Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Dive Alert (NGPC)

Like Pokémon Red and Blue, Dive Alert comes in two versions, Matt and Becky. Boringly they both have the same title screen, just with a different title.

Looks like it's going to be a happy, upbeat kind of game.

Oh. Well, that's all in the past now. It's time to move on and look to the future.

Wow. They've done a Waterworld. Now all they need is for Kevin Costner to show up and their tragedy shall be complete.

I start off by being able to choose my character's name, their Navicom AI partner, and their submarine. I go with all defaults because it would be weird to choose to play 'Matt's Version' and then not play as Matt.

Man, I dunno... the destruction of civilisation, the death of all humanity, the planet being flooded and being trapped on a tiny submarine in an endless ocean maybe?

Becky's Version seems to start out the same, just with slightly different dialogue. It's possible that picking a different Navicom would change the dialogue too, but I've got no plans to test that out.

The last thing I want to do is sit through a ton of text right now.

Okay, what the hell? Are these two ever planning to shut up? I don't mind a bit of dialogue in a game but I need more of a hook than this.

You know, I'm starting to get the impression that this might be a visual novel. This game has been nothing but talking so far. The background hasn't even changed!


YES, FINALLY!  We're getting to some action soon, I can sense it. Time to go save the day.


Okay, I have HIT GAMEPLAY! My first objective is take my blue arrow to the point marked with an 'X'. I'm not sure how to get this thing moving though. Maybe this is just the map screen, I don't know.

Oh. I think I've figured it out. I WAS moving... but the top speed of my vehicle is so slow I didn't even realise until I waited a while.


More dialogue? Okay fine, let's just get this over with then.


We're in a crisis here! Everyone is either in great danger from being attacked, or is in fact actually in the process of being attacked right now as we speak. Can you PLEASE STOP TALKING?


Well, this is the gameplay then. It's like a cut down, ultra slow version of Asteroids. I just narrowly missed getting hit by two torpedoes fired by the purple blob with a '1' on it, by turning 90 degrees away and flooring the accelerator.

Now I'm going to turn this thing around and fire a couple of yellow dots his way, see how he likes that.

Yellow dots 1, enemy 0. Time to go over there and collect my booty. Eventually.

It turns out that was just the first wave. Time for round 2.

Damn, shit just got real. I'm being attacked by two enemies at once and they're hammering my armour. I've got 9 hp left so I don't think my chances are good.

Oh, apparently I wasn't supposed to win that battle, it was just an excuse to start up more text boxes.

But suddenly these people came in with their super sub and pro skills to save the day. Apparently they're with the resistance and they're fighting against the computer system that I work for.

But the despite all the hints that we'll be enemies later, I'm guessing we'll eventually team up to fight the true villain. Because there's pictures of them teaming up with us in the intro. Wow, I just checked again and that seems to be Matt and Becky in that picture.

The captain of the ship in distress reveals the shocking truth of why he doesn't know anything about the setting of the game, despite presumably living in this world all his life.

It's like she's talking directly to me. Like the writer of the game is taking the chance to complain that people aren't paying enough attention to their words.

But it's okay, she takes pity on the poor clueless guy and repeats the info from the intro again. So basically yeah I could have skipped the intro and missed very little.

Anyway we tow the guy's beat up ship to an automated dock, but he suspiciously runs off before he can get it fixed. So we dock alone to fix up our sub, do some shopping, and find some work.

Man, I'm sure that must have been around 250 lines of dialogue before I reached the shop. It doesn't seem like I can afford anything cool, so I'll just go right back out on my first exciting mission!

We're off to kill a Sea Monster for points. If we get a ridiculous number of points the computer we work for will let us go live in the super awesome last city on dry land. So we've got to work our way up to that with missions. But first we have to kill some more Automen on the way.

The red dots turned out to be too much for me in the end, and the game was lost. I was doing fine when the enemies were at my depth and at a distance, but when they started moving right next to me and firing too close for me to dodge it was all over.

And I'm grateful really, because I didn't even slightly enjoy this game. It's possible that the game gets much better once a player gets the hang of all their submarine's features... but somehow I doubt it. It does have some nicely drawn art though. Next game.


  1. I keep misreading all the lowerecase n's in this game's textbox font as lowercase h's, the differense is literally just one pixel.

    I read almost to the end of the article until I realised realised that they weren't "Humahs" looking for the "Automeh".


Semi-Random Game Box