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Posts with tag spore-creatures

Metareview: Spore Creatures

With all the current hype surrounding Spore, even ardent DS fanboys such as ourselves have to strain to recall Spore Creatures. It looks like a totally different game to its PC counterpart, and we quite enjoyed it when we went hands-on at GDC '08. So which is it: the sleek, refined alpha member of its species, or a sloppy afterthought of a game, heading for history's rubbish bin? We copied and pasted some other people's thoughts to find out!
  • IGN (78%) gave the game one of its better reviews, praising its sense of fun and creativity: "Spore Creatures isn't intended as a replacement for the core PC Spore experience -- it's meant to compliment that design with a unique experience that lifts many of the core elements. And for the most part it succeeds in that task: this is a fun, involved, albeit more linear DS experience with a few quirks that get in the way, but even with those quirks it's great to experience a game on the more limited handheld with a similar sense of creativity that PC gamers will have in Spore."
  • Eurogamer (5/10) isn't so keen, arguing the game is crippled by its linear nature: "What it doesn't offer is any sort of Free Play option where you can do your own thing. You can indulge your creative desires or you can play the game. You can't really do both at the same time in any satisfying way, which suggests that "linear action adventure" simply wasn't the right direction to take the Spore concept for its handheld outing."
  • GameSpot's (65%) Kevin VanOrd just couldn't emotionally bond with his creations: "It's still a cute adventure across multiple planets, and it features a pared-down version of the creature creation tool that helped make the PC release such a success. It has some annoying quirks, and it won't inspire an emotional connection between you and your digital doppelganger, but Spore Creatures is still a pleasant diversion and an appealing, if ordinary, companion to its bigger brother."

Gallery: Spore Creatures

This post is a part of our Metareview category, but we also like reviewing things ourselves, and making sure our voice is heard. We're conceited and self-absorbed like that.

DS releases for the week of September 8th

There's just one thing to say about this week's lineup of DS releases: wow. Spore Creatures and a host of games to suit any taste here in the States, and internationally, you've got Dragon Quest IV and then Pokémon Platinum in Japan. This could be one of those legendary weeks that threatens to empty (and then devour) your wallet ... and to think, we've not even entered the holiday season yet.
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • Lock's Quest
  • Mazes of Fate DS
  • Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir
  • The Price is Right
  • Spore Creatures
  • Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise

Continue reading DS releases for the week of September 8th

Spore Creatures evolves new screens, Japanese release date

In the beginning, there was a confirmation.

Shortly thereafter, a release date and gameplay details emerged from the primordial ooze a Newsweek interview, and an involuntary chemical reaction a Joystiq hands-on session soon produced screens. Then, for some time, nothing. Until this morning, that is, when we found that the screens had suddenly multiplied in number, and had inhabited our gallery!

The newly developed screens were joined by boxart for the Japanese version of the game, which sort of reminded us of Pokémon Trozei!'s box, and a Japanese release date: September 11th.

So goes the ongoing story of the evolution of Spore Creatures.

Gallery: Spore Creatures

GDC08: More like Cubispore

Nintendo had a playable demo of Spore Creatures at their booth, and I availed myself of the (scaled-down) miracle of (simulated) life. I don't know about the scope of the full game, having played for just a few minutes, but the initial stage of the game was easy to understand.

Starting out as a small creature with just a pair of eyes and a little worm-like body, the game paired me with an identical friend. This friend walked me over to a "nest" where I could add a part -- in this case, a mouth. You use mouths to eat things! Different parts give different attributes -- how much can be eaten, what type of food the creature prefers, and such. In addition, they add to your social ability. I chose one based on the unofficial "looking hilarious" attribute.

After this I was shown how to make friends. To engage another creature, you call out to it and then sort of pet it with the stylus (really). If you're social enough, they'll be your friend and can be asked to dance (in a Samba-esque minigame) and even follow you. After this, I was led into combat, which involves clicking on a "fight" icon and then scratching away at the creature.

Really, more than anything, Spore Creatures reminds me of an expanded Cubivore, with friends instead of just enemies, and expanded combat based on more than just eating. This is a good thing.

