The Ocean Hunter (Arcade) review
"If you, like me, have been wondering lately what it might feel like to shoot torpedoes at sharks and other underwater creatures, then you should immediately head to the nearest arcade with The Ocean Hunter in it. I was attracted to the game by its large guns and underwater theme. Bringing a buddy in with me, we inserted our trusty tokens and took the plunge, so to speak. The helpful screen introduced us to our animated counterparts, who happened to be two divers in tight, uncomfortable-looking w..."
If you, like me, have been wondering lately what it might feel like to shoot torpedoes at sharks and other underwater creatures, then you should immediately head to the nearest arcade with The Ocean Hunter in it. I was attracted to the game by its large guns and underwater theme. Bringing a buddy in with me, we inserted our trusty tokens and took the plunge, so to speak. The helpful screen introduced us to our animated counterparts, who happened to be two divers in tight, uncomfortable-looking wet suits. After making the expected cracks at the skinny legs, we were immediately distracted by our big, yellow, missile-launching, awesome-sauce guns.
Right away we were aching to blast away some helpless underwater creatures, and thankfully there was little waiting. With a short word about finding some shark named "White Death", who we could only (correctly) assume was the first boss, we were tossed in the water to swim side-by-side to the depths. Our cross-hairs appeared on the screen and we giggled in chorus in excitement. Within an instant our first enemies were flying at us: sharks, piranhas, angry jellyfish, you name it, we shot it. I was impressed by the ocean background and realistic underwater feel of our bobbing up and down with the current. Sometimes it's hard to tell which sea creature will fly at you next, since there is always many gliding across the screen. This kept things fresh and unexpected.
We did our best to stay focused and keep the trigger fingers moving. After chugging along through the underwater scenery and grabbing some hidden treasure chests along the way, we finally reached the big, scary shark boss. When we approached, we got a zoomed-in view of its bloody mouth along with a little sheet giving us notes on how many people it has recently killed, as if the bloody rows of teeth weren't enough to freak us out. But no worries: our trusty torpedo guns were able to do the job. At first we were shooting wildly at the beast watching the life meter barely inch down. Then the game finally gave us a hint as to what to shoot at. With its weak point highlighted (it was his huge meaty throat), the mission was a lot easier, and we were able to take him down and collect the earnings for his massive body.
And that's pretty much all there is to it. After this our little diver on-screen counterparts did a celebratory cha-cha of sorts and moved onto the next beast's lair. Collecting the reward money for each slain underwater demon added to our point totals and allowed us to move forward. The only way to heal ourselves when we got bit by some unruly fish (which happened a lot, trust me), was to rescue one of the other divers by quickly shooting whatever was about to eat them. Unfortunately for us, we weren't very good at this, which meant that we didn't get many of the health boosts. This led to many deaths for us and many wasted tokens.
Though the game impressed us with its frightening beasts and realistic underwater feel, we were disappointed with several things. One thing was the sound. Perhaps it was just that the particular game system we were playing was old, but the sound was really muffled and crackly. A clear underwater sound system would have really added to the clean graphics. Another thing that bugged us was that the money was completely useless except for adding to the point total. I kept hoping that a store would pop up that would allow us to buy upgraded torpedoes or better-protecting suit or something, but alas, this never happened. This is a section of the game that I think would have added to the overall experience.
But all in all, we realized that we did indeed have fun with this game. Despite the fact that it is a bit short and repetitive with its underwater battling, the last boss battle is especially amazing and even somewhat creepy. Some of the mini-bosses are fun to watch too. Its a game that I'm glad I was drawn to by its yellow torpedo guns. In the end I was disappointed by some of its overall short-comings, but it was still worth the time and tokens spent.
Community review by iamtheprodigy (August 03, 2007)
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