I’d Like to Be…

Endless Ocean (link warning: creepy music) is one of those non-game games that crop up from time to time to remind people that games aren’t all about shooting and competition. At it’s core, it’s a marine biologist simulator. You dive in the fictional Pacific tropical reef of Manoa Lai and look for fish. Upon sighting a fish you have to obtain information from it. Strangely, this is mostly done by rubbing the fish (waving the Wii remote), though you can also feed them. When they like you enough, sparkles appear and you can read a short blurb. Sounds kind of trite, right? But it’s all in the presentation:

Endless Ocean: A sea star

{Look, a sea star!}

The graphics are wonderful. It’s not real-real, but it’s more than enough. Besides swimming around and rubbing fish, there are a few other objectives. You can also lead people on dives to find the fish they want to see. Someone working at a magazine will send requests for photos of certain fish. Your financial backer will point you towards certain features like shark spawning zone. But it’s all very open ended and these tasks can wait if you just want to dive.

There are of course some amusing things that crop up in this open-ended game. After a point, fish started to like me so much that they would follow me wherever I went. Sounds cute… until you want to take a picture. Then they ruin every photo I try to take by swimming in my face:

Endless Ocean: A ruined photo

{A nice photo of a hammerhead shark, except for the fish-in-my-face.}

The fish-rubbing mechanism is also questionable in places, like when stingrays are involved:

Endless Ocean: Fish rubbin' gaem

{Isn’t this what got the Crocodile Hunter killed?!}

Petting a lionfish is also a bit weird, since they have poisonous spines and all. And of course, one liked me so much it started following me. Safest. Dive. Ever.

To my surprise, the game has a basic plot involving my fellow researcher’s family issues and how they’re linked to her work. Also, I branch into underwater archaeology as the obligatory underwater ruins are discovered. It’s like I’m working… kind of.

Endless Ocean: Ruins

Endless Ocean is one of those “edutainment” titles that is actually engaging. It doesn’t take itself so seriously, which keeps its flaws in check. How could you not smirk when “Amazing Grace” starts playing upon seeing your first whale shark?

Update: I forgot to mention, the game can read mp3 files off of an SD card and play it instead of its own Christian tunes. Can you say “Octopus’s Garden?”

Endless Ocean: Boobies

{This game should be rated Mature because it has boobies.}

1 thought on “I’d Like to Be…

  1. Crystal says:

    I Really enjoyed reading this, It was very helpful, so I bought the game ( second one ) and I love it. Thanks

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