A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Spore Hero is a spin-off of the Spore PC game, but it is a separate story-driven adventure game targeted to kids ages 8-12. Kids can create and design their own creature to be their hero, and evolve it during the game depending on their own preferences. One-on-one combat is a part of this game, but much of it is just to earn respect from your fellow creatures. No one is hurt, no weapons are used (except body parts like the legs for kicking), and no blood is shown. Some green slime can show up in terms of vomit. A BattleMode allows two players to create their own creatures and then battle them to see who is stronger. Parents should not confuse this Wii game with the similar, but different Nintendo DS game entitled Spore Hero Arena.
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What's it about?
SPORE HERO is a unique game for the Nintendo Wii targeted to kids ages 8-12, and is not a Wii version of last year's Spore game. In this story-driven game, kids control a creature who has crash-landed on a planet full of friendly species of animals. But an evil creature has arrived at the same time and is threatening to ruin the planet. Only your creature has the power to fight the spreading evil. But to do this, your hero must go on missions to earn new body parts and then adapt to ever-changing circumstances by adding on and/or switching out new body parts. Through trial and error, you decide which of the more than 250 body parts to add to your hero to make it able to navigate this world and to fight the baddies that it encounters. A separate 2-player BattleMode allows you and a friend to construct heroes and then battle them in arenas.
Is it any good?
Spore Hero is a fascinating save-the-world adventure because you must constantly tweak your hero's attributes so that it can succeed in this world. If your character keeps drowning every time it falls into the water, you might want to figure out how it can evolve into a swimmer. If you can't get across a great expanse, you might want to add wings. And if you keep losing in combat against another, you might want to upgrade to body parts that serve as better weapons. But the key is that you are in control of what your hero looks like and what abilities it has.
Another plus in this game is that the story is good and moves forward when you complete certain "trigger" missions. This is a big fascinating world to explore, and there are plenty of side missions if you are so inclined. The characters are fun to talk to and helping them always leads to something zany. The game is easy to navigate because each of the 6 areas comes with a map.While you have to fight the evil Zarkhator, most other combat is simply a contest to gain respect.
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