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Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Endless Ocean

If you thought the title was some sort of witty title made up by me than you're wrong.  As much as I'd hate to say it.

So, I picked up Endless Ocean the other day (*cough* £17.99 from PLAY.  Yes, that's right.  Under £18!!!).  And if you've never heard of it, which is probably true for most of you then I'll briefly explain.

You're a scuba diver (fully customizable: male or female, start of with standard kit and you unlock others).  And you dive.  That's pretty much the whole premise of the game.  Sure, there's this slight story to it but the good thing is that you don't have to follow it!  You just receive emails on a cell phone (???) and you can choose whether or not to do them.  But I think you should, since to obtain the camera,pen, whistle etc. you need to progress through the story mode.

The graphics are solid and the way all the fishes (and land animals.  I SAW A PENGUIN ON MY BOAT) animate are all very realistic.  A perfect game for casual gamers, hell my sisters are waning their way through it now.  And the amount of marine life you see in this game is amazing, I've only played the game for a few short hours and I've seen, what?  30, maybe even 40 types of fish.  Ranging from the tiny fishes to Hammerhead sharks.

The music is also good.  The in-game music is pristine and calming.  Perfect for a game such as this.  I say 'in-game' because this is the second game (the first being Excite Truck) to support music playing from SD cards.  You understand what that means, right?  Put any sort of music on an SD card and slot it into the Wii.  And then BAM!  No, your Wii does not explode (but it would be cool if it did); you choose the Audio thing on your ship and you can play your very own music!  EVEN WHILE DIVING.  If that's not awesome, I don't know what is.  Although it'd be kind of weird to be diving to the tunes of a heavy metal rock band or something like Weird Al (depending on your tastes).

The game only requires you to use the Wiimote and is very easy to control.  You point where you want to go and your on-screen avatar faces that direction.  Press B and you start swimming towards it.  Obviously, for the lazy ones out there who can't be asked to hold a button, then there's always AutoSwim.  Which you can activate when pressing the '-' button.  Unfortunately, there is no such feature in real life.  Everything is kept simple and easy to understand, even for the most simple-minded of us.  With tutorials that show you what to do, showing you what buttons to press etc.  But for anyone who has any experience playing the Wii before, you could properly pick up the controls just by messing around for a few minutes and testing the buttons.  That's what I did.  :P

It's also possible to have partners join you in a dive.  During the story, 'clients' will ask you to dive with them and show them certain types of fish.  These tasks are ok, but a tad frivolous I think.  Also, early on in the game you obtain a pet dolphin that joins you on dives.  You can also teach it tricks!  Unfortunately that dolphin can't talk (like the dolphins from 'Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy') and the only real means of communicating with it is through a whistle.  Er... not that effective.  You can also interact with it (and other fishes) by patting it, stroking it and nudging it.  It's also possible to feed them and take photos of them (once you obtain the camera).  But you can't store many photos, 40 at most in the photo album.  Which is a real bummer.

Then there's Wi-Fi.  And I've got to say, I'm pretty please with the online play.  Sure, I haven't actually used it yet - since I don't know ANYONE who has this game.  But the premise is good.  You can visit your friends boats and dive with them, allow others to visit you.  But again, friend codes.  Damn.  The only real gripe is the forms of communication, that is the lack of it.  As you can see by the video above you can communicate with this pen that can DRAW IN WATER.  And yes, you can use that in the single-player game.  Additionally you can have pre-set messages, but those don't work too well either.  So, Nintendo:  Another cry for a headset.

The way the game is set out, there are also no immediate threats to the player.  So you can dive to your hearts content, you do have an air limit but that seems to last forever.  I dived for a whole 20 odd minutes and had about two-thirds of the meter left.  There is seriously no way you can die in this game... that is until you meet some of the more aggressive sharks...

I haven't met any... yet.  I'm dying (not literally) to meet one since I came across a post where this dude was torn limb-from limb by a tiger shark.  It also happened to kill his pet dolphin.  I'd seriously like to see that.  But being the internet and all, I can't exactly trust what he said.  So I'll have to wait to find out myself, hopefully I'll come across these Tiger Sharks soon...

That about wraps up the game.  It's a worthy addition to the your library of Wii games if you're into stuff like this and being at budget price also helps!  The only real thing it's lacking for me is some sort of local multiplayer, cos it would be kinda cool to call some friends around and dive for a bit.  But Super Mario Galaxy is coming out soon anyway, and GHIII too.  Which both are going to be A-W-E-S-O-M-E.  Heed my word.


Not much else to note.  We did happen to go to Tesco the other day and my sister actually picked up a Graphics Tablet (for cheap!) and my mum picked up an alright camera.

There was also that Bright Start Gig or something on yesterday.  I didn't go.  Yea, well I had stuff to do.  I believe Gavin & co. went so you can ask him about it or something.  I heard Shane Ward was there but not exactly singing... maybe they were playing a record over him and he was attempting to lip-sync.  The key word there is 'attempting.'

Not much more to say except that I have TWO TESTS this week.  Yes, you can laugh... for now.  But you know what?  I'm going to get a racing stripe!  I'm totally going to travel about 1,000 MPH faster because of that racing stripe.

Ah, sh*t.  Maybe not.

As if someone had the idea before me...


EDIT:  Oh and does anyone remember a little flash game that swept the interweb by storm when it hit?  No?  How bout if I say: 'Fancy Pants Adventure'?  Still no?  Geez man, get a life.

Anyway, Brad Borne (the dude who made the game) has started up his own blog and has been posting BETAs for people to try out.

Here it is:  Borne Games

Currently the newest one is BETA .06 and remember it's still in BETA.

I think the picture on the right sums up the first game perfectly.  And no, that isn't Gimely.  As much as I would like it to be.



EDIT#2:  Ah crap.  Why do I keep forgetting stuff?  Anyway, there's now a new snazzy banner up top.  And it looks quite good, if I say so myself.  I went for a minimalist design and just for the record:  The slogan is all me, baby.  All me.  It's been copyrighted to and is now my official slogan!


banner1 The 'new' banner.

The music player has also been improved.  There is now visualizations or whatever they're called at the back and it now fits better.  Woot woot.

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