|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Konami||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 23, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
In Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked, theres a heavier emphasis on mini-games than in past installments of the series. Such actions as checking out your surroundings, cooking, and making tools have always been mini-game-esque, but in Shipwrecked they feel more so than ever, right down to a time meter and a score. This isnt necessarily a bad thing, because these mini-games are actually one of the high points of the title. Most of them are well-done and interesting, plus it can be a good way of collecting food and supplies much more easily. For example, in the vine-pulling sequence, you could get six or seven vines from a single tree rather than just one.
In fact, one of the reasons these mini-games generally work well is because of the excellent Wii Remote control implemented during them. Running around is done with the simple Remote-and-Nunchuk configuration, but when it comes to interacting with the environment, I was pleasantly surprised by how the Remote was used. Shaking both Remote and Nunchuk simultaneously to shake a tree or waving the Remote around to wipe sand away and find oysters was simple but satisfying and not overdone. There were some minor camera issues while exploring, but it was seldom a big deal.
For me, one of the biggest disappointments with Shipwrecked is the visuals. I disapprove of the anime-style approach the developers have taken, starting with Lost in Blue 3. I much preferred the more realistic character models; to me, the game works better as a serious survival drama than a Saturday-morning cartoon. Additionally, the visuals themselves are really poor. Environments look very similar; youll see lots of the same trees, sand, and rock walls. Characters look bad, and sometimes the game looks so pixelated that its hard to believe that its on the Wii.
Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked did some things okay, but it leaves me wanting more. Im motivated to go back and enjoy Lost in Blue 1 or 2, my favorite games in the series, rather than try and have fun with Shipwrecked. Exploration is as good as ever, and the Wii Remote mini-games, from cooking to building to foraging for food, are solid. But the problem with the health gauges really detracts from the experience, and its getting more and more difficult to overlook that problem as we see it in game after game. As much as it pains me to say it, I think it might be time for this series to get lost.
CCC Freelance Writer