No sooner had I blogged about the return of Aquanaut's Holiday on PS3, when, to my amazement, I discover the original PS1 game was released this morning via the Japanese PS3 store for 600 yen.
My original copy has been misplaced somewhere down the line, and it's a game I've been looking out for over the last few years...to no avail. But tonight I downloaded it again and have put an hour or so into it.
OK, so it's nowhere near as polished as Endless Ocean on Wii, and the draw distance is pretty poor, but it's still got that old magic. Due to the game's minimalist sound effects and eerie music, Aquanaut's Holiday has a sombre atmosphere. But just travelling through the sizeable ocean, peering out into the gloom in search of some landmark or sign of life is as compelling as it was back in 1996.
Each of the pad's shoulder buttons emits a sound. The sealife you encounter all have their favourite sound and when played, they will dance. Squids rotate 360 degrees, while starfish twirl around on the sea bed. You can also set probes anywhere in the ocean which you can then hop between to cut down on journey times. This is especially useful for returning to a point of interest.
As for the points of interest, there are many - from huge stone faces on the sea bed, to mysterious footprints in the sand.
It's been a while, so I'll need to play around with it a bit more to jog my memory about creating a coral reef to attract different species, as right now, I'm puzzled. Still, the game is pretty self-explanatory and although the game is from the Japanese store, menus are in English, with only a smattering of Japanese throughout. Plus, there's the bonus of being able to play it on my PSP. Fantastic!