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Critic Reviews

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AceGamez (2007)
Spectrobes works perfectly for what it is, tapping into that primal collecting gene we all share at some point in our lives. Cliché-filled story and characters aside, the kids this one is made for will eat it up like free ice cream at a birthday party and come back for seconds with a clean plate. Some may find fault in the final product under closer scrutiny, but sometimes it just feels great to let that inner ten-year-old out, shut up and enjoy the ride. A Wii version hasn't even been announced, but I feel it's pretty much a no-brainer, especially with the web browsing abilities of the console. If we don't see virtual cards showing up on that Opera browser in a couple of months then that's a missed opportunity for making this a bigger deal than it already is. Where this license goes from now on is up to Disney, but I can only imagine more and even better games coming to Spectrobes fans in the future.
79 (Mar 27, 2007)
Je besser ich mich in der Welt von Spectrobes zurechtfand, desto stärker packte mich die Sucht. Auf einmal war es zwei Uhr in der Nacht und ich konnte immer noch nicht aufhören, Spectrobes zu sammeln, aufzupeppeln und miteinander im Kampfset zu kombinieren. Schade, dass die Kämpfe ein wenig träge ablaufen und der Kombo-Angriff viel effektiver ist als die normalen Attacken. Außerdem verkommt das Fossilien ausgraben schnell zur lästigen Routine. Zum Glück könnt ihr euch nach ein paar Stunden Spielzeit mit dem in Kämpfen verdienten Geld ein automatisches Ausgrabungsgerät anschaffen. Auch auf technischer Ebene ist Spectrobes eher Mittelmaß. Die Kulissen wirken etwas kahl und die Musik reicht von Ohrwürmern bis hin zu nervigem Gedudel. Aber das Sammeln und Kombinieren von Monstern macht absolut süchtig und das ist doch bei solch einem Spiel das wichtigste.
Spectrobes is a great beginning for Disney Interactive's new IP - it's clear this is only the tip of the iceberg for the franchise. Spectrobes comes highly recommended.
1UP (Mar 21, 2007)
To be sure, some of its quirks really set Spectrobes apart from other collectible-monster franchises. And for players willing to fully invest, Spectrobes can prove to be as interesting and fulfilling as a Seaman/Pokémon hybrid. If the thought of excavating and incubating ancient creatures doesn't thrill you, though, you should probably consider collecting monsters that are a bit easier to catch.
Deeko (Mar 15, 2007)
Spectrobes is fossil hunting, monster collecting, monster raising, monster battling - I mean, it's really one game that wants to be four or five different titles. However, Jupiter did a nice job attempting to bring it all together, even if they didn't succeed completely. What we're left with, however, is pure potential and I can only imagine that a sequel for the game would be simply astounding. As it stands, Spectrobes is a solid entry for Disney's first original video game venture and another great game under Jupiter's belt. If you love monster hunting, colleting, etc., this is the kind of game you'll dig.
70 (May 25, 2007)
„Spectrobes“ ist eine sehr gute Alternative für diejenigen, die die Nase voll haben von den knuffigen Pokémon. Die Wesen wirken erwachsener und düsterer als ihre süßen Vetter aus dem Hause Nintendo und bieten durch das ansprechende Setting so einiges. Aber auch alle anderen können einen Blick auf das Spiel werfen, denn die Actioneinflüsse überzeugen und bereiten einem viel Spaß.
70 (Mar 15, 2007)
Alles in Allem kann man Spectrobes als durchaus gelungen bezeichnen: Umfang und Technik stimmen, es ist erstaunlich komplex - dafür hat die Bedienung trotz hübscher Ideen für Touchscreen und Mikrofon so ihre Mängel. Gegen ein bisschen mehr Abwechslung hätte ich auch nichts einzuwenden gehabt. Aber der gute Sammel- und Aufzuchtsteil lassen einen diese Schwächen über weite Strecken vergessen.
TotalVideoGames (TVG) (Mar 21, 2007)
With a host of innovative features and the appearance of a substantial game by handheld standards, Spectrobes is ultimately let down by the sheer amount of aimless wandering involved without a sense of direction from the plot. There's far too much emphasis on scanning every inch of the ground, without any push from the storyline or main mission objectives. Too often, the challenge of the main game fails to provide any impetus to progress with the game and one of the biggest stumbling blocks is its failure to engage the player with a captivating storyline or charismatic cast of characters. This all seems a little more surprising given that the game comes from Disney, surely out of anybody, these guys should know how to tell an enthralling story.
