Impressions Spectrobes: Origins Brings Brawling to Monster Collecting

When Spectrobes comes to the Wii later this year it will bring with it a shift for the monster collecting game from the slow pace of role-playing to button-mashing action.

Spectrobes: Origins will be the third game in Disney's original franchise. The first two titles, both released on the DS only, shipped more than 1.6 million copies worldwide.

In this third iteration the story continues from the first two with players controlling Rallen as he excavates, awakes and trains the Spectrobes to fight against the rising threat of the Krawl.

Rallen will spend this first Wii outing exploring a new solar system, said Mark Orgel, assistant producer on the game.

Players start in a space ship where they can manage, feed and train their Spectrobes. This version of the game increases the types of Spectrobes from three to five: Fire, water, grass, earth and sky.

Each Spectrobe starts out as a child, which can only be used for solving puzzles, not fighting. The adult form can fight and eventually level up to become an evolved version.

Outside the ship you can explore different planets, with a variety of unique settings, like a jungle. Players control Rallen as he moves around the planet looking for minerals to excavate and fighting when enemy Krawl pop up.

The biggest change to the game is with battles, which now take place in real-time instead of the more passive turn based system the game used to have.

Players control Rallen in combat, using the A button to attack the auto-targeted enemies. You also can control your Spectrobe by swinging the remote to get it to attack your target or allow it to attack on his own.

By holding in the Z button and cycling through your Spectrobes with the D-Pad you can switch Spectrobes on the fly during combat.

Each Spectrobe has unique attacks which are weaker or stronger against different types of enemies, depending on their classification. The Spectrobes also have power attacks which can be activated after they've built up enough power through normal attacks.

Once you have the power to do a special attack you have to strike a pose, like crossing your arms, and then release it it, to unleash the attack.

Some Spectrobes also have area effects, like boosting your attacks or healing you over time.

"This is more action brawler, less role-playing game," Orgel said. "Spectrobes are really weapons used by Rallen rather than the main fighting force."

If a Spectrobe is knocked out in battle you have to return to the ship or a save point to revive it, if all six of your equipped Spectrobes are knocked out, you lose the battle and have to start over.

While I didn't get a chance to actually play the game, watching Orgel play it made me think that the more active role gamers will play in the game could give it a bit more appeal than typical monster-collecting games.

It looks like it could be a fun brawler with the added benefit of monster collecting and evolving.

Orgel said they weren't yet discussing any possible multiplayer for the Wii title.


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