It's an unfortunate truth that there are games you might like at one point, but grow past them eventually. Shamu's Deep Sea Adventures is one such title for me, though it should also be noted that unfortunately the game in question is little more than an alternative method of advertising.
Developer(s): Fun Labs
Release date: November 1, 2005 (NA), March 17, 2006 (EU)
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, GameCube
The game's main star is Shamu, the famed killer whale of the SeaWorld theme park. The normal goings of the park are interrupted by an attack by the Kraken, the dreaded sea monster. As Shamu begins to investigate, it is revealed that the attack was only a part of a far bigger plan: Poseidon, the god of the seas, intends to rise the sunken city of Atlantis back to the surface once more and to replace (and destroy) the SeaWorld in the process. Adviced and aided by Horacio, an aged manatee, who knows well the cruel reign of Poseidon, Shamu sets out on an underwater quest to prevent the god of the seas from succeeding.
The formula of the levels is quite simple. Usually each level has two primary goals: reach the end of the level, which usually involves collecting one or several keys to open water locks blocking the way, and collect enough Kraken crystals. The crystals are Kraken's ink which has solidified with time. Collecting them unlocks new special moves for Shamu. The levels feature some enemies, though with the exception of a couple of minibosses, they're more of an annoyance and a distraction than an actual obstacle, and even the minibosses aren't that hard to beat. The game's two main collectables are bubbles of air and balls of krill. Shamu needs air bubbles to breathe, as rising to the surface isn't an option in the environments he explores. The krill is food for Shamu, which restores his health and also increases his agility meter. Agility is consumed every time Shamu performs any of the special moves. Both collectables are found in abundance, so there's usually no shortage of either. There are a couple of levels that differ from the majority of the levels. These usually feature Shamu trying to follow someone, or escaping from Kraken, in which case you have to move to the directions indicated by appearing arrows to avoid strikes from his tentacles, while also making sure you collect enough crystals along the way.
Shamu's Deep Sea Adventures features colorful levels and environments, but sadly, not really that much else. If it didn't already come clear, the game is also childishly easy. Of course, now when one thinks about it as a grown person, it's obvious that the game's target demographic are the youngest members of the family. And let's be real, when you get right down to it, deep down the game is nothing more than a marketing gimmick, a way to advertise the marine animal theme parks of SeaWorld to kids. Needless to say, there's also the ugly truth that the game creates a highly romanticized image of marine animal theme parks, which is naturally far from reality. Anyone who is familiar with the fatal incidents in SeaWorld's parks where orcas were involved knows what I'm talking about.
I am shark god Dakuwanga, and I thank you for reading this article!