Everblue 2 review
Everblue 2 is one of those games that is difficult to class into one genre or the other, and so requires an explanation about what it is all about. From the screenshots on the right you can probably guess that the game is mostly set underwater, and you would be right; Everblue 2 is a game involving diving underwater and recovering treasures with the use of a 'Multi-Sonar' tool and bag to hold your collected goodies in. It may sound like a good base for an original game, but the biggest problem is that this concept is pretty much all the game has to offer, with the exception of the locals with whom you can trade with, and where the game's RPG elements come in to play.
Indeed, Everblue 2 is more than a diving simulation; the game is more of a diving RPG. The main portion of the game is based in the water, where you are giving a first person view to search the bottom of shallow sea regions. You use L1 to initiate a Sonar beam from the Multi-Sonar device which comes back with a pong or three pips depending whether you have found anything or not. This method will require a colossal amount of time to find sunken ships and small chests of treasure, considering you can only dig up and uncover something when you are almost exactly lined with it. Finding small items is difficult, but this complexity makes it all the more rewarding when you do find something. However, you will often be frustrated, as not everything you find at sea is of any value; you will often come across junk that you can keep in your collection if you so wish. After spending hours of time diving, and finding so little, you may find the game to be mightily boring and limited, and thus only the more patient people should look in to this game.
However, often easier to find than treasure is the sea creatures. They will come and go around you, and often provide as much pleasure in their discovery as the treasure does. This is because of their huge range, from small fish to crabs, and the ability (later in the game when you gain an aquarium) to capture them and look at them in your own pleasure. It may seem rather boring, but it does provide a bit of limited pleasure and variety from the main game of collecting junk. The RPG elements of Everblue 2 are present in the ways you make progress. Instead of gaining experience through battles, you gain the ability to stay longer underwater the more times you dive, and the more you collect. There are limits to your underwater expeditions; as stated you can only stay underwater until your oxygen runs out, and you will also have to watch your health as, although there are no battles, there are eels, blowfish, and even sharks out to get you. The biggest problem with these creatures is the inability to defend yourself, and the fact that you have no choice but to run away, often ending up climbing to the surface to escape certain death. These sudden moments do add both excitement and variety to the game, but are very frustrating when you have been searching for pin-perfect areas for quite some time only to be interrupted by a shark, and then find that you cannot pick up your place when you return.
Everblue 2 offers immediately fairly impressive visuals; the ship wrecks and corral reefs are well done, and the fish are wonderfully detailed. However, there are other more average efforts, like the water and its lack of effects, and the limited effort of the sunlight. The floor textures are of a good quality, but are repeated far, far too often, which will likely get you lost many times. Come to land, though, and things get far worse. Aside from the lack of 3D, there are also no graphical effects and the characters posses little to no animation, with navigation for these areas in basic 1996-esque point and clink. The sound fairs no better; none of those unanimated island folk even have voices, there are barely any sound effects (just your wonderful sonar noises...), and the music is awful. Basically, there is nothing good at all to say about the sound.
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