touching the hole points, you can

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unlock various items. Although it’s not necessary to do this, it certainly adds an interesting aspect to the game and an impressive business model. I am not sure how many extra cards are available for purchase or have actually been sold, but I was quite impressed with the concept and it works quite well.

 

When you first start to play the game, you’ll wonder if you even need to use the stylus as you move around and combat with the d-pad and the buttons, but the game does take advantage of both the touch and extras like the microphone when it comes to excavation. The environments change from planet to planet in an attempt to keep you from getting bored, although the repetition in all areas gets pretty evident the further you get into the game.

 

spectrobes beyond the portals          spectrobes beyond the portals

 

There is online interactivity that allows you to trade items and the support for the D Gamer platform is perhaps the most satisfying. You can actually customize your avatar with items from Spectrobes, which will then show up in all other things you do and play in the Disney community. This is one part of the game that they worked on that is quite polished – which is pretty much the opposite of what I’ll have to say about the audio. I’ll let you figure out what I think about that aspect of the game.

 

The graphics are acceptable for this type of game – nothing special, but nothing bad either. The environments are quite large, except they are fairly barren. You will end up walking and walking and walking without much in a site for a large part of the game which is a bit boring. Smaller environments would have probably served the game better, but perhaps they were going for more realism here.

 

Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals is not a bad game – it’s just an average game. If you liked the first one, you’ll definitely “dig” the improvements (did you see what I just did there?) and if not, this Pokeclone might just be better off staying on the shelf.

 

- Syd Bolton

(January 5, 2009)

 

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