Surprisingly "deep" ocean exploration.
Review written by
October 29th, 2012
You're here for a review, but please give me some time to set up a story here. It's about how I first came across the game, and I can guarantee that if you are the kind of person who likes to judge games on their box-art, you will relate.
Since 2010, this game has been sitting enticingly in my local Big W (it's an Australia thing), calling me with it's enticing call of an eternally expanding ocean, ready for the lonely likes of myself to plumb its unexplored depths. The title screams "peaceful, underwater adventure". Well, in 2012, I finally decided to "take the plunge" and get my greasy little mitts on a copy. And let me tell you, the game did not live up to my expectations... but still left a large impression on me, which was quite a confusing feeling.
When the game says "Endless Ocean", it promises an infinite void of water full of various tropical life to view, study and collect. Of course, that's impossible; there's only so much you can do with video games [at the time of writing -ed]. The game is split up into several locations, scattered across the world. So if you're thinking of a huge hole on the side of the earth filled with water and fish, you'll be temporarily disappointed.
Why "temporarily"? Because before long, you'll realize that each new location adds some much needed variety to the game. Instead of diving into the same old watery hole every day, you can go to a completely different place with completely different lighting, fish, reefs - everything. And Endless Ocean 2 is a much better game for it.
The controls are a bit tough to get used to, but perseverance will definitely pay off here. If you can master the swimming controls, you will unlock a huge adventure with many a wonderful moment to be experienced. Even if you just want to dive and photograph fish (like myself), you will be swept up into the adventure in no time. This is due to 2 things: the epic plot, and the epic music.
The plot involves Atlantis with the serial number filed off, and whales. That's all you need to know. That's all it should take. But in case that doesn't strike your fancy, there's also treasure. Lots and lots of treasure.
As for the music... Oh my GOD. You have your general spacey underwater tunes, and then you have a woman with a clear, crisp voice basically humming to a beautiful melody, and it FREEZES YOU IN YOUR TRACKS because you were NOT EXPECTING IT. The music sells the game very, very well. It is literally half the reason to buy the game, and that's not because everything else sucks: it's because the music is INCREDIBLE.
The voice-acting is non-existent, though. There are lip flaps, but no sound. Some fish make noises which are pleasant, but there aren't too many sound effects. I'm not complaining, though: most of the sound effects are nice (barring the Multisensor, of course) and less noise means more music. So in the end, it all balances out.
The graphics are very nice, and very detailed. The humans are a bit... off, but the marine life is very, very well-done. Especially for a Wii game; while some things look like they've been blown up like a pool toy, a lot of the models are very nice.
Now, how long can you play this game after it's wrapped up? Well, that's up to you: You can befriend every fish in the game, or find all the salvageable items, or all the coins, or you could fill in all the maps, or buy every object in the game, or mess around in your artificial reef... There is literally hours of content waiting for you in-between - and after - the main plot is over. It is not infinite, of course, but there is a substantial amount of content outside of the plot. You'll be kept busy for days on end.
So, according to those sliders, I have given this game a rank of 88%. That's good enough, I suppose. If you have some serious time to kill, give Endless Ocean 2 a lookover. You will be satisfied. Even if you start off with a bad taste in your mouth, you will fall in love with this game. Please, I beg of you, give it a go and fall in love.
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