Aug 4, 2012

Endless Ocean: Blue World Review

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     Killer sharks and sunken castles. What's not to love? Get ready to dive into the crazy world of Endless Ocean and find out!
     I have no clue why this game exists. Maybe the developers of Nintendo went Scuba diving on vacation and wanted it to count as a business trip. I don't know, either way I have to review it.
     Now, to give the game credit, it does have the best underwater controls I've seen for a Wii game so far (swimming and motion controls don't mix. Even the famed Super Mario Galaxy's barely made it work.), but considering the underwhelming pile of ballsy Wii games who've dared to go beneath the depths, that's not all that impressive. As it is, the controls are at first a little off, but it's something you'll get used to and will adjust to. The actual swimming I admit can be a little slow, unless if you're scanning the seafloor for hidden objects via the Multisensor, in which case the controls are too fast. However, the slowness is later solved by use of animal partners such as dolphins, who double your speed and allow you to outrun even sharks.
It's crap-you-pants time.
      The story isn't all that Impressive. You are a College Student who is spending a School Break diving with L&L Diving Sevice, a company based off of the almost too tiny Nineball Island out in the Carribean. The main goal of the game at first is to find the legendary Valka Castle in the Aegean Sea in the Mediteranean, but afterwards clues lead to an even more famed treasure known as the Pacifica Treasure, a treasure in which Oceana's (one of your diving partners) father, Matthias died trying to find. There are sidequests, for example you often run errands for this Aquarium in Japan and you even take people on Dive Tours and quite often film wildlife for Nature Magazines and whoever else wants them.
     By the way, notice the names. OceanA. PacificA. Aren't they creative?
Something's not right here.
     The only other thing there really is to do is salvage items from the sea floor to be later appraised via this traveling merchant named Nancy, or you can heal up injured and sick animals for this conservation group, or you can train an animal partner such as the dolphin I told of earlier to do tricks and such. Or if you feel like it collect 1 Million Pelagos (the currency in the game) to return back to the cavern of the Gods, the place where the Pacifica Treasure is located, which will get damaged  by ahh singing whales in your quest....
      The graphics are really good for a Wii title, but still prove to be a little awkward as there are far too many times Oceana would just stare dead at you, eyes unmoving, chest not heaving like a friggin corpse, but what Wii game doesn't have that? The cutscenes are very impressive and are at first breathtaking in the regard that they seem so much like a movie, yup all 3 of them.
Whale Fail
 
        The game also tries very hard to make everything seem real but at the same time trying to integrate story, they overlook some... stupid areas. Don't get me wrong, their whole variety of fish is fine and dandy and all and their Ancient Artifact they let you salvage are quit impressive... and shiny, but honestly how the hell does one talk underwater to each other... and have the other hear them.... with a rebreather thingy in their mouth? I mean yes they did establish there is a small radio near the earpiece as you can hear Captain Jean-Eric Louvier (Oceana's grandfather who always mans your ship and stays there as he cannot dive due to a medical condition), but they never did explain how the divers can talk back! Also the game lets you approach a friggin polar bear! And you don't get your face ripped off! Perhaps the most unrealistic thing of all in this game is the fact that when a shark bites you, all you lose is air (which functions as your life bar). You leave with no injuries, no scars, not nothing. Just that dammed air. But I suppose if there are tooth shaped holes on your wetsuit, I suppose you'd loose some air... 
Bonding over the tale of Daddy's Death. Charming.
       Endless Ocean is simply a game that didn't need to exist, but it sure doesn't do any harm existing. The game did take a crucial step in getting the bugs out of underwater motion controls, however it tries to be so realistic while it tries to dumb down this adventure for kids. The game boasts the fact you can go all over the world yet really has only 8 locations on the globe. In the end, the thing that really bites this game is time. Gameplay time, that is. It's just too short. For a game that boasts the Ocean to be "Endless", this game's end sure is in plain site. There really isn't much variety in what to do as far as the main quest goes, you just look for shit and solve the occasional puzzle, sometimes calm down the occasion shark via your pulsar machine, yet I have to admit the game's story is entertaining and it does boast some cinematic qualities. That being said, it certainty isn't a bad game, but it's not a series I would very much like to see continued, unless if they added more locations, fixed the controls more, and added a little more variety in what to do (perhaps some minigames...?)

FINAL SCORE: B

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