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Thread: Wii Endless Ocean

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    Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Wii Endless Ocean

    http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=88101

    http://www.endlessocean.com/

    (Note, the 2nd link was not working last I checked, but it was earlier this evening.)

    Anybody heard anything about this game? I guess there were prequels to this on PS2 but I knew nothing about it. I'm a fan of underwater-themed games (Ecco, for example) and this looks interesting. It seems to be Shenmue-esque in it's gameplay, with a huge focus on simple exploration, but there's a story behind it as well.

    One of the things that I noticed was that some elements of it seem similar to Titanic Mystery, a Famicom Disk System game that looked really intriguing to me, but I could never figure out due to the language barrier. (I never even figured out how to initiate a dive!)

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    Cherry (Level 1) alxbly's Avatar
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    It's been out in the UK since November, and I've been really enjoying it. The focus is on exploration and also on finding and identifying as many species of sealife as possible. The story is rather thin; you're a diver who's trying to make his mark on the world and you do so by giving diving tours. The more tours you undertake and successfully meets the needs of the client, the more your reputation increases and that means richer clients and bigger rewards.

    The gamplay is very relaxed as every mission is optional. If you wanted to, you could ignore evry mission and just explore the seabed. However, the more missions you undertake, the more you'll be able to explore as new pieces of equipment and items are unlocked. Once downside might be the pace of the game; if you're not a fan of games like Animal Crossing then you probably won't find this to be much fun either. The graphics when you're above water aren't exceptional either.

    But... it was released as a budget game in the UK (20), so it'll probably also be a budget game in the US ($20-$25, pehaps?). At this price it's well worth picking up.
    Last edited by alxbly; 01-10-2008 at 03:14 AM.
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    Peach (Level 3) yok-dfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=88101
    I guess there were prequels to this on PS2 but I knew nothing about it.
    Those are Everblue and Everblue 2. Have them both, but couldn't find the time to check them out yet...

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) jcalder8's Avatar
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    This one has been on my to buy list for awhile now. It was originally scheduled to come out in November I think but I has gotten pushed back. I think it looks like an amazingly relaxing game.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Rob2600's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    Anybody heard anything about this game?
    Right now, it's overall score is a 7.2 out of 10. I might buy it, considering the MSRP is only $29.99.

    http://www.metacritic.com/games/plat...ndless%20ocean

    http://www.gamestats.com/objects/853/853751/

    http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/935591.asp

    U.S. release date: January 21, 2008
    Last edited by Rob2600; 01-23-2008 at 11:11 PM. Reason: updated score

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Snapple's Avatar
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    I've heard some poor early reviews for Endless Ocean so far, and the only thing I remember about the Everblue games was X-Play ripping them to shreds.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Gorez's Avatar
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    I never knew the Everblue games were prequels to this. Is that true? The first Everblue never made it to the US but I have Everblue 2...maybe I should play this while waiting for Endless Ocean

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Streetball 21's Avatar
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    This game looks pretty interesting, I wonder how it sold in Japan. Im surprised by the $29.99 MRSP. Anyone know the reason why it is at that price? Just curious.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Rob2600's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Streetball 21 View Post
    Im surprised by the $29.99 MRSP. Anyone know the reason why it is at that price?
    Several good Wii games retail for less than $50. Zack and Wiki, Ghost Squad, Smarty Pants, Mercury Meltdown Revolution, and Endless Ocean are some examples.

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    Banana (Level 7) Neil Koch's Avatar
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    This game looks interesting to me, especially since you can use MP3 files. Going on a "soothing" quest looking for various bits of wildlife whilst listening to Slayer is somehow appealing to me...

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Windy Miller's Avatar
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    I'm quite enjoying it so far (I've got a dive time of six hours) but I seem to have hit a brick wall with regards to spotting new species & finding the treasure. And when I've taken a client diving, I've been given a C grade when I've found the fish they wanted to see & when I haven't found the fish. I'll keep playing it for the time being as I've just been allowed to start diving at night when I should spot new species.

