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Endless Ocean

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8/10 IGN

Initial release date  2 August 2007
Publisher  Nintendo

Genre(s)  Adventure
Developer  Arika
Platform  Wii
Endless Ocean Amazoncom Endless Ocean Blue World Nintendo Wii Video Games
Release date(s)  JP: August 2, 2007 EU: November 9, 2007 AU: January 17, 2008 NA: January 21, 2008
Modes  Single-player video game, Multiplayer video game
Similar  Arika games, Simulation video games

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Endless Ocean (Forever Blue in Japan) is a video game for the Wii. It is published by Nintendo and was developed by Arika. It was released on August 2, 2007, in Japan, November 9, 2007, in Europe and January 21, 2008 in North America after it had been planned for an October 2007 release.

Contents

A sequel entitled Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep was released in Japan on September 17, 2009, and in Europe on February 5, 2010; it was released in North America on February 22, 2010 with the title Endless Ocean: Blue World.

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Gameplay

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The game is controlled solely using the Wii Remote, with the player using an on-screen cursor to guide their diver. The game features Wi-Fi play over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, allowing two players to dive together. Arika, the game's developer, previously released the games Everblue and Everblue 2 for the PlayStation 2. Both titles featured very similar gameplay to that of Endless Ocean, revolving heavily around scuba diving in search of underwater treasure as well as underwater photography. The Everblue titles are both played from a first person perspective, while Endless Ocean uses both first person and third person perspectives for movement. Additionally, a fixed first person perspective is used for close examination. The game contains mythology about certain animals, like whales and sharks.

Plot

Endless Ocean places the player in the role of a scuba diver exploring the Manaurai sea in search of sea life and sunken treasure under the guidance of an assistant named Katherine Sunday. In the sea, they will encounter a number of marine species ranging from smaller fish and penguins to massive whale sharks, manta rays and sperm whales. The range of marine wildlife in the game is extensive and includes many common and rare species. The player will also encounter dolphins and other cetaceans that can be trained to perform certain behaviours and become companions on dives. Species such as sharks are also present; however, they pose no threat to the player. The player also has access to a large aquarium that they can populate with species they have identified. The sea's various locations provide a means for the player to experience general diving, cave diving, deep-water trench exploration, wreck diving and other activities that might not otherwise be possible in a single real world setting.

Late in the game, Katherine tells the player about how her father tried to look a unique whale called the White Mother and never came back. The player and Catherine set out to find the White Mother, which entails seeking out the four types of whales present in the game (humpback whale, North Atlantic right whale, sperm whale, and blue whale) and placing motion sensors on different points of the map. Eventually one of the sensors is set off, and the player witnesses the White Mother, a large albino blue whale, as Katherine remembers her father.

Music

The song "Prayer" composed by Secret Garden and performed by Hayley Westenra is featured in the trailers for Endless Ocean and in the game itself. Westenra also contributes several other songs including her rendition of the Maori folk song "Pokarekare Ana". Players are also able to transfer their own MP3 music files to an SD card and listen to them while playing, providing a customizable soundtrack for the game. This is the second game on the Wii to provide such a feature, the first being Excite Truck.

Soundtrack

  • Embrace of Manaurai/Moon of Manaurai
  • Prayer
  • Pokarekare Ana
  • Oh Shenandoah
  • Amazing Grace
  • The Last Rose of Summer
  • Hine e Hine
  • E Pari Ra
  • Benedictus
  • River of Dreams
  • The Water is Wide
  • Reception

    The game received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one ten, one eight, one nine, and one eight for a total of 35 out of 40, praising the open-ended exploration aspect of the game, the scale of the play area and its soundtrack.

    Endless Ocean had sold at least 50,000 copies in Japan.

    Technical issues

    On August 10, 2007, Nintendo issued a product recall in Japan after a major bug was found in copies of the game that has released eight days before. Nintendo re-released the game in Japan with the bug removed. The bug caused the screen to go blank and caused the console to freeze when the player put one or more bowmouth guitarfish into the aquarium. The exploration mode is not affected by this bug.

    Sequel

    A sequel entitled Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep was released in Japan on September 17, 2009, and in Europe on February 5, 2010. The same sequel is called Endless Ocean: Blue World, which was released in North America on February 22, 2010.

    References

    Endless Ocean Wikipedia


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