Spectrobes: Origins is an action role-playing game that pits you and your team of powerful spectrobes against a dark force that devours whole galaxies. It marks the first time that the series has made the leap from handheld to console and features a healthy variety of spectrobes and a promising battle system, but its core mechanics never mature enough to create a truly gripping adventure. It's also quite repetitive and beset by numerous annoying faults that make this a charming but unrefined button masher.
Pummel vicious krawl monsters with the help of your powerful spectrobes.
The plot is unexciting and predictable with flat characters and obvious twists, but it provides a sufficient backdrop that is nicely accentuated by spectrobes: creatures that fight alongside human masters. You're cast as Rallen and Jeena who are spectrobe masters. They are also members of the Nanairo Planetary Patrol, which is an organization dedicated to the eradication of vicious krawl monsters roaming the universe. After being sucked through a portal to the planet Wyterra, you must save the world from the krawl.
Similar to other monster-battling games, you'll lead a team of spectrobe creatures that span various elemental properties and types, such as fire and flying, to best foes and access new areas. Spectrobes awakened from fossils begin in child form and are easily managed via a virtual incubator room, where you feed them items you've collected to increase their health or experience. You can also evolve them to combat-ready adult form or train them via attack dummies, but otherwise, your interaction is fairly limited. Once on the field, child spectrobes are handy for unlocking doors and fetching items, and they're especially useful for solving puzzles as you explore open environments and robust temple ruins. These brainteasers are easy for the most party, but they're specifically tailored to each temple, so they at least keep the exploration vaguely interesting.
The real-time battle system is fast-paced and, at times, it's also fun. Combat actively incorporates the motion technology of the controllers in a refreshing twist where a simple swing of the remote commands your adult spectrobe to attack, while a tilt of the nunchuk dodges with your character. Spectrobes also employ devastating special attacks you initiate by holding the remote and nunchuk in a set pose, which is mildly entertaining. You can also perform basic combos by attacking the same monster with both a spectrobe and your character. Elemental attributes provide some depth by encouraging you to capitalize on a krawl's weakness, such as a plant-type krawl's susceptibility to fire. Weapon variety continues this theme and boasts several weapon types for your character--such as swords and axes that have elemental attributes--but these features are undermined by easy foes and dull button mashing. You'll also encounter some targeting difficulty when backed into corners or crowded because the camera swings and bounces the reticle, which reduces most boss battles to annoying tests of luck rather than skill. Spectrobe AI also irritates because the creatures will occasionally get caught on environmental objects or stand there as you're being thrashed, forcing you to reissue attack commands.