A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is an action-oriented role-playing game with frequent but mild violence. Players take on the role of a pair of noble young humans assigned to help protect the galaxy from evil aliens intent on destroying humanity. Battles involve monsters, aliens, and a variety of melee and energy weapons. There is no blood, and downed foes simply vanish. Players have the ability to switch between the male and female leads at will, allowing boys and girls to select to play as a character of their own gender. Drop-in cooperative play lets a pair of players band together for a positive social gaming experience.
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What's it about?
Disney Interactive’s popular Spectrobes series arrives on the Wii with SPECTROBES: ORIGINS, an action-oriented role-playing game in which players take on the roles of a pair of young space-faring human fighters assigned to protect the galaxy from the Krawl, a race of malevolent aliens intent on wiping out humanity. Players travel about, helping innocents who have come under attack by the evil invaders while collecting more powerful spectrobes—monsters that they can control and send into real-time battles by flicking the Wii remote toward the screen. When not engaged in combat and exploring new environments, players spend their time visiting villages and chatting with locals or managing their spectrobes in the game's menu. Two-player drop-in cooperative play lets players recruit a friend to assist them.
Is it any good?
There’s not much originality in Spectrobes: Origins, but it’s still a slick and entertaining play. The real-time battles are simple and fun. Players simply tap the A-button to make their characters attack and use the d-pad and a flick of the Wii remote to send their spectrobes into battle. You can choose to let your spectrobes take on enemies on their own or help them out, creating big combos along the way. Collecting new creatures by using Child-form spectrobes to search the countryside is similarly engrossing, as is leveling up your spectrobes to augment their abilities.
Things start to drag a bit whenever the bland and predictable save-the-universe narrative kicks in, but, thankfully, players spend most of their time exploring and battling. It’s a safe bet that kids who enjoyed the first couple of Spectrobes games will eat this one up as well.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cooperative gaming. Which do you enjoy more: playing games alone or with others? When playing with others, do you prefer to play competitively or cooperatively? How does playing cooperatively tend to change the gaming experience? How do you feel after a session of intense competitive play as opposed to a couple of hours of cooperative play?
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