Thursday, October 23, 2008

rigo reviews the creature stage of spore!

This review of spore is two of 6, each detailing the individual levels of spore, and then an overall score.


Hello and welcome back to rigo's spore review! This time I will be going into detail about the creature stage, the most action packed level. This is the second stage. You advance to it after eating enough food in the creature stage to 'evolve' onto land. To begin with you are made to choose some legs for your creature. However you can choose to not give your creature legs, and to make him crawl around. But that is very slow, and not very practical. After the addition of legs, you are also able to add many new parts, with varying abilities. These include combat, social and movement abilities, all with I believe 5 levels. Each increase in level of the skill increase the strength of it. However you dont level up the parts, you just buy better ones..

First of all, the movement parts allow you to move, run, glide, jump and sneak. These all do what they say on the tin. The combat abilities include swipe, bite, charge, and scratch. Thses also do what they say. These are used to damage other creatures. Finally you have social abilities. These are dance, sing, pose, and charm. These are used to interact with other creatures in a little minigame. In the minigame you use the same social ability that the creature you are trying to impress uses. The higher your level of the skill, the more a little bar fills up. If you reach the middle of the bar first, you increase that particular creatures liking towards you. There is also the factor of how many creatures are present. Sometimes another creature from the same nest will join in the socialising, making it harder to fill your side of the bar up. However you can also have friendly creatures in your party sing/dance along with you improving your score too. Which brings me onto my next point. When you befriend another nest, you can ask one of the creatures to join your party, which can hold up to 3 friendlies. You get more spaces as you get more DNA points.

DNA points are the currency of the creature stage too, just like to cell stage. Both befriending other creatures and socializing with them increase your DNA points. More DNA points means more and better parts when you mate. Mating is similar to the cell stage, in that you sing and then find a mate. However all of your mates are in the same spot, your home nest. This nest is also where you are born when you edit your creature, and you can heal there. An interesting thing is that you will migrate to new nests during the creature stage, atleast 2 times. This just involves following a little line on your mini-map to the new nest.

I think these are the basic concepts of the creature stage, now about my comments. My biggest complaint about the creature stage is the length of time spent on it, and the depth. Sure the first time you play you will want to explore and try new things, but successive plays will be very tiresome and you just want to get it over and done with. I believe I can get it done in about 10 minutes if I set my mind to it. Also for the high amount of parts in the creature stage, there is not much variety in the abilities. However this is also a good point. There is a lot of customization, in terms of aesthetics. Sure many of the parts do the same thing, but a lot of them look very unique. Which is where the replayability comes in. not the gameplay, but the editor. And that is the biggest thing in this game. The amount of things you can create. The individual stages seem like demos, just to show that there could be a game, and to make gamers happy. It seems most of the time has been spent on the editors. And that is where people will spend most of their time in the game


the creature stage is fun the first time, but becomes tiresome to play later. However the many parts in the editor will allow for much customisation of creatures, which seems to be the main selling point of the game.


presentation – 7 – nice, simple interface, similar to the cell stage

Graphics – 8 – exactly the same as the cell stage, kind of dissapointing. They could have made it look much better. And im no graphics whore

sound – 10 – again, same as the cell stage, it fits the mood of the gameplay very well

gameplay – 8 – same as cell stage, not much depth, but it is fun the first time.

lasting appeal – 10 – forget the whole stage, just the editor alone will last you awhile. especially if you are into seeing how far you can stretch the limit of the engine, or make your favorite game characters etc.

TOTAL = 43/50 = 8.6/10 = 86% = A = alright I guess...

Rigo, might rescore the cell stage later >_>

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rigo reviews the cell stage of spore!

This review of spore is one of 6, each detailing the individual levels of spore, and then an overall score.


Hello and welcome to rigo's first review of spore, this one is of spores first stage, the cell stage. This is the first of 5, each with their own individual style of gameplay. The cell stage consists of you being 'created' when a meteor shower hits your home planet. You begin in a primordial soup, competing with other newly created creatures for food. You can be either a carnivore, who eats meat which drops from dead creatures, a herbivore who eats plants floating in the water, or an omnivore, who eats both. You can soon add different body parts to your creature, after mating. These include fins to move faster, little things that shoot in or electricity, and different eyes. However I would have liked more variety in the different parts in the cell stage. You gain extra parts by defeating enemies with them, or by breaking open meteor fragments.

To 'win' the cell stage, you have to collect enough DNA points by eating things, which are also the 'money' that let you buy new parts. Depending on which route you pick, be it carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore, you get a specific 'evolution card', which entitle you to different special abilities in later phases, and ultimately your 'class' so to speak in the space phase. After you have enough DNA points to evolve to land, you get to spend your remaining points on legs (or not) to walk the planet on. Your mouth also determines what you can eat in the creature and tribal stages, but more on that later.


overall the cell stage is well designed, albeit lacking in content, I hear that the company who made spore (maxis) are planning on releasing many expansion packs for the game, one of them for the cell stage. Hopefully we get more parts and depth to the stage.


presentation – 7 – nice looking interface, but can be somewhat complicated to understand when you are new, and gives out very little information for someone who has played many times.

Graphics – 8 – while good, they are far from perfect graphics, looking too unrealistic. Not that I want perfect realism, it is just too cartoony for me :/. I would also have liked to be able to add more effects to your creature, like gills and such. However the paint mode is very cool

sound – 10 – amazing music and quality, very relaxing, and soothing. Nice effects when you kill another creature then eat the meaty chunks that explode from the creature :)

gameplay – 8 – the idea is there, but it is very simplified. I would have liked more parts, and some better controls

lasting appeal – 7 – once you have played it about 3 times even, it gets boring real quick. After the 9th time, which you will need to do if you want all the achievements, it will most likely be very boring

TOTAL = 40/50 = 8/10 = 80% = A- = pretty cool

Rigo, out