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    Cherry (Level 1) alxbly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windy Miller View Post
    And when I've taken a client diving, I've been given a C grade when I've found the fish they wanted to see & when I haven't found the fish.
    To get an A grade you need to show the client a range of fish. They usually express a preference when you show them a fish, so make sure to read what they're saying. Usually they'll state that they prefer large or small fish, so just show them as many species that match their preference as possible.
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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Windy Miller's Avatar
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    Ah right. I'll give that a go.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Rob2600's Avatar
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    I just bought Endless Ocean and Zack & Wiki today at Best Buy for $29.99 each. I haven't played them yet, but I'll post my impressions within the next few days.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Rob2600's Avatar
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    I played Endless Ocean for almost two hours last night. For $30, it's great. It's a different style of game than what I'm used to playing. I'm glad to see developers trying new ideas on the Wii and I'm glad to see so many good Wii games retail for less than $40.

    Most reviewers agree that the underwater graphics are great, but that the graphics on the boat are average. I agree that the graphics are very nice, but I think the graphics on the boat are good, too. They're not amazing, but they're fine. Underwater though, everything looks sharp and detailed. I was impressed with the amount of detail shown when zooming in on plants and objects. The lighting effects and bubbles are well done too, and the frame rate is perfect.

    I'm not sure if the music is MIDI or digitized, but it sounds very good and is usually mellow.

    The controls are straightforward and work fine. Underwater, I was swimming around, feeding various fish, inspecting objects, and guiding clients. On the boat, I was talking to my partner, interacting with a penguin, reading and replying to email, and looking at various equipment.

    After a little while, I realized Endless Ocean is an educational game, but in a good way. Many educational video games are unpolished, patronizing, and boring, but Endless Ocean is the opposite. Endless Ocean is exactly how an educational video game should be...fun, polished, visually impressive, and - most importantly - interesting. I like the fact that the game doesn't blatantly try to teach me. I just learn about different sea life as I progress at my own pace. Creatures are recorded in a book as I discover them, so I can read more about them if I want to.

    It took me a little while to get used to the lack of action and conflict. Now that I understand what the game is about, I like it. The focus is on exploring, learning, and interacting with animals and other people. It's $30 price is perfect; $50 would've been too expensive for this type of video game.
    Last edited by Rob2600; 01-25-2008 at 12:10 PM.

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    Bell (Level 8) blissfulnoise's Avatar
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    These sorts of unique approach games are right up my alley so naturally I bought it immediately and I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

    I'm about 8 hours in and there's still a lot left to see and do.

    But, unfortunately, this is another "Wii" game that does virtually nothing with the motion controls and suffers from significant graphical issues that would be much better served had it been released on the PS3 or 360.

    Outside of this nagging sensation, the game does certainly succeed at being a very tranquil, enjoyable game experience.

    Exploration of underwater caves and abysses is definitely exhilarating; the sense of discovery in this game is executed perfectly.

    The "plot" as it were is pretty hollow, but that works great for just exploring things at your own pace.

    Regardless, you can't beat it for $29.99. Wii owners who are interested in unique games or games that expand the concepts of genre should definitely check this out.
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    ServBot (Level 11) Rob2600's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blissfulnoise View Post
    I'm enjoying it quite a bit. ...

    But, unfortunately, this is another "Wii" game that does virtually nothing with the motion controls and suffers from significant graphical issues that would be much better served had it been released on the PS3 or 360.

    Outside of this nagging sensation, the game does certainly succeed at being a very tranquil, enjoyable game experience.

    Exploration of underwater caves and abysses is definitely exhilarating; the sense of discovery in this game is executed perfectly. ... you can't beat it for $29.99. Wii owners who are interested in unique games or games that expand the concepts of genre should definitely check this out.
    I disagree about the graphics. I think the underwater parts are very well done and capture the feeling of being there. The fish, coral, rocks, and sand are detailed, especially when zooming in. The sunbeams shining into the water are a nice touch too, and the frame rate is perfect. When on the boat, the graphics are fairly simple and stylized, but I wouldn't describe them as bad. They're fine. What significant graphical issues did you experience?