IGN (Mar 13, 2007)
Spectrobes is way more game than is really necessary. Jupiter has some great concepts and tried to jam them all into one game. Things like the card system and the incubator seemed not fully developed, and could have possibly been left out; especially if that meant more Wifi play could have been added. The fossil excavation is a unique and well done element and is really the most enjoyable part of the game, especially since the rest of Spectrobes is easy enough to beat in a weekend. For a new franchise, Spectrobes has a lot of potential, and it's great to see a developer taking full use of the DS's capabilities. Spectrobes may not be destined to become a huge overnight success like Pok¿mon did, but with it's innovative ideas, and Disney's money, it could be a bigger force to be reckoned with than the Krawl.
Pocket Gamer UK (Mar 28, 2007)
This isn't to say Spectrobes is a dull game, only that it's not quite as exciting as we'd hoped it would be. Buy it and you'll enjoy it, especially if you get heavily into the online options where you can swap spectrobes and their various custom parts, upload your scores, download movies, and battle head-to-head against other Spectrobes masters. But compared to Pokémons Diamond and Pearl, we have to admit that for all its DS innovations, Spectrobes is a bit of a fossil.
GotNext (Apr 19, 2007)
As an experiment in hardware use, Spectrobes does an amazing job of using the touch screen and microphone to their fullest. The problem lies in combat and level exploration. Battle is real-time but clunky and incredibly boring. As a playground diversion, having the wireless trading and fighting is a must. There's also a card input system where you put Spectrobes cards over the screen and use the stylus to activate a code (holes cut into the cards) to unlock extras. Yet another great idea that fails because the action is so uninspiring. I'd love to see more action RPGs, whether kid-focused or not, use the DS as deftly as Spectrobes. With a battle overhaul and a bit more level flavor, a sequel could very well be just what kids (of all ages) are looking for.
GameZone (Mar 27, 2007)
Turn-based meets real-time. Spectrobes is a new kind of RPG, stressing the importance of frequent battles and item discovery but neglects the open-ended content the genre is known for delivering. Battles are clever and fun, but also a little on the sluggish side. The excavation element is cool but, like all other elements, has a downside. It's a highly repetitive process that gets old within the first hour. Fans of Lost in Blue and other touch screen-heavy games may enjoy excavating items throughout the game. But it's not a task that most gamers will look forward to completing.
Even if Spectrobes is aimed squarely at pleasing a younger crowd, it’s been stuffed with enough fresh ideas that it might have had a chance to pull in some older fuddy duddies (you know, over 13?) had those new ideas been better integrated. Sadly, such is not the case, and this creature collection system has all the sophistication you might ask of any seven-year-old, which I suppose is probably the point.
GameTrailers (Mar 28, 2007)
Spectrobes is a game as ambitious as its headstrong protagonist, but just as clumsy as well. There’s no denying the strong Pokemon influence, but it fails to be as engaging, intuitive, or fun as Nintendo’s blockbuster series. With an awkward battle system, and tedious spectrobe collection this is one fossil that’s best left buried unless you’re a Poke-maniac looking for the next fix.
RPGFan (Aug 09, 2008)
So Disney published an RPG with some innovative mini-games utilizing the DS to its full extent. Unfortunately, the rest of the game was garbage. If you're willing to put up with the garbage because you really like to discover and train monsters in a fictional fantasy setting, and you want something a little more "sci-fi" with the galaxy/space exposition that Spectrobes provides, go ahead and get it. Otherwise, I'd just wait for the game's sequel, coming in late 2008, which may just redeem the Spectrobes name.
60 (Mar 15, 2007)
Destiné principalement au jeune public, Spectrobes est un titre atypique qui tente de renouveler un concept hérité de Pokémon en le modernisant. Pourtant, le résultat déçoit dans le sens où la profusion d'éléments mis à notre disposition ne suffit pas à masquer une progression qui ne sait pas comment se renouveler. Ni les phases de combat ni les phases d'excavation ne renferment un intérêt assez probant pour nous donner envie de passer du temps à élever des créatures si peu attachantes, et seul l'aspect collection peut justifier une exploration approfondie de l'univers de Spectrobes.
