- For information about the creatures known as Spectrobes, see here. For information on the series as a whole, see here.
Spectrobes is a science fiction action role-playing game developed by Jupiter and published by Disney Interactive Studios on the Nintendo DS handheld console. Originally revealed at E3 2006 and touted as Disney Interactive's first original intellectual property, It is the first game in the Spectrobes series and the beginning of the Spectrobes franchise, branching into several other forms of media as well as spawning two sequels: Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals and Spectrobes: Origins.
On November 7, 2007, Spectrobes was re-released as part of the Spectrobes: Collector's Edition box set. In addition to the game, the Collector's Edition release also included all 38 Card Input cards as well as a small guide by Brady Games.
Nanairo Planetary Patrol officers Rallen and Jeena are sent to the planet Daichi after receiving an alert that an object crashed onto the surface. Once on the planet, Rallen investigates the crash site and finds an object that fits on his glove as well as a man sealed inside a capsule, whom he and Jeena dub "Mr. X". Before they can investigate any further, however, a vortex shows up and envelops Rallen. Within the tornado are three creatures, though two more show up to aid him. Afterward, Rallen, still confused as to what happened, transports the pod back to the ship.
On the ship, the pod opens and Mr. X awakens. When inquired on his identity, the man reveals that his name is Aldous and that he is from the Giorna system. He then explains to them that the creatures that attacked Rallen are called Krawl, and that the object on Rallen's arm is his Prizmod, containing the only creatures that can battle the Krawl, the Spectrobes. From there, the three set off on a mission to stop the Krawl from destroying Nanairo.
- Rallen - Rallen is a young, ambitious Planetary Patrol officer. He is a skilled pilot who is ready to take on any challenge. At times, his eagerness to get into the thick of things gets him into trouble, but his courage and sense of duty are well-known by his superiors. Rallen is the only one who is able to operate the Prizmod, a communication device used to command the Spectrobes. In Webisode two, he is attacked by the Krawl just after he discovers the Prizmod while investigating the distress beacon on planet Daichi. In the webisodes, the first Spectrobes that Rallen uses in battle are Spikan and Zozane, which are also the "starter" Spectrobes in the actual game. The first Spectrobe he received for use as a search Spectrobe was a Danawa, where in the game it is a Komainu. His catchphrase is "Iku ze!" which means " Here we go" and/or " Let's go" in Japanese. Rallen is voiced by Steve Staley in the webisodes but later changed to Yuri Lowenthal. He has medium-long red-orange hair and eyes.
- Jeena - Jeena is Rallen's partner on the Planetary Patrol. She is a communications and research specialist. Her expertise is useful on missions where data on ancient relics and technologies is collected. While Rallen is in the field, Jeena is able to relay critical information that helps him train his allied Spectrobes and counter enemy attacks by the relentless Krawl. She often forgets to give mission reports to Commander Grant, which lands both her and Rallen in trouble. She is voiced by Michelle Ruffin the webisodes. She can be just as ambitious and feisty as Rallen but doesn't accept his somewhat proud attitude. She is the first to discover Aldous in his escape pod in Episode Two and joins him and Rallen to search for a Spectrobe which will be named Komainu in Episode Five. In the sixth episode, Jeena comes to Rallen's rescue after his second battle with the Krawl by piloting their spaceship to him before more of the monsters arrived. She soon meets Komainu, who jumps into her arms upon awakening, much to her admiration. She has long pink hair and blue eyes.
- Aldous/Mr.X - Aldous is a mysterious man from the Giorna star system. He travels across the universe in search of the home galaxy of the Spectrobes, hoping to be able to save his own system from the scourge of the Krawl. Instead, he crash landed on the planet of Daichi, where he lay in an unconscious state until he was discovered by Rallen. When awake, Aldous unfortunately discovers that his home system has been destroyed by the Krawl. After joining forces with Rallen and Jeena, Aldous assists them in upgrading the research lab on their ship and is an invaluable resource in decoding the secrets of the ancient Spectrobes.
- Commander Grant - The Commander is the head of the Nanairo Planetary Patrol. He is also Rallen and Jeena's supervisor. Although at first he does not believe that the Spectrobes exist, he gains faith once he witnesses a massive Krawl attack on the planet of Kollin and the NPP headquarters, as well as Rallen defeating a Leader Krawl with the help of his Spectrobes and Jeena.
- Professor Wright - Professor Wright is the main researcher of the Fossil Research Institute on Genshi. In the game, he is a non-playable minor character who gets trapped by black vortexes. After being saved by Rallen, he gives away the fossil he had found, which is an Aopod with a custom part.
- Professor Kate - Professor Kate is the main researcher on the planet of Ziba. In the game, Professor Kate believes that the ancient ruins on the planet of Nessa is actually a spaceship able to reach the outer planets. She gives away the Red Keystone and persuades the museum on Kollin to give up the Green Keystone.
