Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals Review
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals box art
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.

Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot

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.

Advertisement

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.

By Joseph Catalanotto
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
The visuals have received a mildly significant update, but camera problems are also to be found.
3.7
Control
Battling is made easier, and excavating is simple with a variety of touch-based tools.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is completely forgettable, and sound effects in battle can become grating.
3.4

Play Value
Beyond the Portals isn't a particularly long game and there's little reason to replay it; local and online multiplayer extend the life of this title if you really love the battle system.

3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • New, revamped three-dimensional perspective.
  • A new map system to assist with exploration.
  • New excavation and battle features.
  • Online battle system utilizing the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook