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Author Topic: Endless Ocean Impressions (Wii)  (Read 3107 times)
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Godzilla Blitz
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« on: January 22, 2008, 11:50:27 PM »

I grabbed Endless Ocean today on the way home from work. Anyone else trying this one?

I hope to spend an hour or so with it this evening. I'll try to post some impressions tomorrow.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 03:47:04 AM by Godzilla Blitz » Logged

Xmann
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 11:52:17 PM »

ya i'm really interested in some impressions.....gonna grab this from Gamefly
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2008, 12:05:27 AM »

Please keep the impressions coming as this is likely on my list of games to get. I'm specifically interested in whether it would be appropriate for an 8 year old, since my daughter's gotten wind of it and really wants to play it.
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 01:39:27 AM »

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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 06:54:31 AM »

I played this for about a half hour, maybe forty five minutes today.   I poked around two locations.  Found out the first level of info for most of the fish there (and one manta ray).  It's exactly what I was expecting.  Slow paced, awe-inspiring exploration. It's the kind of game you have to be in the mood for (at the wrong time, it'll induce a nap), but if that mood strikes you it's a lot of fun.

The graphics are great, with two caveats.  One, the standard addition of the phrase "...for a Wii game."  Two, the on boat graphics are a little weak.  No one moves their mouths when they talk (which should be forbidden in this day and age, unless you're making a game about Tony and Tia Castaway or some other telepaths).*  And movement is slow and awkward.  But the boat is mostly just an interface, so it probably doesn't matter a lot.

But in the water, the game is pretty beautiful.  And it needs to be, since that sense of wonder in seeing a new location makes up a good chunk of what's compelling about the gameplay.  Finding the manta ray swimming around brought a genuine smile to my face.  It moves very naturally.  All the fish do, really.  And the way the light shines through the crystal blue water is really great.  Even the way the shore looks from under the water is impressive.

I do wish there was more of a story, and maybe there will be as the game progresses.  I also hope there are things other than plants and fish to find, but I'm pretty confident dubloons and shipwrecks await. 

This game is certainly not for everyone.  It'll be too boring or pretty for a lot of gamers.  Personally, I'm looking forward to putting more time in.


*As a side note to the non-moving mouths, everything is in text.  It's already a slow-moving game, and that doesn't help.  Also, it means my four year old can't really play it by herself.

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Godzilla Blitz
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 02:06:30 PM »

Nice impressions, Bullwinkle.

I failed last night to get some time in with the game. I was hoping to play a bit with my kids before they went to bed, but that didn't work out. And by the time I finished my list of things to do, it was nearly midnight. I'm hoping to get to the game this evening.
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shon
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 07:12:38 PM »

Played for about an hour last night and was impressed.

The underwater graphics are pretty nice and the animations done very well.
The control is easy and works well.  You just hold down the B button and off you go just point the wiimote and you are there.  If you have to swim far you just hit + and you will swim until a button gets pressed. 

There is a first person view as well.  You can goto first person mode on plants and it will zoom in and you get a nice close up of plants and you should see some fish you may not notice.  I also like the music and the fact you can dive to your own if you have an sd card. 

If you want a relaxing and atmospheric game then pick this up for the cheap price it is definately worth it I am now waiting for someone to dive with.
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 07:16:39 PM »

Thanks guys. I have read enough to know this will make a fine extra birthday present for my wife next week.
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2008, 08:22:05 PM »

I got it for my wife as she's been dreaming of going SCUBA diving but will never realize that dream due to her being epileptic.

Unintended side effect is that I have missed two days of TV watching.

Thank goodness most of what I watch is waiting for me on the DVR.  Now if I can just keep her off of the Wii long enough for me to view them.
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2008, 08:47:44 PM »

Is the game displayed in 4:3 or 16:9 aspect on HDTVs?
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2008, 09:11:29 PM »

Quote from: TK-421 on January 23, 2008, 08:22:05 PM

Now if I can just keep her off of the Wii long enough for me to view them.

so many comments.... it's like an endless ocean....

OK CAN'T RESIST!!!!!!!!!


If you do it doggie style you can have her on the Wii while still being able to see the screen  icon_twisted

* CeeKay ducks.
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2008, 09:42:11 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 23, 2008, 09:11:29 PM

Quote from: TK-421 on January 23, 2008, 08:22:05 PM

Now if I can just keep her off of the Wii long enough for me to view them.

so many comments.... it's like an endless ocean....

OK CAN'T RESIST!!!!!!!!!


If you do it doggie style you can have her on the Wii while still being able to see the screen  icon_twisted

* CeeKay ducks.
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2008, 10:05:06 PM »

Quote from: kathode on January 23, 2008, 09:42:11 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 23, 2008, 09:11:29 PM

Quote from: TK-421 on January 23, 2008, 08:22:05 PM

Now if I can just keep her off of the Wii long enough for me to view them.

so many comments.... it's like an endless ocean....

OK CAN'T RESIST!!!!!!!!!


If you do it doggie style you can have her on the Wii while still being able to see the screen  icon_twisted

* CeeKay ducks.


well played good sir!!!!
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shon
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2008, 10:10:48 PM »

It is 16:9 on my system and the graphics underwater are pretty good.
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2008, 10:13:44 PM »

Quote from: kathode on January 23, 2008, 09:42:11 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 23, 2008, 09:11:29 PM

Quote from: TK-421 on January 23, 2008, 08:22:05 PM

Now if I can just keep her off of the Wii long enough for me to view them.

so many comments.... it's like an endless ocean....

OK CAN'T RESIST!!!!!!!!!


If you do it doggie style you can have her on the Wii while still being able to see the screen  icon_twisted

* CeeKay ducks.


Can you just do that for everything CK posts. And is this a fishing game? good god.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2008, 10:34:40 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on January 23, 2008, 10:13:44 PM

Quote from: kathode on January 23, 2008, 09:42:11 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 23, 2008, 09:11:29 PM

Quote from: TK-421 on January 23, 2008, 08:22:05 PM

Now if I can just keep her off of the Wii long enough for me to view them.

so many comments.... it's like an endless ocean....

OK CAN'T RESIST!!!!!!!!!


If you do it doggie style you can have her on the Wii while still being able to see the screen  icon_twisted

* CeeKay ducks.


Can you just do that for everything CK posts. And is this a fishing game? good god.

you know, if we were allowed animated avatars I'd use that one.  or animated sigs.
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Lee
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2008, 02:24:54 AM »

I can't add a whole lot more than what has already been said here and in reviews. Plus I have only played for an hour, in the starting area, and did one guided tour.

Graphics are good, really jagged on the boat despite using component cables (and yes 16:9) Underwater looks good, but still kind of jaggy in places. I would love to play a 360/PS3 port with amazing graphics, but would miss the Wii controls. Draw distance is ok, but you are underwater.

When you enter a named location it cuts to a little cut scene, that only plays the first time you enter. Fish change with the season and time of day supposedly, you can speed up time too if you want (didn't see any differences in day and night dives in the first area). Guiding is annoying, your customer keeps talking, which means that a message window pops up that you have to click on and he says one of a few canned messages each time. I just wanted him to shut up. The game hints that you need to show the people who take a tour the fish they want to see. The first guy wanted to see the starting location and wanted to see the one big fish in that area, so it was pretty easy (got a new suit for doing it). The game said I could do it whenever I wanted to. The next tour said I had 7 days. I also got a message about some sharks spawning on the shore line, but didn't check it out yet.

Didn't mess with the dolphin yet.

Anyway, exploring is fun, and I spent a lot of time just looking for new fish in the starting area. It is kind of addicting. It is a relaxing game as everyone else had said, but I would say to stay far away from it if you want action of any kind. As for me, I am enjoying it, and looking forward to playing some more.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 02:27:41 AM by Lee » Logged
Godzilla Blitz
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2008, 06:35:40 AM »

I tried the game for about 30 minutes just now. I'm in line with most of the above comments by others.

I do give the game a lot of points for creativity and for educational value. If you play this thing through to the end and read all the information on the different fish, you'll likely end up learning quite a bit about marine life.

It looks like each fish has three levels of informational discovery, and as you interact with the species more, you "unlock" more levels of information. The first level of information is pretty generic, and I wasn't able to unlock a second level of information on any of the 10 or so fish I found tonight. The educational value and the entertainment value will depend a lot on how interesting the second and third levels of information are. I do wonder if it is going to get tedious trying to unlock all the various levels of information on each fish. We'll see.

My kids were both asleep, so I played by myself tonight. I do think that my four-year-old daughter and six-year-old son will enjoy this a lot though. There is a lot of reading, but none of it necessary. With a bit of help explaining the controls, which are simple, I think they can have a lot of fun swimming around and finding different fish. I don't see anything here they can't do. Swimming is easy (hold B). Moving in different directions is cake (aim left or right). Interacting with fish will take some hand-to-eye coordination that might be a little challenging to them, but that may actually make the "game" element more interesting for their age level. They will, however, probably need some help when on the boat.

There is definitely a sense of discovery as you explore the ocean. I am a bit surprised, however, at the reviews which have said the game is huge. I'd say I covered about 5% of the ocean floor in about 30 minutes, and I was just aimlessly wandering about. I might be missing something here, though.

The music gives the game an Enya-type mood, which fits well with the game's pace.

All in all, this was about what I expected, and my expectations were pretty high for this one. For me, I've gotten my money's worth already, just from experiencing a game that takes gameplay in a new direction, and brings in some solid educational content. Good stuff.
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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2008, 09:31:36 AM »

Looks more like Endless Boredom to me, although I admit I haven't played the game-only watched the videos.
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2008, 03:32:12 PM »

Quote from: Godzilla Blitz on January 24, 2008, 06:35:40 AM

I am a bit surprised, however, at the reviews which have said the game is huge. I'd say I covered about 5% of the ocean floor in about 30 minutes, and I was just aimlessly wandering about. I might be missing something here, though.

Yeah, the game doesn't seem to be very big to me. I went to the center of the map to dive and I knocked out a rather large portion of the map right there. I would say in a week I will have the whole map done. Only one section I haven't been able to enter yet was a dark rift in the ground. But I hear it doesn't take long to get equipment to get in there. Still have tons of fish to find though.

I have gotten some fish to level 2, just feed them a few times or pet them for a couple of minutes. It's tedious, and the new information isn't much more interesting then the first bit. According to a review I read you don't have to unlock the other levels if you don't want to. Some fish started following me around after I got them to level 2, and as they follow I get the sound effect for them being happy, so I guess them just following me will eventually unlock level 3.

First time seeing a whale is pretty cool, they look impressive as you see something big in the distance. Sharks are ok, it would be kind of fun if they were dangerous. Swimming near the surface in deep water I found lots of larger fast fish, and the "focus" camera couldn't keep up with them which made petting them near impossible.

You are rated on guided tours. I think the more time you spend showing the person fish the better rating you get. Although the reward seems to be the same regardless of the rating you get, although I haven't gotten a 5 star yet.

Still enjoying it for what it is and looking forward to playing it more.
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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2008, 04:11:26 AM »

My son (6) and daughter (4) tried it for about 15 minutes each tonight. Once I explained the underwater mechanics to them, they were off and going. I had to help them with the stuff above water, and needed to clue them in on the missions underwater. My daughter is still learning how to accurately aim the Wiimote, so she had some difficulty with movement, but by the end she was doing okay. It helps that movement is automatic once you "focus" on a fish.

Both kids really enjoyed it. My daughter got all excited when a dolphin shot by, and she was beaming as she "made friends" with the Manta Ray. She loved feeding and petting the fish. "Look at all my friends! They like me!" My son didn't want to stop either, and sneaked out again after story time to watch me for a few minutes.

This is the type of game that parents will love. Non-violent, safe, and your kids learn stuff if you help them as they go along. My son learned to identify parrotfish, white-sided dolphins, and bottlenose dolphins. I started to work with my daughter on map and compass reading. Good stuff.

I played by myself for another 30 minutes or so, and am more impressed with the product than I was yesterday. Did my first guiding mission, found some sort of medal, located some more fish, made friends with and named a bottlenose dolphin, and taught the thing a couple of tricks. It's all so easy that there is almost no challenge to the game, but the game succeeds because it makes the exploration of the world fun.

If this game were $50 I wouldn't be as excited about it, but as a $30 family software purchase, I'm really happy with it. Our kids and I will both easily get our money's worth on this one.



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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2008, 05:27:39 AM »

Quote from: Godzilla Blitz on January 25, 2008, 04:11:26 AM

My son (6) and daughter (4) tried it for about 15 minutes each tonight. Once I explained the underwater mechanics to them, they were off and going. I had to help them with the stuff above water, and needed to clue them in on the missions underwater. My daughter is still learning how to accurately aim the Wiimote, so she had some difficulty with movement, but by the end she was doing okay. It helps that movement is automatic once you "focus" on a fish.

Both kids really enjoyed it. My daughter got all excited when a dolphin shot by, and she was beaming as she "made friends" with the Manta Ray. She loved feeding and petting the fish. "Look at all my friends! They like me!" My son didn't want to stop either, and sneaked out again after story time to watch me for a few minutes.

Good stuff and the kind of stuff I was hoping to here. slywink Making friends with fish are the reason my daughter's begging me to get this. She heard about them from her cousin and hasn't stopped talking about it since. Looks like I'm picking this up for the weekend.
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Godzilla Blitz
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2008, 05:45:31 AM »

Quote from: kronovan on January 25, 2008, 05:27:39 AM

Quote from: Godzilla Blitz on January 25, 2008, 04:11:26 AM

My son (6) and daughter (4) tried it for about 15 minutes each tonight. Once I explained the underwater mechanics to them, they were off and going. I had to help them with the stuff above water, and needed to clue them in on the missions underwater. My daughter is still learning how to accurately aim the Wiimote, so she had some difficulty with movement, but by the end she was doing okay. It helps that movement is automatic once you "focus" on a fish.

Both kids really enjoyed it. My daughter got all excited when a dolphin shot by, and she was beaming as she "made friends" with the Manta Ray. She loved feeding and petting the fish. "Look at all my friends! They like me!" My son didn't want to stop either, and sneaked out again after story time to watch me for a few minutes.

Good stuff and the kind of stuff I was hoping to here. slywink Making friends with fish are the reason my daughter's begging me to get this. She heard about them from her cousin and hasn't stopped talking about it since. Looks like I'm picking this up for the weekend.

Apparently there are a few fish that you get to name and train. The bottlenose dolphin was one that I found tonight. (Actually, it finds you.) "Making friends" in the water was a bit of an exaggeration on my  daughter's part, but there was a parrotfish that followed me around for about fifteen minutes or so. She really liked feeding the fish and seeing them all dart about in front of her. I know she's going to be ecstatic when she makes friends with the dolphin though, and gets to name it and teach it some tricks.

