Sunday, October 05, 2008

Exploring the Underwater Digital Ocean

When it comes to game genres, underwater exploration games are near the bottom of the popularity chain… in fact, it wasn’t until Nintendo’s Endless Ocean has the genre had any sort of mainstream appreciation at all. Here’s some history to the obscure genre, and a little bit about the three main games of this type released in the Western market.

Aquanaut's Holiday (PSX)

Chances are, you’ve never heard of this game. Like Tail of the Sun, also published by Sony, this is one of those titles that basically appealed to no one. However, years later it is interesting to look back on Aquanaut’s Holiday just because of how unique it is. Released in 1996 during the original Playstation’s early life, this game starred a marine explorer who explored an underwater ocean. In this title you also had to attract fish to achieve your goal of filling up your fish meter. Although the graphics are rather archaic now, it is one of those intriguing niche titles that looks to be worth tracking down simply because there’s not much else out there like it.

Everblue 2 (PS2)
Capcom really gave this title no chance of survival in the U.S. Combine absolutely no advertising with a micro-sized print run, and you have a title that was destined for commercial failure from the start. A sequel to Everblue, a game exclusive to Europe and Japan, Everblue 2 had you exploring the Caribbean as – you guessed it – a scuba diver. There was more of a plot here than Aquanaut’s Holiday, but the game play, similarly, had you searching around for items and interesting sights beneath the ocean. I am still trying to track down a copy of Everblue 2, but I have yet to find one in any game store I’ve visited, near or far.

Endless Ocean (Wii)
Nintendo’s Endless Ocean was the first title in this genre to appeal to a mass market audience. Developed by Arika, the very same company responsible for the creation of Everblue 2, Endless Ocean had a larger budget, more advertising, and way more critical acclaim than the two titles previously mentioned. A relaxing and gorgeous experience, Endless Ocean appears to be a solid title for those who are sick of online FPS death matches.

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At 4:14 PM, Blogger FUNNYMAN said...

I remember there was this submarine mini game in Final Fantasy 7. It was fun if you needed to kill some time.


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