Endless Ocean

Published by Nintendo, Developed by Arika

Genres: Adventure (1 players)

US release date: Jan 21st, 2008 | EU release date: Nov 9th, 2007

Endless Ocean review

Shallow waters = Ocean therapy!

Randolph the Grey wrote this game review.

Review written by
Randolph the Grey

Endless Ocean is an experience unique to the Wii. It puts you into the flippers of a scuba diver, navigating your way around a fictional ocean to document the creatures living there. You can also seek out hidden treasures buried along the seabed.

This game is purely relaxation. It may not be that deep, but it is one of the most enjoyable experiences on the Wii thus far. Some may say that it's no good because it's not action packed, but this game is very polished. Nintendo never fails to impress.

Endless Ocean screenshot

Graphics

The graphics are very beautiful underwater, with the fish and other aquatic life simply taking your breath away. I've gotten lost many a time in the water just exploring. The diver animations, the water animations, and the animal animations are all smooth, they're clean, they're very nice. The ability to zoom in on just about anything underwater makes the game seem much more detailed, and it's fun to zoom into random places, as you never know what you'll find.

On the flip side, out of the water, the graphics seem to flop. You don't have many choices for a character design and they walk stiffly. The water when you're on the boat seems kind of bland, and there's not much to do, but wait to get back in. However, you'll spend most of your time in the water, so you don't have to suffer through the boat scenes for long.

Endless Ocean screenshot

Sound

The constant breathing of your diver is nice, and it gives a layer of realism to your explorations. The noises that the fish make to you sound good too. The swish of water behind your fins helps add to the hypnotic underwater world.

Accompanying your dive is a soft soundtrack that perfectly suits the peaceful mood. If it's not to your liking, you also have the option to load your own MP3 tracks via SD card.

Endless Ocean screenshotThe lack of voice overs is obvious, especially for a game that doesn't have much depth of gameplay. They don't even move their lips! However, you don't have to deal with this underwater.

Gameplay

Very simple. See that? Two words to sum up the gameplay, but I will go into specifics here. You point where you want to swim, and you pull B. Then you swim there. Too difficult? Press the minus button once, and you'll not have to worry about holding B. Just press any button to exit auto swim mode.

Endless Ocean screenshotTo interact with fish, point at them until your reticle turns yellow, and press A. When you're zoomed in, you can tap A on the fish to poke it, or hold A and waggle to pet it. Or, press start, and you can select food and feed a fish. By interacting and familiarizing yourself with fish, you'll gain information from them for your underwater encyclopedia.

Also, the ability to unlock new underwater suits and equipment adds a small bit of depth to this game, though not enough to really make a difference.

That's it. There's the gameplay summed up. I may sound pessimistic, however, I'm making sure that people understand this. The very, very simple controls don't hamper gameplay by any means. It only helps to make the controller disappear, to immerse you in the underwater paradise. You can easily lose track of time just poking fish, exploring coral reefs, and searching for treasure. It's amazing how simplicity can hypnotize you.

Endless Ocean screenshot

Online

It never hurts to have online, although the Wi-Fi functionality of Endless Ocean adds little to the game. Still, some may find it fun to explore with a friend. Personally, I stick to solo play. There's not much to describe online that I haven't mentioned already. There's no lag, so you'll have smooth gameplay. It's not bad online, it's just not different.

Summary

Endless Ocean screenshotAny new property from Nintendo is worth a look. This is the most simple a game can get, but the most relaxing. There are no time limits, no life to worry about, just you and the ocean. The small flaws can be overlooked. This game rides solely on its simplicity to deliver some of the most therapeutic gameplay ever created.

There's nothing to stop you from picking up this game. Even its price tag is only $30! So grab the game, grab your controller, and get lost in the ocean.

82%

Gameplay: Gameplay score: 9

Graphics: Graphics score: 8

Sound: Sound score: 7

Lifespan: Lifespan score: 8

User comments

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hbh said:

It's fun to just dive in with my partner dolphin, Dasini, and explore the wonders of the ocean. A good game for calming down.

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asparaWIIgus said:

Good review, but I loved the prayer song.

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Nintendoof said:

Thanks for the review Randolph. It was nice and I might pick up this game soon.

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Step said:

My kids ought to enjoy this. Maybe we can leave it on autoswim and have a sort of "screensaver" during evening time craziness.

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dw4 said:

Nice review I like this game a lot.

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Epsilon said:

Heh, imagine loading up Metallica XD. Still debating whether or not I should set aside some cash for this.

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Kain said:

Dunno if I should get this, I'm a DiveMaster and got a little annoyed at the inconsistencies with real diving and this, but that's just me being me.

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monkeylemur said:

There's an unrealistic factor to this game: narcosis, look it up.

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Wiipaw said:

Hmm. This game makes me hungry for ocean bacon (look it up).

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Son Ninja said:

What a way to explore the ocean deep, this game reminds of early undersea games like Treasures of the Deep for PS1 and the EverBlue series for the PS2. Also having the option to rip your own mp3s when exploring the game is a nice plus. This feature is great and I'm surprise Nintendo didn't bring it to Super Smash Bros. Brawl. If we can create our own stages in that game, could they have at least let us rip our own music for it as well. Excite Truck had that option and I'm surprised Nintendo didn't use it.

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Gabriella said:

Endless Ocean is so awesome. It is definitely the first game that I would recommend for a friend. I LOVE the way that whenever you feed an animal the food looks like a humongous blub of orange stuff. It is so funny how the girl can not swim and the penguin is so cute.

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