Spore Hero (Wii) Review

By James Temperton 14.01.2010

Review for Spore Hero on Wii

The concept of the original Spore was tremendously exciting. For the first time ever a developer had the bravery to take on the very idea of life, of what it means to be alive. The intricacies and multiplicity of life and all its colours and shades and subtleties were mapped out for you to play with. Problem was, it didn't quite go far enough. It was simply too big a thing to get to grips with. Spore Hero, then, is an attempt to rework the idea in a new way; the platformer.

When Cubed3 went hands on with this game earlier this year we were certainly pleasantly surprised. Our main concern was if this Wii version could handle the sheer magnitude of the Spore universe. Alas, this is a game that is very aware of what the Wii is all about; family fun. This is very much a watered down affair. Everything that was complex and interesting about Spore has been sacrificed in favour of saccharine platform fun.

Case in point: the training level is called Mushroom Valley. Not to suggest anything, but that is mighty suspect. From the very start the game has promise. The creature creator might have been simplified, but it is still terrific fun and allows for all sorts variation and customisation. Moving from this first moment of creation you get the chance to have a bit of an explore and chat to the characters that are mulling about the valley. All pretty standard stuff, but it looks pretty and garish and suitable wacky, so it gets away with it. Problem is, it doesn't really move on from the 'standard'. Spore Hero manifests itself pretty quickly as a run of the mill platform-a-thon.

Screenshot for Spore Hero on Wii

You collect, fight, jump, collect some more, explore and complete mini-games. The whole evolving thing and creature creation feels tacked on. Or to be more accurate, the cookie-cutter game as a whole is tacked onto the glory that is the creature creator. Taking our ridiculous looking monster with limbs all over the place and huge hands so it falls over itself when it runs, we braved the exploring element. Collecting bits to use in the creature creator is somewhat akin to levelling up. You become more powerful, get more parts to use and with this you can explore new areas and take on new challenges.

Aside from exploring and creating, the other major part of this game is fighting. And the fighting is perhaps the weakest element. The cardinal sin of Wii games is pointless and ineffectual waggling and this is heaped on in spoonfuls. Consequentially, all fighting involves is button mashing and wrist shaking. Dull. Aiming a game at children is all well and good, but the problem comes when you patronise them, make it all too easy and sacrifice the very heart and soul of a franchise. Without getting repetitive, this is just a standard platform title with Spore slapped on the front.

That's not to suggest it does anything badly. Graphically it looks suitable gaudy and shiny and all the squeaks and squelches are appropriately cute and cuddly. What's perhaps the most appealing aspect is the way in which it attempts to let you leave your mark on the world. If you explore lots you'll get a more exploratory creature, if you fight more you'll get a better fighter. Alongside this you have the chance to 'leave your mark' by altering other creatures and generally mucking around with your surroundings. But it never goes far enough, it always keeps with what is comfortable, what is tediously generic.

Screenshot for Spore Hero on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Some people say that indifference is worse than hatred. Irritatingly, this game does so little wrong apart from being average and run of the mill. The biggest irk is the lack of anything from the Spore franchise that made it stand out. Yes the creature creator is here, but everything else is just template toss that, although done very nicely, is utterly uninspiring. From start to finish this game patronises and holds your hands, and whilst kids will undoubtedly enjoy the simple fun to be had, this is a game that really lets itself down.

Developer

EA

Publisher

EA

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (9 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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