Though Spore Hero may share a name with the hit Will Wright game and have some aspects that resemble Spore’s creature stage, the similarities end there. Spore Hero takes players on an adventure through a handful of levels where they must solve puzzles and gather parts to upgrade and evolve their creature enough to take on the evil Zarkhator, a creature who is using red meteors to mesmerize the other creatures in an attempt to take over the planet. These “meteors” are more akin to a crystal formation that can be shattered (and sometimes reform).
Players start Spore Hero in a place called Mushroom Valley, with a basic creature. Finding a way out of the valley means befriending the other creatures through friendly competitive mini-games and battle. The various competitions include dancing, singing, and racing. Essentially, all a player must do to win is shake or move the controller or nun chuck at the right moment for their creature to perform the correct action. Each competition lasts around a minute or two and by the third time or so doing each mini-game, my arms were tired and my brain was a bit bored. Fighting was a bit more of a challenge.
Spore Hero is fairly mild with regard to content. There is no blood or gore found in the battles and creatures simply get defeated and do not die during a fight. For whatever reason, the red crystals that the game’s antagonist has called down from outer space mesmerizes the other creatures, causing them to go crazy, worship the crystals, and defend the crystals at any cost. Thankfully, even though some of the crystals reform, you still must only defeat each creature once that is protecting the crystal. Once a crystal is destroyed, the creatures around it go back to normal and can interact normally.
Though Spore Hero is a tame game, it has quite a few moments and bugs that make it frustrating. The game’s repetitiveness made it a bit of a chore to play through, but it is fun to customize the creature and take him on an adventure. If you are simply dying for more Spore, Spore Hero is a slight twist on the successful franchise, though be aware it does not quite live up to the Spore name.
» By Stephan Mack, Plain Games. Published 5/16/2010 8:47:36 PM.