It's been a long and rocky road to the release of Spirit Hunters Inc. Shadow/Light. Having been announced way back in May 2010, Nnooo's AR Zapper has finally hit the 3DS eShop and Nintendo DSi store. But will it's impact in today's market be as big as expected?
Back in 2010, AR technology was relatively new and was quite an alien experience to most people, so the announcement of Spirit Hunters Inc. for DSiWare caused somewhat a large amount of excitement. The problem comes in the fact that since then, AR has already been used in countless ways, including by Nintendo themselves and has become less impressive.
Spirit Hunters Inc. attempts to fuse together the collection elements of Pokemon, with some sort of secret service based story line. It can all feel a little naff at times and refuses to impress us.
It would be the game's AR functionality that would be it's largest selling point and for the most part, this AR functionality works quite well and it's great to see an AR based game on DSiWare, but as we said before, AR is no new concept anymore and it will most likely cease to impress gamers.
It works quite simply, in the main spirit hunter mode, you must search a real life environment through your 3DS/DSi camera to find 'Spirits', you then attack these spirits using the touch screen by firing each of your abilities at them.
After a short while, this begins to feel a little repetitive, and that's where the main problem lies. You'll soon find your self battling the same 'Spirits', and the game becomes more of a task to gain XP than an enjoyable process.
As for player interaction, Spirit Hunters Inc. accomplishes this rather well. An awesome little idea is to have the player load in a picture of themself and that is used throughout gameplay. This feature adds a real sense of interaction between the player and game.
The main gameplay is stretched out by the extra challenges here, they actually add something to play for, whilst they last. They're pretty simple but some players will find alot of enjoyment out of collecting each of these achievements.
Nnooo have also added the Pokemon concept of two separate versions of the game. That's quite interesting to see in a download game.
In conclusion, we could negatively comment about Spirit Hunters Inc. all day, but it's not all that bad. Whilst feeling slightly repetitive at times, Nnooo clearly meant well with this title. Spirit Hunters Inc. was never designed to be a cheap little title and it really isn't. We've seen far worse ways you can spend 800 Points, but it all depends on how many times you are prepared to fight the same spirits. + Josh Moorcroft-Jones
6/10 - Spirit Hunters Inc. is quite disappointing, but it's still notable for it's ambitious concept.