Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: Dive: The Medes Islands Secret

After doing the secret santa in Negative World, I was left with 1000 points to spend on the Wii Shop Channel. I really wasn't sure what I was going to spend it on until someone mentioned this game. To be honest, I completely forgot that it released last year. I remember briefly seeing a trailer for it and it was definitely something I would want to play. Unfortunately... I went in expecting a 2D Endless Ocean experience, but instead got a so-so collectathon.

The main objective of this game is to find treasure, which is fairly easy to do since there are sparkling objects for smaller treasures and the big treasures are found by using the map. The map is slowly unveiled as you explore though, just like in Endless Ocean, and that's probably the only similar thing I found to compare it with in this game. That and the way you move, which is pointing the wii remote at the screen towards the direction you want your diver to go and holding B. Other than those two things, the game is very different, since the wildlife is always trying to attack you (except for dolphins and small fish that act as foreground/background), and you defend yourself by using a harpoon gun.

You're only given five harpoons to begin with, but once you start getting treasure, you can upgrade the capacity in the shop on the main menu when you're not diving. Along with the harpoon gun to upgrade, there's also the oxygen tank, which acts as your health, the wetsuit, which determines how deep you can dive, the flippers, which determines speed, and the flashlight, which you can use in the darker areas. It doesn't take that long to upgrade everything if you decide to just explore the first few islands in the beginning, and one thing I found interesting that isn't in many games is the ability to reset your upgrades if needed.

The one thing that disappointed me with this game was that there wasn't much variety. All of the dive sites look very much the same until you get to small temple like areas, and even then, when you get to see the sunken temples, the payoff isn't that good. Maybe I was just spoiled by Endless Ocean's environments, and maybe I shouldn't even be comparing them since one is a retail title and the other is a wiiware game, but I can't help but feel that the developers of this game could have tried a bit harder to make varied environments. The same enemies are seen in about every island, and the whole map of a few of the islands feels... uninspired. There is incentive to go back to the islands once you're done and explore, but after I finished the game... I thought, 'Why would I want to?'

The Verdict:

Perhaps I'm being a bit cynical for complaining about the variety in this game. The game itself isn't that bad, but I was just disappointed. If you have 1000 points to spend on the Wii Shop Channel, and just want a good collectathon game, then this might do, but if you're craving variety, pass on it.

What I liked:

-The ability to reset upgrades.
-The ability to keep exploring after finding the main treasure on an island.

What I didn't like:

-Lack of variety
-Overall design felt uninspired

1 comment:

  1. "-Lack of variety"

    p.s. nice new layout I almost thought I was on IGN or something for a minute