Not long ago I reviewed the PlayStation 3 edition of My Aquarium. With it’s High Definition visuals and scrumptious animation I couldn’t help but find it an attractive piece of software, but as a game I didn’t really feel hooked to it for any real length of time. So let’s see if the sequel improves things or sinks to the bottom of the tank.
Many of you may believe that keeping fish as pets is a very simple and hassle free thing to do. After all they don’t need to be taken for a walk like a dog and they don’t use your legs as scratching posts as would a cat. However if you really want to keep fish properly you’re going to actually need more care, skill, money and patience than you’d ever expect – keeping a solitary goldfish in a bowl of water just doesn’t count (and it’s cruel).
For one thing; before you even think of buying any fish you’ll need a good size tank, an air pump, gravel, water plants and possibly even a water filter. That’s just for cold water fish! Marine and Tropical fish require a water heater, water treatment and a 24hour backup power supply to prevent the water from getting too cold if the power cuts out. All in all it’s a tough business and not one that you want to jump right into without any preparation.
Well Hudson Software say they have the answer; My Aquarium 2 for Wii is a fully interactive piece of WiiWare software that places a virtual fish tank on your television screen. I don’t know about you but it sounds a whole lot easier, safer and less ethically troubling to me. My Aquarium 2 differs slightly over the original with it’s theme. This time out rather than have a collection of random fish we’re given a more unusual selection of Deep Sea fish and crustaceans, some of which live as deep as 4000m in the real ocean.
Just like before; you’re free to have several aquariums running at once and switching from one to another is as simple as clicking on it’s icon. The reason you’d want more aquariums is because just like real life, if you mix fish of uneven sizes together then they may very well eat start eating each other. Cannibalism may be fun when you watch a Zombie movie but it’s totally different when your Wii tells you that some huge ugly fish has just eaten all the other little fish in the tank for breakfast. Whilst we’re on that topic, no fish simulation would be complete without the ability to feed the little buggers. Thankfully you have an infinite supple of fish biscuits and fresh worms (yummy) to keep the inhabitants of the tank well fed, don’t feed them too much though – fish obesity can be a real problem and could cost a fortune in therapist fees.
Of course there’s no forgetting about the ability to customize your tank; everything from the style, lighting, features and plant-life can be customised. If you want a gloomy looking tank then that’s no problem, those with design skills on the other hand can use the Wii Remote to place objects like rocks, coral and novelty ships and air pumps into position. Each sized tank has a capacity level which you can’t exceed so don’t go trying to shove too much into your first tank, spread the stuff around nicely and keep things interesting.
Last time out My Aquarium for Wii featured WiiConnect24 and Forecast Channel integration and once again they’re both back. Real time weather changes occur in sync with the Wii’s weather app and if you have any My Aquarium 2 owning friends then the ability to view each-others online tanks could get you both really excited.
When it comes to the pinch My Aquarium 2 for Wii does what it promises but no more than that. There is still little fun to be had with a virtual aquarium unless you are a real fish lover. Aside from the small description of each fish there is also not too much to report on in terms of education either. The graphics and sound of My Aquarium 2 for Wii are average to say the least, perhaps I’ve been spoilt by the HD version on the PS3 but for whatever reason things look muddy, blurry and very pixelated on a high-resolution screen. Those with standard definition TV’s may fare better but don’t go expecting too much.
Sadly I can only really recommend My Aquarium 2 for WiiWare to those who really did enjoy the original or those with passion with virtual fish. Even with 5 DLC packs available for download by the end of the year I can’t see it being enough to keep my excitement level up. 4 out of 10.
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