60 (May 03, 2007)
Spectrobes is a decent enough kid's game that certainly does a fair amount to distinguish itself, but in the end it is just another Pokemon style challenge. For fans of Pikachu and his friends who have exhausted the numerous Nintendo games, Spectrobes is worth picking-up, and most will enjoy it thoroughly. However, as a youngster's game with cultish appeal for older players, and as an example of a well-made and original title, Spectrobes misses the mark by some way.
Armchair Empire, The (Apr 11, 2007)
Spectrobes takes too long to get going – the digging is a novelty that wears off way too soon – and the lack of puzzles and/or interesting side plots and quests kneecap the experience. With its sights on the Pokémon juggernaut, I’m hoping Spectrobes learns some lessons and comes back for a second round because there’s a lot of potential here.
Worth Playing (Mar 31, 2007)
It is quite obvious that kids love collecting their own monsters. Pokémon has been a hit over the years with that concept, but few have been able to replicate it. Spectrobes seems to fall short because of its monotonous method of collecting and the poorly designed battle system. Some may find a place in their hearts for Spectrobes, but with Pokémon Diamond/Pearl on the horizon, patience can be a virtue.
NintendoWorldReport (Apr 04, 2007)
Spectrobes tries to accomplish a lot but succeeds at very little. Its innovations are marred by rote repetition. The exploration and battle modes are at best boring and at worst mind-numbingly frustrating. The potential for a great game is there, and it was given quite a long time to been created. Unfortunately, the myriad of gameplay elements in Spectrobes struggle to create a cohesive experience. Disney is putting a lot of time and money into this fledgling franchise, and as long as this first title sells a decent amount of copies, a sequel is almost assured. Hopefully Jupiter and Disney will learn from their mistakes, because Spectrobes holds much potential.
Nintendojo (2007)
The game does a lot, looks nice and offers some interesting options such as Wi-Fi downloads and slick trading cards that unlock new Spectrobes; but the game is ultimately more tedious than it is worth. It's also low on fun, which should be the basis of most games. Spectrobes surely has an audience, but it's much more specific than Disney Interactive would have liked.
Wham! gaming (Mar 25, 2007)
Although it’s got some novel gameplay elements and is stuffed with tons of things to do, Spectrobes ultimately ends up being just so-so in the fun department. Definitely not the Pokemon killer we were expecting.
GamePro (US) (Mar 13, 2007)
As it is, Spectrobes is little more than a dull game of collecting fossils with a momentarily enjoyable gimmick attached to it.
GameSpot (Mar 14, 2007)
Spectrobes feels as if it were devised in a boardroom by people more interested in turning a profit than making a game. From its marketing-centric webisodes to its canned story to its unremarkable gameplay, it's an extremely blasé experience all around and quite noticeably lacks any form of a creative spark, which you'd really expect to be present in this type of game. What you're left with is a game that desperately wants to be your friend, but lacks enough redeeming qualities for you to really take interest.
G4 TV: X-Play (Mar 21, 2007)
In short, this is a fun take on the breed-and-battle formula, one that does its best to break through difficult ground. This isn’t the first time an RPG has had trouble with the challenge of team combat in real time, and to its credit, Spectrobes comes up with an unusual way of attacking the problem. It probably won’t make anyone forget about Diamond & Pearl, but there’s room for more than one pack of monsters on the market.
60 (UK) (Mar 16, 2007)
Spectrobes may well succeed but, if it does so, it will likely be because of the collectable card tie-in and the precision marketing to an impressionable and easily enamoured demographic. For the rest of us there is perhaps a compulsive, if derivative, game under the mish-mash of ideas here - give it an inch and yes, perhaps it might take a reality. But, in truth, the game you're enjoying is probably just that of trying to fill blank spaces in a collection: you gotta catch 'em all gaming. That's arguably a pretty good game but, sadly, it's one that is better clothed elsewhere.
