If I've learned one thing from my time with Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked it's that I wouldn't last a day on a deserted island. Not due to the harsh environments, lack of food, wild animals, or random smoke monsters, mind you - no, if I've learned anything, I'd be nagged to death before you can say "Survivor".
"I'm hungry. I'm thirsty."
Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked is the fourth installment in the previously handheld-exclusive survival franchise and the first console-based Lost in Blue yet.
Those unfamiliar to the series need only know the basics: a couple gets washed up on a deserted island, and it's your duty to make sure that they survive until help arrives. Lost in Blue's survival simulation idea always intrigued me, but never allowed me to completely immerse myself in the game due to repetitive mini-games, characters constantly complaining, and rather linear storylines.
Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked solves a few of these problems, such as providing a large island for your characters to explore, or a myriad of items to collect and tools to create, but at the same time makes a few of these issues worse.
Taking advantage of the Nintendo Wii's motion sensing technology, Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked takes every opportunity to turn the simplest of actions into a mini-game, making you feel like you're stranded in a mini-game compilation much less than an exotic desert island.
Some of these mini-games work very well, such as the Cooking Mama-esque food preparation segments while others feel like they could have been packaged with Wii Play, such as an overly simplistic "Fish Harpooning" game, or my personal favourite, "Dig Through the Sand".
Let me say right now that Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked isn't a bad game by any means - it just feels... well... a bit lost. You'll be so busy collecting twigs for your campfire or gathering coconuts to satiate your characters' hunger that you'll rarely have the time to actually move forward in the plot and complete the next objective.
Early on in the game when I was tasked with building a signal fire on the beach, I thought it'd be a piece of cake. I wake up the next morning and both of my characters are sick, hungry, and thirsty, leading me to spend the entire next week spoon-feeding them back to health, only to have them randomly "feel sick" or "go numb" halfway across the island the next day.
It's this constant nagging feeling of babysitting your lead characters that really detracts from the gameplay - which really wouldn't be such a bad thing if the only way to get them food or make them a fire to warm themselves with wasn't in a - wait for it - mini-game.
I could bash Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked for having less than stellar graphics, repetitive sound or even the lack of plot, but I was just looking for a fun game that ended up feeling more like a task, than anything. In my opinion, if I can feel intrigued in a game of Harvest Moon to spend an entire day milking cows and planting crops and still feel like I've accomplished something - never mind the "last gen" graphics and whatnot - the point is I'm having fun doing it. While Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked is a noble effort at taking the handheld series to the mainstream console-playing crowd, it just plays out more as a chore than a fun, lost-at-sea adventure.
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