I've never been scuba diving, though I imagine it can be quite the relaxing affair. Checking out the reefs, the fish, and just marveling at what is essentially a whole other world sounds pretty wonderful. It would stand to reason, then, that a game about scuba diving and taking pictures of the beautiful underwater scenery would be an equally relaxing affair.
Reef Shot definitely can be relaxing, in between all of the intrusive story bits and distracting objective markers. It wants to take you along for a ride, but in most cases, I'd rather be steering the wheel myself.
*Note: All photos used in this review were taken by me within the game.
Reef Shot (PC) Developer: Nano Games Publisher: Nano Games Release Date: November 21, 2012 MSRP: $9.99
There is a story in Reef Shot, one about discovering ancient Mayan artifacts and trying to uncover the mystery of El Dorado, the lost city of gold. The story does an okay job of keeping the player interested, since the possibility of discovering a lost city is definitely intriguing. The problem is that the game quickly shifts focus from taking pretty pictures of colorful fish to taking pictures of brown slabs and carved rocks.
Taking pictures of fish never truly goes away, but it does begin to feel more out of place. After a long series of artifact photos, Reef Shot will randomly require the player to photograph a fish again, as if to remind them that they are underwater and there are fish around. It's strange to hear the in-game partner go from freaking out about ancient ruins to calmly describing a fish at the drop of a hat.
Perhaps the worst part about the story is the ending. After an incredible amount of build up surrounding El Dorado, as soon as the last picture is taken in the last mission, a text box just pops up congratulating the player on performing this incredible feat before booting them out to the main menu. Underwhelming would be an understatement.
Each mission consists of taking pictures of either fish or artifacts in order to advance. Every photograph must meet a certain quality requirement, which is measured in stars. For example, a one-star photograph means you should go back to art school and a five-star photograph deserves to be framed and put in a museum. The game isn't as clear as it could be in terms of what constitutes each level of photograph, though. Even worse, when a four-star photo is needed and a three-star photo is taken, the game doesn't give any feedback as to why it was only a three-star photo. Sometimes I felt as if I was photographing works of art, only to get a two-star photo, and I was never quite sure why.
An utterly bizarre decision, the option to save all photographs to your computer is turned off by default. It even turns off again at the beginning of each mission! I find it very odd that in a game about taking photos, photo saving is always turned off unless the player remembers to turn it on.
Reef Shot also directs the player around the map by placing objective markers. Each mission boils down to moving to a marker, taking photos, moving to the next marker, taking more photos. There's no freedom whatsoever in how missions progress; the game is extremely linear. In fact, it even punishes the player for just swimming around and taking photographs, since both oxygen and photos are limited.
It is possible to spend earned stars on "perks." These perks include refilling oxygen, adding more photographs, or locating the fish or artifact needed to complete the current objective. Sidequests are also unlocked by spending stars. Doing so not only costs the player some stars, but also oxygen and photos, so unless a sidequest is done quickly and efficiently, it could result in a failed mission.
There is no checkpoint system in place, so a failed mission means starting the entire thing over again. Chances are that failure will not come often, but when it does it is incredibly frustrating. I think I would have preferred the removal of a fail state over an actual checkpoint system, however. In a game like Reef Shot, it would be nice to be able to just explore the ocean floor and take as many pretty or ugly photos as I'd like. I kept hoping that a free-roam possibility would unlock upon completing the story mode, but regrettably that never happened.
The game looks good enough to convey the vast expanse of the ocean floor and the loneliness of diving deep, but almost every artifact is drab and ugly instead of beautiful and interesting. The fish also don't react to the player's presence in any way, and in fact most of them clip right through the player. There aren't many music tracks included, but the few that are set the mood extremely well. For the most part, the music is upbeat, but gets more somber during a deep dive and sets up the tension of being so far below sea level.
Reef Shot could have been much, much more than what is offered. As a first-person adventure game, it does little to stimulate the player to keep pressing on, except perhaps to hopefully see more fish variety. If you're like me and want to just meander about the ocean floor and take some photographs of virtual fish to relax and enjoy yourself, Reef Shot offers very little.
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.
Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.
Perro Listening to Studio Ghibli Collection at work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_WbO_LPXDo
Reminds me that my dad really liked Howl's Moving Castle. He's retired military and serious most of the time but rather enjoyed its fanciful world. Terry 309 Sorry for my inactivity... I've been lacking motivation and have nothing on my mind right now so i haven't blogged in a while. Still playing Grandia 2 anniversarry, getting annoyed by mount and blade warband's phantasy calradia mod and other shit...CaseyCor Donkey Kong Land 3 Any% Speedruns, right now! [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]Dr Mel Remember Black? That PS2 era shooter from Criterion? It has a REALLY good orchestral soundtrack. I'm gonna throw that in my MGSV iDroid. Why not. CaseyCor Can't sleep cast: Donkey Kong Land Any% [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]ooktar Defeated a sniper in MGS V by dropping supplies on his head. 10/10.Nat Monney I'm with 3 other guys and we're about to release a mobile game we started almost 3 years ago. What should we do ?
[youtube]https://youtu.be/5EGPUBZCGwo[/youtube]FlanxLycanth Guys I'm on a train what should I do?Pixie The Fairy Traded in a bunch of old Star Trek novels and other books at a used bookstore. Made $10 and got Tori Amos' "Strange Little Girls" album along with it.
They made me take the William Shatner novels back. Smart clerks.OverlordZetta Can this be Toy Story 4? [youtube]https://youtu.be/XJkZX0rKElY[/youtube]Gamemaniac3434 Also I will be reviewing freedom wars.
I didnt make it to the end.
I will not be kind to it.
There will be blood.
Gamemaniac3434 Yeah....been there before. techsupport MGS V review: When using a character other than Big Boss for missions, the intro credits still say, "starring Punished 'Venom' Snake." Sloppy work, Kojima - no wonder Konami dumped you. 0/10. Gamemaniac3434 Grim Fandango......some real good sruff here. As soon as I complete it (vita version, of course) will probably see about a write up. Not perfect, but theres some good stuff here. Glad it got brought back from obsolescence hell. Rad Party God *sigh* If only Disqus had a "block/ignore user" option :/VIRGO Must. Use. This. Blog. More. But. School.GoofierBrute Just started playing Hyrule Warriors again. Man is that game fun. A bit mindless at times granted, but fun nonetheless.RadicalYoseph I ate vanilla ice cream and didn't put on any chocolate syrup. Now wondering if that was racist whitewashing #thanksjed.Jiraya The cat dragged in some action figures !
[img]http://i.imgur.com/51DLqjh.jpg[/img]Dr Mel There's a Custom Soundtrack folder in MGSV. I can't think of a better thing to put there than the old episodes of podtoid I've been running through lately. I'll be fultoning guys and Holmes will be puttin' on mesh tank tops. Perfect.