Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Spectrobes DS is a hand held RPG style game that involves collecting and fighting. Disney made this, and the graphics are rather impressive.
The basic story is that a boy and girl are flying around in a spaceship from planet to planet. The boy discovers "spectrobes" that work with his wrist device to help him attack enemies. You discover fairly quickly that the boy's individual attacks are weak - but the spectrobes are very powerful.
You find different spectrobes, build up their skills, and use them to help you fight enemies. You are also gathering up fossils along the way as well.
The graphics are great. The cut scenes have a smooth cartoon feel to them, and even during the fighting the little creatures are hopping around and being active. Disney did a great job here.
The sounds are fairly simple, but that is fine. You don't expect epic music out of a game like this.
The game might be a bit challenging for new gamers to get into. Especially in the beginning, the game doesn't "tutorialize" you much. You wander aimlessly around a planet and have to stand in the exact right spot to trigger the event. Your helper is not much help at all. When you launch into your first battle, you get a brief "press these buttons" and then that's it. You are hard pressed to remember all the things it said and you have no idea what does what. Plus since the main characters' attacks are so weak, you feel for a while that the battle is completely unwinnable and you are stuck in this combat screen forever.
Push past these initial problems. Yes they should have done a better job of guiding you through the initial sections of the game. Once you get the hang of the controls and how the system works, you'll find it a lot of fun.
Rating: 4/5 because of the not-well-ramped initial area
Buy Spectrobes DS from Amazon.com