The Nintendo Wii had many many many strange and surprisingly great games that at first glance you would think be the modern equivalent of LJN games but after just a few minutes of playing, that way of thinking goes straight out the window. Such was the case with the game I'm talking about today: Endless Ocean.
Endless Ocean is a game where you...explore the ocean and interact with fish and various sea animals. I know, sounds like a complete snooze fest, huh? Well I can assure you that it is most definitely NOT! From start to finish, I was enthralled in exploring every inch of the ocean areas you are given to explore. Now I was lying when I said all you do is interact with sea life, there is a story (though it's one that's not too important) which allows you to go to different parts of the ocean to explore and every single area had me thrilled from the pleasant and calm reefs, to the visually stunning caverns, to the terrifying trenches.
It was surprising with some games for the Wii how much detail they could put into the graphics such as the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Sonic Colors, and of course Endless Ocean. The character models for the humans are....well I'll be honest, terrible but the sea life, the backgrounds, and when you are the diver all look fantastic for a Wii title.
In terms of gameplay and controls, I expected just swimming around but there are some things to lessen the "tedium" of the game. When you click on any creature you find you can pet them, feed them, tickle them, and learn information about them. With some creatures such as the dolphin or the Orca whale, if you befriend them enough they can join you on your journeys and even train them in your off time. Depending on where you go, there will be different species of small animals appearing on the deck of your boat to interact with. In terms of the swimming, the controls are simple: aim with for Wii remote then hold down a button to swim. You can switch between first and third person, first person can sometimes be scary in places: especially in the trenches.
Speaking of, it's not just the gentle creatures you'll be encountering, there are sharks and other predators that you'll find throughout the game and while they don't harm you, the game does suddenly because a crap ton more creepy. Like I mentioned before, the trenches can get very very very very very scary; there is a segment where you find a sperm whale and suffice to say it was one of the scariest things I've seen in a video game.
To work with the game's already amazing atmosphere, there is a great soundtrack with a highlight being the song Prayer by Haley Westenra which I have on my iPod just because of this great game.
In my personal opinion, this is the second best Nintendo Wii game ever made. I couldn't above Skyward Sword because that game is too amazing for words but this does come a very close second. Is it a game for everyone? No, I can understand if some find it boring and tedious but for those who are looking for a fun, serene game with an amazing world to explore and have fun in then I HIGHLY recommend you play Endless Ocean and if you like it, play Endless Ocean: Blue World. I do notice a bit of a following for this game growing and that makes me happy because I played this years ago and no one had ever heard of it. And yes before you ask, I do love the Game Grumps' videos on Endless Ocean. Check them out if you want.
When this video popped up way back, I cheered and it is probably my favorite episode of theirs. Stay tuned until the end to see some of the funniest stuff you will ever see.
I give Endless Ocean a 10/10, it is an underrated masterpiece that I adore and can never get enough of. I even love the sequel. Please Nintendo and Arika, give us an Endless Ocean 3 for Wii U and other systems, it would make for an amazing game!