A sequel to the 2008 Endless Ocean scuba diving game, Blue World offers much more depth than the first game. Not only can you go on a series of fascinating dives around the world, but this game also has an adventure story.
As a professional diver, you are hired by a small, family-owned diving company. You can split your time between going on dives to help map the ocean, help care for marine animals, develop your own coral reef, or pursue the story about solving the mystery of an underwater tune called the "Song of Dragons" and a missing sunken city.
Accompanied by soothing Celtic Woman music and stunning visuals, most of the gameplay is under water. You will explore coral reefs, sunken ships, and kelp forests as you dive in oceans around the world as well as in the Amazon River. With more than 300 aquatic species to find, including sharks, whales, seahorses, crabs, and numerous varieties of fish, you will learn facts about each kind. You can interact with most species by feeding them, reaching out to pet them or, in the case or dolphins and whales, grabbing onto a fin to go for a ride.
You enter the water and then control your exploration by using the Wii remote. Pointing at the screen produces a white dot. You, as the diver, will turn to follow that dot and will swim whenever the "B" button is pushed. If you point at a fish or something shining in the water and then press the "A" button, you can zoom in and learn more about it.
While underwater, you have many tools at your disposal. There's a camera for taking pictures of your discoveries that can be stored in your own photo album. Also useful is your Pulsar, a special device that emits electromagnetic pulses to cure sick fish and calm agitated ones. A Multisensor device can locate objects hidden under the floor of the ocean. There is also a Sea Whistle for calling animal partners, such as a dolphin that you have trained, and an Underwater Pen for drawing.
While the first Endless Ocean made a splash with its lifelike simulation of scuba diving, it was really a title about relaxing underwater while exploring. Blue World is much more directed and is about underwater adventuring.
However, with this adventuring comes danger. You can swim into scary situations including whirlpools, sharks, and other menaces. Dangerous species, like certain sharks, might try to attack you. You have equipment that can soothe them; but, if that fails, you will need to escape by using evasive action. Situations can get harrowing, and you might not succeed in your first try. Because of these scary situations, this game is rated E10+ by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
What is fun about this sequel is the excitement of seeing what is around every rock or through the next kelp forest. Plus the story about helping another diver follow clues left by her deceased father is compelling and gives you a reason to keep diving in new locations.
Some of the gameplay in Blue Water focuses on environmental issues. You can search for and help heal sick fish. And you are encouraged to spend your earned money to buy coral to place on your own coral reef. And you have the ability to train a dolphin to join you on some of your dives.
The in-game resources are also well done. As you find species underwater, they appear in a Marine Encyclopedia with close-up 3-D photos and factual information. You also have a notebook which helps you keep track of the places you have been and the information that you have gathered. This resource is very helpful as you play out the story line.
Blue Water lets friends dive together using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and they can talk to each other using the add-on Wii Speak microphone. But, unfortunately, two players cannot scuba dive together using one TV.
While the lack of two-player option on the same TV is a glaring oversight, Endless Ocean: Blue Water is nonetheless one of those rare transformative games. It takes you places that you could not easily go in real life and provides you with the magic of discovering what it is like to swim with aquatic creatures. If you have a Wii, don't miss this one.
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