by William Thompson
reviewed on NDS
There is also a ‘Dancing game’. This too makes other creatures friendly towards you. The dancing game basically involves touching one of a number of flowers. I guess it is sort of like Guitar Hero, but instead of notes coming down, in this case the notes hit the flowers. This gets more difficult as you work through the game.
The other main part of the game is, of course, the creature creator feature. This is not too dissimilar to the Spore creature creator. It involves putting together various collected body parts to a creature to improve its chance of survival. The only problem I found was that as the game seems to be aimed towards the younger demographic, it appears as though cute creators are doomed to find the game tougher.
Controlling your creature
Game controls are very simple. The D-pad is used to move your creature to its destination. The controls become slightly more difficult due to the camera angle. It does become a bit of a turn-off. Although the camera angle can be changed, at times the default camera angle makes it difficult to control where your creature is heading. Imagine, if you will, walking backwards… sure you can do it, but isn’t it just easier to turn around and walk forwards? That is how I felt during areas of the game.
Apart from that, the other controls in the game are relatively intuitive. The creature creator is simple enough for the younger gamers to understand. Clicking the section of the body you want to ‘upgrade’ and then choosing from the available body parts. Then it is just a matter of placing the body part where you want it, and deciding on the size. The creature can also be coloured in various ways to suit the look of the gamer. Controlling your life-form during combat is also very simple. Your creature moves around using the D-pad and can attack the predator using a slashing motion with the stylus.
As mentioned prior – Spore Creatures has a lively colourful appearance. The characters and scenery have a ‘blocky’ look to them, but this appears to be intended, not poor graphical ability. The range of locations attempts to keep the game from becoming overly repetitive. The different settings each have their own style – from fiery lava areas to green pastures to watery locations. The creatures are varied, and can easily be recognised from one another. A Sporepedia lists all the creatures that you have discovered along the way, just in case you forget what they each looked like and what their attributes were. The audio is okay and does a decent job, but lacks the musical score or sound effects to keep the game interesting for longer periods.
Needs some more evolving
As expected, this portable version does not have the depth of its big brother release on the PC. The game seems to have watered-down somewhat to appeal to the DS crowd. It is bright and colourful, sounds okay and has a decent storyline, but in the end, it just lacks that little bit of polish. The games’ repetitiveness and the troublesome camera angles result in some frustrating experiences. But having said that, the cute-ish nature of the game will do well amongst the younger gamers and set them on the path of more hardcore RPGs. And surely, that can’t be a bad thing.
No Pros and Cons at this time