Lost in Blue ReviewCain Dornan
Lost in Blue is one of those games that appeal to a small niche of gamers a very small niche, in fact. The original proved that some games have a lot to offer below their outer shell which, in this case, seemed to be little more than a repetitive, tiring chore that proved far too constant with its same-old, day-in-day-out routine that pushed most gamers away very quickly. It proved that theres a tight line between producing a game that focuses far too closely on realistic elements in this case surviving on a desert island in comparison to providing an experience that, although not always accurate, fun to play. Most of us play games as entertainment, to past the time away and relax with an escape from the real world: not slam us in the face with the cold, hard realities of the real world and expect us to enjoy it.
Lost in Blue 2 is an interesting game that differs greatly from most other marginally similar games on the market. Like the first game, it pits you with the task of surviving shipwrecked on a deserted island with only a new friend and a bunch of bare-basics to keep yourself alive. Youll need to forage for food, forge weapons, fight threatening creatues, create items for your new, hopefully temporary home a cave and explore for a possible escape route on an island that is much bigger than in the first game. The sequel plays largely the same as the original, with the same graphics, sound and gameplay methods making a return, as well as a handful of pleasing minor additions, such as a partner who can now partially look after herself/himself (you can choose to be either the male or female character in this outing), although youll still be required to do the key tasks required to keep each other alive.
The ultimate aim of the game is to survive and escape, with the majority of your game time spent on discovering new ways to make your two characters life just that little bit easier. The rest will be spent exploring every nook and cranny of the island, with the aim being to delve deeper into the wilderness each passing day without the need to retreat back to your cave every few hours for rest or a feed.
One of the key annoyances that many complained about with the first game is still existent in this sequel, albeit not as bad. Micromanagement is very much a key component of the game, as youll spend almost the entire game searching for the necessities that your demanding survivors require. Although you can give the order to your partner to go and retrieve wood, food, water and the like, youll still be tasked with doing the majority of work required to keep both of your characters alive. Youll also need to actually tell your partner whenever you want them to do something, otherwise theyll just stand around doing nothing, even when they are dying and are in need of food or water.
But the problem doesnt just lie with its repetitive, monotnus nature or annoying micromanagement inclusions; its the fact that it provides an experience that differs little from the original, raising the question of whether a sequel is actually needed. Chances are, if you didnt enjoy the first game, you wont enjoy the second. And if you were one of the few to find fun in the first, youll likely tire of the overly familiar experience found in this sequel well before it is finished.
The mini games are generally fun yet basic, with some of key games becoming quite boring quickly when you are forced to do them on a regular basis. Cooking, for example, sees you participating in a variety of cooking-based mini games to prepare and cook food for your characters to consume. Youll slice and dice, boil, combine ingredients and cook; the better you are at this, the better the quality of food that is served to your characters, which affects how much they actually gain from the food. Considering that throughout most of the game food is scarce, its important that you dont let anything go to waste. At the beginning of the game youll be living off coconuts and seaweed: as you progress, youll eventually upgrade to berries, carrots, fish and various other more delectable foods to please your survivors demanding appetites. Youll also craft together items that you have found to create new tools or weapons for use.
The game reuses the same bland graphics and mechanical music from the original, so dont expect a big overhaul in this department with the sequel. While it certainly gets the job done, as the games nature doesnt demand high-quality production values on the visual or sound side in order to be enjoyable, the monotonus presentation of the game doesnt help to keep gamers interested in the game for long.
Its certainly not going to grab the attention of a large fanbase, nor will it be a game youll here about by this time next year. Like the original, Lost in Blue 2 is a very unique game that will prove to be popular amongst some gamers when the time is taken to fully appreciate its unique premise. Most gamers, however, wont be impressed with what Konami has served up, as the painfully repetitive gameplay on hand will fail to keep most gamers interested long enough to discover what it has to offer. Strictly a game for the very patient, reserved gamer.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.