This is definitely a unique game, and not for everyone. It's slow. The music wafts over you and lulls you into a trance. It's quite open-ended. The missions (so far) have been silly easy. But there is a relaxing charm to the gameplay that I think a lot of calmer kids and adults would find compelling. I could also see this instilling a curiosity in marine biology in kids. It's quite beautiful in the water, in a 480p sort of way.
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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2008, 06:05:30 AM »

Seems like an interesting idea, and I'm sure plenty of people will like it... but I need more structure in a game.  I'd keep hoping it was like GTA, but under water.
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« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2008, 06:27:34 AM »

Picked this up today and gave it a spin.  Definitely a cool concept.  I bought it more for my son who got a kick out of it.  I will play it, as well.
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2008, 06:49:35 AM »

I found a few fish I couldn't identify by petting, pushing, whistling, feeding, etc in the deep area. Anyone who has been there have any ideas on how to identify them?
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« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2008, 07:29:56 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on January 25, 2008, 06:05:30 AM

Seems like an interesting idea, and I'm sure plenty of people will like it... but I need more structure in a game.  I'd keep hoping it was like GTA, but under water.

well, I hear you can car jack a clown fish......
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« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2008, 05:01:45 PM »

I got this yesterday.  My 12 year old daughter has been talking about becoming a marine biologist since she was about 5.  It seems like this game is made for her.

We played about an hour and a half and we are all really impressed with the game so far.  It's really a different feel from most games, but we don't mind the slow pace.  It can be relaxing.  I have a feeling my kids will play this game a whole lot.  Very reccommended from us and the $30 price is very nice too.
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2008, 05:25:10 PM »

I played with my four year old last night.  She got very nervous because we got a note about sharks in the area.  I told her they weren't going to hurt us in the game. 

Then I just about shit my pants when a cut scene showed a humpback swimming above me.  I swam around the thing for five minutes oohing and awwing, trying to hitch a ride.  My daughter finally sighed, "Can we go find a shark?"  I guess she wasn't nervous anymore. 

Then we found the deep trench.  Creepy music, too dark.  She got scared, so I started to swim away.  But she said, all excited, "No, let's go down there!"  My daughter, the explorer.  Maybe Dora isn't as annoying as I think she is. 

Anyway, we didn't have the right equipment, so she was sad.  We played for about half an hour, and she loved it.  And she wasn't even swimming.
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2008, 05:46:14 PM »

Am I the only adult playing this? paranoid

(Without a kid sitting next to me that is.)
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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2008, 06:47:37 PM »

Quote from: Lee on January 25, 2008, 05:46:14 PM

Am I the only adult playing this? paranoid

(Without a kid sitting next to me that is.)

I played for quite a while without my kid and will play most of it without her.  I would have bought this back when I didn't have a child, too.
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2008, 06:50:37 PM »

Quote from: Lee on January 25, 2008, 05:46:14 PM

Am I the only adult playing this? paranoid

(Without a kid sitting next to me that is.)

I played by myself at lunch time.  This game has the benefit of being able to control it with one hand and eat lunch with the other.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2008, 08:59:39 PM »

I'm picking this one up today as well.  For myself.  I love exploring.
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« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2008, 09:13:29 PM »

About 12 hours in now, and getting a bit bored with it. I love exploring, but most of the map looks the same, and I have covered probably 90% of it. Some more variation would be nice. I still have a lot more fish to find, but I am guessing I am going to have to fast forward to different seasons for them. Plus I need to spend more time in the deep/dark area where exploring is a bit more difficult. The plot has developed a bit more, but I am not sure what I have to do next to advance it besides dive in the same area and look at the same things again.

Tours and picture requests aren't very frequent and I am not even sure if they pay off. You seem to get new stuff regardless of whether you 5 stared a tour or not. I would like a bit more game I guess.

I am starting to think the basic idea is good, but they could so so much more with it.
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« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2008, 10:57:01 PM »

Quote from: Lee on January 25, 2008, 05:46:14 PM

Am I the only adult playing this? paranoid

(Without a kid sitting next to me that is.)

It actually comes with a free kid.  Did you not get yours?
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« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2008, 12:27:25 AM »

Quote from: Lee on January 25, 2008, 06:49:35 AM

I found a few fish I couldn't identify by petting, pushing, whistling, feeding, etc in the deep area. Anyone who has been there have any ideas on how to identify them?

My wife's been having the same problem.  A shark and several smaller fish just would not identify after more than two minutes (we timed it on the shark) of petting.   She decided to surface and try again later to see if that would help.

