Endless Ocean Wii
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Endless Ocean Product Details
Released on 09/11/2007
Out of its depth?
Having spent hours with Endless Ocean, I can honestly say I'm still not sure whether it's the most enjoyably relaxing game I've played, or the most boring. That may sound like a criticism, but it really just shows what a captivatingly surreal and slow paced experience Endless Ocean is.
Endless Ocean isn't going to be for everyone. It's a scuba sim where you swim around, scouring the ocean to catalogue marine life and taking jobs from your boat. On board you have storage for discovered items, a journal of sealife, plus your helpful, if geeky advisor Christine – who, despite being a sealife expert, can't actually swim. Nontheless, she's an entertaining character and essential in driving the game along with handy hints, advice and occasional tasks.
Endless Ocean is, at times, a truly captivating deep sea explore-em-up.
Though Endless Ocean isn't the first game to be set in the sea, it's a far cry from the likes of Sega's action-driven, puzzle-packed Ecco the Dolphin. Indeed, Endless Ocean's 'gamey' elements are somewhat lite, with next to no narrative, zero real dangers to speak of – nothing ever attacks you, nor are there any panic-inducing diving emergencies – and an overall sedate pace.
And yet, Endless Ocean is, at times, a truly captivating deep sea explore-em-up, with controls that are simplicity itself – overlooking the Nunchuk to use the Wii remote for all movement, menu navigation and animal interaction.
In the water you'll follow Endless Ocean's compass to keep your bearings; moving a pointer around and pressing B to swim in that direction. The A button lets you focus on items of interest, whilst the 1 button brings up your map, and the D-Pad accesses a menu from where you can choose to surface, plus use things like your diving equipment, or feed the fish.
Part of Endless Ocean's charm is the almost Pokemon-esque compulsion it creates to find and catalogue Endless Ocean's considerable list of sealife. It's not just a purely egghead thing, because it becomes integral to doing well at your job as a knowledgeable diving instructor.
When a client asks you to take them diving to find a specific fish, you won't want to disappoint – and the more you explore Endless Ocean, the more you'll begin to intrinsically know where, and at what time of day, to find exactly what you need. Its fascinating fish fare, and has an educational element too.
Its fascinating fish fare, and has an educational element too.
That's not to say Endless Ocean is a chore. As well as the remarkably in-depth (sorry!) exploration, you've diving gear to unlock, an aquarium to populate, and dolphin diving partners to find and train in a stick-waggling minigame. Moreover, there are tons of secret areas to discover, plus a Wi-Fi mode to swim with a friend – and of course, despite the Wii not matching PS3 and 360 in raw power, Endless Ocean looks absolutely beautiful, with an Enya-like quality to its soundtrack that rounds off the mesmerising presentation.
I like Endless Ocean in the same way I liked the light, unfocused fun of DS Electroplankton, and players may find a similar level of satisfaction in this as something like Animal Crossing. Endless Ocean is an enchanting little timesink available for a budget price, so if you like your gaming on the slower side, its definitely worth diving into its delightful deep-Wii adventure.
- A lovely, relaxing deep-sea explore-em-up
- Mesmerising presentation and enchanting Enya-like sound
- A distinct educational slant
- Will probably bore the snorkles off action game fans
- Not a typical game, with barely any real narrative, action, or diving dangers to speak of
- The controls can feel a little light and unresponsive
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