Spectrobes isn't for everyone, but Disney has provided a unique experience that a certain type of player may enjoy.

User Rating: 7.6 | Spectrobes DS
Disney, the closest thing to a dictatorship in modern media, has set off to do the near impossible and create a successful game franchise, but did they do their job well. Spectrobes is kind of a mixed bag, and it's definitely not for everyone. Let's start at the basics though. Spectrobes throws you into an alien invasion and you as the space cadet Rallen are set off to bring them down. A little tough for a generic anime hero eh? Don't worry, because this is where are little friends the Spectrobes come in. Yes the Spectrobes, the alien like monsters from beneath the earth. Don't be mistaken though, this game has much more depth in it's monster raising than other games like Pokemon. First off, our battle comrades aren't alive at first. The Spectrobes are fossils, long deceseased and buried deep underground. Depending on your skill in digging them up, they will keep more of their stats and may come equip with an equip-able part. You still can't battle with the Spectrobes yet though, they are only children in their original form which can only follow behind you and scan for minerals. This is where the depth of the raising comes in. You must put them in an incubator and feed them minerals also found in the ground until they have achieved a certain requirement of food, time, and affection to evolve into their adult forms. At this point you can take them out and battle with your new monsters or keep the process going into a third level. The actually excavation for minerals and Spectrobes can get a bit repetitive until later in the game when you can acquire better tools, but thankfully you can exit out of any excavation if you don't want the mineral or the Spectrobe you have found. Now onto battle. This too is a bit repetitive at the, but does get better. At the beginning, most of your Spectrobes will only have one standard attack and special attack. The real time combat helps to add a little more strategy, but in the end doesn't help much. Later in the game, you will acquire Spectrobes with attack menus where you can issue them to use different abilities or stay put instead of following you. This is where each Spectrobes' unique abilities really start to shine. Rallen has some fight in him as well, but once again he is not to powerful until later but does have some useful effects like stunning enemies or knocking them away. You can also use a combo attack that automatically hits every enemy in the field once it is charged and both Spectrobes on your team are present. You'll need this a lot due to many bosses being extremely fast and very hard to kill. Other Spectrobes on your team can not be switched in, but do help out in battle by providing stat bonuses. Turning to a technical perspective, Spectrobes performs fairly well on the DS. The musical score and graphics are nothing special, but at least they went out of the way to make it 3D. The real amazing thing here is the Wifi. Spectrobes is devoid of actually online play, but instead provides something never seen on hanhleds before. The first of these is the online store. Every Friday, you are awarded points to spend on new items and Spectrobes to use in the game, this could become extremely promising in the future just like the next feature. When you hook up Spectrobes to the Internet, you can choose to upload your game data to the official site which very soon will be able to generate a MySpace like web page for your cadet. It's an interesting feature, and provides enough of a new experience to excuse the lack of online play. Another interesting feature added is touch screen cards. Put a card over the DS and punch in a code to get an item or Spectobe. Once again, a very original prospect. Another winner here is the wireless. A wireless battle mode and trading option are available, but there is another hidden gem here. A tournament mode. Yes, you can play the big cheese and set up your own gaming tournament for you and your friend with just a few clicks. Overall the game is packed in with new interesting features.

My final thoughts are the game are mixed. The Spectrobes and unique features seem to take center stage over the combat and item gathering. It's almost like a combination between MMO grinding and a virtual pet that battles. The game has set the ground work for a franchise, but hopefully next time Disney will take a note from other games in the genre and make it turn based. While not a bad game in any respects, those looking for instant monster on monster action without out some grinding and a lot of time spent in the incubator should think hard before purchasing this game. Spectrobes for the DS gets a 7.6 out of 10.