Unfortunately, while I enjoy watching my wife play this I can only do so for a few minutes before she gets tired of me going "left, left!  No no, down more.  Now you've gone too far, go back to the right.  I said right, right!"  So I have to leave before she kicks me in the berries.

Although, it was funny to hear her say, "Hey, I'm rubbing the sperm whale!"


Edit - Turns out the underwater pen is the secret to unlocking a lot of the deep abyss dwellers.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 02:10:02 AM by TK-421 » Logged

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Lee
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« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2008, 09:27:28 AM »

Quote from: TK-421 on January 27, 2008, 12:27:25 AM

Edit - Turns out the underwater pen is the secret to unlocking a lot of the deep abyss dwellers.

Yeah and it's a pain in the ass. Since the camera stays still when writing, I am having a rough time getting those fish above level 1. Not sure if that matters or not, but it's silly.

Couple of tips for anyone new to the game:

There is no need to pet any fish for longer than 15 seconds in most cases. You will get to level 2 and 3 just by petting it once the next time you see it again on a dive. In other words don't sit there and try to pet a fish for minutes trying to increase the info level. Go back to your boat and then next time you dive pet it again and it will go up a level almost immediately in most cases.

If you have a photo request for a fish, just go to the aquarium and get a picture of it there, saves you the effort of trying to find it in the wild. Doesn't work for penguins though, so just keep moving your boat until the one you want shows up on your deck. (edit: It won't accept aquarium pictures, and penguins pics taken on your boat are only "good", not that it seems to matter, since you don't seem to get a reward for either).

To 5 star a tour (although there doesn't seem to be any benefit to getting 5 stars) keep showing your customer new fish until you get a message that your customer is thrilled and you can come up now. You have to find the fish they really want to see first of course.

Best way to find treasure and small fish is to swim with your dolphin. He doesn't do too good at following you, so you have to lead him by swimming a little ways and then blowing the whistle. Then sit there and see if he points at anything. Repeat.

I am enjoying the game still, but I am at the point now where everything is explored and I am waiting for the plot to advance.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 02:18:22 AM by Lee » Logged
Dramatist
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« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2008, 09:24:05 PM »

I'm still really having a good time with this game after putting about 13 hours into it.  Seems like there's a pretty decent plot in the game and there's lots to explore.  I've found most of the critters, but there's still several I need to find.
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Lee
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« Reply #38 on: January 31, 2008, 05:22:17 AM »

Still playing also, at about 18-19 hours I guess. Main quest is finished, and it was obviously really easy: swim here, swim there...bang, done. I am ok with it, it could have been a bit longer is all, once you get on to it, there aren't many steps. Still have a ton of treasure to find, and about 50 fish. Kat is also telling me I didn't finish the Abyss area and I need to go search a cave I missed.  I don't even know where to begin to search for treasure since I have been everywhere. For fish it's a matter of waiting for the seasons to change, and it looks even then most of them are small fish that are hard to find anyway. So I am doing tours, and photography searches. The former take almost no effort to do and the latter is a pain in the ass since when you are trying to find a small fish you need to tow your dolphin/whale around trying to get him to play spotter for you (which not fun because almost any fish you can get to follow you anywhere, but your pet won't follow you unless you whistle constantly). And training pets seems pointless and way too tedious to go on with.

I think I am about done with it. It was enjoyable, but overall it felt kind of half assed. I really hope they put a bit more effort into the next one (if there is one). It needs to be bigger, it doesn't take long to explore the whole map and everything looks the same except for a couple areas. It is still fun finding new fish though, but almost all the big fish are findable right off the bat.
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Dramatist
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« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2008, 07:52:09 PM »

Just played a little at lunch time and discovered
Spoiler for Hiden:
the Ship's Rest

I went through my encyclopedia and still need to find 75 critters.  I have not found many of the non fish things.  I have found several sea slug, but not much luck with jellyfish and some of the crabs.
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