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Review: Feeding Frenzy takes feeding fish to a new level

By Ian Guss

Section: Arts

November 14, 2008

Feeding Frenzy is not one of the first games that come to mind on XBLA that you would think desperately needs a sequel. Even with a skeptical mind going in, Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown reminds players of how much fun it is to swallow underwater creatures over and over again.

Gameplay is extremely simple and will appeal to hardcore and casual gamers alike. The objective is to eat fish bigger than your fish. As you eat more fish, your character grows and can eat the next size. Controls are somewhat loose and take time getting used to. Your fish floats through the water and sometimes you have to steer it away from the larger fish more often than you should have to. There is no rumble feedback, which is always disappointing.

The interface on top of the screen gets in the way of the fish’s action at the top of the ocean. Some new variations on the original gameplay include jumping out of the water and gulping down insects in the air. Also, by pressing the B-button, swallowing a school of fish is strangely satisfying. Graphics are simple yet stylish, and they work well for an underwater XBLA game. FF2’s sound effects are a little too simple, but somewhat soothing (minus the announcer’s “Feeding Frenzy!” call during every stage).

FF2 provides ample modes, with one glaring omission. In single player, there is a traditional story mode along with a lite version and time attack. Story mode has 60 stages that take you throughout the underwater world of the Feeding Frenzy world with enough variation to keep you playing. FF2’s multiplayer options are plentiful but none are available online. Considering how much time was spent in development (FF2 first came out on the PC more than two years ago), it’s surprising that this game doesn’t have some kind of online multiplayer.

If you were a casual player of the original, it’s probably not worth picking this one up. However, if you are new to the series, engaging gameplay and fun multiplayer options make FF2 easily worth your hard earned 800 Microsoft Points.

Pros: Simple to learn gameplay, good bang for your buck

Cons: No online multiplayer, sensitivity takes awhile to get used to

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