Endless Ocean review
Endless Ocean is a beautiful and relaxing game. In the game, the player assumes the role of a diver, encountering all sorts of oceanic/sea creatues, like normal fish, but also things like stingrays, sharks (but they pose no threat to the player), dolphins, penguins and much much more.
Endless ocean is by all means a very relaxing game. I often find myself playing it during stressful periods. The player is never 'forced' to do anything and can do anything he/she likes. You can progress the story, give clients a diving tour, or the player can just relax and dive on his/her own or even just sit on the boat and do nothing. There is even a chair on the deck to sit back and just enjoy the view.
The player can also have up to 3 so called 'partners'. One can get a partner by making contact with certain sea creatures, for example by helping out a dolphin. Once they become your partner, you can choose to dive together with them (or alone if you prefer) and they will keep your company and indicate interesting spots for the player.
The player can also train the partner to do various tricks, like jumps, singing, 'walking' on the water and so on.
The story centres mostly around doing various kind of research, guided by your assistant Catherine Sunday. In the beginning this research is purely scientific, but gets more personal later in the game, revealing things about Catherine's past. Although the story is certainly nice and is an important part of the game, I do feel that it could have been a bit deeper.
The controls are easy and get explained very well at the beginning of the game. One can swim by holding B, or using autoswim by pressing -, causing the player to swim until another button is pressed. Sea life can be examined by pointing to it and pressing A.
The only downside is that the pointing system is sometimes a bit inaccurate if you near the edges of the screen.
The music is like the rest of the game very relaxing. The game wouldn't be the same without it. Personally, I like Prayer the most. Throughout the game, more soundtracks become available, giving the option to swap. One can even use his own music in the form of a mp3 on a SD card.
The game has been designed very well. Both the levels/diving areas and sea creatures look very realistic and beautiful. For a brief moment, you feel like you are a real diver, diving in a beautiful tropical environment with all sorts of life.
Overall rating: 8/10