Gaming Age (Mar 22, 2007)
Just like with Kim Possible, Spectrobes is a game that has great promise. The visuals are excellent, the concept is great, the basic design is exemplary. But man oh man, when it comes to executing combat (which is the number one priority in any action/rpg) Spectrobes just doesn't deliver. I do hope Disney continues the franchise though, as the game has excellent potential. If given a bit more time and push towards proper combat and gameplay polish, Spectrobes would go from its current score of a C+ to around an A- or a B+. It's that good, potential-wise, but the execution is just too janky to excuse.
In een milde bui zou ik dit een aardige variant op Pokemon noemen, maar ik ben niet in een milde bui.
GamingExcellence (Apr 11, 2007)
I sat down with Spectrobes hoping it to be similar in gameplay and quality as Pokemon, but it turned out to be a derivative instead. There's a lack of collectible species, the battle system is slow and repetitive, and the mining system is overdone. Unfortunately for the game, it relies on these gamplay elements to make it fun, and each of them comes up short. In turn, so does the game.
HonestGamers (Apr 23, 2007)
Spectrobes wanted very much to be the next Pokémon, and it even exhibited some good ideas on how to build upon the ancient “gotta collect ‘em all” formula. But in doing so, it gave up on the simplicity that made Pokémon so accessible in the first place and instead left a hotchpotch of poorly executed ideas that don’t really mesh together without locking the gamer in a repetitive grey cycle. Enjoy the first five hours all you can – you’ll be playing the exact same thing for another ten or so.
Extreme Gamer (Apr 09, 2007)
I expected a lot out of Spectrobes after reading up about the game and seeing all the features and concepts it was going to offer up. Spectrobes intentions where ambitious and probably a little too wildly and aggressive which turned against the project. Spectrobes feels unbalanced and all garbled up into a mixed up mess of a game that tries to do too many things at once. The game never really settles and misses out in two main areas of RPGs that being the story and combat. I admire the attempt to go in a new direction, but it just didn’t work out this time.
GameSpy (Mar 19, 2007)
Spectrobes is a missed opportunity. It's not that it's a terrible game (the graphics are nice, the character designs are sufficiently anime), but after about five hours I realized I'd been bored out of my skull for the last three due to the massive repetition. Just a touch more variety in the combat could have gone a long way to spruce things up, but as it is the stubborn battle system enforces a rigid pattern of behavior (which hobbles the online multiplayer quite a bit). It's too bad, because I really wanted to love this game. For now, the promise of "Pokemon in space" remains unfulfilled.
Jolt (UK) (Apr 26, 2007)
Spectrobes is a suicidal endeavour by Disney, a fool-hardy exercise in boardroom cynicism resulting in little more than a way below par, under-funded attempt to cash in on Pokémon’s “Gotta catch ‘em all” legacy. Of what little enjoyment there is still left inside the DS cartridge, it’s left for the obsessive gamers who can stand the constant fruitless searching, endless digging, piss-poor combat, the rarity of finding something new, the barely existent storyline and even the feeble character designs. If you have a deep dislike for your kids, give them Spectrobes instead of Pokémon Pearl or Diamond in July. They’ll get the message.
Netjak (May 30, 2007)
Ultimately, Spectrobes doesn’t come close to matching the quality bar set by Pokemon. While filled with numerous, excellent ideas, the mish-mash handling of the development destroyed the potential. Had Spectrobes not been developed by attempting to use each and every feature the DS offers, it may have come out a little better. This is, of course, assuming that the game design was more fluid in building the challenge level and not entering game-breaking super moves that can be used almost at will. I fully suggest not wasting your time with this one.
The Video Game Critic (Nov 08, 2008)
The combat is surprisingly straightforward, at least compared to the rest of the game. For me, the highlight of Spectrobes is its outstanding soundtrack. It often strikes a Zelda chord, and sometimes reminds me of the electronic tunes from the 16-bit shooter days. Spectrobes sucked me in for a while, but it can take hours just to create your first Spectrobe, and the battles are extremely repetitive. While the gameplay is generally linear, it's sometimes hard to tell what you're supposed to do next. Spectrobes has some interesting concepts, but I was looking for a portable game, not a lifestyle!
Anime News Network (Jun 09, 2007)
Spectrobes is not necessarily a terrible game: in fact, it features quite a number of admirable traits. However, it's not a compelling one either. Gamers that have short attention spans and don't mind boring, repetitive gameplay may want to give it a try. However, everyone else will be wise to wait for the next true Pokémon releases to hit the system.