Review by Chocobahn
Shamu, quit SeaWorld and stay in the deep end of the sea. Because after playing this game, every kid will hate you
Whales, a big fish like creature that every kid loves. But as much as you love Shamu, the SeaWorld mascot, and fun watching it doing all sort of tricks and eating the trainer, you will find this game tedious, hard to control, boring and down right frustrating.
If I were Shamu, I would sue Activision for the potential lost of income because no-one would come and watch me after they have played this game.
Or take the easy way out and kill myself, if I haven't die in shame already.
***** Plot *****
Apparently, Poseidon, the Greek God of the sea, wants to steal some sort of tablet, raise the lost city of Atlantis and rule the world. In order to save SeaWorld (and the world in general) from Poseidon's rule, Shamu will have to venture outside its large fishbowl and stop Poseidon. Wow, great story. An extremely cliched story filled with extremely ordinary creatures of the sea. Even a low budget midnight TV infomercial is better than this story.
***** Gameplay *****
Probably the worst of any game I have ever played. The default setting when you first started is using the stylus to move Shamu, but in the first tutorial, you were asked to use either the control pad or the stylus to move around. Now I am one for the control pad, so I naturally used it. Lo and behold, it took me ten seconds to wonder why my control pad was not doing what I was expecting it to do. None of the four directions worked. Pressing down made Shamu did a dash instead. Then I realised I should actually be using the stylus.
Once I set the control to use the control pad, I found out that you can't move diagonally. It only moves in the four directions. So back I went to the stylus control. And back I dived into the deep sea, hoping that I could actually get something done. Even with the stylus, the control are horrible. Going to the edge of one screen could somehow 'wrap around' and the cursor would appear on the other side of the screen, which of course, caused Shamu to rear its head to face the other way. And then the headache starts.
Unfortunately, Shamu's movement is just as horrendously bad. The screen moves so much as it swims that it gave me headaches. I had to quit after suffering from major headaches. How kids could manage, I would never know. You basically head butt any fish, jelly fish, etc. that was harmlessly swimming in the water until you came along and disturbed their peace.
In all the levels that I played before the headaches set in, you followed the same routine. You are given a task, then you swim to where the star is on the map, get what you need, and then swim back to complete the task. When you touch an object, it goes into your 'inventory'. Don't know how, probably inside your stomach or something. The only problem is, the object moves away as you touch it, so it gives you a sense of you actually knocking it away instead. Then you try to find it again only to realise that you have actually got the object.
Even after several missions, I was still having trouble with the control. Maybe it's just me. I must be getting too old or something.
***** Graphics *****
Bright colour graphics fill the screen, but it moves so much that you will never see what's coming. It's filled with pretty graphics like rocks, plants, etc., but they all look the same, every single one of them. You could see five of the same plants on one screen. Moving on to the next screen, same five plants in different locations.
***** Sound *****
It's a kids game, so it's kiddy music all around. It is cheery enough... for kids. Unfortunately, it feels generic and after a while, it gets boring. Sound effects are decent, but again, very basic and generic. Maybe the kids won't notice them because they have such a short attention span anyway.
***** Replay Value *****
Are you kidding me? I can't even be bothered playing it through once, let along doing it all again. I'd rather torture myself watching the midnight TV infomercials than playing this game.
***** Overall *****
This game is best played under the influence of alcohol. But then again, this is aimed at kids, so they can't really drink and play, can they? If you are a parent reading this, get some motion sickness pills. Your kids, if they are persistent enough to go through the game, will need them, and they will need them bad.
Having one Shamu game is more than enough to make you literally sick, but having Shamu on all major console is just asking the great SeaWorld mascot to be handed over to the Japanese. I really want to ask what Activision was thinking when they took this up.
Downright horrible. The worst game I've ever played.
Score (out of 10)
Overall: 0 (that's right, big fat zero)
Got Your Own Opinion?
Submit a review and let your voice be heard.