Children’s games are definitely not
a rarity on the PlayStation 2. However, good children’s games are. Most
titles out there suitable for the entire family rely too much on their said
franchise rather than on quality, entertaining gameplay. SeaWorld: Shamu’s Deep
Sea Adventures attempts to fill this void with its pleasant, unique theme. Read
on to see if it succeeds.
SeaWorld: Shamu’s Deep Sea
Adventures’ anecdote is about a killer whale named Shamu. There is quite a bit
of story behind this game, even though at times it’s told somewhat vaguely.
Trouble is brewing in the waters and SeaWorld is in extreme danger. The evil
ruler of the sea, Poseidon, is up to no good. He wants to steal the magic that
SeaWorld possesses so he can restore his beloved city known as Atlantis. It’s up
to Shamu to travel to Atlantis so that he can get to the bottom of this ruckus.
He’ll have to find keys, solve puzzles, and kick fish booty as he grinds his way
to the adored city. However, Shamu won’t have to tackle this journey alone. A
former captive of Poseidon, Horacio, will assist Shamu in any tribulations he
may run into along his venture.
As mentioned, Shamu’s Deep Sea
Adventures contains a very distinctive premise. It’s a 2D game with 3D elements.
Each level consists of numerous objectives such as collecting a predetermined
number of Kraken crystals, blasting through rocks, and solving exceedingly easy
puzzles. There are really only two or three distinguishable primary objectives
in the levels though, and that’s where this title falls a bit short. You’ll be
either faced with an ‘’escape’’ mission, a ‘’go from point A to point B’’
assignment, or a ‘’follow closely’’ operation. Pretty straightforward even for a
game made for kids.
As make your path through the game,
you will unlock different abilities for Shamu to perform. These special moves
and behaviors range from bubble attacks to tail lacerations. The most notable
ones include a shield that explodes and injures everything in sight, a
self-created tsunami that will sweep away foes, a call that will confuse
enemies, and a move titled ‘’siren,’’ which will basically gather a bunch of
fish to assist Shamu in battle.
One thing I would like to bring up
is this game’s awfully low point of difficulty. Yes, I know, it’s not a mystery
this one is made for kids, but some of the facets here are downright insulting
to most people’s intelligence. Not only do you have the overhead narrator,
Horacio, giving you tips, but in addition you’ll have an on-screen arrow
directing you every which way to go. See, if they would have stopped right there
everything would have been kosher. But no, they felt the need to add billboards
telling you what corridor to take as well. These signs clearly serve no purpose
as you have a directional arrow.
Replay value is almost nonexistent.
The game can be completed, I jest not, in less than four hours. There are 20
missions that can either take one minute, five minutes, or 20 minutes. The thing
is, if the levels are going to be this short there needs to be more of them. I
actually like the idea of how short the stages were. I could sit down, complete
one or two levels, save, and continue to play later when I had adequate time.
It’s a real shame there isn’t more content.
Despite Shamu’s Deep Sea Adventures’
obvious gameplay issues, its atmosphere and visuals are a real treat for the
senses. I don’t know about you, but I’m a guy who likes sea creatures,
underwater fantasy worlds, and imaginative spectrums of innovative structures.
This is where this game delivers. The special effects and colors are
mind-blowing, and it’s evident that this whole theme will bring delight to
The sound is a strongpoint as well.
The voiceovers and sound effects are fairly well done. That’s one area that I
worry about before playing a game developed specifically for children. Some
developers go way overboard with emotion and cheesy lines, but Shamu’s Deep Sea
Adventures keeps its audio simplistic and established. The music score also fits
the premise exceptionally well making for a reasonably nice-sounding package.
Review Scoring Details for Sea World: Shamu’s Deep
A game can live or die by its difficulty, and SeaWorld: Shamu’s Deep Sea
Adventures dies by its exceptionally unsophisticated objectives and clear-cut,
almost-offensive three-hour long tutorial of a campaign.
A superb display of water-inspired effects and vivacious, vibrant colors. The
ambiance sucks you in and doesn’t let go the entire time. This is definitely one
of the better-looking children’s games out on the market right now.
You won’t have to sit through hours of overly-happy voiceovers like you will in
most games of the genre. The soundtrack, just like the voice-work, is
appropriate, but is nevertheless nothing too noteworthy. In a nutshell, SeaWorld:
Shamu’s Deep Sea Adventures avoids corny dialogue, and it’s a superior game for
Insulting to even a child.
Let’s face it, games like SeaWorld: Shamu’s Deep Sea Adventures don’t come
around too often. It’s fresh, it clean, and it’s truly one of a kind. I’d rank
this one in the top 10 most unique games I’ve ever played.
SeaWorld: Shamu’s Deep Sea Adventures is as mediocre as a video game can get
when viewed as a whole. It has some nice features such as its art direction,
story, and surprisingly good audio, but it falls flat on its face with its short
length and dreadfully easy difficulty. Give this one a whirl only if you’re in
dire need of a family-oriented game.