North American cover art
|Mode(s)||Single player, co-operative multiplayer|
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.
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.
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.
Endless Ocean places the player in the role of a scuba diver exploring the Manaurai sea[Note 1] 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.
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.
- Embrace of Manaurai/Moon of Manaurai
- Pokarekare Ana
- Oh Shenandoah
- Amazing Grace
- Last Rose of Summer
- Hine e Hine
- E Pari Ra
- River of Dreams
- The Water is Wide
The critical reaction to the game has generally been favorable. Endless Ocean holds a 72.76% rating, based on 42 reviews, at Game Rankings and a score of 72/100 at Metacritic, based on 42 reviews. Famitsu scored the game 35/40, praising the open-ended exploration aspect of the game, the scale of the play area and its soundtrack. British game publication NGamer gave Endless Ocean 88%, calling it "the world's most relaxing and beautiful game", "addictive" and "totally brilliant". NTSC-uk commented "The replay value is threatened by repetition, but amongst the violence and destruction found elsewhere in videogames, it will always be refreshing to sit back... and simply just relax in the deep blue".
Nevertheless, Eurogamer described the gameplay as "pleasant, pretty, bubbly boredom", while GamePro claimed that the "underwater atmosphere is soothing and relaxing but it lacks a crucial element: fun." Electronic Gaming Monthly chose to mock the game instead of presenting a full review.
Endless Ocean has sold at least 50,000 copies in Japan.
On August 10, 2007, Nintendo issued a product recall in Japan after a major bug was found in copies of the game released on August 2, 2007. Nintendo has 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.
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, and was released in North America on February 22, 2010.
- The sea is called Manaurai in the European version, but is called "Manoa Lai" in the US release.
- "Official European dates for Super Mario Galaxy, Endless Ocean, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles". Go Nintendo. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- "Nintendo updates release list - Endless Ocean bumped to 08, and more". Go Nintendo. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
- Joe, "Review of Endless Ocean," Game Informer 177 (January 2008): 95.
- "Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep (Wii) News, Reviews, Trailer & Screenshots". NintendoLife. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Nintendo Reveals Punch-Out!! Wii, Sin and Punishment 2, And More". 1up.com. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- "Endless Ocean Playtest". IGN. 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
- In the US release, the assistant's name is spelled "Katherine".(sometimes called “Kat”) See Walker, Torrey. "Reviews: Endless Ocean". 1up.com.
- "Forever Blue - Play Movie". Youtube.com. 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- "Forever Blue: plus d'images". JeuxFrance. 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- "NTSC-uk's Review". NTSC-uk. 2007-12-01. Archived from the original on 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
- Game Rankings: Endless Ocean, accessed on February 7, 2008
- Metacritic: Endless Ocean, accessed on February 7, 2008
- "Forever Blue a Wii sleeper". CVG. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
- "Wii Review: Forever Blue". CVG. 2007-09-12. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
- "Review - Endless Ocean". Eurogamer. 2007-11-23. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
- "Metareview: Endless Ocean". Nintendo Wii Fanboy. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
- "Electronic Gaming Monthly chooses to mock Endless Ocean instead of truly review it". Go Nintendo. 2008-01-26. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
- "Media Create Sales: 09/22 - 09/28 (Software)". Chart Get. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
- ""Forever Blue" recalled". N4g.com. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- ""Forever Blue" recall!". Feetoverhead.Serveblog.net. 2008-05-10. Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- Endless Ocean at the European Touch! Generations website
- (Japanese) Official site
- (English) Official site