Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep Wii Review
Publisher – Nintendo – Developer – Arika – Genre – Adventure – Players – 1 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other formats – N/A
I wouldn’t get into a plane, I wouldn’t drive a car at dangerous speeds and, as interesting as it is, I certainly wouldn’t want to enter the depths of the ocean. Fortunately, our hobby allows us to do all these things without any real world repercussions, and it’s the aforementioned deep, blue sea that Endless Ocean 2 invites players into.
Following a credits sequence and a brief underwater tutorial you then create a diver, well if you can call choosing from a few options creating, that is. Basically, you choose your gender, name, and if your face is as pale as a ghost, medium or dark, and finally if your diver has soft or strong features. It’s all about as deep as a dispersing puddle then, and really quite pointless.
The story, on the other hand, is quite decent for an underwater adventure. It involves a diving team seeking the truth about The Song of Dragons: a mystery that stems from a strange sound coming from beneath the sea. It doesn’t really get any deeper than this and has unspoken dialogue at all times, although it remains intriguing enough as the diving team attempts to find out what and where the noise is coming from.
Sadly, I didn’t play the original game, but, going off information from others, Endless Ocean 2 appears to be a vastly improved sequel. The underwater exploits are informative, relaxing, immersive and rarely thrilling – indeed if you want to be killing fish, harpooning enemies with dodgy accents and causing underwater explosions, then the Endless Ocean series should probably be ignored by you. You should play something else instead; this is not the game for you.
In the deep, blue sea Endless Ocean 2 evokes all the emotions that I would imagine that the keen diver experiences when exploring the depths, swimming with aquatic life and viewing all the wonders that surround them. It’s a truly wonderful and immersive underwater world, and one made all the more realistic by a believable illusion of actually being underwater, complete with lifelike fish which both look and move realistically – more so than any fish I’ve ever had on my plate, I’ll tell you that. It’s just a shame that they don’t behave like they should: there’s information about each sea creature (not exactly to the extent of Wikipedia, although it’s still educational enough) that you discover, although never do you see them attacking, eating each other and the like, unless it’s one of those rare scripted story moments. If I read how they should behave during the game itself, then I’d like to see them getting up to what they should be getting up to as opposed to acting uncharacteristically.
Now to the diving, and the controls are excellent. Using only the Wii remote (there’s an option to use the classic controller instead, but it’s best ignored), you hold a button to swim and your diver will travel in the direction that you are pointing. Obviously, you’ve got to keep an eye on your oxygen; although an empty tank won’t result in a choking death and will simply return you to the surface. The diving also gives you the use of various fancy gadgets, including the Pulsar (an underwater gun that calms and cures rather than kills) and the multi-sensor (assists in puzzles and finding hidden underwater objects).
As I mentioned earlier, Endless Ocean 2 is going to be either a game you get on well with or one that is going to bore you into insanity. I certainly found under the sea to be a special place, and a unique setting for a game that is rarely used to any great extent. There’s adventure to be had, although it is basically a game that is all about swimming about and doing little else, but it’s not without its activities and a brilliant sense of wonder.
There are some activities that have you trying your hand at underwater photography; snapping pictures of fish that you have been tasked with capturing on camera. If you fancy being a friendly guide, then you could always give someone a guided tour and seek out the fish that they are eager to see. Then there’s cartography, the art of filling in maps for each underwater location, which is done so by exploring them in their entirety. There’s an aquarium which can be filled with the discovered fish of your choice, and a few more things that you’re able to do, as well.
Staying with the aquarium, the game is definitely about getting soggy above anything else, although there are moments when you’ll be back on dry land. There’s the said aquarium and also an island in which you can converse with the rest of the diving team on, as well as purchase and equip new gear, be given new tasks and more.
Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep is a game that isn’t going to be for everyone, although if it clicks with you, you may find yourself obsessively completing all the tasks, drinking in the ocean depths and its surrounding wonders, and being quite the underwater perfectionist. If you don’t get on with it, this is a game that may very well bore you out of your mind as you find yourself yearning for more action orientated titles.