~ Silvercube's family-friendly blog on random entertainment and life.

Endless Ocean Review

Endless Ocean, a game for the Nintendo Wii that I had been waiting for quite some time was finally released on January 22nd, 2008. I mentioned about this game in a spotlight I wrote about a few weeks ago. Is the game worthy of a purchase? Read on to find out.
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Platform: Nintendo Wii
Developer: Arika
Category: Adventure
Players: 1-2 Online
MSRP: $29.99
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Imagine a secret world that has never been discovered before, a deep blue covering the depths of the unknown, with rays of light permeating through your pathway of exploration. Welcome to Endless Ocean, where you are a diver exploring the sea and all of its magical inhabitants.

In the beginning of the game, the player has the option to make the diver male or female, along with a few other slight customizations. You begin the adventure on a boat named the Gabbiano (Italian for Seagull), where you meet Catherine Sunday, your guide. It is your task to explore the ocean and collect information, and as the game progresses you unlock more items to use- such as a camera, an underwater pen, and a light to go swimming at night. The simple controls makes the game feel very relaxing, as the environments and the tranquil soundtrack, which more songs are unlocked as you progress, primarily consisting of beautiful vocalist Hayley Westenra – further put you into a trance.

But exactly what is this game about? By sailing your boat to any desired location on the map, you can then dive into the location, and explore the sea, finding, feeding, and petting fish, turtles, dolphins, sharks, and many other species. If you look carefully, you can even find sunken treasure. You can return to the boat whenever you like, and enter into the cabin to save your progress. Also in the cabin you will find a mobile device which you recieve emails from, detailing your accomplishments, and also giving you missions ranging from being a diving tour guide to taking a specific picture of a sea creature. Of course the missions are optional, but when completing them you may unlock a few things, in which you will be notified in an email.

Besides the missions and sea exploration, what else does this game have to offer? There is an aquarium in which you can display a few of the sea inhabitants, and also as well an option to have up to three dolphins as your partners in which you can train to do different tricks depending on how you use your Wiimote. There is even an option in which a selected dolphin can dive with you. Some of them allow you to even hold on to them, and will carry you in the sea.

All of these elements are great, but what really makes this game special is the graphics. At times you will be in awe at how beautiful some of the scenery is, and at times it seems like you really are in the sea. The level of detail put into the look is astounding, and makes the game feel very realistic. On top of all of that, you can even go online with a friend and dive together for as long as you like. All of these features and even more surprises are in store, and for only $30 this is an excellent deal.

Presentation: A simple to use interface that anyone could understand in a manner of moments. The calm aura this game emits is felt throughout. The game presents itself in a way that one could never get lost, and is quite user-friendly. The game features its own in game calendar and time, and the days and months progress quicker, which also means different sea creatures to find in the sea depending on those aspects. The lack of voices in the game is a bit of a let down though. [9.0]

Gameplay: Consists of exploring the sea, finding new species to add to the encyclopedia, as well as training dolphins. One can undertake missions as well, and also customize the aquarium with whatever you have discovered. You unlock many different things as the game progresses, which further adds to its longevity. If all you want to do is lay down and watch the ocean, you can do that as well. Some people may not enjoy doing any of this at all, as there is no action in this game. Furthermore, it would have been nice if there could have been a few more features added to this game, such as sending photos to one another. [8.0]

Graphics/Sound: Gorgeous, jaw-dropping environments when exploring the sea. However, when on the boat, it is not as good. There is a bit of graphical jaggies, and the outside scenery looks like it was from the Nintendo 64. The sound consists of wildlife noises, as well as a beautiful soundtrack, mainly consisting of Hayley Westenra. If you don’t like the music, you can always choose your own if you have an SD card. Unfortunately none of the humans speak, and that could have added more feel to the game. [8.5]

Value Factor: For only $30, there are quite a few things to do in the game. But for those who love action, you will probably be bored out of your mind. While not appealing to everyone, for those that do give this game a chance, you may just end up falling in love with it, and for those seeking to find every sea inhabitant, this game will keep you going for quite some time. [8.0]

Bottom Line: While there is no action, this game certainly is unique, and has quite a few features that will keep people playing for awhile. The online capabilities along with the beautiful graphics make this game worthy of a purchase, especially since its only $30. I personally find the game to be enjoyable, but I can’t say that it is perfect at all. Some people will either love this game and feel its worthy of a 10, while others may hate it and feel its worthy of a 2. Regardless, everyone should at least rent this game and see if it is something that is worth playing and owning. This game may just very well be the sleeper hit game of the year for 2008.

+ Beautiful Graphics when in the sea
Very realistic and relaxing
Only $30!

Graphics not as beautiful when outside
May bore some people
More features would have been nice

Overall: [7.5]

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One response

  1. Sweet.

    January 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm

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