Spore Hero Review
Spore Hero box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Maxis 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan.27, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The rhythm mini-games, on the other hand, require less aerobics, yet they, too, manage to sidestep any semblance of enjoyment. As an example, one of the early minis has you shaking the Wii Remote or Nunchuk, or shaking both controllers in time with blinking dots onscreen. The lack of feedback combined with poor implementation will leave players cold every time. We never quite felt like we knew exactly what we were doing, either - just muddling through. Another of the rhythm games will require you to point the Wii Remote either upward, downward, or keep it level while pressing the A button, but you have to practically contort your wrist to execute commands properly.

Spore Hero screenshot

It's a shame so little love was given to these portions of Spore Hero, since they play such a major role in the adventure. The breadth of ideas is pretty sparse, but the pacing is solid. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to muster the desire to press on when the game is constantly beating you down with poor design. The jumping mechanics and collision detection are always issues, and even the way the buttons are mapped can cause frustration if you're attempting to enter the nest hub when another creature is nearby.

On the production front, the game is respectable but lacks ambition. The style has an almost Rayman 2: The Great Escape quality but with better lighting. It's a fitting motif, since much of the focus of the game is in allowing the player to tinker and tweak things. However, environments are blocky, and the framerate can often chug under certain conditions. Creature animations look okay close up, but when viewing models from a distance, things can look downright archaic.

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If there's one true high point in Spore Hero, it's definitely the soundtrack. The music is incredibly nuanced and powerful. Themes fit each and every activity of the game perfectly, exuding the sort of playfulness you might hear in a PBS documentary. The creature gibberish is another nice touch, as is the pattering of feet as you make your way around environments.

If we were grading Spore Hero on novelty alone, it would get high marks for personality and a great sense of humor. However, it's not an adventure you sit back and experience. You'll quickly need to take control of this thing, and it just isn't very much fun to do so. The adventure portions are paced well and lined with rewards, but the getting there can be painful. In a video game, it's less about the destination and more about the journey, and ultimately, Spore Hero filled us with a desire to go nowhere.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.6
Graphics
On the whole, Spore Hero has an attractive style, and its world is fun to experience. Water is especially impressive, but the game's not an ambitious undertaking in most other respects.
3.0
Control
In spite of some poor collision detection and questionable button mapping, moving about the world is fairly painless - often quite enjoyable, actually. Combat and music making, however, are a total drag.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music that is perhaps on par with Super Mario Galaxy - no small feat at all. Entertaining creature gibberish and sound effects make the audio ends meet nicely.
2.5

Play Value
The adventure is a respectable length, but it's a slog getting through. The off-line Sporepedia is kind of pointless, as are the multiplayer arena battles, since battling offers no shred of enjoyment.

2.9
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Fight to Save the World: Built from the ground up exclusively for the Nintendo Wii, Spore Hero features an intriguing storyline taking you on a journey to fight a mysterious dark force that threatens your creatures new planet. Embark on exciting missions, intense battles, and incredible action-quests to save the world!
  • Create a Hero: Spore's much-loved Spore Creature Creator comes to the Wii for the first time, offering a robust library of more than 250 parts to create your unique hero! One eye or five? Wings or a horn? The possibilities are endless!
  • Battle Your Friends: Put your combat skills to the test as you engage in embroiled battles with a friend in a multiplayer mode! Create a decked out creature or choose a previously created or pre-made creature to challenge friends with.


  • Screenshots / Images
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