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'[Game] Hydroventure (WiiWare)'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Hydroventure'.
Wed 12/01/11 at 18:08:
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 767
The WiiWare service has often been mocked for its lack of quality titles and serious abundance of quick cash-ins (an aquarium!?!) but every once in a while a true gem of a game makes its debut and along with it proof that WiiWare content can contend with the likes of Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. World of Goo, And Yet It Moves and NyxQuest for example offer hours of fun and at a great reduced price. Which brings me onto Hydroventure (or Fluidity depending on if you’re in the states or over here) Will it make the short list of excellence or will it join the ever growing pile of mediocrity so common on WiiWare?

Hydroventure’s story is as simple as they come. A bottle of ink spills onto a book covering its pages. That’s it. Playing as a small pool of water it is now up to you to tackle the evil ink blots and restore the four chapters within the book. Doing this is a matter of making your way through a series of open environments via the usual platforming methods. The way the water feels is very realistic and to begin with you’ll have fun just seeing how it reacts on screen. Holding the remote on its side and tilting left or right moves the water as expected while jumping is a matter of flicking the remote upward (a little awkward but fine) Later you’ll also come across newer moves that for example can group all the water together making jumps easier. You can even change the state of the water so it turns into a gas cloud complete with lightning or a block of slippery, heavy ice. While things start off relatively simple the challenge ramps up as you start to juggle your abilities and tackles harder obstacles. Enemies will get in your way, lava becomes more frequent and puzzles more obscure. There are definitely some real head scratchers in this game.

The way the game is laid out feels like a cross between Super Metroid and Super Mario 64. The layout is entirely Metroid based with open worlds being broken up into smaller puzzling rooms and newer abilities helping you to unlock previously inaccessible routes. Even when you pause it a handy Metroid-esque map pops up to guide you along.

Super Mario 64 had stars to collect which opened up new levels and here you instead have rainbow droplets which do the same. Collecting these droplets is a matter of completing a small challenge like getting a fish into a fishbowl, collecting 7 smaller coloured drops (eight red coins anyone?) or just searching high and low for a secret passage. The objectives are varied, challenging and always great fun so much so you’ll be dying to see what you’ll need to do in the next one. These challenges are spread evenly throughout four pretty big chapters (or worlds) and much like Super Mario 64 you must enter the level, collect the item and then get booted back to the level selection menu before repeating again. Some may hate the idea of having to go in and out often, but it does spread out the game nicely meaning that you won’t find everything too quickly.

In all there are around eighty or so droplets to collect and eighty puzzle pieces that unlock special rooms, offering simple but addictive mini-games such as trying to flick a block of ice as far as possible. When you throw in the increasing difficulty you have a game that could easily last you in the tens of hours.

Visually the game is very charming. Taking the book idea and running with it you’ll find the outsides of pages, dividers like in comic books to split the areas and text boxes (obviously a book needs some writing!) littered over the four chapters. The actual levels are bold and full of colour but a little lacking in character with the usual green grassy hills, cityscapes and temples looking nice but not outstanding. The music is perhaps the biggest disappointment about the game with nothing truly standing out at all but that is just one small blemish in an otherwise brilliant product.

Hydroventure is the kind of game that is likely to be overlooked or missed entirely especially with its simplistic look or unusual premise which is a real shame as what you have here is perhaps one of the best downloadable games released in the past year. At only 1200 points it’s a great deal offering hours and hours of fun. The perfect cure for those cold Winter blues.

9/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Wed 12/01/11 at 18:08:
Regular
"Ghosts Can't Die!"
Posts: 767
The WiiWare service has often been mocked for its lack of quality titles and serious abundance of quick cash-ins (an aquarium!?!) but every once in a while a true gem of a game makes its debut and along with it proof that WiiWare content can contend with the likes of Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. World of Goo, And Yet It Moves and NyxQuest for example offer hours of fun and at a great reduced price. Which brings me onto Hydroventure (or Fluidity depending on if you’re in the states or over here) Will it make the short list of excellence or will it join the ever growing pile of mediocrity so common on WiiWare?

Hydroventure’s story is as simple as they come. A bottle of ink spills onto a book covering its pages. That’s it. Playing as a small pool of water it is now up to you to tackle the evil ink blots and restore the four chapters within the book. Doing this is a matter of making your way through a series of open environments via the usual platforming methods. The way the water feels is very realistic and to begin with you’ll have fun just seeing how it reacts on screen. Holding the remote on its side and tilting left or right moves the water as expected while jumping is a matter of flicking the remote upward (a little awkward but fine) Later you’ll also come across newer moves that for example can group all the water together making jumps easier. You can even change the state of the water so it turns into a gas cloud complete with lightning or a block of slippery, heavy ice. While things start off relatively simple the challenge ramps up as you start to juggle your abilities and tackles harder obstacles. Enemies will get in your way, lava becomes more frequent and puzzles more obscure. There are definitely some real head scratchers in this game.

The way the game is laid out feels like a cross between Super Metroid and Super Mario 64. The layout is entirely Metroid based with open worlds being broken up into smaller puzzling rooms and newer abilities helping you to unlock previously inaccessible routes. Even when you pause it a handy Metroid-esque map pops up to guide you along.

Super Mario 64 had stars to collect which opened up new levels and here you instead have rainbow droplets which do the same. Collecting these droplets is a matter of completing a small challenge like getting a fish into a fishbowl, collecting 7 smaller coloured drops (eight red coins anyone?) or just searching high and low for a secret passage. The objectives are varied, challenging and always great fun so much so you’ll be dying to see what you’ll need to do in the next one. These challenges are spread evenly throughout four pretty big chapters (or worlds) and much like Super Mario 64 you must enter the level, collect the item and then get booted back to the level selection menu before repeating again. Some may hate the idea of having to go in and out often, but it does spread out the game nicely meaning that you won’t find everything too quickly.

In all there are around eighty or so droplets to collect and eighty puzzle pieces that unlock special rooms, offering simple but addictive mini-games such as trying to flick a block of ice as far as possible. When you throw in the increasing difficulty you have a game that could easily last you in the tens of hours.

Visually the game is very charming. Taking the book idea and running with it you’ll find the outsides of pages, dividers like in comic books to split the areas and text boxes (obviously a book needs some writing!) littered over the four chapters. The actual levels are bold and full of colour but a little lacking in character with the usual green grassy hills, cityscapes and temples looking nice but not outstanding. The music is perhaps the biggest disappointment about the game with nothing truly standing out at all but that is just one small blemish in an otherwise brilliant product.

Hydroventure is the kind of game that is likely to be overlooked or missed entirely especially with its simplistic look or unusual premise which is a real shame as what you have here is perhaps one of the best downloadable games released in the past year. At only 1200 points it’s a great deal offering hours and hours of fun. The perfect cure for those cold Winter blues.

9/10

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