Gallery: Spore Creatures

Spore Creatures producer Jason Haber talks up the game

To say that Spore Creatures is a radical departure from the PC game is an incredible understatement. But, we're not complaining, because hardware limitations on the DS are a lot harder to work with than say, oh ... a PC. But that doesn't mean all hope for the game is lost, as producer Jason Haber says Spore Creatures will be worth your time.

One of the things that has been most criticized about Spore Creatures is its look. Haber describes the inspiration for the look of the game as being from "the look and feel of flat Japanese rod puppets and shadow box art, and how their creators would customize scenes to bring them to life." He goes on further, adding that this "was something that we wanted our players to be able to do on the DS, allowing the game to feel completely unique while supporting an intuitive and open editing system."

Haber also hinted a bit in regards to DS-to-Wii functionality, responding to the question with "for Wii features and connectivity, we have not announced anything in particular, but that is the future and who can really predict the future?" The remainder of the interview is pretty interesting, so be sure to give it a read.

Gallery: Spore Creatures

Europe to get Spore two days early

According to Maxis's Patrick Buechner, "Europe is the priority for Spore." After years of being shafted and having to wait while American and Japanese gamers get titles first, how does that make all of you in Euroland feel?

Of course, it helps that there's a ton of PC gamers in Europe. Fortunately, for those of you planning to get the DS version known as Spore Creatures, the games are set to release on both platforms (and Macs) simultaneously.

The goal for the European release is September 5th, which happens to be two days before the American one. Buechner also says that these dates are very makeable, so gamers shouldn't expect delays. We can't help but be a little bit skeptical on that issue, but we're willing to believe him for now.

Gallery: Spore Creatures

Joystiq gets their hands dirty with Spore Creatures

For many of you, yesterday's news meant that life would have to take a break on September 7th of this year. Friends will be lost and your job will likely alter to one of playing God instead of filing paperwork like you currently do. Yup, it should be a very good year.

That is, until we read up on Joystiq's impressions with the DS version of Will Wright's game. First of all, it's being developed by Foundation 9 and not Maxis. Although Maxis did say they're handling "design" internally, we're not all too pleased to know that another developer is making this game and it won't be under the scrutinizing eye of Will Wright day and night.

Second, this game is going to be very different from Spore on the PC. In Spore Creatures, you're abducted by aliens, along with a pal of yours, and you must go on a long quest to save your friend. You'll make other friends, evolve and fight to survive. But, the focus is clearly on collecting items and maintaining one creature, rather than all of the awesome stuff one can do in the PC game.

That isn't to say that Spore: Creatures is a completely lost cause. The game will allow players to trade creatures over Wi-Fi Connect, so we're glad to see that. Also, the creature creation system sounds robust, from what Joystiq found. And, also the game will benefit from a good stylus-driven control scheme.

Gallery: Spore Creatures

Spore gets dated for September as DS details emerge

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. It seems that Spore has finally been given a release date (or at least, the DS, PC, Mac, and mobile phone versions were). The much anticipated game will be gracing our favorite dual-screened portable on September 7th. Yes, that's quite a long way away, but it's better than the "possibly 2009, but who really knows?" window we had before.

We're wondering, though -- how many of you potential Spore buyers plan to get Will Wright's game for the DS? While there's been a lot of hype for the game, it's usually not on the handheld front. The lack of excitement might be slightly justified, however. Obviously, the DS and mobile phone games are going to suffer some cutbacks when compared to their computer counterparts.

According to a Newsweek interview with Lucy Bradshaw, the vice president of Maxis and executive producer of Spore, the DS version will be called Spore Creatures and will focus mainly on creature creation. The title will also have a different, Japanese-based art style, and features "unique abilities" for the creatures in the game. The Wi-Fi will be similar to that of the PC and Mac titles, however, and allow players to trade or share their creations with friends.

While the game might not be as deep as the computer ones, it still appears to be pretty epic, so having the option to carry it around at all times might be a good thing.

Hey, and it beats getting the mobile phone version, amirite?

[Via Joystiq]

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