I shouldn’t expect Aquanaut’s Holiday, but I can’t help myself. Drop me into a virtual ocean and I’m going to remember that game’s open-world wonder from a time before open-world was even a thing. It was 1995. It was a Playstation. And not a Playstation One, because there was no such thing. The Playstation 2, 3, and 4 didn’t exist yet. Just a Playstation. It was Japanese, which might explain why it didn’t feel the need to be an actual game. It was instead a virtual ocean released at a time when you couldn’t go online and Google search a forum to start a thread called “uh, what am i supposed to be doing in here anyway?” So I spent most of my time in Aquanaut’s Holiday wondering what was going to happen, if anything, and not particularly minding that nothing was happening because it was so weirdly hypnotic. Relaxing. Sometimes eerie. Years later I would discover you could build a reef to attract fish or something. I suppose that’s gameplay, but it’s nothing I ever figured out.
Your review makes me want to pop Endless Ocean: Blue Worrld back into the Wii and head out for another dive. That's my kind of underwater exploration game, even if it does have a weird "plot" tucked away in there.
I’m trying to decide if I think my young daughters would enjoy either playing this or watching somebody play. Are the controls difficult and/or is it frustrating to play? Or would they be ok just scooting around in the water and scaring fish and stuff?
For reference, they like Subnautica, but it’s far too complicated for them to play. They enjoy watching me play, though.
I only just recently got around to playing this, and I did enjoy it immensely. It’s a wonderful feeling of immersion (ha!) just being in this underwater world, observing all its life. I kind of resented the gameyness when it popped its head up. One thing though, you mention watching all the marine life waiting for something to happen that never did - was it predation? Just wondering because I did see a fair amount of this, I remember the first time I saw a grouper eat a smaller fish I even got an achievement for it! I had to laugh.