    I also disagree about the controls. Some people feel that every Wii game should feature extensive motion controls, but sometimes games feature gimmicky motion controls that feel forced or tacked on. I feel that Wii games should only feature motion controls when they add positively to the experience. Endless Ocean features simple, straightforward controls which suit the game perfectly. I don't think having to constantly move my arms in a swimming motion would've been a good idea.

    I agree with you about the exploration aspects, overall tranquility, and price.

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    Bell (Level 8) blissfulnoise's Avatar
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    First off, the textures are low rez. That isn't even something that's debatable. Endless Ocean looks like an mid generation PS2 game in terms of texture quality. The water effects suffer from quite a bit of pop-in, especially when shifting from shallow to deeper depths.

    The only reason why things look better when you "zoom" in is because you're looking at pre-done footage. This is why every single piece of similar flora looks exactly identical when you zoom in. Unless it's a "special" spot, no unique wildlife or aquatic effects occur during the zoomed in scene. And even with the "special" spots, they're all pre-planned as well.

    Most of the environmental textures are certainly serviceable, but when held up to average games, Akira could have done a lot better.

    And the animations of the main characters on the boat are laughable. You can literally see the stick shoved up their back as they move around.

    But, the fish animations are quite good and are about as realistic as they could be in a game like this. The fish all do look unique and you are easily able to tell them apart.

    On the controls, I certainly don't want to be waving my arms around to swim. My argument is that the game would have been better served with more traditional controls than motion controls. And what's there is definitely tacked on. You could navigate just as easily using an analog stick instead of pointing the Wii remote at the screen. Examples of issues with the "Wii" controls:

    - Moving outside of the frame causes your diver to go in unexpected directions. Gameplay issues crop up when you're trying to track fast moving aquatic life.

    - When training your partners it seems that randomly waggling the remote is the only sure fired way to actually get them to execute the tricks.

    - Wii jitters can cause you to have to try several times to zoom into "special" spots.

    - Making your diver do a 180 degree turn by flicking the remote seems to happen randomly at best.

    It does sound like I'm coming down on the game like a sledgehammer over just the graphics; please don't get me wrong, I really do like this game. I just see what more could have been done on a more powerful console that could have significantly increased the immersive factor and thus increased my enjoyment several times over.
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    ServBot (Level 11) Rob2600's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blissfulnoise View Post
    First off, the textures are low rez. That isn't even something that's debatable. Endless Ocean looks like an mid generation PS2 game in terms of texture quality. The water effects suffer from quite a bit of pop-in, especially when shifting from shallow to deeper depths. ...

    Most of the environmental textures are certainly serviceable, but when held up to average games, Akira could have done a lot better. ...

    It does sound like I'm coming down on the game like a sledgehammer over just the graphics; please don't get me wrong, I really do like this game.
    To me, the graphics in Endless Ocean look detailed and clear on my standard-definition TV. If you're used to playing computer games, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3 games in HD though, then maybe Endless Ocean looks a little plain by comparison. I don't have an HDTV, so it seems like our points of view are different.

    I haven't noticed any pop-up. You're a few hours further into the game than I am though. I'll see if I notice any as I get further into the game.

    I haven't had any problems with the controls, either. I think when a fish swims by quickly, it adds to the realism and challenge of trying to observe and identify it.

    You're right about the character animations. While on the boat, they are stiff and silly, but again, in a stylized way. I think it's the style the developer wanted. I'm not saying it's a great style, but it's not bad either. The swimming animations underwater are good though.

    Overall, this isn't the single most visually impressive game on the Wii, but the graphics are still quite good...at least on my SDTV. A game like Super Mario Galaxy features more diversity, but then again, there's only so much to see in a realistic underwater environment. What's there is nice though and I'm sure I'll see ever more as I progress through the map.

    Blissfulnoise, what TV do you have? I'm resisting upgrading to HD as long as possible.

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    Bell (Level 8) blissfulnoise's Avatar
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    I do have a 52" Samsung DLP so textures will pop out more. I suppose on a smaller set they wouldn't be so noticeable.
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