- Genshi - Genshi is the first planet in the Nanairo star system and Professor Wright lives on this fireball. It is covered in volcanoes and lava flows. It is also home to an enormous jungle and the Fossil Research Lab. The Flame Geo was originally found on this planet under a lava flow.
- Daichi - Daichi is the second planet in the Nanairo system and is covered in Aurora. Aldous crash lands in his escape pod on this planet and the Table Top Mountains are located here. At the top of the Table Top Mountains lays a rare Diamond mineral, but is almost impossible to get to without a Corona suit, for the Aurora of the planet is extremely close to the ground here and drains your health.
- Kollin - Kollin is the third planet from the sun and is the most Earth-like planet in the Nanairo system. This planet contains the floating headquarters of the NPP and the museum.
- Nessa - Nessa is the fourth planet and is very Saturn-like. It is covered in desert. Area 1 is the home of Cyrus, a rare-item collector. Rallen bargains with him a few times throughout the game. It is also home to the man who buys minerals. If Rallen needs Gura, then he may sell minerals to the man. Area 2 is pure desert. The only reasons for heading here would be for minerals, training, or the black hole. Area 3 is also desert, but also contains the ruins, which is actually an ancient starship that that starts with the three keystones.
- Ziba - Ziba is the fifth planet in the Nanairo star system. Professor Kate is on this planet. The planet has two moons, both targeted by the Krawl in the game.
- Himuro - Himuro is the sixth planet in the Nanairo system and is actually man-made. It is believed to be made by the ancients, and Rallen uses its rotation device in the planet's core and its reflective surface to shine light on Meido.
- Meido - Meido is the seventh planet and is very mysterious. The technology hasn't advanced enough yet, so Meido was unreachable until Rallen flew the ancient starship. The Krawl built their nest here and this is where the final battle takes place.
These features can no longer be used, as the Nintendo WIFI connection has been disabled. The Great Black Holes are still available in-game.
The Download feature used to allow the player to use DL (Downloader) Points to purchase video clips, special Spectrobes, custom parts, minerals, and more. The first time the player used the Download system, he or she was awarded 30 free DL Points. Every following week, the player could obtain ten more DL Points by accessing the download system on Friday, or else the points would not be saved.
The Upload feature allowed players to upload their Sequence Battle scores from the seven Great Black Holes scattered on the various planets and moons in the Nanairo star system. In Sequence Battle, the player must win a certain number of Krawl battles to obtain the prize: an Evolve Mineral or a special Geo. Before beating the game, only one Great Black Hole is available to the player: in the Area 2 Desert of Nessa. Here, the prize is always an Evolve Mineral. After beating the game, six more Great Black Holes appear throughout Nanairo. The rest of the Geos may be obtained from these black holes.
Spectrobes received mostly mixed reception from critics at release. The game currently maintains a 63 on Metacritic and a 63.41% on GameRankings. IGN gave the game a 6 out of 10, writing off the game's art style as "generic anime" and the battles as "simple" due to bad AI, as well as the overall difficulty for being easy, though they praised the game's graphics and soundtrack. While they also praised the incubator and card input mechanics, they criticized them for not being developed enough, and criticized the limited Wi-Fi functionality for not offering online battles. Gamespot also gave the game a 6 out of 10, praising the game's soundtrack and good use of the DS' dual-screen capabilities. However, they criticized several aspects of the gameplay, dismissing the battles as "trivial" due to the "overpowered battle mechanic" and stating that, while fun at first, searching for minerals and fossils "quickly becomes monotonous." They also criticized the "brain-dead characters and by-the numbers storyline," overall stating that the game "feels as if it were devised in a boardroom by people more interested in turning a profit than making a game."
Despite its critical ratings and simply being written off by several as "a Pokémon ripoff", the game was considered a commercial success; about one month after launch, it was expected that 700,000 copies would be shipped worldwide by the end of April. Spectrobes was the best-selling third-party title in March 2007 in North America, and, according to NPD sales data, was the seventh best-selling title overall, at 165,000 units. Spectrobes was also the sixth best-selling Nintendo DS game in 2007 in North America. However, Tim FitzRandolph of Disney Interactive Studios would state later that the game underperformed in the Japanese market. By the time of the launch of the sequel, the game had sold over one million units worldwide.
- ↑ Spectrobes for DS Reviews - Metacritic
- ↑ Spectrobes for DS - GameRankings
- ↑ Spectrobes Review - IGN
- ↑ Spectrobes Review - GameSpot
- ↑ Spectrobes 'Not a Pokémon Rip-Off' - IGN
- ↑ Spectrobes Top-selling Third Party DS Game | News | Edge Online
- ↑ Spectrobes Best-Selling 3rd Party Title in March - IGN
- ↑ Katayev, Arnold (May 17, 2007). April 07 NPD: Software Sales. PSX Extreme. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- ↑ Nintendo DS 2007 Year in Review - IGN (page 2)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Interview: How Spectrobes Sold A Million For Disney. Gamasutra (September 25, 2008). Retrieved May 2, 2016.