It's an ambitious game indeed with hours of potential game play available but at times does not feel "alien".
The stages from Cell to Space feel very progressive and it was very well executed in the game You feel that once you reach the Space stage jumping from star to star, you remember how it all started as a single cell, just searching for food.
However, Spore doesn't seem to have this certain depth we all expected it to have. However, this is only a notable problem in two earlier stages, the creature and tribal stage. Some small touches feel like they were left out. When socializing with creatures in the creature stage, the game play is very "rinse and repeat". There's about four total actions, that being if you tailored your creature perfectly. There's some potential missing here. It doesn't seem to imitate real life. For example, animals on our own planet don't dance or throw confetti to impress others. Animals have displays with interesting wing designs, and interesting features such as lizards with neck frills. I feel some potential was missed here. Some creatures are easy to predict what their abilities will be. I want to be surprised, and mesmerized by creatures that have maxed out their social skills, not just a dance or two.
I feel as some other aspects were missing as well, like how much of the story feels scripted. It's not terribly scripted, but there could be more here. Fore example, you must crawl onto land, after the cell stage. Could aliens not evolve to live underwater? I think we would all want to have under water civilization stage. Or perhaps some other aspects feel like they are missing from a truly alien experience. Perhaps you don't exactly want an earth-like planet when playing the game. Maybe you will evolve your creature from a tundra, or forge a gruesome fire creature that lives in lava seas.
Still, the game play you do get from Spore is filled with interesting creatures which is populated from the spore website, and some people can make very talented creations. The worlds feel very different, and are definitely executed well. The Creator for spore is fluid and easy to use, but occasionally can feel a tad "dumbed down" with how cartoon-ish some parts in the editor look, namely the eyes. However, the diversity of creations and creative potential from the editor outweighs these simple things by far.
The Soundtrack serves its purpose in Spore. Its not too memorable, but definitely fits the feel of the game like a glove. Some spore creatures sound generic, and I'm still a bit disappointed you cannot change the voice of your creature without changing the mouth. But that's beside the point. the game provides a great ambiance to create and sculpt an alien world.
The Graphics are dated by now, but its filled with interesting and surreal landscapes and aliens, all thanks to its users. And to top it off, surprisingly, the creatures all animate fairly well.
All in all, Spore is a fun and creative kind of sandbox game. Will Wright succeeded greatly in telling the story of evolution through aliens, but some parts feel scripted and sometimes the game still feels scripted, and an alien experience is not achieved. Spore is still excellent, and the editor is award worthy. It's an excellent game that could easily get you playing for hours, but for some, Spore might just be missing some pieces. I'd love to see a sequel to Spore, or a revamped version, with even more possibilities than this one. I highly recommend it, even with all of my nit picking and complaints. Marvelous.