Spectral Force: Genesis Review
Spectral Force: Genesis box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Nude Maker, Platinum Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SEGA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 17, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Combat in Spectral Force Genesis can be considered crazily ill-conceived at best. After the laborious process of dealing with several "months" of paperwork and accounting, with nothing but the hope of oncoming battle to help power through the tedium, it is shocking to find out how sloppily the process of war is carried out. This is how it goes: During combat, three of your generals and their armies will face off against three enemy generals and their armies. Units that specialize in attack, defense, or magic add a rock/paper/scissors element to the battle.

Spectral Force: Genesis screenshot

Combat occurs quickly, so after you've fallen into a stupor from having to deal with your nation's paperwork, you will have to inject some strong, black coffee directly into a vein in order to wake up for the event. There is little time for strategizing; after fumbling with one army for a while (the stylus is no help on the battlefield), the enemy will be upon you. You'll probably want to fire off some special attacks - it doesn't matter which ones, just do something. The battle will freeze while the sparkly special attack is going off, so you might begin to formulate a strategy while this is happening. Too late! You have already either won or lost.

Then the next month rolls around. Ah, it's accounting season again... already?

I'm all for games that go out on a limb and try new things, but Spectral Force Genesis already feels so hackneyed and feeble in so many areas that it's a wonder that the makers didn't simply realize that they would have to rip off another game's combat system in order to have a chance at playability.

The music is not necessarily bad, but it lacks personality. You'll become quite familiar with the game's few tracks, especially the one that plays during the months of game time spent setting tax rates, buying and selling market shares, and signing peace treaties. Why gamers weren't given the option to choose between a few tracks seems a curious design choice; in fact, in a modern world where talented, amateur music makers clamor for attention, and anyone can find music available online that's practically as good as the soundtracks used in big budget movies, it's strange how game makers with small budgets can still go about showcasing mediocre music. We live in the future, and the entire world is connected - there's no longer an excuse for using mediocre elements in any sort of artistic project!

The most solidly appealing aspect of SFG is the slow but steady conquest of the map. For gamers who like the feeling of completing a task, or even the sense of accomplishment from just crossing a finished chore off a to-do list, then SFG offers a varied and colorful to-do list of chores that require completing. But as for being a fun gaming experience, Spectral Force Genesis has little to recommend itself.

By Kyle B. Stiff
CCC Freelance Writer

Dark and impressive character designs are buried by the overuse of tiny dialogue portraits and the waddling super-deformed warriors shown in combat.
Simple, plodding, repetitive control scheme used during your nation's paper-pushing mode is broken up by fast combat sequences carried out by armies that are difficult to control. You don't touch and move your armies with the stylus so much as harpoon and then drag them, against their will, from point A to B.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Mediocre and repetitive, but at least inoffensive for lack of glaring flaws.

Play Value
SFG seems larger than it is because each campaign has its own flavor and unique perspective, but slogging uphill through one nation's campaign is such a test of patience that it's hard to imagine what would drive someone to willingly play through a second or third time.

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

Game Features:

  • Over 150 ships, a vast collection of ship modifications, and a huge cast of characters ensure infinite possibilities for customization.
  • Unique visual style, quality soundtrack and voice acting, and deep combat system set Infinite Space in a category by itself.
  • Mature themes and challenging gameplay give players a break from the usual DS fare.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Spectral Force: Genesis screenshot - click to enlarge Spectral Force: Genesis screenshot - click to enlarge Spectral Force: Genesis screenshot - click to enlarge Spectral Force: Genesis screenshot - click to enlarge

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