|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Jupiter||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Disney Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 7, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While the battle system in Beyond the Portals is better than before, I still find that it's lacking in some depth. Each Spectrobe has a very limited number of moves, and the fact that you can only bring two into battle significantly cuts down the number of strategic set-ups you can use. Naturally, there are some Spectrobe duos that work well together. But a game like Pokémon succeeds because despite having four moves per pocket monster, the ability to carry six at a time really lends itself to a serious strategy brainstorm. Such is not the case with Spectrobes; battles themselves are interesting at first, but as you progress, I think you'll find the lack of some overarching strategy is definitely disappointing.
The visuals are marginally better than those of the first Spectrobes game, and the variety in different environments you'll explore gives the development team space to show off some more impressive visuals. Along with these nice-looking graphics, however, comes an inconsistent camera. While the camera does offer a nicer view for the action, it will sometimes get stuck behind objects and it's easy to get disoriented. Additionally, the game's lock-on system is very inconsistent and causes more problems than it solves.
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals isn't a great game, but it's not a bad game either. If you played and loved the original Spectrobes, you'll most likely be happy with this sequel. If you passed on the original, there's not much reason to get into the series now. It's a decent monster-battling system, but, frankly, RPGs like Pokémon feel so much deeper and more rewarding. Beyond the Portals doesn't really stand out in any one area; it does some things well, but it also misses the mark on some other aspects. Essentially, it comes down to your appreciation for the first game: if you've dubbed yourself a fan of the Spectrobes series, than checking out Beyond the Portals is probably worth it.
CCC Freelance Writer